Although the white wedding dress is a prominent feature of many weddings, these white wedding gowns did not exist. Well, at least not until the year 1840, when Queen Victoria during her marriage to Prince Albert broke the tradition of wearing fashionable colors like red and opted for white. From then on, many brides across Europe, America, and Africa have adopted the white wedding gown ‘culture’ making the white dress the epic wedding symbol it is today.
And like marriage itself, wedding attire continues to evolve. We are just incredibly lucky to have such a diversity in this area apparently because of a great deal of cultural variety of the world we are in. Asia in particular offers the most magnificent and intricate wedding dresses considering its rich indigenous art, culture and natural resources. Hence, a great benchmark for brides who wants to take a non trivial approach to their wedding look in the destination weddings market.
The Indian wedding fashion dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization, and entails a wide variety of decorative styles and colors, with the red silk being the main fabric. Typically, the bridal appearance includes the midriff baring blouse known as the choli, the skirt or lehenga, the sari and the dupatta which is a versatile scarf. Besides the exquisite garments, the Indian bridal fashion requires the bride to have lavish embroidery and beauty accessories like the head jewelry known as the tikka, or the bindi. The bride’s hand and feet also must have flowery Henna or Mehndi decorations.
The Southeast Asian country is renowned for its attractive tropical shores, ancient palaces, and ever cheerful people. However the country is attracting the global spotlight for a different reason, her figure flattering cotton and silk garments. The Thai fashion is mainly silk and mostly influenced by Queen Sirikit, arguably the best-dressed woman on earth. The Chut Thai Phra Ratcha Niyom is the official Thai national dress, and it comes in a variety of designs subject to the occasion. For a wedding, the Chut Thai Pra Yook dress is a fashionable and tasteful selection. The dress features the wrap-around sarong and a matching Sabai or silk shawl. A notable feature of Thai bridal fashion is that the garments have pastel and creamy shades.
Despite being ruled by foreign powers like the colonial French and the Imperial China, the Vietnamese managed to conserve part of her rich cultural heritage. The country’s national costume is the Ao Dai, a long silk, chiffon, or lace tunic worn over the pantaloons pants. The dress is a design modeling the court ladies of the Nguyễn Dynasty attire. In contrast, to many wedding traditions, the Vietnamese bridal fashion consists of pants and a hat or khan đóng, which is a distinct up turning round headdress. To represent the wedding couple, the garment of the bride has a phoenix embroidery while that of the groom has that of a dragon. Lastly, since the Vietnamese believed that the color red brings the couple good luck, the bridal garments are often red in color.
Being landlocked and located along the Silk Road in the South Central part of Asia, Afghanistan has rich and exciting history and culture, influenced by the Middle East and Asian countries. Part of the country’s heritage is its traditional dress, molded from the nomadic Kuchi tribe. It is a brightly colored garment with geometrical patterns and intricate Khamak (thin threaded embroidery). At times, the clothes would have metal coins and metal. The Afghan bridal dress is often green symbolizing paradise as per the Islamic custom.
North and South Korea share not only their history but also the distinctive national costume, the hanbok or Hollyebok. The traditional costume consists of a polychromatic gown, a tight-fitting jeogori (a double ribbon jacket) and the high-waisted chima skirt. The modern hanbok costumes molded after those in the Joseon era, have an unmistakable baggy high-waisted chima skirts. For her hair, the Korean bride can ornament it with a crown known as jokduri or with the binyeo, traditional hair pins. What many brides appreciate is that no two hanboks look the same as they are custom-made. A bride should, however, be cautious about the choice of color since hanbok shades like blue, red, pink or multi-colored hold different meanings.
Indonesia has diverse ethnic groups, each with their unique cultures. As a result, each ethnic grouping has its distinct tradition and wedding garments. However a common feature of the Indonesian bridal fashion is the kebaya batik dress, kebaya shirt, and, kebaya skirt. The kebaya is a colorful and festive fabric entirely decorated with sequins. The bride’s skirt or dress is often long, with a tail stretching to the floor and lavishly decorated with embroidery, jewelry, and, laces. The bride could also adorn a headdress draped in gorgeous gems, gold, flowers and jewelry.