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It is truly exciting to get dressed in traditional wedding outfits. Wedding dress for men & wedding dresses for girls are different. The Indian lehenga for example, is different to the Sherwani for men.It is a joyous occasion and should be an unforgettable experience. Religious affiliations & ethnicity dictate wedding customs & traditions . Weddings are typically once in a lifetime events and young men & women would want to be suitably dressed for the occasion. The word suitably would mean fashionably, traditionally , contemporarily etc etc. As a matter of fact, preservation of their heritage & customs is definitely appealing to many young people nowadays.
In a Christian church wedding for example, the bride wears a white dress and the groom wears a suit. However, there are other communities where the brides wear colourful wedding dresses & the groom wears something equally fancy.Above all ,each country has its own traditions in wedding dress styles. Let us take a look at some of the colourful and magnificently ornamented marriage dresses worldwide.
Ghana has a rich wedding culture. It starts with the groom’s family visiting the bride’s family bearing gifts in the form of jewellery, clothes & money, accompanied with music. The gifts are accepted by the bride. After that, the marriage is solemnized between the bride & the groom. The bride wears a brightly coloured Kente dress for her wedding. Kente is a Ghanian textile in silk or cotton in colorful prints. Typically, 4 or 5 individual panels are woven together to make the Kente. This dress is popular among certain tribes in Ghana. Further, the blouse, the wrap skirt, (Kente) a head wrap, veil & the shawl make up the bridal costume.The tone for the wedding is set with the brightly coloured patterns & designs, embellished with psychedelic prints & embroidery in the Kente.
Similarly, the groom wears a matching Kente. There is music ,dancing & feasting after the wedding.
The Chinese traditionally opt for red & gold colours on the occasion of their marriages. The red color symbolizes good fortune.As a matter of fact, the dragon & phoenix are woven into the dresses as a sign of good luck.
The Chinese one-piece dress, worn by the bride , is called a Qipao. It is typically a long slim gown. Sometimes they also wear a Longfeng gua, which is a two-piece dress, with a blouse & a skirt and a lot of colorful embroidery on it. In addition, some Chinese also wear a veil that covers their face. Further, the head dress or the coronet is another traditional & essential piece in the marriage ensemble. Coronets are made with gold and studded with gem stones.Sometimes, a robe is worn by the bride and groom that signifies their rank. It is also customary for Chinese women to wear beautifully embroidered red shoes.
The Chinese groom wears a Tang suit and his jacket is in red colour. In addition,the Chinese tea ceremony and the wedding banquet are important functions in a Chinese wedding.
In Korea, the traditional colors are red for the bride & blue for the groom. This is supposed to symbolize the yin & the yang. It is similar to the colours of the Korean national flag.
The Korean bride wears the Hanbok or the traditional Korean long gown made of silk. Some brides also wear a ‘chima’ which is a full skirt and a ‘wonsam’, which is a blouse with exquisite embroidery. A shorter cropped blouse with long sleeves is called a ‘Jeogori’.
The traditional Korean dress for the groom is called a ‘Samogwandae’. It is a long robe worn on top of the pants accompanied with a jacket & a black cap . As a matter of fact ,the “Paebaek” ceremony , which is an important Korean custom, is conducted in front of close family members where chestnuts & dates are thrown at the bride & the groom.
In Russia ,the traditional colors for the wedding are red & white. The traditional dress for the bride is called a ‘sarafan’. The sarafan is a sleeveless long dress which is worn over a white blouse. In addition, brides also wear beautifully embroidered apron. The women would diligently embroider their wedding dresses before the marriage. Women and men also wear felt boots or normal shoes.The head dress of the bride is called the ‘kokoshniks’. It is a tall decorative headdress which is tied with a ribbon at the back. The crest is embroidered or adorned with jewels. The Russian men wear red coloured shirts with a little embroidery .They also wear a felt hat or a fur hat, depending on their status .
The ‘kebaya’ is a traditional Balinese costume. In fact, it is a blouse which is fastened with ribbons or buttons in the front. It is made with lace, brocade or cotton. This is paired with a ‘sarong’ which is the wrap skirt made with ikaat or batik printed fabric. Women from Malaysia, Brunei and Java, Indonesia wear the kebaya in vibrant colours. The rich Songket textile ,which is a locally woven fabric, is used for bridal costumes. It is available in vibrant shades like yellow & red , with gold work. The sarong and the shawl are traditional Balinese outfits that are paired with the kebaya. Men also wear the Kamen or the sarong. The bride & the groom wear traditional head covers with beautiful decorations.
Women traditionally wear white western gowns for their wedding. There is a lot of embroidery work done on these gowns. The Khazak bride also wears a lot of jewellery made with beads & silver. However, the most important custom is for her to wear the Saukele.It is a conical long head dress. The Saukele is put on her head by an elderly woman of the home. The Saukele holds a white veil. The veil is opened in the groom’s house in the presence of elders and relatives. This event is called the ‘beteshar ‘ceremony. Typically, the women’s hair is made into two plaits. There are a string of beads on the head and on her dress and her hands & neck. Lot of silver and gold embroidered on the dresses in red or white look very attractive.
The men too wear colorfully embroidered robes and an upturned hat . The fabric used for most of the clothing was animal fur in the past.
The traditional Norwegian dress is called the Bunad & is made of wool. The Bunad is in fact an interesting garment embellished with intricate and colourful embroidery work and hand made Norwegian jewellery. Wedding guests also wear the Bunad.
The bride wears a gown in white also called the Brudekjole or a dark full sleevd shirt & a red skirt . They are both accompanied by the Bunad. Bridesmaids also wear similar dresses. Bridal crowns worn by the brides are family heirlooms . They are made of silver . There is a veil attached to the crown to ward off evil spirts .Traditional costumes include a lot of colourfully embroidered ribbons attached to the crown and a lot of silver chains and silver jewellery around the waist. The grooms wear stockings, a vest & a top coat and ofcourse the Bunad.
The traditional Peruvian brides wear layered skirts that are handwoven and are called ‘polleras.’ The dresses that the bride & groom wear are gifted to them. In addition,women pair a sequined jabona which is a woolen jacket ,with the polleras. Grooms too wear colorfully embroidered cloaks or ponchos. Peruvian rural weddings are colorful & vibrant, with a lot of Latin music & drums. Everyone wears a poncho. But the bride & groom wear very colourful ones. As a matter of fact, the hats, known as ‘montera’, are made from felt and are in bright red, pink ,black or yellow colours.It is fascinating to see the embroidery & bead work with flowers, laces & ribbons on the Montera. The Montera also has a chain strap which is called Sanq, with beads and pompoms. Further, Men’s hats are shaped differently and are called Chullo.
Further, dolls are buried with cocoa leaves for good luck in the Peruvian weddings.
In conclusion, it is really interesting to read about the varied customs in traditional marriages around the world. As far as the wedding dress is concerned, the amount you are willing to spend on a dress is also a deciding factor. Today, designers and wedding specialists plan everything from the marriage events to the dress for the bride & the groom. There are special markets and special shops for wedding dresses in India.
Pic Credit: Brightside.com, Fubiz.com,traveleurope.com, baliweddingbutler.com, Fubiz.com,www.capuncless.ga/
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