With the word wedding, brides dressed in whites come into mind. However, that depends on the part of the world you live in. With different regions come different bridal attires: painting hands and feet in henna is common in, although not limited to, South Asia. Bright colors and clashing patterns on the wedding day are the traditions popular in Africa.
These traditions are diverse and in no way limiting and strict. At the end of the day, it is really the person’s choice to adorn the garment of their preference. This article is a compilation of the diverse customs and conventions of weddings around the globe.
#1 Weddings in India
Red and pink dresses are the common choices among Indian brides. The blouse and a long skirt worn by the brides are heavily embellished with stones, sequins in ornate designs. The Northern Indian brides wear a red dot in the center of their foreheads which is called a ‘bindi’ and is the mark of a married woman.
#2 Weddings in Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan, the preparations of the wedding being well before the bride reaches the age they are going to get married. A headdress called ‘Saukele’ is designed, which is worn with a veil.
#3 Weddings in Nigeria
It is hard to pin one wedding tradition down for a country as big as Nigeria. With the number of ethnic groups in Nigeria exceeding 200, the diversity in wedding ceremonies is common to see. Vibrant colors and dazzling designs are among the popular cultures practiced in Nigeria. A head tie or a headscarf called ‘Gele’ is often worn by the Nigerian brides.
#4 Weddings in Ukrainian Carpathians
The natives of Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine are known as Hutsuls. The wedding attires adorned by this group of people are often very rich in colors. The wedding ceremonies are also incredibly cheery, spirited, including vigorous dancing and aged traditions.
#5 Weddings in Ghana
Looking at a Ghanaian wedding, the vivid prints are the one thing that stands out first. The prints on the bride and groom’s attires are not randomly picked. Each family has its own traditional design.
#6 Weddings in Japan
Wearing white is not a tradition practiced only in the west. Japanese brides wear white kimonos on their wedding day. The color white is a symbol of virtue and chastity. After the formal ceremony, brides often change their white kimonos for a red one, red being a symbol of good luck.
#7 Weddings in Scotland
According to the Scottish traditions, every clan holds their own tartan-patterned kilts. The clan’s kilt is worn by the groom. When wedding ceremony ends, the bride adorns a shawl designed with her husband’s kilt colors and pattern to mark her arrival in the new family.
#8 Weddings in Mongolia
The bride and the groom wear a clothing article called ‘Deel’ in a conventional Mongolian wedding. Mongols and other Central Asian tribes have been wearing ‘Deel’ for centuries. It is commonly worn on special occasions.
#9 Weddings in Oas Region, Romania
The northern part of Romania, known as Oas Region, holds weddings as one of the most important events. The ceremony is arranged by the parents and the bride and groom, which includes several rituals. Rituals commonly include preparing the wedding garments, arranging the dowry and selecting the godparents as well as designing the wedding flag.
#10 Weddings in China
Similar to Japanese, Chinese consider red as a symbol of good luck. It’s a popular belief that color red wards off evil spirits. Traditional Chinese weddings mainly contain red bridal wears.
#11 Yakan Weddings
The Yakan are one of the many ethnolinguistic groups residing in the Sulu Archipelago. Yakans are mainly Muslims. Two ceremonies are arranged in one Yakan wedding. One being Islamic and another Pre-Islamic ceremony. The new couple paints their faces on their wedding day.
#12 Weddings in Gora Region
The triangle between Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia is known as Gora region and the people residing there are called Gorani tribe. Although they are Muslim, Gorani people entertain many idolatry customs. Carrying an embellished umbrella and wearing a scarf, Gorani bride arrives on a white horse, with her family who escorts her to her husband to be’s residence.
#13 Weddings in Norway
Norwegian brides wear a traditional wedding dress called ‘Bunad’. Bunads are not limited to wedding ceremonies only. This dress is worn on special occasions.
#14 Weddings in Hungary
Hungarian brides dress in floral, embroidered gowns in, commonly, three colors. The dress contains multiple underskirts and an ornate headdress embellished with wheat.
#15 Weddings in Pakistan
To those who don’t know better, Pakistani weddings will look really similar to Indian weddings. The dressing is pretty much similar (red lehengas) but Pakistani weddings have more events, Mehndi, Nikkah, Baraat and Valima. Nikkah is where the marriage contract is signed by the couple.
Which of the wedding customs above did you find the most fascinating? If you believe that the traditional wedding trends in your region/country are as or even more interesting, share them with us down in the comments below.