10 Modest Bridal Trends from Around the World
In the Western World, white or ivory has been the color of choice for modest wedding dresses since Queen Victoria popularized the trend in 1840. However, in cultures around the world, marriage is often celebrated with colored gowns. These gowns can range in color from red to black and everything in between. Read on to see how brides across the world dress for their big day!
Bridal traditions vary greatly across Afghanistan, depending on the region and tribe of the bride and groom. However, green, which represents the fertility of nature, is often a color of choice.
In China, it is common for brides to pick not one wedding dress but three!
The first dress a bride wears is a modest, traditional red dress called a qipao or cheongsam. This is because red is the color of joy, luck and good fortune in Chinese culture. After the traditional ceremony, many brides change into a white dress that reflects western fashion. Finally, she is sent off as a married woman in a gown of any color she chooses.
Like Western brides, many brides in Egypt prefer white gowns, although it is most common for these gowns to be realized in a Muslim modesty standard known as “hijabi.”
Wedding dresses in Ghana are traditionally made from distinctively colorful woven kente fabric. Kente fabric comes in a range of patterns and styles, as do these gorgeously vibrant wedding dresses.
For traditional Japanese weddings, brides wear a white kimono lined in red. In Japan, the mixture of these two colors symbolizes good fortune, new beginnings and happiness – things every bride-to-be wants!
If you’re a Moroccan bride, sunny yellow is your best pick! Moroccans favor modest wedding dresses in bright yellow because they believe this color wards off the evil eye. Not a huge fan of yellow? Some brides may choose to wear green for good luck and to represent the fertility of the earth.
Perhaps more than any other region of the world, India is known for its colorful celebrations and holidays, and weddings are no exception! Traditionally, Indian brides wear colorful silk saris embroidered with golden thread.
Just as India is a vast subcontinent, so too is there a vast range of colors and decorations that can adorn saris. Depending on the region (and personal preference of the bride, of course!), saris can range in color from red to pink to purple and maroon, all of which are considered auspicious colors.
In Korea, brides traditionally wear a colorful upper garment called a wonsam over a traditional wedding dress called a hanbok. Wonsams are usually intricately embroidered and can come in a range of colors, whilst hanboks are usually made of silk.
Whilst colorful or white wedding dresses are the order of the day across most cultures, in Spain brides celebrate with black gowns, which represent a couple’s vow to love each other until “death do us part.”
Unlike many wedding traditions, a Xhosa wedding does not just celebrate the marital union of the couple. It is also a rite of passage for the bride. Before the wedding ceremony the bride is considered a girl and, after, she is considered a woman.
Because of this, a bride’s dress (umbaco), head dress and accessories all have great symbolic and ritualistic value. For example, while unmarried girls wear shorter skirts, married women must wear skirts that are at least ankle length. This length serves two purposes: one, to show the world that the bride is no longer a girl, and two, it is meant to discourage would-be suitors.