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! 

Afghanistan

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.

Afganistan Green Muslim Hijab Modest Wedding Dress
Gorgeous green wedding dresses like this one are common in the Middle East.

China 

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.

Modest Red Phoenix Chinese Cheongsam Wedding Dress Sleeves
A Chinese bride in a traditional phoenix cheongsam.

Egypt

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.”

White Modest Muslim Hijab Wedding Dress
Simple yet elegant, this beautiful white modest wedding dress shows off hijab modesty perfectly.

Ghana

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.

Ghana Traditional Modest Wedding Dress
This gorgeous gown from western Africa reflects the history, culture and aesthetic of the bride’s Ghanaian tribe.

Japan

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!

After the formal wedding ceremony, brides can change into additional gowns in colors such as gold, silver, red and white, although a red kimono is quite popular.

Japanese Wedding Kimono
Traditional Japanese kimonos are made of silk and can take hundreds if not thousands of hours to make!

Morocco

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. 

Yellow Modest Moroccan Wedding Dress
This stunning traditional Moroccan dress is usually made in yellow in order to ward off evil.

India

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.

Pink Silk Traditional Indian Sari Modest Wedding Dress
Saris come in a gorgeous array of colors, patterns and decorations.

Korea

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.

Traditional Korean Hanbok Wonsam Wedding Dress

Spain

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.”

Modest Black Spanish Wedding Dress Sleeves
Gorgeous black gowns like this one are a somber reminder that marriage is meant to last a lifetime.

Xhosa

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.

Xhosa Modest Black White Wedding Dress
A Xhosa bride in a beautiful black and white umbaco.

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