Weddings have long been a celebrated ritual in many different cultures, and with that diversity comes a different set of traditions. While there are many similarities in how a wedding is celebrated throughout the world, there are vastly different traditions from the Eastern hemisphere to the Western hemisphere.
One of the biggest differences in weddings is the dresses. Here are some of the wedding dress trends in the East versus wedding dress trends in the West.
Neutrals vs. Colors
One of the biggest differences in wedding dress trends from one side of the world to the other is the colors used. While bridal gowns in the Eastern hemisphere are nothing short of spectacular (check amazing dresses here), wedding dresses adorned in Asian cultures are vastly different.
For example, brides in North America tend to wear a traditional white dress or neutral shades, whereas in India, red tends to be the color of choice. Red is closely tied with the Hindu tradition, taking on great cultural significance in a wedding ceremony. Red is also a traditional color for wedding dresses in China while white is more associated with death and funerals.
While some brides in North America and Europe step outside the box and wear a colored wedding giown, and Eastern brides will sometimes adorn white, these situations are rarities when it comes to wedding dress trends. However, it’s always amazing to see how two cultures come together when the couple has different backgrounds.
The Dress vs. Many Dresses
When it comes to dress shopping, many North American brides will agree that finding “the one” to wear to their wedding is harder than finding someone to marry. Finding a dress is a time-honored tradition that brings family and friends together and often results in a few tears. Shows like Say Yes to the Dress have added to the drama associated with finding the right wedding dress, lest everything else fall apart.
In many Eastern cultures, weddings come with multiple wardrobe changes throughout the day. Japanese brides (unlike Chinese brides) will often start the day in a white gown before the ceremony and change into a red and gold kimono afterward. Indian brides will often have many wardrobe changes as well.
Exposure vs. Coverage
Western wedding gowns vary in regards to how much skin is exposed. In many cases, even dresses that provide a lot of coverage are designed to accentuate a bride’s body, empowering them to showcase their femininity and sensuality. Brides are able to embrace their bodies and decide if they want a subtle touch of skin showing through lace applique, a deep v-neck gown or exposed back.
In many Eastern cultures, the opposite is true. Wedding gowns are designed with coverage in mind, taking a more conservative, traditional approach to the wedding ceremony. Wedding dresses in Malaysia often boast bright shades of purple and gold that embrace a bride’s figure but provide a full-length gown and sleeves, as well as coverage for the hair in compliance with the Muslim faith. Traditional Rashaida and Bedouin gowns incorporate full-face coverage, showing only the eyes.
The differences in wedding traditions around the world, including bridal fashion, are fascinating to discover and serve as a source of inspiration for future wedding trends.