While some American brides may dream of a good ol’ fashioned white wedding, we think it’s time to expand our horizons and explore wedding looks from around the world.
Here are 7 traditional dresses from other cultures that blend heritage with modern day sensibility:
Image Source: The Wow Style
You might think a 20-minute ceremony feels like an eternity, but in India the celebration could last a whole day… or in some cases, the better part of a week! Indian brides keep their endurance up and their extravaganzas extraordinary by rocking eye-grabbing ensembles (lehenga or saree, depending on region) that feature bright colors, elaborate embroidery, beads, and sequins.
Image Sources: Aodaivinh and WeddingBee
Vietnamese women wear several different gowns during the various wedding ceremonies, but it’s the traditional Áo dài that is the most significant and stylin’. Normally red or pink (for luck and a rosy future), this silky two-piece ensemble features fierce imperial symbols, such as phoenixes and dragons that remind all wedding goers of the strong and unstoppable nature of women. (At least that’s how we see it!) Topping it all off is a kick ass headdress (Khăn đống) that completes the power package. Vietnamese brides will change into a Western-style white gown for the reception.
Image Source: Luxegifts Blog
A Moroccan wedding is a stunning, sensual feast for the eyes that features a veritable fashion show of gorgeous caftans (the bride often changes as much as 7 times!) And while the last one is often a traditional white, the others are rich jewel tones festooned with incredible artisan work that involves gold and silver embroidery, sequins, lace, pearls, and other luxurious details. These beautiful gowns are far more glamorous than the caftans your grandmother used to wear around the pool!
Image Source: Yanny Express
Chinese brides are a walking symbol of love and prosperity in their stunning bridal Qi Pao. The Yin-Yang of marriage is represented by the dragons and phoenixes elaborately embroidered on these wedding gowns – and with all that fire imagery, it all adds up to a pretty hot bridal look!
Image Source: Bellanaija
Nigerian bridal gowns have a Hollywood glamour to them, with curve hugging, form fitting tops, and flared bottoms with beaded or embroidered accents. Topping off this va-va-voom look is the decorative coral-beaded headpiece that pulls the whole ensemble together in dramatic fashion.
Image Source: My Wedding
The official name of the Korean bridal gown is Hanbok, which is a petite word for an elaborate outfit! The complicated ensemble has multiple layers and pieces including the skirt, robe, pendant, and ceremonial headpiece. Bridal Hanboks are incredibly vibrant and can vary in color, but red is considered to be the luckiest choice.
Image Sources: Weddinginspirasi and Bridalmusings
Although Spanish bridal gowns are relatively Western-looking, the Mantilla -- a long lace veil that’s often worn over a high comb called a peineta – adds flair and high drama to the bride’s entrance. Mantillas are often more expensive than the gowns themselves, but it does make a bride look head and shoulders more stunning than anyone else in the room.
So when you’re deciding on your wedding look, remember that you’re not limited to white tulle and lace! Take inspiration from these international brides, and go for the global glam!