5 Incredible Traditional Wedding Outfits From Around the World


When you consider Bridal attire, you immediately picture a big white ball gown…but alas this certainly is not the tradition for many around the world. From the north to the south and the east to the west, each country has its own traditional wedding outfits which hold cultural and historical significance and symbolism. Here are 5 we have been wowed by, check them out!

The Saree – Indian

Indian Brides wear Sarees, it is a symbol of deity, and when worn portray pride and augmentation for women. Indian traditional wedding outfits are worn with the Saree that ties women to their cultural roots, traditions, and values, this delicate garment holds eminent significance, especially on a woman’s wedding day. In most parts of India, wedding dresses are selected according to the women’s regional state, for example, if the Bride is from Gujarat her wedding saree colour combinations include orange and green, Maharashtra a green or yellow, Bengal white and red in colour and south India her wedding saree is white kanjeevaram.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee is one of the most noted Indian Designers, his collections have given a new meaning to traditional bridal wear by adding glamour to silhouettes of Indian Culture.

Traditional Indian wedding bridal look with red and gold accents and timeless jewelry
Photo from Sabyasachi
Traditional handcrafted tulle sari with English flower and crystal details and embroidered veil
Photo from Sabyasachi
Traditional red and gold saree with timeless elegance
Photo from Sabayasachi
Non-traditional Indian wedding gown with tea-dyed Bengal muslin and hand dyed tulle portrait gown with gorgeous thread work
Photo from Sabayasachi

Gele – African

The African headdress formally known as a Gele, ties up at the crown of the head and is worn for significant occasions. Dating back to the Nubian empire and ancient Egyptians, priests, queens, kings and the wealthy would wear this formal headwear with traditional wedding outfits to reflect their social relations, power, and status. Designed in a range of different colours, textures, and patterns, each Gele has its own meaning. Bridal Gele will often be larger in size and made with exotic colours, worn during the engagement ceremony, traditional wedding, and reception. It is often stated that the new couple is royalty on their big day and the Gele is a crown. 

International Gele Stylist Taiwo Adebiyi Emmanuel is the most sought-after Gele-tying specialist in Africa! Inspired by the opportunity to “beautify women’ he entered the gele industry 6 years ago and has produced gele designs for both locals and Africa’s elite.

Traditional African wedding outfit comes with white glossy gele headwrap with long, flowing splits
Photo from Taiwo’s Touch
Bride and bridesmaids wearing nude and bright pink gele headwraps
Photo from Bellanaija Weddings

Kimono – Japanese

The Kimono is a traditional Japanese garment and the national dress of Japan which both Brides and Grooms wear when they wed. Introduced in the Heian period ‘the golden age’ of Japanese history, these garments hold rich significance and symbolise longevity and good fortune. The Bride may wear a Shiromuku (a pure white embroidered silk Kimono), a Hikifurisode (a Kimono with long, flowing sleeves and a padded, trailing hem), or Iro-uchikake (a colored robe, often with red as the main colour, intricately embroidered in gold and silver threads). The Kimono is accessorised with elaborate headpieces called tsunokakushi (a rectangular piece of cloth) which means “hides her horns” and is said to keep jealousy away or wataboshi (a voluminous domed hat) and also a dagger which is hidden in the Brides robe to protect her family. The Groom’s Kimono is five layers, with white inner layers and a solid black outer robe, embroidered with the family crest.

All white traditional Japanese wedding kimono with an elaborate headpiece
Traditional Dress Photo from Flickriver

Iconic Japanese Wedding Dress Designer Yumi Katsura, has been designing for 55 years! With 80 stores globally and an affluent brand history, she has transformed Japanese wedding traditions for the modern-day Bride. Since opening her first store in 1964, Katsura instilled the idea of wearing not one, but two outfits, a kimono, and a white wedding dress. She has had an immense influence on traditional Japanese Bridal Wear and after writing ‘ The Bridal Book’, she revolutionized the Japanese market for bridal fashion.

Non-traditional Japanese kimono with blue and green accents and a gold statement headpiece
Photo from Yumi Katsura

Traditional Chinese Cheongsam / Qipao dress

The Cheongsam /Qipao originated nearly a century ago during the Qing Dynasty in China. Designed as a modern version of the Manchu dress, this silhouette became an Iconic piece of Chinese fashion honouring cultural heritage. The gown is cut in a single piece that drops to the ankles and features a slit on either side of the gown with garments worn underneath to prevent the legs from showing. 

Jenn Qiao and Vivian Chan are the powerhouse duo behind Global Chinese-American Bridal brand, East Meets Dress. Retaining traditional elements, they design high-quality, modern cheongsam inspired by a blend of Western and Eastern Silhouettes and styles.

Traditional red Chinese Cheongsam and statement headpiece with flowers and ornaments
Photo from East Meets Dress
Bright red traditional Chinese Cheongsam with floral embroidered trail
Photo from East Meets Dress

Peruvian Polleras 

Peruvians bring out the bright and beautiful, wearing colours and eccentric patterns on their wedding day. The Pollera is worn to honor Peruvian traditions and showcases the vibrant handmade craftwork of South America . It also represents the power of the Incan Empire that once controlled the region and beyond. This traditional Andean attire features a typically black skirt made of wool. It features coloured embellishments and ornate patterns hand woven throughout. Brides wear up to 15 polleras as underskirts and compliment their cultural attire with embellished cloaks or ponchos. Brides may also wear accessories such as wide embellished hats with cloth tassels and reflective materials. Engalanatefolk creates these beautiful designs for Peruvian Brides in need of a wedding-appropriate Pollera.

White pollera with colorful embellishments and intricate patterns
Photo by Rodriquez Photography for Engalañante

Posted in Trending, Wedding Traditions by wedded wonderland


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