Do you hear that sound? It’s wedding bells! That’s right, wedding season is in full swing, and love is in the air. People are getting hitched, parties are being thrown, and weddings are being crashed. Not that we’re crashing any, but if we did, we’d definitely choose one from Asia. The food is bomb, the customs are interesting to learn about, and the dresses? G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!
And while pretty much any wedding in any corner of Asia might feature a Western wedding dress or change up customs depending on culture and tastes, the traditional dresses of these beautiful Asian cultures are too amazing to pass up. So we just couldn’t resist. Here are some beautiful brides from all over Asia wearing the wedding dresses of their cultures:
The Korean wedding attire, called the hanbok (or joseon-ot for North Koreans) is traditionally worn by both the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony – the male version featuring three pieces, including pants, and the female version having at least two pieces. The bride’s hanbok is typically red or pink in the chima (skirt) and a color of her choosing in the jeogori (jacket). She may wear an everyday hanbok, a royal hanbok, or a princess-style hanbok called the Hwal-ot, depending on her tastes.
An Indian bride’s saree is a sight to behold indeed! There are more than 500 different types of sarees with over 80 different ways to wear them, and the bride’s saree is the most beautiful of them all. The saree is typically 15 – 36 feet long and two to four feet wide. It’s then wrapped around the bride in the style of her culture and tastes. The dress is completed with a ravike or choli (blouse) that is cropped to show the waist.
In China, the traditional wedding dress is often referred to as the qipao or cheongsam. The dress was first popularized in the 1920s and has continued to be worn throughout China to this day. The qipao is always red, as it’s a color that represents good luck (and has been said to scare away demons). The bride may also wear a gold headdress for one part of the ceremony.
If there’s any dress from Asia that foreigners are familiar with, it’s probably the Kimono. But that’s not the only dress a Japanese bride will wear! It’s not uncommon for her to change into five different dresses throughout the evening – a white kimono with a white hat, a red kimono, a colorful kimono, a Western wedding dress, and then a little black dress to complete the evening. Whew!
The Chut-Thai is a beautiful dress that makes the wearer glow like gold – literally! The dress consists of a sin (a tube skirt wrapped around the waist), pha nung (a long rectangular cloth that forms a wrap-around skirt), and sabai (a long piece of silk that covers the upper body). They may also pair it with jewelry. Stunning!
The Mongolian wedding dress, called the deel, is made from a combination of cotton and silk woven into intricate patterns. The bride’s deel will be much lighter in color than the groom’s. The dress is often accompanied by an ornate headdress made from beads, precious gems, and silver or gold.
During a Cambodian (Khmer) ceremony, a bride and groom wear matching colors and can change their dress as often as they like, and since wedding ceremonies usually span a few days, three to four outfit changes is not uncommon for a bride! Each dress features lots and lots and LOTS of gold, which makes the bride stand out in dazzling beauty.
Indonesian weddings are a bit hard to lump into one category since there’s 17,000 islands, 6 official religions, and over 300 ethnic groups – wow! Some Indonesians will mix their native culture with their Islamic religion, and the dress is no exception from this union. The Indonesian bride might wear several dresses, including an intricate red dress absolutely dripping with gold, and match it with a massive gold headdress that is as large as the event itself. And when the bride is a practicing Muslim? A gold headscarf may be included, making the bride even more golden!
The Vietnamese wedding dress, called an áo dài (which literally translates to “long shirt”), is uniquely beautiful in the way it flatters the bride’s shape. The dress is accompanied by a beautiful, circular headdress called a khăn đóng. The wedding áo dài is typically red, as it is good fortune.