History Of Wedding Dresses – Part Two

Native American Culture

The indigenous peoples of the Americas have varying traditions related to weddings and thus wedding dresses. A Hopi bride traditionally would have her garments woven by the groom and any men in the village who wished to participate. The garments consisted of a large belt, two all-white wedding robes, a white wedding robe with red stripes at top and bottom, white buckskin leggings and moccasins, a string for tying the hair, and a reed mat in which to wrap the outfit. This outfit also would serve as a shroud, since these garments would be necessary for the trip through the underworld.
A Pueblo bride wore a cotton garment tied above the right shoulder, secured with a belt around the waist.
In the traditions of the Delaware, a bride would wear a knee-length skirt of deerskin and a band of wampum beads around her forehead. Except for fine beads or shell necklaces, the body would be bare from the waist up. If it were a winter wedding, she would wear deerskin leggings and moccasins and a robe of turkey feathers. Her face would be painted with white, red and yellow clay.
The tribes of Northern California (which include the Klamath, the Modoc and the Yurok) had a traditional bridal dress woven in symbolic colors: white for the east, blue for the south, yellow (orange) for the west; and black for the north. Turquoise and silver jewelry were worn by both the bride and the groom in addition to a silver concho belt. Jewelry was considered a shield against evils including hunger, poverty and bad luck.

Eastern Culture

Many wedding dresses in China, India (wedding sari) and Vietnam (in the traditional form of the Ao dai) are colored red, the traditional color of good luck and auspiciousness. Nowadays, many women choose other colors besides red. In modern mainland Chinese weddings, the bride may opt for Western dresses of any color, and later on a traditional costume for the official tea ceremony.

In modern Taiwanese weddings, the bride generally picks red (following Chinese tradition) or white (more Western) silk for the wedding gown material, but most will wear the red traditional garmet for their formal wedding banquets. […]

Red wedding saris are the traditional garment choice for brides in Indian culture. Sari fabric is also traditionally silk. Over time, color options and fabric choices for Indian brides have expanded. Today fabrics like crepe, Georgette, charmeuse, and satin are used, and colors have been expanded to include gold, pink, orange, maroon, brown, and yellow as well.[8] Indian brides in Western countries often wear the sari at the wedding ceremony and change into traditional Indian wear afterwards (lehnga, choli, etc.).

At Japanese weddings, brides will often wear three or more dresses throughout the ceremony and subsequent celebrations with a traditional kimono, white and color dress combinations are popular. White is used because in Japan it symbolizes death – in this case, the bride becomes dead to her family. The bride will eventually remove her white kimono to reveal another colored one – usually red – to symbolize her rebirth into her husband’s family.

The Javanese people of Indonesia wear a kebaya, a traditional kind of blouse, along with batik.

In the Philippines, variations of the Baro’t saya are considered to be wedding attire for women, along with the Barong Tagalog for men.

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