The tradition of wearing a white dress on your wedding day is a surprisingly recent one. Bridal gowns differ all over the world, and there are many more colourful and beautiful option other than the usual white one seen nowadays!
Chinese Wedding Dresses are known for their beauty and intricate details. Primarily in colours of red and white, a Qipao is the traditional garment worn. Nowadays, brides choose to wear this for the formal part of their day, with a more modern dress to change into.
Due to its sheer size, there are many wedding traditions in Africa that differ depending on the region. Most wedding clothes are brightly coloured, with beading, tattoos and paint adorning the bride's body.
The colour green symbolizes luck and abundance in Italy. Nowadays brides choose to wear green the day before the wedding and a more contemporary white dress on the day. Controversially, the groom's tie is cut up after the ceremony and sold to the guests by the groomsmen!
Spanish weddings are very large events, with at least 200 guests invited to most. The bride and groom do not traditionally have bridesmaids or ushers, so at least they will be able to focus on only one dress! Traditionally a bride’s dress is black silk, symbolizing her devotion to her new husband and the death of her old life. Nowadays, white wedding gowns are popular, but the traditional mantilla veil is making a comeback.
An Indian bride wears a saree or lehenga, depending on which region of the country they are from. The gown is normally made from silk and the traditional colours are red with gold embroidery. Nowadays, brides can choose from other colours as well though, as the options expand in modern times.
On the night before the wedding day, the bride often has henna applied to her body during a Mehndi party. Either a professional or family member will draw intricate designs on her hands and feet, often up her arms and legs. They symbolise love, beauty and offering for her big day.
In Britain, nearly every bride will wear a white dress. This tradition became popular is 1840, when Queen Victoria married Albert in a white, lace dress. Her wedding photos were published widely, and many brides were inspired.
Russian bridal gowns are traditionally white, which symbolizes purity and chastity. Formerly red, they changed after Catherine II's white wedding dress (the longest-reigning female ruler of Russia, also known as Catherine the Great!). Russians also have a fun tradition where the bride is taken 'hostage' and the groom has to bargain and win his love back, all done in humour and normally to entertain the guests!
Depending on which part of Mexico the bride is from, the wedding dress can differ dramatically, from simple cotton dresses, to elaborate silk gowns. It is a common tradition for the bride to sew ribbons into her lingerie; red, yellow and blue, which ensure the availability of food, money and passion in the couple’s future together.