White has been the main color of wedding dresses in many cultures, but there are more than that. There are many different wedding dress colors in various traditions from different parts of the world. Also, some modern brides even break the rules and traditions to go for the color that they favor instead. I found this topic interesting so I did some research and found some information about wedding dress colors and their meanings. No matter if it is white or red, each color chosen for the dress comes with its definition and beliefs. Let’s travel to different countries and dive deep in their cultures today with me to find out the definition of their wedding dress colors.
It is all about red when it comes to China because Chinese people believe that red is the color of joy and luck. In Chinese culture, red represents happiness, vigor, life, and bright delighted mood which is why the wedding dress is bright red. At the same time, they also believe that red is a symbol of good fortune that drives evil spirits away. Along with the red color, Chinese people usually embroider the wedding dress with elaborate gold and silver dragon. While in Southern China, they adorn their wedding dress with gold dragon and phoenix. These animals associated with power, elegance, and happiness in China, and they have to be on the wedding dress.
Apart from the red wedding dress, the bride also covers her face with red veil made of silk as well. Some veils have no design at all while the others designed with peony or phoenix patterns. The meaning behind such tradition is that people believe that a red covering veil can drive away the inauspicious things. The veil also covers the nervous flushing face of the bride during the wedding ceremony as well. The veil should cover the bride’s head and falls down to her shoulder for the whole ceremony. Only the groom can take off her veil, after all the relatives and friends have left, using a small steelyard.
Brides in Japan wear a white silk kimono lined with red in their wedding ceremony. The combination of these two colors symbolizes happiness and a new beginning for the brides and the couple. As years go by, the development of the wedding dress colors in Japan also goes forward with different options. A bride that endures five costume changes wears a traditional white kimono with a white hat fixed over complex hairstyle. White has traditionally been the color of wedding kimonos because white is a symbol of purity and mourning.
The latter refers to the fact that the bride is upset over leaving her family. Then she changes into an elaborately-designed mostly red kimono at the beginning of the reception. After the cake cut, she then changes into a brightly colored young-girls kimono before a white Western-style bridal dress. And finally, the bride puts on an Audrey Hepburn-style evening gown at the end of the wedding. A Japanese wedding is usually held at Shinto shrine, and a typical wedding for 50 – 100 guests costs around $30,000.
Wedding in (South) Korea is uniquely special when it comes to the wedding dress. The brides wear Wonsam over their traditional wedding dress which is the Hanbok in pink or purple. Wonsam is usually lime-green in color along with the embroidery of flowers and butterflies. Wonsam is also banded with red to symbolize paradise, indigo to symbolize terrain, and yellow for compassion. As for Hanbok, it is the dress that represents thousands of years of tradition. Hanbok is made from lightweight material with bright colors, simple lines, and has no pockets. Another fascinating thing is that the bride’s hands are covered in white which is the symbol of esteem.
As for Morocco, the people there prefer bright yellow as the color of the bride’s wedding dress. They believe that bright yellow is the color that scares away the evil eye from the bride. However, the bride can also wear green dress instead in case she does not prefer to wear yellow. To Moroccans, green represents greenery and respect to the motherland as well as to bring good luck. The wedding dress is usually a caftan, a sort of long rode made of silk, satin, chiffon, silk, or other rich fabric. The dress is often open on the bottom, and may have embroidery or sequined details along with a jacket to cover.
The unique thing about wedding in this country is that the marriage celebration includes with several well-organized ceremonies. That means the whole wedding can last from 3 days up to a week depending on the family and region. A wedding is an opportunity to bring Moroccan families together and show the richness of their customs and traditions. They do so through their clothing, art, music, or cuisine in a great variety for the guests. The wedding includes with music, dancing, and many other ceremonies planned by “Neggafates” (wedding master planners). At the end of the wedding, the couple is taken on a car parade through the street before heading to the groom’s house.
Meanwhile the rest of world goes for colorful and bright color, Spanish tradition seems to be at a different trend. Spanish brides wear black gowns and lacy mantillas, and black is an incredible color with great meanings in their cultures. Black dress represents the devotion of brides to their partner until death, and black is a classic color in modern days. As for mantilla, it is a lace veil embroidered by the bride’s mother which the she wears with or without a high comb. What makes a Spanish wedding unique is the fact that there is no bridesmaids or groomsmen in the weddings at all. The couple will stand on the altar on their own during their ceremony, simple as that.