India is a vast territory with many styles and traditions, but wedding dresses are often red and marital attire in India is usually made up of three pieces. It is a beautiful ensemble that includes a dupatta, a blouse, and a red and gold lehenga.
The latter is a long, exquisitely decorated flared skirt, and the dupatta is a traditional shawl-like scarf.
In Portugal, the culture comes from centuries of influence by Catholicism, European royalty, and ancient Moorish customs. Brides do not wear a white gown from Catholic churches. Instead, pagan styles reign. The bride wears a dark tunic, usually black, with a white blouse and head covering.
She is heavily ornated in gold filigree wearing. The regalia includes beads from the Moors and crosses of the church. Gold jewelry also pays homage to Portuguese royalty.
An Eritrean couple in traditional wear looks magnificent. Wrapped in ivory and shimmering gold robes and topped with a majestic crown of velvet, the bride and groom exude royalty. The Eritrean ceremony follows an orthodox Catholic wedding and will go on for days.
This custom is called a Melsi ceremony. It is full of rituals, traditional foods, and symbolism and is based on ancient Eritrean ways.
Brides in Russia traditionally wear a red sarafan dress, a Russian style of dress that is similar to a pinafore and blouse ensemble. It wasn’t until the 1960s when Russian brides began moving toward the westernized white gown.
A significant element of Russian bridalwear is the headpiece. The kokoshnik headdress dates back to the 10th century, it is a metal headband beaded with gold thread.
The Polynesian island Tonga, located deep within the South Pacific sea, is a place with very old customs. The bride and groom wear special costumes made of tapa. Called a ta’ovala, the labor-intensive traditional clothing is lovingly prepared by the family months in advance. A wedding in Tonga can last three days.
One of the most unique customs in Tonga requires that the groom begins the relationship with his bride-to-be as a friendship.