The Sami are Scandinavia’s indigenous people. They live in the northernmost parts of Europe. Their culture spans the area in Norway, Sweden, and Finland and dates back centuries. The local wedding dress, called a Kolt or Gakti, is colorful and festive.
Blues and reds dominate the looks and the bride wears a bejeweled brooch which can be very large. It is decorated with curved baubles that reflect the light.
Pakistani wedding dresses are bold and vibrant, exquisitely adorned, and immersed in history. Influences from the Muslim world and India come together in Pakistan to bring a unique tradition. Pakistan is Islamic, for example, yet the bride partakes in henna painting on her hands.
Several beautiful styles of Pakistani dresses are worn by the bride, but the shalwar kameez is most common.
Native American tribes all have different styles of wedding attire. In the Southern Cheyenne Tribe of Oklahoma, the bride wears a buckskin dress. It is white and made of the lightest deer and elk hide available. The Southern Cheyenne bride’s dress is intricately beaded with white, red, yellow, and black, representing the people of the world. At the hem are curves and cones.
The curves represent the mountains and the metal cones are there to ward off bad spirits. A Cheyenne buckskin dress is laborious, and one can cost up to $10,000.
The Turkmen bride is usually in red, her dress made of homespun silk. The dress is embroidered from head to toe and adorned with silver or gold pendants. A red piece of cloth over the bride’s mouth is a unique custom and serves as a symbol of her piety. As a part of the symbolism, she is expected to be silent and not allowed to speak to the groom during the ceremony.
She is also prohibited from making eye contact with guests and therefore averts her gaze toward the floor.
Kazakh brides wear a headpiece called a Saukele. It’s a beautifully adorned pointed headdress decorated with gems, precious metals and stones, pearls, and owl feathers. It’s arguably the most significant part of her look, and certainly the most expensive. Traditional dresses in a Kazakh wedding are red and paired with a scarf usually given to the bride by the groom’s mother.
The Saukele is also veiled and is customarily is made years before marriage. As a Saukele might be worth as much as a herd of horses, it is a status symbol.