Traditional oriental bridal gowns
12 June 2010, 10:27 am
Filed under: Eastern Culture

The beauty of wedding dresses resides in how it is able to represent the bride in a unique manner during the wedding ceremony. It also adds up to the stunning factor that occurs when the bride is first seen walking down the isle. This is the reason why a wedding dress is highly prioritized in a wedding arrangement checklist.

Although the Western culture has greatly influenced the wedding fashion in other continents, many Asian brides choose to wear an ensemble traditional to that of their culture. Multiple countries form the continent of Asia, with countless wedding rituals and traditions among the countries. Some of more traditional Asian bridal wear stands out from five of the Asian countries.


In northern China, the traditional wedding dress is called the Qi Pao, which is a one-piece dress elaborately embroidered with gold and silver designs.

Brides in southern China traditionally wear a two piece dress called a Cheongsam, which is also embroidered, often with a golden phoenix and dragon. The dragon and phoenix symbolize the balance of male and female power. Many wedding dresses are red because this color is considered a strong one that brings good luck and drives away evil spirits.

In more modern Chinese weddings these days, it is not unusual to find Chinese women dressed in a traditional Western white gown. Though the color white is associated with death, the acceptance of this practice shows the growing influence of other cultures on the Chinese. During a modern wedding ceremony, it is not uncommon for the bride to change her outfit three or more times during the night. The more dresses, the more prominent the family.

Interestingly enough, the men, while still dressing formally and more decorative than normal, would not wear red. Men are more commonly in the normal black or grays, or dressed in their formal station clothing. This is very much like Western cultures in that aspect.


In Japan, a bride will dress in a traditional white Japanese wedding kimono called a shiro-maku. This white kimono is worn for the wedding ceremony and another, more colorful kimono is worn over the shiro-maku for the reception. Brides also wear a white wedding hood to signify serenity and patience. Japanese brides carry a small purse (hakoseko), a sheathed dagger (kaiken) and a traditional Japanese fan in the obi belt.


A Vietnamese bride will wear a red (or bright pink) and yellow ao dai (long dress), embroidered with bright yellow patterns that symbolize happiness and prosperity. An outer robe is often worn to create a formal look. The collar, cuff or back are trimmed with the couples’ names or lovely images. Brides wear a matching headpiece that is often made of woven dried leaves. Vietnamese brides often change their dress up to four times during the wedding festivities.


In India, the traditional dress worn by the bride is a sari, often in the color red to ward off evil spirits. Wealthy families embroider the bridal gown with gold thread and stitch precious stones into the sari. Some brides in India wear a long red skirt called a lengha with extravagant embroidery paired with a short blouse (also embroidered). Traditionally Indian brides wear a veil that matches their gown.


Traditional Korean bridal gowns consist of an elaborately embroidered and layered gown with a red skirt and yellow jacket symbolizing joy and life. The short jacket with sleeves is called a chogori. It has two long ribbons that tie, making the otkorum (traditional tie found on Korean garb). The long skirt, or chima, is high-waisted and wraps around the body. Brides traditionally wear boat-shaped shoes made of silk.


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