From America and Europe to Africa and Asia, bridal outfits from around the world offer a cornucopia of looks from bright and bold fabrics to ornate embellishments and decorative jewellery. Diverse, different, and rich with symbolism and tradition, every bride from each country has one thing in common, they all look beautiful.
Because bridal style across the globe varies so much, even from region to region within the same country, it's near impossible to document all the exquisite looks on display. Here we've handpicked just a small selection of some of our favourite bridal outfits from around the world to give you some inspiration if you're wanting to enhance your cultural look or you're seeking an alternative to the traditional western white wedding dress.
Home to thousands of islands, Indonesia is also home to an abundance of bridal looks, however, many Muslim Indonesians follow the bridal traditions of the religion to guide their wedding style. Traditional Muslim Indonesian bridal outfits often consist of a hijab paired with a stunning long-sleeved gown, a lace-edged veil, and stunning jewellery. Many Indonesian brides wear beautifully detailed headbands and sparkling crystal drop earrings make a common addition to a bridal look.
Most couples in Bali will have a Balinese Hindu wedding, which in itself is an elaborate affair consisting of three ceremonies in total. A celebration of joy, a traditional Balinese bridal outfit is bright and colourful to reflect the happiness of the occasion. Bridal outfits from Bali are typically made from songket fabric that consists of multiple gold thread layers adding to the lavish opulence of the day. A Balinese bride also typically wears a golden crown, with the height of the crown representing the caste of the family, the higher the crown the higher the caste.
Vibrant and rich, Indian bridal outfits add to the auspicious nature of the wedding ceremony. Wearing a red sari or lengha embellished with beads, rhinestones, and gold embroidery, an Indian bride will also add up to sixteen pieces of 24 karat jewellery to accessorise her bridal outfit. Wearing a head chain, nose ring, necklaces, rings, bangles and ankle bracelets, her bridal jewellery holds special symbolism and is worn to bring safety, luck, fertility, and prosperity to the marriage.
Teaming a long-sleeved floor-length Ao Dai with a Khan Dong headdress, bridal outfits from Vietnam are elegant in their simplicity. Many brides opt for a traditional red Ao Dai for their wedding day, but modern Vietnamese brides are experimenting with a range of shades, from understated pastels to colourful bright tones, to celebrate their marriage with a unique and striking bridal look.
The Pashtun region of Afghanistan have a distinctive bridal look that offers elements similar to a bohemian aesthetic combining ornate head chains with an elaborate multi-coloured and embroidered gown.
From the tartan shawl of a Scottish bride and the Spanish Mantilla veil, to the warm furs and thick colourful fabrics of Russia and Scandanavia, Europe offers a range of bridal looks that meet with tradition but also offer elements of practicality. Many brides across Europe and North and South America tend to adopt a traditional western white wedding dress.
The continent of Africa blends modern trends with tribal tradition across each country. In Nigeria, brides decide the aso-ebi or 'family clothes' to be worn by the bridal party. This allows members of the same family to wear the same colours or print to distinguish them from the groom's family. Nigerian brides also often choose to wear their hair up in a stunning traditional head wrap.
The Maasai tribe of Kenya adorn their brides with beaded discs around their neck teamed with wedding necklaces, with the colour of each beaded section having its own special meaning, for example, red beads symbolise power and unity.
Bridal outfits from around the world help to inspire elements of bridal design here in the UK. Create your perfect bridal look with Britten Wedding bespoke design options or shop our selection of bridal jewellery and accessories to complete your bridal outfit.