Different cultures – different wedding gownsPosted by Alice on June 7 2017.
Nowadays, the typical colour for a western wedding gown is white, but that wasn’t 200 years before. The trend was developed by Queen Victoria in 1840 when she married Prince Albert in a white dress. Before the 19th century, it was not usual for brides to wear the colour white; they preferred for example red or yellow. But after Queen Victoria wore white on her wedding, it became a status symbol for elites – demonstrating wealth and power.
Soon, this trend became a tradition for elite brides; but lower-class brides didn’t adapt to it completely until after World War II. After promoting it in Hollywood movies, the trend was finally established as the normal form.
The antique Chinese tradition has still a big impact on the design of the latest wedding dresses. Colours as grey, black or blue used on a wedding gown are believed to bring sorrow to the marriage. Red is the most used colour for dresses and even the whole decoration because it symbolizes love and prosperity.
Modern Chinese wedding gowns have artistic embroidery in gold and silver all over. Traditionally, the outfits of marriage partners include the worshipped dragon and a phoenix – to show the balance of male and female power.
In Zululand, the brides also have their traditional clothes – a skirt or apron made out of soft cow skin. Her legs and arms are painted with white and red ochre designs. To demonstrate her virginity, she has to wear a little knife which points up. For the dancing afterwards, she already has to wear pebbles on her ankles during the ceremony.
But the most important thing is colourful beaded jewellery. Usually, the bride to be makes one necklace and bracelet for herself and for her future husband. In Zulu culture, beaded jewellery symbolizes love; due to that, the wedding jewellery has the same colour-code to show the world that they belong together.