Once I receive a wedding invitation or an invitation to any event, I start planning what to wear in my head. I mentally go through my entire wardrobe in search of the best outfit to wear. Deciding on a guest outfit for a wedding in the UK can be very tricky. Especially when the bride and groom are from a different part of the world. It pays to get the look right or risk looking out-of-place.
What will the bride be her wearing to her wedding?
British Brides are known for their love for flattering white dresses, with the extra long train and veil. But how do our own bridal traditions compare to India, Japan and China?
For brides in India, the wedding dress depends on the part of India that they’re from. In some parts of the country, the bride goes for a saree which is a garment that looks like a long drape, in others she wears a lehenga which is a long skirt. Most times, the Indian bride goes for a red dress with elegant embroidery.
In Japan, the are usually very elaborate. Some families can spend close to £75,000 on a wedding day and it is usually the couple’s parents that organise the wedding. The Japanese bride usually wears a white kimono or a dress that has some sort of traditional print.
Chinese brides are usually dressed in red as it is considered a sign of good luck. that can warn off evil spirits. A bridal crown is also part of the wedding costume for some brides.
What will the groom be wearing to his wedding?
Most grooms usually wear a formal wear – suit, but the style could vary in different countries.
Some Indian grooms go for a traditional dress, such as a dhoti which is a rectangular cloth ties around the waist. In other parts of India, some of the grooms wear a sherwani (a long coat), a kurta (loose falling shirt that hangs below the knee), or a Western suit.
The Japanese groom wears a wedding kimono (montsuk) for the ceremony and then changes into a tuxedo too.
The Chinese groom usually goes for a black silk coat over an embroidered robe. He also has to wear a black hat with a red tassel. However, some grooms are not following the traditional dress code and simply wear a tuxedo or a regular suit.
What should the guests wear?
As a wedding guest, it can be hard to decided on the most appropriate outfit to wear to a wedding. The wedding guest outfit laws also vary from culture to culture.
In India, it is perfectly acceptable to go for a bold outfit. So think vibrant colours like yellow and the likes. Guests should avoid white or black as these are colours worn for funerals and mourning in India. Red should also be avoided as the bride will probably be wearing a red dress.
Male guests usually go for a tailored kurta.
Male wedding guests are expected to be dressed formally in a suit and tie with a black suit and white tie. Women often opt for dresses or a coloured kimono.
In China, guests usually go for bright colours, avoiding the red colour, just like in India. Black and white should be avoided as they symbolise mourning.
What do you think of these traditions? Have you ever attended a wedding in any of these countries?