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Tech 31 beautiful photos of traditional wedding dresses from around the world

Brides on every continent know that it's all about the wedding dress.

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Jing Li wears a Tibetan traditional costume as she gets ready for her wedding photo to be taken. play

Jing Li wears a Tibetan traditional costume as she gets ready for her wedding photo to be taken.

(Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Brides on every continent know that it's all about the wedding dress.

American actress Meghan Markle, who's engaged to Prince Harry, has been the center of much speculation about the gown she will wear to her royal nuptials. The duchess-to-be is expected to break with tradition in something sophisticated but modern when she walks down the aisle.

In many countries, a bridal gown is a manifestation of the couple's heritage. The color, silhouette, and detail are designed in keeping with their customs and religious beliefs. Of course, no two brides are alike, and traditions may vary by region.

Take a look at how wedding dresses are worn around the world.

Before a Turkish bride leaves her father's home for the wedding, a male relative ties a red maidenhood belt around her waist. The color signifies luck, sexuality, and happiness.

Before a Turkish bride leaves her father's home for the wedding, a male relative ties a red maidenhood belt around her waist. The color signifies luck, sexuality, and happiness. play

Before a Turkish bride leaves her father's home for the wedding, a male relative ties a red maidenhood belt around her waist. The color signifies luck, sexuality, and happiness.

(Umit Bektas/Reuters)

Sources: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Today's Zaman



At a wedding in Ribnovo, Bulgaria, the bride gets her face painted white and decorated with colorful sequins by her female in-laws. The custom dates back centuries.

At a wedding in Ribnovo, Bulgaria, the bride gets her face painted white and decorated with colorful sequins by her female in-laws. The custom dates back centuries. play

At a wedding in Ribnovo, Bulgaria, the bride gets her face painted white and decorated with colorful sequins by her female in-laws. The custom dates back centuries.

(Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

Sources: Reuters and The Guardian



In a traditional wedding in Macedonia, the bride wears an intricately embroidered smock in red, white, and gold.

In a traditional wedding in Macedonia, the bride wears an intricately embroidered smock in red, white, and gold. play

In a traditional wedding in Macedonia, the bride wears an intricately embroidered smock in red, white, and gold.

(Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters)

Source: PannaComp



The Sri Lankan bride blends Eastern and Western traditions, donning heavily embroidered silk saris and European-looking veils. Her jewelry includes an uneven number of gemstones, as odd numbers are considered auspicious.

The Sri Lankan bride blends Eastern and Western traditions, donning heavily embroidered silk saris and European-looking veils. Her jewelry includes an uneven number of gemstones, as odd numbers are considered auspicious. play

The Sri Lankan bride blends Eastern and Western traditions, donning heavily embroidered silk saris and European-looking veils. Her jewelry includes an uneven number of gemstones, as odd numbers are considered auspicious.

(Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

Source: The Big Fat Indian Wedding



The traditional bride's costume among the Khakas people, who live in Russia, features a wool hat and heavy petticoat to keep brides warm in below-freezing temperatures.

The traditional bride's costume among the Khakas people, who live in Russia, features a wool hat and heavy petticoat to keep brides warm in below-freezing temperatures. play

The traditional bride's costume among the Khakas people, who live in Russia, features a wool hat and heavy petticoat to keep brides warm in below-freezing temperatures.

(Ilya Naymushin/Reuters)

Source: Reuters



In keeping with the Jewish tradition of modesty, the ultra-Orthodox bride wears a loose-fitting gown that covers everything but her face and hands. A lacy skirt grazes the floor.

In keeping with the Jewish tradition of modesty, the ultra-Orthodox bride wears a loose-fitting gown that covers everything but her face and hands. A lacy skirt grazes the floor. play

In keeping with the Jewish tradition of modesty, the ultra-Orthodox bride wears a loose-fitting gown that covers everything but her face and hands. A lacy skirt grazes the floor.

(Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

Sources: Racked and Orthodox-Jews.com



The Syrian bride wears a long-sleeved gown and gold jewelry, given by her family. The dresses come in a rainbow of colors, though most brides prefer white.

The Syrian bride wears a long-sleeved gown and gold jewelry, given by her family. The dresses come in a rainbow of colors, though most brides prefer white. play

The Syrian bride wears a long-sleeved gown and gold jewelry, given by her family. The dresses come in a rainbow of colors, though most brides prefer white.

(Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)

Source: Folk Culture



A traditional bride in Tajikistan wears a simple white dress over a pair of trousers. Over the course of the ceremony, which can last days, she may change into corresponding gowns.

A traditional bride in Tajikistan wears a simple white dress over a pair of trousers. Over the course of the ceremony, which can last days, she may change into corresponding gowns. play

A traditional bride in Tajikistan wears a simple white dress over a pair of trousers. Over the course of the ceremony, which can last days, she may change into corresponding gowns.

(Nozim Kalandarov/Reuters)

Sources: BBC and Iranica Online



Some 8,000 inhabited islands make up Indonesia, and the fashion varies by region. Most brides dress in vibrant colors with heavy embroidery.

Some 8,000 inhabited islands make up Indonesia, and the fashion varies by region. Most brides dress in vibrant colors with heavy embroidery. play

Some 8,000 inhabited islands make up Indonesia, and the fashion varies by region. Most brides dress in vibrant colors with heavy embroidery.

(Beawiharta/Reuters)

Sources: CIA and Global Indonesian Voices



Three days before an Indonesian woman ties the knot, she may have her nails, hands, and feet painted with birds and flowers in henna.

Three days before an Indonesian woman ties the knot, she may have her nails, hands, and feet painted with birds and flowers in henna. play

Three days before an Indonesian woman ties the knot, she may have her nails, hands, and feet painted with birds and flowers in henna.

(Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Source: The Jakarta Post



Deep reds, pinks, and purples are the colors of choice for the Pakistani bride. Some couples will place garlands around each other as a symbol of love and acceptance.

Deep reds, pinks, and purples are the colors of choice for the Pakistani bride. Some couples will place garlands around each other as a symbol of love and acceptance. play

Deep reds, pinks, and purples are the colors of choice for the Pakistani bride. Some couples will place garlands around each other as a symbol of love and acceptance.

(Athar Hussain/Reuters)

Sources: Sociable 7 and Wikipedia



Sixteen embellishments, in addition to a lucky-red sari or skirt-like lehenga, adorn the Indian bride from head to toe. This custom, called Solah Shringar, includes ear cuffs, delicate chains tied around the ankles, and bright-red powder that's applied to her hair part.

Sixteen embellishments, in addition to a lucky-red sari or skirt-like lehenga, adorn the Indian bride from head to toe. This custom, called Solah Shringar, includes ear cuffs, delicate chains tied around the ankles, and bright-red powder that's applied to her hair part. play

Sixteen embellishments, in addition to a lucky-red sari or skirt-like lehenga, adorn the Indian bride from head to toe. This custom, called Solah Shringar, includes ear cuffs, delicate chains tied around the ankles, and bright-red powder that's applied to her hair part.

(Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters)

Source: The Big Fat Indian Wedding



Modern brides in Somalia opt for a Western-style dress and a hijab head scarf, in accordance with Islamic culture. Their hair or hands may be stained with henna.

Modern brides in Somalia opt for a Western-style dress and a hijab head scarf, in accordance with Islamic culture. Their hair or hands may be stained with henna. play

Modern brides in Somalia opt for a Western-style dress and a hijab head scarf, in accordance with Islamic culture. Their hair or hands may be stained with henna.

(Feisal Omar/Reuters)

Source: Visual Peace Media



In Nubia, the bride wears three veils: a colored one atop her head, a sheer one over her face, and a heavy white sheet that masks the head entirely.

In Nubia, the bride wears three veils: a colored one atop her head, a sheer one over her face, and a heavy white sheet that masks the head entirely. play

In Nubia, the bride wears three veils: a colored one atop her head, a sheer one over her face, and a heavy white sheet that masks the head entirely.

(Noor Khamis/Reuters)

Source: Robert Fernea



The day before a Tibetan wedding, the groom gives his bride a wedding gown and jewelry, which may include a headdress, silver pieces that attach to her braids, or an amulet that contains a small metal statue of the Buddha.

play

(Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Sources: Cultural China and Tibet Tour



Traditional Eritrean wedding attire includes dark-colored velvet crowns and robes in purple and gold. The bride matches her soon-to-be husband.

Traditional Eritrean wedding attire includes dark-colored velvet crowns and robes in purple and gold. The bride matches her soon-to-be husband. play

Traditional Eritrean wedding attire includes dark-colored velvet crowns and robes in purple and gold. The bride matches her soon-to-be husband.

(Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters)

Source: Haaretz



The Tuvan national costume reflects a nomadic way of life. Garments could easily be worn while riding a horse and feature bright colors and rich detail.

The Tuvan national costume reflects a nomadic way of life. Garments could easily be worn while riding a horse and feature bright colors and rich detail. play

The Tuvan national costume reflects a nomadic way of life. Garments could easily be worn while riding a horse and feature bright colors and rich detail.

(Ilya Naymushin/Reuters)

Source: Sayan Ring



While the Palestinian bride wears a stunning white dress on her wedding day, her henna dress — worn the night before — has a special place in her heart. The color is customized to the bride, and her mother embroiders it by hand.

While the Palestinian bride wears a stunning white dress on her wedding day, her henna dress — worn the night before — has a special place in her heart. The color is customized to the bride, and her mother embroiders it by hand. play

While the Palestinian bride wears a stunning white dress on her wedding day, her henna dress — worn the night before — has a special place in her heart. The color is customized to the bride, and her mother embroiders it by hand.

(Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

Source: Al Monitor



In the highlands above Lima, Peru, traditional brides make quite a splash in red and black gowns, made bigger by multiple layers of heavily embroidered cotton petticoats.

In the highlands above Lima, Peru, traditional brides make quite a splash in red and black gowns, made bigger by multiple layers of heavily embroidered cotton petticoats. play

In the highlands above Lima, Peru, traditional brides make quite a splash in red and black gowns, made bigger by multiple layers of heavily embroidered cotton petticoats.

(Lucero Del Castillo/Reuters)

Source: Pie Peru



In Jordan, brides wear white dresses and gold or silver jewelry. Often, a green silk cloth will adorn their heads, as the color symbolizes growth, harmony, and safety.

In Jordan, brides wear white dresses and gold or silver jewelry. Often, a green silk cloth will adorn their heads, as the color symbolizes growth, harmony, and safety. play

In Jordan, brides wear white dresses and gold or silver jewelry. Often, a green silk cloth will adorn their heads, as the color symbolizes growth, harmony, and safety.

(Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

Sources: Bilal A. Al-Adaileh and John A. Shoup



In Mali, the bride's pullover robe, called a kaftan, matches the color of the groom's dashiki. While white is most common, some wedding parties opt for lavender or purple, the colors of African royalty.

In Mali, the bride's pullover robe, called a kaftan, matches the color of the groom's dashiki. While white is most common, some wedding parties opt for lavender or purple, the colors of African royalty. play

In Mali, the bride's pullover robe, called a kaftan, matches the color of the groom's dashiki. While white is most common, some wedding parties opt for lavender or purple, the colors of African royalty.

(Juan Medina/Reuters)

Source: George Monger



The traditional Korean costume, called the hanbok, has been worn by brides for thousands of years. It includes a long-sleeved jacket and a high-waist skirt made of cotton or silk.

The traditional Korean costume, called the hanbok, has been worn by brides for thousands of years. It includes a long-sleeved jacket and a high-waist skirt made of cotton or silk. play

The traditional Korean costume, called the hanbok, has been worn by brides for thousands of years. It includes a long-sleeved jacket and a high-waist skirt made of cotton or silk.

(Wong Maye-E/AP)

Source: Wedding Details



A snow-white kimono is draped around traditional brides in Japan. A matching silk headdress, called a tsunokakushi, hides her "horns of jealousy" and signals her intent to become an obedient wife.

A snow-white kimono is draped around traditional brides in Japan. A matching silk headdress, called a tsunokakushi, hides her "horns of jealousy" and signals her intent to become an obedient wife. play

A snow-white kimono is draped around traditional brides in Japan. A matching silk headdress, called a tsunokakushi, hides her "horns of jealousy" and signals her intent to become an obedient wife.

(Itsuo Inouye/AP)

Source: Wikipedia



The Moroccan bride puts on a show with three wardrobe changes. For the reception, she trades a white kaftan, or robe, for an outfit that reflects the culture of her family's region.

The Moroccan bride puts on a show with three wardrobe changes. For the reception, she trades a white kaftan, or robe, for an outfit that reflects the culture of her family's region. play

The Moroccan bride puts on a show with three wardrobe changes. For the reception, she trades a white kaftan, or robe, for an outfit that reflects the culture of her family's region.

(Eve Coulon/Reuters)

Source: Morocco.com



A Nigerian bride stands out in her brightly colored lace blouse and patterned kaftan, often made of imported Indian fabrics. Coral beads and a headdress complete the look.

A Nigerian bride stands out in her brightly colored lace blouse and patterned kaftan, often made of imported Indian fabrics. Coral beads and a headdress complete the look. play

A Nigerian bride stands out in her brightly colored lace blouse and patterned kaftan, often made of imported Indian fabrics. Coral beads and a headdress complete the look.

(Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

Sources: Wedded Wonderland and USA TODAY



In Chechnya a dress code that emphasizes modesty is strictly enforced. Brides wear white gowns that cover them head to toe. Metal fasteners adorn outfit's bust, and a silver belt — an heirloom passed down from mother to daughter — hangs on the waist.

In Chechnya a dress code that emphasizes modesty is strictly enforced. Brides wear white gowns that cover them head to toe. Metal fasteners adorn outfit's bust, and a silver belt — an heirloom passed down from mother to daughter — hangs on the waist. play

In Chechnya a dress code that emphasizes modesty is strictly enforced. Brides wear white gowns that cover them head to toe. Metal fasteners adorn outfit's bust, and a silver belt — an heirloom passed down from mother to daughter — hangs on the waist.

(Musa Sadulayev/AP)

Sources: The New York Times and Amjad M. Jaimoukha



A traditional Iraqi bride might set the record for most wardrobe changes. Each of her seven dresses is a different color of the rainbow. Red represents love and romance.

A traditional Iraqi bride might set the record for most wardrobe changes. Each of her seven dresses is a different color of the rainbow. Red represents love and romance. play

A traditional Iraqi bride might set the record for most wardrobe changes. Each of her seven dresses is a different color of the rainbow. Red represents love and romance.

(Bakr al-Azzawi/Reuters)

Source: Prezi/Manni Francis



An Italian bride's "something blue" is sometimes (but not often) replaced by a green dress or ornament, as the color is believed to bring luck and fertility.

Adrian Mutu, who formerly played soccer for Italy's Hellas Verona, and his bride, Alexandra, during their wedding ceremony. play

Adrian Mutu, who formerly played soccer for Italy's Hellas Verona, and his bride, Alexandra, during their wedding ceremony.

(Reuters)

Source: Exclusively Italy Weddings



Surprisingly, American brides didn't always wear white.

Surprisingly, American brides didn't always wear white. play

Surprisingly, American brides didn't always wear white.

(Stephen Lam/Reuters)


Through the 19th century, women in the US simply wore what they considered their best dress, as white cloth was impossible to clean by hand and was reserved for the wealthy.

Through the 19th century, women in the US simply wore what they considered their best dress, as white cloth was impossible to clean by hand and was reserved for the wealthy. play

Through the 19th century, women in the US simply wore what they considered their best dress, as white cloth was impossible to clean by hand and was reserved for the wealthy.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Queen Victoria broke that status quo at her 1840 wedding, when she rocked lacy, white silk satin. Women's magazines embraced the look's purity and simplicity

Sources: The Dallas Morning News; BBC; and Time



Today, white is a go-to hue for brides around the world.

Today, white is a go-to hue for brides around the world. play

Today, white is a go-to hue for brides around the world.

(Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)