Worldwide Weddings: How To Dress For The Occasion

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When you are invited to a wedding, you’ll instantly think about the location and what you’re going to wear. Different cultures express their joy in different ways and weddings involve varying customs and traditions depending on where you are in the world. Picking an outfit for a wedding in your home country can be challenging enough, but when you are invited to a wedding abroad it can be even more tricky. Follow our guide to the most suitable attire for worldwide weddings for some inspiration.

Grooms

Men’s casual shirts better be left in the wardrobe for weddings. Around the world, men are expected to adhere to dress codes on their wedding day. In recent years, however, many grooms have been opting for a smart suit, typical of western weddings.

Weddings in China

Husbands-to-be need to wear embraided robes, accompanied by a black silk coat. Often, in the modern day, the overcoat is not worn. A certain piece of headwear is also mandatory for the groom – this is usually a black hat with a red tassel. Some younger generations are not following the traditional dress code and simply wear a tuxedo or a Western-style business suit.

Weddings in India

What grooms wear to a wedding in India will depend on where they’re from. Some husbands-to-be wear traditional dress, such as a dhoti which is a rectangular cloth ties around the waist. In other regions, they wear a sherwani (a long coat), a kurta (loose falling shirt that hangs below the knee), or a Western suit. Henna is also a feature of the groom’s dress code, but it I often hidden.

Weddings in Japan

There is a ceremonial outfit for the daytime and another for the evening. The formal kimono that he wears for the ceremony is called a montsuki, and often displays the family crest. More recently, younger grooms start the ceremony in a tuxedo too and sometimes change into a men’s casual shirt later in the evening.

Brides

Every bride in the wedding wears a gorgeous white dress with a stunning veil, it’s tradition to complement their stunning wedding ring! The bride’s outfit is one of the main features of the celebration. This remains true around the world, though styles and traditions vary…

Weddings in China

Most brides in China will wear red on their big day. It is thought that a red dress will bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. In some regions, typically in northern China, the traditional attire for a bride is a one-piece dress that is embroidered with gold and silver designs. In southern China, the typical wear is a two-piece frock. Many Chinese wedding costumes also feature a bridal crown– it is worn for photography or for show at a grand occasion. For footwear, a special pair of shoes are often worn that are embroidered with a symbol — for example, a turtle or a deer which symbolises happiness and longevity.

Weddings in India

The location of the wedding will heavily influence what is worn. In some regions, the bride wears a saree which is a garment that looks like a long drape, in others she wears a lehenga which is a long skirt. Often the bride is dressed in red or another vibrant colour, her garments will be carefully embroidered with an impressive design. Henna will also be used to signify this special day. The bride and her bridal party often have henna on their palms, hands, forearms and legs.

Weddings in Japan

Wedding ceremonies can be extremely expensive in Japan. It is acceptable for families to spend close to £75,000 on a wedding day. It is often the parents of the couple who organise the wedding, and they are willing to spend excessive amounts to save face. Because of the large scale of the weddings, the bride can have as many as five costume changes! A white kimono is chosen in a traditional (Shinto) wedding. More recently, however, Japanese brides have been choosing to wear a dress that has a traditional print.

Guests

When you’re heading to a wedding abroad, you must understand what you can and can’t wear. As there are many symbols and traditions that you may be unaware of you will need to consider your outfit carefully.

Weddings in China

Avoid the colour red at all costs. Wearing this colour can be seen as trying to steal the limelight from the bride. It’s best to wear pink, peach or purple as these are all symbols of new life and happiness. A formal dress is suitable for a Chinese wedding. Other colours that you should try to avoid include black and white. These colours symbolise mourning and black is considered to be the colour of bad luck.

Weddings in India

Indian weddings are all about colour, so make sure you stand out from the crowd. Wearing vibrant colours will mean you fit in with the Indian guests. Guests should avoid white or black as these are colours worn for funerals and mourning in India. It is also advised that red is not worn either as the bride will probably be dressed in this colour.

There are other rules you must know about. For example, female guests should not bare their shoulders, wear low cut tops or short skirts as this can be seen as disrespectful — a jewel-tone dress with a shawl is one appropriate outfit. The Indian female guests will most likely be dressed in colourful sarees or anarkali suits. Jewellery is important for women too, choose a statement piece for around your neck with matching earrings and bangles. A common dress code for men at an Indian wedding is, a tailored kurta with a pyjama and a dupatta (shawl) can be added over the kurta. For their feet, sandals, jootis or chappals are often worn as these are comfortable and prevent overheating.

Guests might have to cover their heads upon entering a temple too. For this, women can wear a long scarf or pashmina over their heads and men are usually provided with a head cover such as a large handkerchief. Another thing to consider is that Indian weddings can be long events, sometimes stretching on for days! With this is mind, make sure you are wearing something loose and comfortable.

Weddings in Japan

Heading to a traditional Japanese wedding and are unsure about what to wear? The simple answer is, a black suit with a white tie. This was always the traditional option, but now the dress code is more flexible and it is accepted for men to come dressed in suits other than black with various coloured ties. However, it is advised to avoid white clothes with black ties. As a female guest, be mindful of not showing your shoulders or knees, as this can sometimes be considered disrespectful.

We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Charles Tyrwhitt. For more style advice, please pay a visit to our fashion page.

Sources

https://www.everafterguide.net/what-to-wear-to-an-indian-wedding.html

http://www.chinabridal.com/etiquette/dress.htm

http://chinesecommunity.org.nz/site/topics/show/391-dos-and-donts-when-attending-a-chinese-wedding

http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat18/sub117/item617.html

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