Image Courtesy: Sara Idrees (L), The Wedding Story (R)
We find ourselves boasting about the rich cultural heritage of our country in almost every phase of life. In fact, the variety of cultures that breathe life into this country also gives way to a multifaceted fashion scenario where each culture has a significant dress that is worn during special occasions like weddings, pujas, birthdays even. Yes, you heard us! The wardrobe that you pick for your wedding does not only have to be in vogue but also have to represent the culture that you are following for the wedding or representing at the wedding.
While you might think that red lehengas for the wedding or pastel lehengas for the modern bride are a staple outfit that the brides are favouring these days, there is so much more to the lehengas and sarees out there for the bride to pick from. If you are looking for signature cultural outfits that you can wear at your wedding and show reverence for your culture while looking gorgeous, then you have come to the right place.
We have listed some of the most famous and unique wedding dresses as per culture for both the bride and the groom with details for your knowledge.
Anand Karaj Outfits
Image Courtesy: Amar Panesar Luxury Wedding Photographer
For the Anand Karaj ceremony in a Gurudwara where two souls tie the knot in the presence of the Holy power and their loved ones, the bride and groom deck up in their traditional attires. The bride wears a Punjabi suit with Patiala pants ideally. But these days the bride even wears beautiful Shararas and Ghararas with matching Kurtas or bridal lehengas especially pink lehengas, light blue lehengas and pastel lehengas. The bride's head and forehead have to be covered at all times and therefore she often picks a double dupatta draping. The traditional Kalire along with her dulhan Chura add to her accessories.
The groom on the other hand is seen flaunting a dashing sherwani or a kurta-pyjama with Nehru jacket for the Anand Karaj ceremony. During the wedding that is traditionally celebrated at the Gurudwara, the groom also holds a sword or a Kirpan as a part of the traditional outfit. He accessorises his outfit with a shawl or a stole that is also used to tie the holy knot of matrimony with the bride's dupatta while they take the Lavaan Phere around the Guru Granth Sahib.
Assamese Wedding Outfits
Image Courtesy: Tanjil Tamuli
An Assamese wedding is one of the most subtle yet beautiful wedding ceremonies one can ever witness. The traditional colour of an Assamese bride and groom's outfit is ideally white. The bride wears a white Mekhela Chador (pronounced as, Mekhla Sador) with delicate golden thread work all over the saree and a matching chadar or shawl. The Mekhela Chador comes in 3 parts - the body, the chadar and the blouse is included in the set. The millennial Assamese brides have often picked colourful Mekhelas instead of the conventional white ones. They top it up with gorgeous gold jewellery.
The groom on the other hand is draped in a dhoti paired with a kurta on top - both of these garments are preferably white, off-white or golden in colour. The Assamese Gamusa or the traditional towel which is also a trademark of the culture is worn around the neck like a stole or a muffler. Grooms these days often wear Gamusa printed shawls that are fancier than the basic cotton Gamusa. Both the bride and groom often wear a garland of marigold flowers around their heads.
Kerala Wedding Outfit
Image Courtesy: Hundred Heart Weddings
Kerala is known as god's own country. The city already boasts of breathtaking natural beauty and the exquisite temples that embed the city make it one of a kind. While a Keralian wedding often includes the bride and groom dressed in bright coloured outfits, the traditional wedding outfit of the Keralian bride and groom includes a simple Kasavu saree for the bride and a white dhoti for the groom. The Mundum Neriyathum Saree that is worn by the bride has a golden Kara (border) running throughout the hem. This is paired with Temple jewellery and Kamarbandh too.
A Kerala wedding traditional dress for the groom usually consists of the Lungi or Mundu with a golden Kasava border and a folded Melmundu cloth that rests on the shoulder. Traditionally, the groom only wraps the Melmundu around his bare chest for the wedding, but nowadays the grooms can be seen wearing shirts with Lungi for the main ceremony instead. A Zari embroidered shirt can be a great option to add luxe-quotient to the otherwise simple attire for the wedding.
Bengali Wedding Outfits
The traditional Bengali bridal look comprises a red Benarasi saree with embellished golden brocade work that makes it a heavy saree meant for bridal wardrobes only. This is paired with heavy gold Bengali bridal jewellery, "Alta" on her hands and feet, a Matha Patti with the traditional Bengali bridal bindi and a Mukut. This Mukut is made of Sholapith/Indian cork in white colour.
The groom on the other hand is seen wearing a crisp dhoti with Punjabi or a long kurta. Along with this, the groom needs to carry a stole/shawl that is traditionally known as Jodh or Jorh. This Jorh is tied to the bride's dupatta during the pheras. Apart from this the groom also wears a headgear known as the Topor that is also made out of Sholapith/Indian Cork.
Also Read: The Bengali Bride's Look Deciphered
Marathi Wedding Outfits
While the rituals and traditions evolve all over the globe, no major changes have been made to the conventional Maharashtrian wedding attires in a long time. A beautiful yellow or green Paithani saree with a golden border, hair tied in a bun, decorated with pearl jewellery and Gajra - this perfectly describes the Maharashtrian bride's Navari look.
The groom is usually clad in a light-coloured Dhoti-Kurta and the beautiful white and red beaded Mundavalya (the headgear worn around the forehead) enhances the look of both the bride and the groom. During the wedding ceremony, the groom has a stole around his neck which has a thin gold border, usually just like the one of his bride's saree. In earlier days, the groom would also wear a Nehru cap along with his Maharashtra dress, but most grooms these days skip it. All in all, these have been the staple attires for Maharashtrian brides and grooms and they look very elegant without a doubt.
Parsi Wedding Outfit
Image Courtesy: Made in Mono
White is the pious colour that you will find at Parsi weddings. The Parsi bride is clad in a beautiful white saree that is conventionally silk or chiffon. This saree boasts intricate thread embroidery that often appears similar to Chikankari work. This typical Parsi saree for the brides is known as Parsi Gara. The draping of the saree is also in a typical Parsi fashion where the bride covers her head with one end of the saree during the rituals. The accessories that the Parsi bride wears are nothing too heavy and flashy - just the red bangles given to her by her mother-in-law and a simple necklace and earrings maybe.
The Parsi groom is also seen in a white cotton kurta which is often short - above knee-length, which is donned with a typical white coat. This coat is known as Dhugli. Paired with white trousers and a black elongated hat with a flat top known as Fetah or Pahgudi (in case it has a pointy end). The whole outfit is topped with a white or an off-white shawl and formal shoes.
Manipuri Wedding Outfit
Image Courtesy: Youngs Photography (L, R)
The Manipuri dress for the bride is probably one of the most OTT outfits you will ever lay your eyes on. The bride wears a Potloi on her wedding day. This cylindrical skirt can be seen in a variety of colours especially in green, pink or red with golden linings. It also has bold traditional motifs and is decorated with geometrical figures done in sequins, studs and decorative stones. The Potloi skirt is matched with a blouse made in rich fabrics and the Innaphi - a cloth that is used to wrap your upper body. Innaphi could be called a Manipuri shawl. Unlike most traditional clothes, this shawl is done in soft pastel colours rather than bold colours and is semi-transparent. The whole combination of a Potloi is a unique look and makes the bride look incomparable to the others. Likhom is the long necklace and apart from that the brides flaunt two different sets of Merei and must be included in the bride’s attire. There is also elaborate headgear that the brides must wear during the wedding.
The Manipuri groom on the other hand sports a simple white dhoti and kurta and a turban with a shawl. He is covered in a plain white shawl during the wedding as a mark of purity and serenity.
Nepali Wedding Outfits
Image Courtesy: Wedding City Nepal
Nepali brides traditionally wear either a saree made of heavy fabrics or often the traditional fabric - Dhaka chadar. These wedding outfits for Nepali brides are often adorned with embroidery. The Nepali brides of today have often picked a bridal lehenga too. The bride pairs her outfit with thread jewellery and gold jewellery - including a Matha Patti and a nose ring too.
The traditional Nepalese outfit for the groom is known as Daura Suruwal. It used to be the official dress during the Rana regime. The Daura Suruwal is fabricated with a special fabric called dhaka. The groom also wears a matching dhaka topi (a hat) and shoes along with a matching patuka (a belt) wrapped around his waist. In many Nepali casts, the grooms often tuck a khukuri in the belt while some other Nepali grooms do not - depending on their cultural values and tribes/sub-tribes/castes.
Odia Wedding Outfit
The bride at an Odia wedding is adorned in a yellow saree with a red border that is popularly known as Bola Patta. However, the millennial Odia brides have picked a variety of sarees like Kanjeevaram saree, Banarasi silk sarees and so on in bright colours like red or the sort that flaunt ornate embroidery with Zari thread work or sequin embellishments too. Another compulsory part of the Oriya bride’s wedding attire is the Dupatta or the Uttariyo. The bride covers her head with the Dupatta which is adorned with zari and sequins as well. Like the groom, the bride wears matching headwear. The jewellery that she picks is mostly to complement the outfit and nothing specific.
An Odia groom is seen flaunting an OTT headgear that resembles the Bengali Mukut but instead of being white like the Mukut in Bengali weddings, the Odia groom wears a colourful and bright crown-like headgear made of Shola Pith or Indian cork. The groom wears a dhoti and kurta for the ceremonies. However, the grooms of today have often picked sherwanis instead of the usual Dhoti and Kurta.
India is the melting pot of cultures and each culture has a wedding outfit that makes their wedding stand apart. Be it the colour of the outfit, the fabric or the silhouette, the wedding outfits as per culture enrich the wedding ceremonies in every way possible and to learn more about them is a journey you will fall in love with.
Let us know which culture you belong to and your traditional wedding outfit in the comments below.
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