Indian Wedding Dresses

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.”  This is a common phrase heard among American brides on their wedding day as they strive to collect something that fits into the aforementioned four categories for optimal luck and good fortune in their continuing journey as a bride.  The wedding dress is typically in some variation of white, with simple jewelry to accent the decorations on the dress, but never to overshadow the beauty of the dress itself.  These dresses are often made of silky fabrics and accented with beads, sequins or rhinestones. 

Indian wedding dresses on the other hand, couldn’t be more different from the typical American dress.  While the traditional white colored dress is perfectly acceptable for Americans, Indians see this as a color of mourning and sadness, so they offset the white with some color.  Contrary to American silk gowns, Indian wedding dresses are usually made of material similar to their daily attire.  The red color is used because it is believed that it will bring good luck and happiness to the newlyweds.  The dresses are sometimes embroidered with bright and colorful intricate designs, helping the bride sparkle and shine on her wedding day, although the dress is never considered flashy or brash, just beautiful.

Much like any culture, the Indian wedding dresses vary depending on the culture, status of the family, and availability to financial funds come the wedding day.  Most wedding outfits are crafted by family members, and made by hand.  The garments consist of a large belt, two white wedding robes, a white wedding robe with red stripes at the top and the bottom, white buckskin leggings and moccasins, a string for tying the hair, and a mat in which to wrap the outfit, which will later be used for their post marital journey.  Traditions amongst different cultures bring variations to each wedding and couple, but long standing traditions hold true for many of the principles when using Indian wedding dresses during a matrimonial ceremony.

Joseph Paige 2006

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