Diversity in Indian Traditional Bridal Dresses



A wedding is a union of two souls. You must have heard that weddings are known as on of the most important days in a person’s life. Indian weddings are lavish, and they flaunt Indian culture and tradition openly. A bride looks the most beautiful at her wedding. It isn’t just the make-up but the glow on their face driven by the electrifying happiness flowing through their veins.  

India is a vast country with vast and distinct cultures. The distinction in traditional practices of the varied regions in India is evident in the formal bridal dresses. Here is a list of the beautiful traditional Indian bridal dresses around the country. So, let’s take a look

1. Traditional bridal dresses in South India 

Image – Sabesh Photography

Graceful would be the word to perfectly define the South Indian bridal look. The brides in South India wear traditional gold embellished saree, and the saree has an exquisite look with wide borders and a designer sheen on it. This forms the basic idea about the conventional bridal dresses in South India. However, every south Indian state has a distinctive taste in the design of the dress.  

Brides in Kerala wear Kasavu, the traditional saree of Kerala. Despite living a humble lifestyle, Malayali brides, like other South Indian brides, have a high metal jewellery quotient. They are dressed in a white silk saree with a golden border for the wedding. They prefer flowery jewellery, such as gajras, necklaces, and bracelets made of white and orange rajnigandha flowers, as well as jasmine flowers, to complement their clothing.

On the other hand, in Tamil Nadu, the traditional bridal dress includes the Kanjeevaram silk saree. The saree is preferable in bright colors, and even the way of wearing the saree is unique to Tamil Nadu. Here, the brides wear saree in the Madisar way. According to old traditions within the state, the Brahmin brides wear a 9-yard saree while non-brahmin brides wear a 6-yard saree.  

Suggested Read – The Vibrant Traditional Dress of Tamil Nadu Reflecting the Tamil Culture!

The Kannadiga bride dresses up in a way similar to that of Maharashtrian brides. They wear a nine-yard-long saree, and the saree is known as the Nauvari saree. In the Coorg region, the brides wear bright color Zari saree. The blouse is also an important aspect of a saree. To represent their genuine traditional side, brides are opting for contrast coloured blouses, lavishly adorned blouses, and even quarter-sleeved blouses. The way of carrying the attire is very distinct. They tuck saree’s front pallu over their shoulder and push pleats backwards. This is known as the Kodagu Style Saree. The brides usually cover their heads with a Vastra.  

Suggested Read – Traditional Dresses of Karnataka: Reflecting The Beauty of Kannada Culture

2. Traditional bridal dresses in West India 

Indian Traditional Bridal Dresses that would leave you Awestruck- Indian Traditional bridal dresses in West India 
Image – abrinsky / Flickr

Maharashtrian brides wear Nauvari saree at their wedding. The bride drapes the bicolor, long, nine-yard saree in dhoti style. The saree has golden pattern borders like that of the sarees of South India. The headgear the bride wears is known as Mundavalya, and it is a thin pear headgear with two dangling ends on either side.  

Suggested Read – Traditional Dresses of Maharashtra – The Beauty of Intricacies

In Rajasthan, the brides wear Lehenga saree. The Marwari community’s traditional bridal dress is famous in the entire country. It has a heavy design, and the detail work with gold and silk thread work finishes the look. The chiffon Odhni forms a significant part of the attire. The bride tucks the odhni to her waist and covers her head with the same.  

Suggested Read – Traditional Dress of Rajasthan: Reflects a Culture that Persisted Since Ancient Times

Gujarati bridal wear gives a sweet, sugary vibe, like the natives of the state. The traditional dress is known by the name ‘Panetar.’ It is usually available in white and red colors with a touch of green sometimes. The pallu is kept in front, unlike the style prevalent in other parts of India.  

Suggested Read – Traditional Dresses of Gujarat: Vibrant, Colourful and Mesmerizing

3. Traditional bridal dresses in East India 

Indian Traditional Bridal Dresses that would leave you Awestruck- Indian Traditional bridal dresses in East India 
Image- Pixahive

In Bengal too, red color is of prime importance when it comes to traditional bridal dresses. The white mukut made of white shoal wood gives uniqueness to the outfit. The brides of Bengal in East India don’t wear lehenga. Instead, they wear a Banarasi Silk Saree. The saree lays beautifully with the zari work. 

In Odisha, the traditional bridal dresses include sarees with a red border. The sarees are predominantly yellow, and the brides complete the look with a beautiful Uttariya (scarf). Some brides also wear lehengas inspired by the North and West Indian designs. 

4. Traditional bridal dresses in North-East India 

Indian Traditional bridal dresses in North-East India
Image – Pintrest

Mekhla Chadar is the name by which the locals call the traditional bridal dress. The beautiful traditional dress is a silk saree. Traditionally, the dress is available in sober colors like white, gold, silver, and cream.  

Manipuri bride dress is as unique and beautiful as the Manipuri culture, Manipuri brides ware Raasleela dress (symbolising Radha) for wedding since Manipuri people are great believers of Radha and Krishna. Similar dress is used in Manipuri dance.

Suggested Read – The Vibrant Traditional Dresses of Manipur Reflecting Manipuri Culture!

In Meghalaya, the bride dresses up in the traditional Khasi outfit. The Dhara or Jainism traditional dress helps connect the people with their ancient roots on the auspicious occasion of marriage. The outfit has two fabric pieces that rest on each shoulder of the bride, and the gold or silver crown completes the look. 

Many brides in the North-eastern states wear Christian wedding dresses. The beautiful white gown dress makes the brides look stunning.  

5. Traditional bridal dresses in North India 

Indian Traditional Bridal Dresses that would leave you Awestruck- Indian Traditional bridal dresses in North India 
Image – [Ananabanana] / Flickr
The traditional dress of Kashmir is known as Pheran. It is a combination of the classic women’s attire of India and Iran. The long loose Kameez with ari embroidery takes everybody’s attention. The ‘tarang,’ headgear, is the unique clothing item of the Kashmiri brides. According to the region’s culture, the family ties a white cloth known as Zoojh on the bride’s head along with a kalpush. The bride covers her head with a beautiful dupatta. The gold embroidery is breathtaking.  

In Uttar Pradesh, brides usually wear red lehenga. The lehenga has elaborate embroidery, and silk, velvet, and crepe are predominantly used for making the lehenga.  

Punjabi brides wear Salwar Kameez at their wedding. However, you might also see a Punjabi bride wearing a lehenga. It is a common trend in the present times, and here too, the attire is preferably red. Like other north Indian attires, the Punjabi bridal dress involves a dupatta covering the bride’s head.  

6. Bridal Looks of Different Religions

Indian Traditional Bridal Dresses that would leave you Awestruck- Bridal Looks of Different Religions
Image- Pixahive

India is home to not one but many religions. Different religions have different traditions, and there is no doubt about that. Hence, other than the region-wise distinction, there is also a religion-wise distinction. 

Hindu brides wear vibrant red lehengas or saree at their wedding, and the dress is complete with heavy jewelry and in-detail embroidery. 

The Muslim bridal dresses are painstakingly elegant, and the maroon or green dress increases the beauty of the bride’s multifold. The most elegant part of the Muslim bridal attire is the silk cloth around the bride’s wrist. 

Christians in India follow different practises depending on their area, such as Mangalorean Christians, Goan Christians, and Christians in the North-East. Brides do not always wear white gowns during Christian weddings in India; others prefer to wear vividly coloured sarees for various occasions. Those who prefer to wear white must adhere to particular guidelines, such as wearing a net veil supported by a tiara, wearing a train with their gown, and carrying a flower bouquet. The bride is walked down the aisle of the church by her father, as is customary in their culture.

A Sikh bride’s bridal attire is never complete without the chooda and kalire, no matter how many jewels and gems she wears. The bride can wear a lehenga or anarkali suit to the Anand Karaj ceremony. For the duration of the ceremony, she wears her veil up to her brow. Her chooda may include bangles in white, red, pink, peach, and other colours, which she receives from her maternal uncle and aunt. The kalire are little golden or silver ornaments that are fastened to the bride’s chooda and act as a blessing.

On her wedding day, a Ladakhi Buddhist bride wears the customary Goncha. It’s made of a thick woollen cloth with a belt around the waist to keep it in place. The bride wears a flowy trouser skirt and an exquisitely embroidered kamarbandh with the Goncha. The bride’s headdress, a Perak, is covered in black wool and embellished with turquoise stones to wish her a good future.

Parsi wedding dress for women is somewhat similar to that of the Christian bride, and it is a beautiful white dress. However, the bride uses a saree pallu to cover her head.

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