When two people get married, wherever in the world they are, the most important thing is the joining of two lives and the celebration of their love, but depending on the cultural backgrounds of the couple the ceremonies can vary a huge amount.
From the wedding dress to the format of the ceremony itself, there are so many cultural differences around the world that you probably don’t think about if you have never attended a wedding from any other culture.
Eastern and western cultures in particular are very different from each other indeed, particularly Indian weddings when compared to British or American weddings. We thought we’d take a look at a few of the differences between the weddings held by these cultures.
In a British wedding, the bride traditionally wears a white dress and often a veil, to signify her purity, but this trend is actually something that was made popular by Queen Victoria, who wore a white lace and silk-satin dress on her wedding day.
Before that time the traditional colour for a royal wedding dress was red, and white traditionally symbolised mourning, so this was a decision that was frowned upon. However, after the shock wore off, people started to embrace white wedding dresses and they became fashionable.
In Indian weddings, red is definitely the most popular colour for wedding dresses, and the weddings themselves are a huge celebration of colour, with those attending wearing beautiful colourful garments too.
The red dress is typically paired with gold accessories and accents, with brides wearing a lot of beautiful jewellery, where every piece worn symbolises something. This is a contrast to British weddings where jewellery is typically kept minimal, usually pearls or diamonds.
This lengha from Sonas Couture is a good example of Indian bridal wear, with each panel designed with a different pattern.
The ceremony itself is the biggest difference of all when it comes to British vs Indian weddings. In Britain, typically the ceremony doesn’t take very long and is comprised of the father walking the bride down the aisle, the exchanging of vows, and signing of the register.
Depending on the religious background of the couple, British weddings often also include hymns, readings, a sermon and prayers,
An Indian wedding, however, is a very lengthy affair indeed, taking place over a number of days, and sometimes lasting over a week. There are a few pre-wedding ceremonies and post-wedding ceremonies in India, including the engagement ceremony, Mehendi ceremony, Sangeet ceremony, Tilak ceremony, Vidai ceremony and reception ceremony.
After the ceremony at a British wedding, the wedding party will typically have a wedding breakfast. This is usually either a formal sit-down three-course meal or a buffet. After the meal, there are speeches and toasts with glasses of champagne (or prosecco).
At an Indian wedding, food is really important and there is usually a big buffet with a huge selection of traditional Indian fare. This usually includes curried meats, rice, naans, and plenty of other dishes too. There can be up to 100 separate dishes at an Indian wedding, so it is an impressive menu indeed.