Ethnic Brides; Ethnic Weddings
The United States is truly a “melting pot” of cultures, from African to Asian, German to Greek and more. While glimpses of other cultures can be seen in various modes and styles of dress, this is never understood more than during a traditional wedding for cultures other than ethnic weddings.
For instance, a traditional wedding in America calls for the blushing bride to wear a white dress, symbolizing her purity as she stands at the altar. Chinese wedding traditions, however, have the bride in a red dress, symbolizing luck and good fortune. The red dress is covered with golden phoenixes, chrysanthemums, and peonies, which represent brides, wealth and good fortune. These beautiful weddings are steeped in ancient tradition and rituals.
Due to the high number of diverse cultures in Africa, there are many wedding traditions throughout the continent. Traditionally, African brides wear gele, iro, iborum and buba, (headpiece, wrap skirt, shawl, blouse). Although the color isn’t specified, it is important to the traditions that the fabric of each piece matches. In Morroco, the bride’s hands and feet are painted with henna. In South Africa, a new fire is lit in the bride and groom’s house, using fire transported from their parents’ homes; thus, the new fire shows the joining of the two families.
In Morroco, the bride’s hands and feet are painted with henna. In South Africa, a new fire is lit in the bride and groom’s house, using fire transported from their parents’ homes; thus, the new fire shows the joining of the two families.
Traditional Hindu weddings blend saris of red and white, to represent fertility, purity and wealth. Here, the bride’s hands and feet are also painted with henna. Rather than solemn affairs, Hindu weddings are full of festivities and are colorful celebrations of a union.
Ethnic weddings are beautiful, intriguing ceremonies, each in their own way. Traditions, customs, rituals – all tell a story of the fascinating cultures behind them. As wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to see many ethnic weddings, and have delighted in all of them.
To all who have opened their hearts and shared their intricate, lovely cultures with us, thank you!
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