For a traditional bride who wants an Asian wedding dress it can be a daunting task to find one; you may have to order online and then find a seamstress to finish it to your personal specifications.
Here are some interesting facts about the beautiful Asian wedding dresses.
Red is the traditional color of Asian bridal wear; the dresses are made of rich fabrics in bright colors and adorned with ornate embroidery and beading.
The dresses are representative of traditional dresses worn by the brides of that culture.
The Asian bride usually doesn't wear a veil that covers her face, instead an ornate headpieces is what they most often wear.
While each Asian country has their own form of traditional dress and style they do all tend to be ornately detailed and use rich fabrics.
The traditional dress of the Japanese bride is actually two kimonos: a white brocade kimono which is worn during the ceremony and a separate colorful kimono called a uchikake for the reception.
In a very traditional Japanese wedding, the bride's hair is done with a number of gold combs which is covered by a white headpiece called a tsuno kakushi; the covering of the gold combs symbolizes obedience.
A Southern Chinese bride, as is custom, wears a bright red dress; in China this symbolizes luck.
The Cheongsam is a two piece gown.
It is embroidered with dragons and a phoenix and typically done for the most part in gold; the edges of the skirt and jacket usually have a gold trim also.
The traditional bridal crown has beading and fabric balls on top, it's very ornate is often one of the most expensive pieces of the outfit.
Jeogori and Chima
The Korean women's wedding attire includes a jeogori, which is a short jacket with long sleeves and two long ribbons which are tied to form the otgoreum.
A chima is a full-length, high-waisted, wrap-around skirt.
Boat-shaped shoes, made of silk, are worn with white cotton socks.
The bride's attire might include a white sash with significant symbols or flowers; a headpiece or crown may also be worn.
The norigae is a hanbok decoration which has been worn by all classes of Korean women for centuries, it's tied to the skirt or the ribbon on the jacket; the knot on the top is called the Maedeup.
Thai Wedding Dress
There is not real concept of a "Thai wedding dress", it was most often a formal Thai dresses made to be worn more than once.
The Thai consider traditional attire to be elegant and versatile, so don't want to waste such beauty by wearing it only once. A lot of time and care goes into creating a traditional Thai dress so it's made to be worn, loved and enjoyed as often as possible.
The traditional Thai dress is a hand-woven dress made of cotton, a fabric that's more cool and comfortable in a tropical climate like Thailand has.
Ao Dai and Ao Choang
Vietnamese wedding dresses have a long history steeped it Vietnamese tradition.
Ao Dai means "long dress".
Early versions comprised of 4 to 5 panels of silky, flowing fabric, layered over loose-fitting trousers of the same material; the number of layers usually signified the wealth of the person wearing it - the more panels or layers, the wealthier the person.
Some of the very wealthy would even wear more than one ao dai at the same time.
Currently, most ao dai consist of only two pieces: a dress which is worn over a pair of loose silk pants; the dress can vary in length from just below the knee all the way to the ground.
The dress consists of two to four panels, has a well-fitted bodice, and is split on the sides from the waist down; early versions had buttons up the front or on the side.
The necklines usually vary between two styles, the "boat" style or the "mandarin" style.
The "boat" style is more open, off the neck and preferred in warmer climates.
The "mandarin" style is a high stiff collar - the length of the collar depending on the person wearing it.
Sometimes, the collar is formed by the many layers (or colors) of the ao dai - as many as seven at once. Occasionally, a low-scooped neck style will be worn, but these are less common.
Most ao dai are custom tailored, fitted to the individual's body. Some lesser quality ao dai's are now being mass produced, but, of course, they're less fitted and of standard designs.
For her wedding, the bride wears an outer robe (the ao choang) over the ao dai to create a more formal look.
Red is considered the marriage gown color, although bright pink may also be used. At times, gold silk trims the ao dai and/or the ao choang.
Unique trimmings are often painted or embroidered on the garment and the couple's names, in Korean, or beautiful images are used as trimmings along the collar, cuff or back.
The bride's head is adorned with a matching headpiece; either the non la (a cone-shaped hat made from dried, woven leaves) or the khanh vanh which many people say resembles a flying saucer!
During the wedding day, the bride and groom may change their clothes as many as three or four times - from a western-style wedding gown and white tuxedo, to the ao dai for both the bride and groom, to formal evening gown and black tuxedo.
Overall, the ao dai is a graceful, stately costume, flattering to almost any figure. In fact it has become a popular garment in western culture as well.
Modern Trends in Asian Bridal Attire
Tradition is still very much respected in many Asian cultures; however, families are finding that a blend of traditional attire and contemporary wedding gowns is what they would like for their weddings in 2011 and beyond.
As an example, a couple may decide to wear more westernized attire for the ceremony and then change into their traditional attire for the reception.
No matter the Asian country, the wedding attire is elegant, ornate and most often meticulously crafted to honor the richness of its culture.
When this blending of traditional and contemporary wedding dresses is done it reflects their cultural heritage and is a meaningful and beautiful way along with their modern day ideas.
Enjoy wearing your traditional Asian wedding dresses and blend them with the westernized wedding gowns for a truly beautiful wedding day.