There is a great variety in the photography trends that vary from country to country. There is also a diversity in the dresses and colors, events and decorations, post wedding activities and mores.
As the wedding moments are the happiest moments of any couple’s life, they try to make the days unforgettable by photography. At present, the photography has become an important part of wedding culture all over the world. Anyway, let’s see how the photography keeps its mark in the wedding days in different cultures and countries.
U.S. Wedding: US weddings generally become very colorful, decorative and festive. At the very beginning of a conjugal life, the US people follow some traditions and customs. There are different types of wedding like white wedding, formal or semi-formal, etc. But the white weddings are the most popular. It is one of the most typical of wedding events. The white wedding has come after the Queen Victoria. She broke the old long tradition and wore a white gown at her wedding ceremony and later it is being followed.
At the white wedding ceremony, the bride wears a white dress with a white face veil and the groom wears a black coat with a black pant and shoes. He also wears a tie. The white dress of the bride symbolizes the purity, and it is also thought that it is a symbol of virginity. However, these types of dresses of the bride and the groom are perfect for wedding photography.
The main ceremony usually starts with the wedding reception. At this party, a meal and wedding cake are served. The invited guests toast before and after having the meal. The gifts and cards are given to the newlyweds. Some funny games are played. An enjoyable dance with light-sound music continues among the guest and newlyweds. But, the most attractive moment of the reception is the kissing of the bride and bridegroom. It is the most exciting moment of their life and to make it unforgettable, hundreds of photos are taken.
Though most of the European wedding dresses are white gown, but in this era, many colorful wedding dresses are being designed and worn. Matching with the bride’s skin color, height and personality the designers are making the elegant dresses. They are also designing colorful dresses for the little flower girls with the bride.
The weddings of Europe represent the Christian culture and trends. The events or ceremonies are almost same as the US weddings. Yet, there is a variety in the European weddings from country to country.
English wedding ceremony starts with the wedding reception which is also called as wedding breakfast. Then, having meal roasting, gossiping, dancing, and finally the kissing everything happens same as the US though the royal wedding is much more than those of.
In France, the civil weddings are performed in the town hall in the presence of the mayor or councilor. Here, the town hall arranges the wedding religiously, but if the couple doesn’t wish to marry religiously, it becomes more elaborate. At the ceremony, close family and witness remain present and the couple receives a booklet named livret de famille to record their marriage certificate. However, in France the civil wedding ceremony is free of charge.
A fun game is played in Germany and Austria as a part of the wedding ceremony. Mostly the good friends of the couple kidnap the bride and go with her from bar to bar. Then the best man of the bride, especially her father pays the bill every time. The kidnappers go to a certain place like a public building, hotel, community center, etc. leaving some pointers to help for searching. Sometimes, to add more fun, the groom has to wash dishes for the next few weeks. This custom is being followed by many countries. In Greek, the traditional money dance is being continued for a long before.
Normally, in a Jewish wedding the couple sign a marriage contract. It is called Ketubah. At the present time, the contract is framed and hung in the couple’s home. In a Jewish wedding, the parents escort the couple into a wedding canopy which is called Huppah. The ceremony takes place under this canopy where the couple exchanges vows. Then seven marriage blessing is read and the bride smashes a wine glass under his foot. After that, the couple spends some times alone together and join the reception where the guests can enjoy food, music, dancing and mores.
The bridal dress of the Jewish wedding is also of white color as like as the US bridal dress. But, they use more embroidered and apparently gorgeous dress. The bridegroom wears the western black coat, pant, tie and shoes.
The Australians are too many casual and they don’t show much formality regarding wedding ceremony. Many ceremonies are held outdoors like parks, beach, family or public garden, etc. Their wedding customs are almost similar to that of the western. They follow the European wedding tradition. Their wedding dresses are same as the western, white gown for the bride and the black coat, pants and shoes for the groom. But, yet as the country is of the multicultural society, there is also a variety the wedding traditions and the customs.
Traditionally their wedding events include the family members of the both, Mr. and Mrs. Sometimes, the Bible is given as a wedding gift and they save it for later generation as a souvenir.
The history of African marriage traditions is thousands years old. These are full of diversity as this is a multicultural continent. There live many tribal people of various religions. So, their bridal culture is so much colorful and bewitching. But, since most of the countries are Muslim, there wedding culture and tradition are connected with the Muslim world like Arabian countries.
There are too many renowned tribes in Africa. They have been living there for a long time. They are Zulu, Berbers, Surma, Himba, Swahili, and so on. They have their own individual culture. Their wedding ceremonies are very colorful and varied as they are.
The Arabian wedding customs and traditions are closely connected with their religion and social beliefs. Most of the countries in this area (Middle East) are akin to the Islamic marriage laws. In the past, the marriage tradition of this area was very restricted but as time goes, it has become flexible.
Arabian wedding represents almost the Muslim wedding traditions. According to the Islamic laws, a man can marry with four women if he can afford. The marriage in this law is not only a bondage of a couple, but also of two families. Yet, a man can divorce any time his wife in case of disobeying any Islamic rules or disputes.
However, according to the Arabian wedding rule, the man and woman have to be at least ten years old before they are married. The religion has mandated that a man can marry a woman who is a Widow. He can also marry his cousin.
Arabian wedding dresses are very akin to the Islamic tradition. At present days, the Arabian wedding dresses are also affected by the modernity. Generally, the Muslim women observe modest wedding dresses. Yet, there are a variety of styles and colors in traditional clothes. It is a common thing that the Muslims ladies cover their heads with scarves and wear hijab properly. Their gowns are designed with beautiful fancy and scarves and hijabs are embroidered. The bridegroom generally wears Panjabi and Pajamas with a colorful crown.
There is a great diversity in Indian wedding. It varies regionally, religiously and according to the wish of the bride and the groom. The Indian wedding is too much extensive regarding decorations, colors, music, dance, customs and religion of the couple. Since most of the people are Hindu here, they spend significant effort and financial resources to celebrate weddings. Generally, a wedding festival in a Hindu family continues several days.
The wedding starts with the Henna ceremony and ends with the reception. There are some key rituals common in their wedding such as Kanyadaan, Panigrahana, and Saptapadi. However, Hindu marriage gets completed with the ritual of seven steps and vows in the presence of fire. This ritual (Saptapadi) is completed by the new couple together.
In a traditional Hindu wedding, the groom wears a loincloth (dhoti) and Panjabi. On the other hand, the bride wears red color benarasi Shari with an embroidered red scarf. But, in this modern age, there has come a noticeable diversity in their wedding. The brides are often wearing colorful pajamas and Panjabi. Again, the grooms are wearing very colorful Panjabi, pajamas and sometimes Kabliset.
Pakistan is a Muslim country and most of the wedding are held according to the Islamic rituals. Traditionally arranged marriage are popular here, though love marriage is getting popular. Arranged marriages are held within the family or within the same community or ethnicity.
There are many events in a Pakistani wedding such as Marriage Proposal, Engagement, Dholki, Mehndi (Henna), Barat, Nikah, Registration, Reception, Rukhsti (Farewell), Valima (Walima), and Honeymoon. To perform all these events, sometimes it takes over a year. But, here only Nikah is necessary as Islamic ritual.
In Pakistani wedding, the parents invite most of their relatives and friends. The Nikah is completed in the presence of the parents and the relatives. A religious person called Huzur arranges the Nikah segment where the couple accepts each other by the name of Allah. Before Nikah, the selection of Mahr is mandatory. It is paid by the groom to the bride. The Mahr may be actual money, jewelries, furniture, clothes, etc.
The wedding dresses of the Pakistani Muslim couple are generally Panjabi, pajamas, Kabliset, Lehenga or embroidered gown with hijab, etc.
The wedding of Bangladesh is very colorful because there is a considerable religious variety. As most of the people are Muslim here, so Islamic wedding culture is prosperous and mostly celebrated though a Hindu wedding is also notable. From Patri Dekha (first meeting of the couple) to the Bou Bhat (the final reception), all the events are very enjoyable. In Bangladesh, arranged marriage is still popular though at present love marriage has taken an important place.
In the first meeting, the couple can get an opportunity to see and talk to one another. Their families also can know themselves properly. When everything is ok, they fix a date and invites their relatives and friends. The very first event is the turmeric ceremony, which is very colorful.
The main wedding ceremony is held in the bride’s home. The groom comes there with his parents, relatives, and friends. It is known as Borjattri. They usually take seats in a room or on a wedding stage where the prime wedding is completed in the presence of a religious person and the parents of the both sides, the bride and the groom. After having the lunch or dinner, the bride with his wife goes back to his own home where a flower bed is made ready in a great decoration for the newlywed couple. The next day, a reception party which is called Bou Bhat is arranged by the groom’s parents. On this day, some guests come from the bride’s house and they bring back the bride with the groom in the bride’s home. In this way, most of the Bangladeshi wedding is completed.
The traditional Bangladeshi wedding dresses are benarasi Shari and hijab for the bride and the pajamas and Panjabi are for the groom. The gold jewelries are must for the bride. But nowadays, in urban areas, Lehenga with hijab is worn by the bride and the colorful dresses like Sherwani, black coat-pants are worn. The community centers are arranging most of the wedding ceremony instead of a couple’s own house.
Chinese wedding tradition is as varied as it dynasty. But the civilians are in the center of variety. The Chinese are, in case of a wedding, very traditional and sometimes superstitious also. Here, the wedding date is fixed by the astrologer’ sign and Birthdate. The ceremony starts on the half hour considering the couple’s good fortune. Even, the night before the wedding day, the bride is bathed in citrus-infused water to wash her of evil influences.
Chinese wedding dresses are very colorful and varied. Sometimes, the modern brides wear three different dresses throughout the night. These three dresses are the traditional white dress, a traditional Chinese bridal dress and a cocktail dress. But the main wedding piece is a phoenix crown which is made of kingfisher feathers and pearls. Again, the bridegroom generally wears a blue dragon robe with a black silk coat and a black crown with red tassels.
On the wedding day, the groom goes through a number of tests by the bridesmaids until he would present them with red envelopes of money. On the arrival of the bride at the groom’s home, she is greeted by the firecrackers and gongs. She has to jump over an iron basin to prosperity and keep evil influences away. At the traditional tea ceremony, the bride serves tea to her parents and new in-laws to show respect. Sometimes, the groom becomes company with the bride. Here, the red color represents celebration and prosperity and the Chinese character “xi” is for the wish of a happy life.
The bride and the groom normally cut a cake. It has many layers which represent a ladder that the couple will climb to success. That is why, the couple cuts the cake from the bottom to top. A traditional reception usually includes lobster and chicken, which symbolize the dragon and the phoenix respectively.
Buddhist wedding is very simple and out of complexities. Their marriage is in fact based more on the faith than on the religious customs. Normally, their wedding takes place in two parts: one is the offering prayers along with gifts to the monks and Buddha image. And the other is the traditional practices followed by the family of the couple.
The Buddhist wedding begins with the horoscope matching and then the groom’s family decides a suitable date of proposal consulting with the lama. The marriage ceremony takes place in a temple where the couple bows before the Buddha image and recites prayers and chants. They fire the candles in front of the image. Then, their parents put a loop of strings on their head, and the couple offers flowers, foods, sweets and medicines. However, the Buddhist wedding is not very formal, though in this modern age, many aspects have been changed with the pace of time.
The traditional Buddhist bridal dress is Bhaku which is made of brocade. It is of full length and then, she wears it with a sleeved blouse called Hanju. She also wears a coat and a scarf with jewelries made of precious stones like turquoise, coral, pearl, etc.
There is a variety in Japanese wedding traditions. They generally follow Buddhist wedding customs and tradition. Besides, the wedding ceremony may be held according to the Shinto rituals. During the Shinto ceremony the natural spirits of the earth are asked to bless the new couple. Again, at the time of Buddhist wedding ceremony, two beautiful beads are woven together that symbolize the union of the couple into one. The Japanese bride generally wears beautiful colored silk kimonos. It is often designed with purple iris flowers. The purple color represents love in Japan.
The modern Korean people are following the western wedding tradition though the Korean wedding tradition is itself very rich. The present Korean brides are wearing a white gown and the grooms are wearing the black coat, pants, tie and shoes same as the western grooms do. However, the couple changes the western dress and wears the traditional Korean clothing to pay respect to the patents. The wedding ceremonies are held in wedding hall or in a hotel, still most of the wedding is arranged in the churches. Their ceremonies do not last long and the guests can have food together. The guests generally bring money instead of any wedding gifts.
Philippines wedding culture is a combination of its own culture and Spanish and American colonial tradition. Usually, the groom’s family pays for the wedding and the grandparents is the primary witness or the sponsor. The bride attire is often custom made and the couple, both wear white dresses. The groom wears a long-sleeve button-up shirt that is worn over the black pants and a white T-shirt underneath.
The Philippines wedding follows the traditional superstition. The bride cannot wear her wedding dress and ornaments before marriage day because it is considered as a bad luck. The knives and sharp objects like this are not accepted as a wedding gift. The raid drop is considered as the omen of good luck, happiness and prosperity.
Most of the people of these countries are Muslim. So, Islamic wedding cultures are celebrated here. But, yet the western customs are also followed here. In old Malayan wedding tradition, arranged marriage was popular, but now, the love marriage is getting popular. In the arranged marriage, the older people from the groom’s home goes to the bride’s home, know them well and propose the parents of the bride. If everything is ok, then they fix a date of the wedding ceremony. In that day, the couple accepts themselves in the presence of a religious person and their family members according to the Muslim wedding tradition.
The culture of Indonesian wedding is almost same as the Malaysian wedding culture, yet there is a considerable variety based on the ethnic groups. In a traditional wedding, the couple’s family invites a huge number of guests, but in the present situation, some urban weddings are arranged with the close relatives with a smaller reception.
The wedding dresses of these two countries are almost same. The bridal gowns are varied regarding its color, design, style and so on. While the western bride are wearing the white gown, the brides here are wearing many colorful gowns with the various ornaments. The grooms wear dresses, matching with the bride’s gown. But, they sometimes wear western dresses alongside the Islamic wedding dresses.
To sum up, the world’s wedding tradition is so many colorful and varied from country to country, from nation to nation, from religion to religion. The ethnic groups also contribute in making the diversity.