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Monday, June 8, 2015

Wedding Dresses: White or Red ?


I have been in UAE for quite some time . A few days back I attended a Muslim wedding and saw the bride bedecked in a red wedding dress, a Sharara. It made me think as to why Red is the color for a wedding dress in the East, while the stress in the West and the Christian faith is white.

A wedding is a red letter day for a bride. Throughout history in the west women have worn white on wedding days. This is more for the fact that in Christianity the white color symbolizes truth, purity and fidelity. How these qualities came to be associated with this color is another story. The stress on the white color symbolized by Snow White is built into the psyche of the West. Queen Victoria in real terms gave an impetus to white as a color for wedding dress for Christians.

In the east it is a different story. Here the Muslim and Hindu women will wear red. Maybe because it is associated with the red rose that symbolizes love. Chinese brides will only wear red as well. Why? This is because the white color is associated with something mournful and death. Its not a good omen and Chinese on their wedding day will choose the red color. They feel it’s more vibrant and has no association with morbid thoughts like white color has in China.

Time and tide do not wait and what was abhorrent yesterday is passé now. A look at the sites selling wedding dresses in the west will show that a fair amount of red wedding dresses are on display. This means that some women in the west are wearing red wedding dresses for their weddings. Even in India and China many girls are choosing to wear white. The walls of convention and superstition are breaking and there are no water tight compartments now. Red is a lovely color and so is white. The choice should be with the bride.
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