History Of Indian Wedding Dresses and Accessories

Indian weddings are known for their energy, scale, grandeur, and fantastic vibrancy. These weddings are sacred traditions and last many days, giving the guests a fantastic experience to immerse themselves in. One moment that is particularly pertinent at these weddings is when the bride arrives in her dress, which is often red. The color red holds great significance when it comes to Asian wedding dresses, so it is essential to understand its history.

Why Red?

The dress worn by an Indian bride is called a Lehenga. Unlike western wedding dresses, these are never white since white represents mourning.

Historically different colors play a vital role in Indian culture—different hues resemble different aspects of a person’s life. Brides traditionally wear red as it marks a significant change in a woman’s life and the beginning of a new chapter. The moment she leaves the shelter of her parent’s home and embarks on a new adventure. Red is also connected to the rising sun, as well as love and passion. The tie to the color red means that there are many moments in a marriage where red is used as symbolism; for example, some married women wear a red bindi.


Along with a red dress, a bride’s look is not complete without the addition of accessories. Jewelry often plays a significant role in Asian wedding dress attire. Depending on what culture and traditions you look to, jewelry has historically been a marker of wealth, power, and status, whereas, in some, it is used as an art form of self-expression and joy. For example, in some Indian cultures, jewelry is worn by the bride to become part of the bridegroom’s family and is used as part of a purification ritual. Therefore, a lot of importance is placed on the nuances of jewelry and its role in the family’s legacy.

Different types of jewelry often hold various meanings, so you will often see Indian brides adorned head to foot in all sorts of jewelry, such as necklaces, nose rings, rings, anklets, bracelets, etc.


Mendhi, which is also known as henna, is also worn by an Indian bride. It is a paste that is often associated with good spirits and good luck and thus is worn at weddings for the couple’s prosperity. There is usually a mendhi ceremony held for the bride the night before the wedding to help wish her good luck and good wishes before her big day.

Wedding Dresses Today

Asian wedding dresses today are still colorful; however, brides opt for an array of colors and styles, not just red. Many modern Indian brides have opted for several different shades, including fuscia, yellow, emerald, gold, and many in keeping with the traditional red. Jewelry and henna still are worn and adorned on the bride too. However, there are several modern versions of formal wear.

Dress plays a significant role in Indian weddings, notably the clothing of the bride. Today there are many modern variations on the traditional red.