3 Differences Between Eastern & Western Weddings

3 Differences Between Eastern & Western Weddings

Across the world, couples get married in ceremonies that wildly differ from one another, based on the cultural background of the couple. Depending on the heritage of the couple, everything from the wedding dress to the ceremony format can differ. However, two cultures that are incredibly different are eastern and western cultures, largely Indian and British/American weddings. So take a look at three of the biggest differences between the weddings of these cultures.

#1 – The Wedding Dress

British Weddings: traditionally, western brides wear white, but this wasn’t always the case. Red used to be the chosen colour for brides until Queen Victoria wore a seemingly simple white dress adorned with lace for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, that the white wedding dress became popularised.

Alongside the white dress, western brides traditionally wear a veil covering the face and limited jewellery – usually pearls or diamonds.

Indian Weddings: in contrast to western dresses, Indian weddings tend to be a far more colourful affair with dresses in a whole range of colours. The most popular colour, however, is red, which is often paired with gold features. Brides also tend to adorn themselves with beautiful jewellery, each piece carrying some sort of symbolism.

This lengha from Sonas Couture is a great example of the traditional features of Indian bridal wear.

#2 – The Ceremony Format

British Weddings: the traditional British wedding ceremony tends to be a rather speedy occasion which usually includes the following elements:

  • Father walking the bride down the aisle
  • Hymns
  • Readings
  • Sermon
  • Prayers
  • Exchanging of vows
  • Signing of the register

Indian Weddings: one of the biggest differences between western and eastern weddings is the length of time taken for the event. While western weddings take place on one day, Indian weddings can last anywhere between three and eight days. Elements of the wedding may include:

  • Tilak ceremony when the groom is anointed on the forehead
  • Mehendi – the application of henna to the bride’s hands and feet
  • Singing and dancing
  • Baraat procession – procession of the groom with his family and friends
  • Religious rituals

#3 – The Food

British Weddings: wedding ceremonies in Britain are usually followed by a wedding breakfast. This could consist of a formal three-course meal or could take the format of a buffet. The meal usually leads into the speeches where the toasts take place with glasses of champagne or prosecco.

Indian Weddings: food is important in Indian weddings, so you can expect to be greeted by plenty of foods to try. Usually, there will be a buffet style meal featuring a huge selection of traditional Indian foods including curried meats, rice, naans and all the trimmings. The food at an Indian wedding is often particularly impressive and feature up to 100 separate dishes or even more.

While there are plenty of differences between eastern and western weddings, there are plenty of similarities that make both occasions incredibly joyful and exciting for both the newlyweds and their loved ones as they join their lives together and prepare for their shared future.