Asian Weddings Defined

‘Asian weddings’ is a very broad term. This might be considered an understatement when you consider that Asia is the most populated continent, home to 3.9 billion people, living in a total of 48 countries.

The number of different religions and cultures is unfathomable, so do not expect that we will cover all of them here. But at Brunel’s Old Station we have experienced a number of different weddings across a variety of cultures, which allows us an exclusive insight into all of them and their individual charms.

Here is a summary of the finer details of Asian weddings at Brunel’s Old Station and, indeed, around the world:

Wedding Clothing:

•             For headgear, a topor is worn as part of a Bengali Hindu wedding service. It is a conical shaped hat which is usually fragile, made of shalopith, a spongy plant matter, and white cloth.

•             In South Asia, a long coat-like garment called a Sherwani is worn. It is traditionally associated with the Muslim aristocracy.

•             In China, the bride wears a Cheongsam, which is a body-hugging all-in-one dress, and for the man, a silk robe called a Hanfu.

•             The Javanese people of Indonesia and the Malay people of Malaysia wear a traditional cloth called a Batik, while some women also wear a Kebaya, a blouse and dress combination, usually with a floral design.

•             Men in the Philippines wear a Barong Tagalog, an embroidered formal garment.

•             The Japanese often sport Kimono’s, full-length robes of varying colours and designs.

•             The Vietnamese women love to dress up in Ao Dais, a tight fitting silk tunic worn over pantaloons.

•             And it’s not just the brides who get to dress up: unmarried Telugu Hindu women get to flaunt a cheeky Langa Oni, which is a traditional dress worn by women between puberty and marriage.

Asian Weddings

Religious Differences:

Most religions recognise the life-long union that marriage represents. As is the diverse nature of the continent, there is not one main religion, but an eclectic mix of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, as well a number of regional religions. Each of these holds its own traditions when it comes to weddings.

Christian churches give a blessing to a marriage, which can come in the form of the wedding ceremony, typically as a pledge from the community to support the couple’s relationship. Hindu services can last for several days, however most guests only witness the short ceremony of when the bride and groom garland each other in front of the congregation. Islamic weddings are marked with the groom offering a mahr, a wedding gift that could take the form of any item.

Common Marriage Traditions across Cultures:

A lot of cultures have adopted the traditional Western custom of the white wedding, where the bride is dressed in a white wedding dress and a veil. The wedding of Queen Victoria in 1840 helped to popularise this tradition.

Weddings around the world often incorporate some form of reception, in which the rituals may include toasting the newlyweds, their first dance as husband and wife, and the cutting an extravagant wedding cake.

Through whatever form they take, each wedding means as much as the last, for it is, ultimately, a chance to celebrate the union of two people in love!

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