In Africa, our celebrations are loud, bright and always involve dancing. The bride and her wedding dress are at the centre of every wedding celebration.
Having a traditional wedding doesn’t mean skimping on glamour. With styles ranging from very traditional to traditionally inspired couture, you can have the wedding you want and still represent the beautiful and diverse cultures of South Africa. Be sure to choose a traditional wedding dress that not only represents your culture, but also your personality and style by taking style tips from these brides.
The Ankara dress
Ankara fabric comes in a variety of different colours and patterns. For a look that is distinctly African, fashionable and easily adaptable to your personal style, you can have a dress made especially for you out of Ankara fabric.
This black and white Ankara ballgown marries conventional western wedding style with distinct African flavour.
Johannesburg-based fashion designer The Rich Factory is known for their bespoke Ankara clothing that gives traditional African prints a modern twist, and has made many happy brides.
A very traditional bride
While contemporary styles may suit others, for some a very traditional wedding is the perfect way to celebrate their love. Traditional Makoti’s may not be in vogue or high fashion but there’s just something about doing things the way they’ve always been done.
If you are having your wedding in a traditional setting or with nature as a backdrop, why not go all out and dress the part? This Mosotho bride is the picture of bridal bliss in her traditional Seshweshwe and Seanamarena.
SABC1’s Uzalo gave us some real wedding envy earlier this year with a glamorous traditional Zulu Wedding with all the trimmings. Not even the drama of the TV wedding could ruin the beauty of the traditional outfits and ceremony.
Traditional attire doesn’t have to be stiff and boring. Bright colours and traditional make-up can make all the difference. The headdress on this Xhosa Bride is on the same level as any bejewelled tiara.
Traditionally inspired with a lot of personality
So you’re a modern girl with deep roots and a love for all things traditional. You can merge your affinity for couture with your loyalty to culture to create a bespoke wedding dress that celebrates all that you are.
You can’t fault Minnie Dlamini-Jones’ white and gold wedding dress. While typically bridal in white and gold, Minnie topped the dress with a traditional Zulu Isicholo – and we wouldn’t expect anything less from this proud Zulu woman.
Seshweshwe fabric is amazing. Available in a range of different colours and patterns, this traditional Sotho fabric can be made into just about anything. This Motswana bride looks regal in her blue and white dress – blue and white being the classic bridal colours for a Setswana wedding.
The beauty of a traditional wedding dress is in the use of colour. This Swati bride is bright and beautiful in red traditional Swati material. The dress may be modern, but as far as Swati traditional attire goes, it doesn’t get more ‘Swati and proud’ than wearing the flag of The Kingdom of eSwatini as your wedding dress.