Most people are aware of the Asian style wedding dress, but may be unaware of what it is called or the exact nature of the dress. Indian wedding saris are going to have a drape of fabric that ranges two to nine yards in length with two to four feet in width. The width is usually what wraps around the waist, with one end draping over the shoulder. Typically the style leaves the midriff bare.
The saree is not always a wedding dress, but most often it is used as such. The saree is just a portion of the total outfit worn. There is typically a lehenga or Kannada. This is considered a petticoat that the sari or saree is worn over. It is combined with a blouse which is used for the upper torso. The blouse is called either a choli or ravika. It is usually a short sleeve blouse with a low neck and allows the midriff to be bare. This traditional Indian and Asian style dress is used in summers in order to keep women cool. They can be halter or backless in style.
When it comes to Indian wedding saris, the dress will be more formal with embellishments like mirrors or embroidery. The sari is a symbol of Indian culture and therefore worn to show nationalism and to keep with tradition. Since they have long been ornate in nature for weddings they are considered a tradition for any Indian style wedding. Although many also consider the Sari to be of Indian tradition, there are numerous countries in Asia that use a similar style.
Burma, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand all have versions of sari’s although some differences do keep them separated. The differences in these countries is that the outfit is more like a sarong where a skirt is wrapped around the lower half, with a blouse that drapes. Typically no skin around the midriff is revealed with this sarong style.
The Sari has existed since 2800 BC. Numerous paintings and references can be found to the Indus Valley civilisation that notes the earliest time of the sari at the aforementioned date. It gained in popularity as an everyday dress for woman most likely due to comfort and ease of making it. While wedding dresses and costume versions existed even then, simplicity and comfort were most likely the reasons behind the everyday sari.
Today, keeping with tradition in having a fancy sari for the wedding dress is still going strong. With over 80 recorded ways for the saree to be worn there are definitely plenty of choices for the upcoming bride to choose from in order to keep the tradition of ornate and extraordinarily beautiful saris for the wedding. Colours chosen for saris used to be based on family colours.