Afghan Wedding Dresses

Afghan brides are returning to the old traditional way of dressing for a wedding. This can be explained in two words: Taliban influence. Read our guide for more facts and information…

Since the Taliban was driven out of Afghanistan in 2002, women there have demanded and received more freedom to express themselves and have done this by adopting more western styled clothing. This is especially true in wedding dresses. The modern Afghan bride may select her dress made out of traditional silk and satin, but that is where the resemblance of modern and traditional ends. The modern wedding dress often shows bare arms and shoulders and often has a dipping neck line, things not seen under the rule of the Taliban.

Alas, the times are changing again. The Taliban influence is slipping back in to the Afghan government, and laws are being made by the government restricting women and the way they dress. As a result, the traditional wedding dresses are making a big comeback.

Traditional Wedding Dresses

There are many different ethnic groups in Afghanistan and the type of wedding dress really depends on the culture. Many Afghan women will wear the sari or wrap around dress for their traditional wedding garb. Some even revert to the beehive type bourqua, but in a variety of colors rather than the Taliban black.

The ‘Nikah dress’ is a traditional wedding dress chosen by many Afghan brides. Although it covers the body almost totally, the dress itself can be quite lovely. It is usually made of silk or satin. There are numerous colors made into the dress. Intricate embroidery is popular, with floral patterns and mirror patterns being chosen by many brides. Old fashioned jewels are also woven into the dress.

So that the woman’s face will not be seen, a shawl is also included. This is made of the same material with equally exquisite embroidery. To make the outfit totally complete, the groom’s costume may be made of the same material and fashion.

What Is Coming

As previously stated, the Taliban is regaining influence. This can be seen by the government attitude today. While things are not as bad as they once were, there are new restrictions being placed on weddings. While under American influence, men and women were allowed in the same room. Dress was more western for each sex and a wedding was often more like a typical American wedding than the old traditional Afghan wedding.

Although the dresses for the brides are becoming more traditional, this is not to say that the bride’s wedding dress is drab. They are so colorful that many Afghan brides actually choose to dress in the more traditional fashions. This is especially true if the groom to be is more of a traditionalist.

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