Armenian traditions dictate that a bride must be modest, virtuous, and shy, but womanly. And her wedding gown screams “chastity and femininity” at the same time. That’s why traditionally Armenian bridal dress had a tight-fitting upper part and floor-length bottom part. And, of course, the gown totally covered the woman’s body, only the neck and palms were left bare. No decolletage or bare back, no transparent fabrics, no mini skirts, no high slit dresses, and so on. Armenian folk wedding dress is a perfect example of how a bride can look virtuous and sexy all at once.
This is a traditional wedding dress of Armenia. It is a modern replica of an early-20th-century garment. And it was made and presented by the Teryan Cultural Center in Armenia.
This outfit consists of a dress, a jacket, a belt, a fez, and a veil.
This dress is made from cream and beige fabric. You can see that the fabric isn’t plain but patterned. It is adorned with beautiful embroidery – the pattern is authentic and typical for Urfa city (southern Turkey). By the way, a lot of ethnic Armenians live in Turkey today. And, of course, the borders of many countries have changed during our history, so don’t be surprised to hear that traditions not always stay inside the borders.
One of the most interesting items of this bridal attire is the belt. In Armenia, there was a tradition that helped women show their marital status. Young single girls wore belts with their dresses, while married women used aprons instead. This wedding costume is sporting something in between – it is still a belt, but wide enough and adorned with embroidery so that it looks almost like an apron. It indicates that the female is taken and is going to be a married woman soon enough.
Note the headdress that complements this wedding attire. It is a fez (traditional Armenian skull-cap, very popular) with a long white veil. The headwear is embellished with the same embroidery as the rest of the outfit. The lower edge of the fez is adorned with coins that make it look very festive and ornate. The coins traditionally could be gold or silver and they are also a typical feature of Armenian folk clothing. They added the touch of wealth to the bride.
Here is another Armenian wedding gown made in traditional style. It was worn by one of the dancers from Adana Dance Studio at Armenian Art Festival.
The cut is similar to the previous one – it has tight-fitting bodice and sleeves, while the A-line skirt is long and wide. But there isn’t any crinoline or stiff petticoat to support the skirt, though there might be a simple petticoat underneath.
The dress is snow-white with touches of gold to add extra chic. The outfit is complemented with a bridal headdress shaped like a crown with waist-length white veil.
In this case, you can also see two braids, which lie on the bride’s chest. It is the traditional Armenian hairdo and, in the past, brides usually wore their hair like this. Though today, they often choose a more modern hairstyle.