80+ stylish African traditional wedding dresses guaranteed to turn heads in 2022

80+ stylish African traditional wedding dresses guaranteed to turn heads in 2022

African traditional wedding dresses have unique elements that make the occasion stand out. The continent has diverse cultures that continue to gain recognition across the globe. Each country has communities attaching special meanings to their wedding attires.

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traditional wedding dresses
African traditional wedding dresses. Photo: @atribecalledzimbabwe, @atribecalledzimbabwe , @Tomilayo Oke (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Most African brides dream of perfect traditional weddings followed by white wedding ceremonies because many realize how memorable the big day becomes when cultural elements are included. As a result, traditional African dresses are in high demand, and some are costly. Below is a list of trendy African traditional wedding dresses in 2022.

80+ traditional wedding dresses in 2022

A wedding is usually a big day for the bride, and acknowledging her partner's culture and hers makes the occasion memorable. How do you dress for a traditional wedding? Check out this compilation of the best marriage outfits for the bride.

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1. Kente conventional wedding dress from Ghana

traditional wedding dresses
A Ghanaian man and woman wearing kente inspired wedding attires. Photo: @omastylebridetw
Source: Instagram

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A Ghanaian wedding is incomplete if the bride does not wear a kente-inspired wedding dress. The western African country is known for its beautiful traditional outfits. The style was among the most prevalent African traditional wedding dresses in 2020, with modern brides modifying them to fit their tastes.

2. Kalenjin wedding dress from Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
A lady wearing a Kalenjin wedding outfit and carrying a milk guard. Photo: @Moranepics
Source: Facebook

The Kalenjin traditional wedding dress is very colourful and tasteful. The dressing code is shared by the pain and highland Nilotes of Kenya. The neckpiece is a coil of copper wire decorated with cowrie shells. It is also compulsory for a milk guard to be present at the wedding, and the couple has to drink the sour milk.

3. Ugandan wedding attire

traditional wedding dresses
A Ugandan bride in a traditional wedding dress. Photo: @joycessonko
Source: Facebook

These Ugandan wedding attires always came out so beautiful. Brides walk into their wedding venues with pride because wearing these clothes is an honour to themselves and the Ugandan traditions.

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4. Rwandese bridal dress

traditional wedding dresses
A Rwandese bride dancing in an umshanana marriage outfit. Photo: @eastafricawedding
Source: Instagram

Brides in traditional Rwandan weddings wear imishanana inspired outfits. The attire is also common in Burundi and Uganda. The country's traditional nuptial celebrations are some of the most stunning in East Africa.

5. Congolese conventional bridal outfit

traditional wedding dresses
A Congolese bridal dressed in a bold and brightly coloured dress from the liputa fabric designers. Photo: @chocoolatseh
Source: Instagram

Bold and bright colours characterize Congolese bridal apparel. The stunning prints are made from liputa fabric. The lady can also have a full dress made from kitenge material or blend with lace and other fabric.

6. Tswana traditional wedding dresses from Botswana

traditional wedding dresses
A Tswana bride rocking a mermaid-cut dress. Photo: @TraditionalWeds
Source: Instagram

Have you attended a Tswana traditional wedding in 2020? If not, you are missing out on beautiful culture. In traditional Tswana weddings, the bride wears Shweshwe designs. The bride can add twists to the dress to fit the occasion.

7. Tanzanian traditional marriage attire

traditional wedding dresses
A Bongo bridal wear on display. Photo: @myweddingsolutions
Source: Instagram

Bongo people are recognized worldwide for their Swahili culture. Muslim is also major religion in the country. The Muslim wedding attire has some features of Arab culture that make it look beautiful.

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8. Yoruba attire from Nigeria

traditional wedding dresses
Yoruba couple in traditional wedding apparel. Photo: @iambolar
Source: Instagram

The Yoruba wedding apparel is made from aso-oke fabric. It comes in three primary colours; rich maroon, navy blue, and very light brown with stripes of cream. You can also choose the embroidery lace. The bride can also customize the colour and design to suit the wedding's theme.

9. Igbo outfit from Nigeria

traditional wedding dresses
An Igbo bride surrounded by her maids. Photo: @anambrafinest5
Source: Instagram

The Igbo people are located in South-East Nigeria. The igbankwu, a traditional Igbo wedding, is a colourful ceremony where the bride wears a blouse and a wrapper or dress. The outfit is made from silk, machine print, George, lace, damask, etc. The ensemble is accessorized with orange coral beads around the neck, ivory wristbands, and ankle bracelets.

10. Ugandan-styled traditional wedding dresses

traditional wedding dresses
Women wearing Ugandan wedding attires. Photo: @consolerimage
Source: Facebook

These clothes come in many extremely outstanding colour combinations. You will rarely find brides in Ugandan-style traditional wedding dresses of dull colours because they are almost non-existent.

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11. Venda wedding dress from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A Venda bride dancing with her maids. Photo: @molote_studios
Source: Instagram

This beautiful outfit has remained a significant part of Venda culture for a long time. The traditional design has colourful fabric with different stripes, including green, red, turquoise, blue, orange, and yellow. The bride can have the apparel modified but still retain a touch of Venda.

12. Traditional wedding dresses for Ugandan women

traditional wedding dresses
Ugandan women rocking their traditional gomesi during the Kwanjula ceremony. Photo: @joycessonko
Source: Facebook

Ugandan's colourful floor-length busuuti or gomesi (the traditional wedding attires) are common among the Busoga and Buganda tribes. Moreover, many communities across the East African region, especially those in the Western parts of Kenya, have adopted them.

13. Ndebele marriage dresses from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A Ndebele couple rocking cultural wedding clothes. Photo: @traditionalafricanweddings
Source: Instagram

Ndebele brides have many beautifully designed attires. They create traditional designs by blending colours to make lovely and vibrant wedding outfits. The traditional Ndebele fabric is also popular in Zimbabwe.

14. Swahili bridal dress from Tanzania

traditional wedding dresses
A shy Swahili bride looking at the floor. Photo: @Renon Pictures
Source: Facebook

Most Swahili brides from Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar wear almost similar bridal gowns. The stunning prints are mostly made from cotton and chiffon fabrics. Some brides blend lace, kitenge, and other fabrics into their gowns.

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15. Sepedi traditional wedding dresses from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A lady wearing a South African sepedi traditional wedding dress. Photo: @mzansi_weddings
Source: Instagram

Pedi outfits have a mixture of yellow, blue, orange, red, and turquoise colours. Sepedi brides always look stunning in these outfits. In 21st century weddings, brides have the freedom to modify the dress to fit their taste but still maintain the rich tradition.

16. Yoruba-inspired wedding outfit

traditional wedding dresses
A Yoruba lady carrying a bluffly and white animal tail. Photo: @kunbi_jafojo
Source: Instagram

Nigerians are globally known for gracing occasions with beautiful traditional outfits. Ladies look for their exact sizes because there is no stretch to the fabric. Therefore, wear a size that fits like a glove to look great in any Yoruba-inspired wedding outfit.

17. Xhosa wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A woman showing off her Xhosa-inspired dress. Photo: @UyiNqabaDesigns
Source: Facebook

Dare to be different and bold on your wedding day. Specialize in traditional African wear inspired by Xhosa origin. Wearing the above custom-designed dress to your big day reflects your classy and respectful nature.

18. Traditional wedding attire from Uganda

traditional wedding dresses
A shy Ugandan bride walking in front of the groom. Photo: @Renon Pictures
Source: Facebook

Bold and bright colours chiefly characterize Ugandan wedding apparel, especially for brides. Ugandan weddings are a big deal since the bride's family show off new dowry wealth while the groom shows off his new social status.

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19. Wedding dress from Zambia

traditional wedding dresses
A Zambian man and woman holding hands. Photo: @Tisa The Trendsetter
Source: Facebook

Zambia brides take part in picking and examining their traditional gowns. Most of them wear chitenges, but some prefer the South African traditional attires. You must have noticed that Africans, Zambians included, love bold and intense colours combined with outstanding designs.

20. Mermaid-designed wedding outfit from Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
A lady dressed in a mermaid-designed kitenge. Photo: @Bahati Mang'ati
Source: Facebook

A mermaid wedding dress has a fitted style that hugs close to the bride's body. The dress then flares at or below the knee to create a mermaid-like tail that looks flattering and utterly elegant. The tail features different alluring details depending on what the bride wants.

21. Xhosa traditional wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A woman rocking Xhosa traditional attires. Photo: @KwaNtuShopC91
Source: Facebook

Since the Xhosa hold marriages in high regard, they take the customary wedding preparations seriously from when the groom chooses his bride. Part of the most vital task is choosing a brides' dress.

22. Swahili wedding dress for Islamic women in Tanzania

traditional wedding dresses
A Swahili man and woman standing close to each other. Photo: @officialzuchu
Source: Instagram

Bongo people have a deep Swahili culture, and Islam is their primary religion. Religion and Arab culture greatly influence how they dress for weddings. You will love how the brides always look stunning.

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23. Hausa dress from Nigeria

traditional wedding dresses
A happy Nigerian woman in traditional outfits. Photo: @Nigerian Wedding
Source: Facebook

Hausa traditional wedding dresses are custom-designed to fit the bride. Furthermore, a lady receives compliments and blessings from the community's elders for wearing this attire on her wedding day.

24. Xhosa attire from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A Xhosa bride covering her face with a veil. Photo: @xhosabrides
Source: Instagram

Umbaco marriage attires come in different styles and colours. An isiXhosa traditional wedding is not complete without a bride and a groom wearing matching outfits. The style is also elegant and sophisticated, with black & white stripes.

25. Ugandan attire

traditional wedding dresses
A Ugandan couple looking into each other's eyes. Photo: @Renon Pictures
Source: Facebook

Ugandan brides rock in colourful floor-length outfits called busuuti or gomesi. The outfit is famous among the Busoga and Buganda ladies. The colourful dresses, which have puffed sleeves and a square neckline, can be silk, cotton, or linen fabric.

26. Mermaid-cut dress from Tanzania

traditional wedding dresses
A lady covering her mouth and nose with a kitenge face mask. Photo: @belabkaycouture
Source: Facebook

During a traditional wedding in Tanzania, the bride changes her dress several times to depict her gorgeousness and elegance. Therefore, it is common to see a newlywed woman in a mermaid-designed kitenge at the reception.

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27. Akan dress from Ghana

traditional wedding dresses
A traditional Akan bride dancing. Photo: @atchioua_photographie
Source: Instagram

In Ghana, a traditional bride should wear a brightly coloured and intricately patterned or embroidered kente fabric of handwoven silk and cotton. She completes the look with bright gold beaded jewellery and a traditional headdress that sometimes resembles a crown.

28. Traditional wedding dress from Ghana

traditional wedding dresses
A Ghanaian bride dancing with her maids. Photo: @WeddingsOnpoint
Source: Facebook

Dressing for a wedding in Ghana involves totally or partially covering the body with apparel and accessories such as head wraps and jewellery. People also love modifying their bodies with tattoos or piercings.

29. Tanzanian-inspired wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A lady looking classy in a kitenge. Photo: @GleeStarsMag
Source: Facebook

Tanzanian vitenges are similar to kangas and kikoys but are thicker and have an edging side. These colourful pieces of fabric are common among the coastal communities of Kenya and Tanzania. If they are not using them to make pretty wedding dresses like what the lady above is wearing, women use vitenges as baby slings and shawls or wrappers for their wats and heads.

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30. Zulu marriage outfit from South Africa

Zulu traditional wedding dresses
A Zulu bride squatting at a pavemented place. Photo: @ntokozohlatywayo
Source: Instagram

A traditional Zulu wedding is not complete if a bride does not have the Umabo, Ischolo, and beads. These features are symbols of the Zulu cultural heritage and should be present even in modern weddings.

31. Tsonga bridal outfit from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A happy Tsonga couple laughing while holding hands. Photo: @tsonga_women_winning
Source: Instagram

If you are looking for the most colourful traditional wedding dress in South Africa, the Tsonga dress is a perfect choice. It is characterized by fascinating flower details which can be customized in varying prints and designs. You can also blend it with various colours.

32. Ghanaian outfit

traditional wedding dresses
A Ghanaian woman holding a fan. Photo:@WeddingsOnpoint
Source: Facebook

Modernization has greatly influenced traditional African fashion. In Ghana and other parts of the continent, the trend for wedding dresses is now inclined towards the European ways of dressing. Hence, the Western clothing designs are highly visible in the African dressing codes. For instance, the above design is a shoulder wedding dress with a padded bust and a floor-flowing hem.

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33. Malawi wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a floor-length dress. Photo: @SellyKadotAmutabiBaceri
Source: Facebook

People in Malawi and DRC call vitenges, chitenge. They serve as informal pieces of clothing for every occasion, including political slogans. Brides add ruffles, lace, or beading when making traditional wedding gowns. The lady above decided to add a chitenge on her dress' front part.

34. Kenyan wedding outfit

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a mermaid-cut kitenge. Photo: @vitenge_fashions
Source: Instagram

The mermaid-cut wedding gowns are quite uncomfortable if the tailor makes them hug the body tightly. Therefore, brides who are not prepared for the discomfort should not buy it for their wedding day. However, if you want a dress that shows your shape choose this surprisingly flattering silhouette.

35. Kitenge dress from Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
A woman rocking a kitenge with an over-flowing mermaid hem. Photo: @Muthoni Mukiri
Source: Facebook

French designer Marcel Rochas invented the mermaid gown in the 1930s for hourglass-shaped women, and it became a favourite for many Hollywood actresses in the 1950s. Africans, Kenyans included, like making these designs out of their kitenge/vitenge fabrics.

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36. Tanzanian kitenge dress

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a blue floral-patterned kitenge dress. Photo: @GleeStarsMag
Source: Facebook

The kitenge printing is done by a traditional batik technique. The wax prints and the designs are usually bright and detailed on the obverse side of the fabric. These days wax prints are commercially made and are almost completely roller printed. Most designs have religious, cultural, or political meanings and patterns.

37. Kitenge dress from Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a knee-length slit maxi kitenge dress. Photo: @Lamafrican TheDesigner
Source: Facebook

Most East African women use kitenge to tailor their clothes, not just the wedding attires, or wear it as a sarong wrapped around the waist. The clothes are mostly for special occasions like church, weddings, and funerals.

38. Ghanaian outfit for a wedding

traditional wedding dresses
A Ghanaian bride in a fitting fish dress. Photo: @WeddingsOnpoint
Source: Facebook

Dressing well for Ghanaians means putting on proper attire for the occasion while conforming to elegance. The bride and her people keenly select her traditional apparel, cosmetics, and coiffure to give her a magnificent look and enable her to make graceful dance moves and walking style at the wedding venue.

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39. Swazi marriage outfit

traditional wedding dresses
A woman dancing in a Swazi marriage outfit. Photo: @lobola_brideprice_documentary
Source: Instagram

Most Swazi traditional wedding designs display the people's artistic talents. These dresses look amazing with a touch of both modern and Swazi culture. Their attires have been exposed to the international market, and foreigners love them.

40. Ghanaian wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A lady standing near a maroon car. Photo: @CSFABRICS1
Source: Facebook

Purely indigenous items are becoming less common since Africans now produce their designer garments from imported and locally made textiles. Therefore, less often will you see a Ghanaian woman dressed in a typical traditional wedding attire of wrappers handwoven from hand-spun cotton threads. Instead, cute traditional-themed dresses like the ones seen above are common.

41. Kikuyu traditional bridal dress from Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
A lady holding her traditional wedding dress. Photo: @ginski47
Source: Instagram

The Kikuyu brides from Kenya wear golden or brown lesos. The outfit is decorated with beads. In modern traditional Kikuyu marriages, bridal apparel can be made from kitenge or ankara, thus making the outfit more stylish. The Maasai women also wear the headpiece the lady above is putting on.

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42. Nigerian dress

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a blue Igbo-inspired dress. Photo: @Tomilayo Oke
Source: Facebook

Igbo brides are careful with their choice of colour for their wedding outfits. What they pick will be their wedding party's theme colours. Additionally, her wedding attire's colours should match that of the groom.

43. Ethiopian wedding attire

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a green and white Habesha kemis. Photo: @habesha23
Source: Facebook

A traditional wedding dress in Ethiopia is called a Habesha kemis. It is an Amharic word, which is the official language in Ethiopia. Habesha kemis is also a national outfit of Ethiopian women.

44. Habesha bridal dress from Ethiopia

traditional wedding dresses
A woman wearing a brown Habesha kemis with red flower patterns Photo: @filaimage
Source: Instagram

The Habesha kemis is often a long snow-white dress decorated with embroidery and accompanied by a shawl called netela. However, the 21st-century generation is adopting more colours, and women do not have to bring the shawl.

45. Ethiopian wedding gown

traditional wedding dresses
A woman in a white Habesha kemis with beautiful patterns sitting on a rock. Photo: @habeshan_nations
Source: Instagram

Each tribe or ethnic group within Ethiopia has its own styles and varieties of Habesha kemis dresses. Ethiopia is large and has a wide range of climates and landscapes. These are some of the reasons communities have different designs of wedding dresses.

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46. Maasai outfit from Kenya

traditional wedding outfit
A couple dancing while holding hands. Photo: @Mbogori
Source: Instagram

Maasai is one of the most celebrated cultures in Kenya and Tanzania. The conventional Maasai attire is bright-coloured with red as the main colour. In modern traditional weddings, brides usually modify the outfit and accessorize with the culture’s colourful beaded necklace.

47. Xhosa bridal dress

traditional wedding dresses
A woman and man wearing blue Xhosa attires. Photo: @Abdo Abd Elhamed
Source: Facebook

The Xhosa dress code is defined by one’s social status. Their prints are blended with plain matching colours, cotton, satin, and tule. Moreover, each piece worn by the bride or groom has a traditional significance.

48. Bridal dress from Ethiopia

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a red Habesha kemis with patterns sitting on a chair. Photo: @habeshan_nations
Source: Instagram

Both Eritrean and Ethiopian Habesha brides wear the Habesha Kemis attire. The handwoven white cotton is made from Shemma. They are among the most beautiful traditional wedding dresses on the continent.

49. Habesha wedding dress from Ethiopia

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a white Habesha kemis with blue and red patterns getting out of a car. Photo: @habeshan_nations
Source: Instagram

The Habesha kemis is among the most precious attires in Ethiopia. The ankle-length, chiffon-made, snow-white dress is usually worn at formal events. Hence, you should not be surprised to see a woman wearing them to work.

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50. Xhosa outfit from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a peplum-designed Xhosa dress. Photo: @184517638261593
Source: Facebook

Peplum-designed Xhosa wedding dresses with cleavage are becoming popular in South Africa. Some have a lace attached above the bust to conceal the cleavage, while others are cute sleeveless designs.

51. Xhosa wedding attire from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A woman in a Xhosa-inspired dress. Photo: @Khanyisile Mcebisi
Source: Facebook

Whichever Xhosa wedding attire you choose, ensure that it is what you want for your wedding. Never leave room for regrets since time wasted can never be recovered. The above peplum-designed dress with a fish-tail design at the hem can be worn anywhere, not only at your wedding.

52. South African Xhosa wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a knee-length Xhosa dress. Photo: @Xhosa Brides
Source: Facebook

Traditionally, the shortest length for wedding attires of Xhosa brides was the ankle. However, things are gradually changing as years go by. Ladies look stunning in knee-length traditionally-designed dresses.

53. Xhosa wedding outfit from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A couple looking good in green Xhosa attires. Photo: @TheGardenVenueJHB
Source: Facebook

Xhosa wedding outfits come in many colours. However, most brides prefer the original black and white colour combination. Window-shop as many clothes as possible to choose the one that perfectly meets your taste.

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54. Mijikenda bridal wear from Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in Mijikenda traditional wedding attired carrying a pot and another traditional item. Photo: @mijikendatraditionalweddingske
Source: Instagram

Mijikenda people have also continued to embrace their beautiful culture. Brides wear a traditional skirt called a hando. The knee-length skirt is a sign of respect, for it does not expose the thighs. Women also wear the hando to other special occasions, while another traditional skirt called the bandika is worn at home.

55. Xhosa outfit from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A woman looking up with her hands on her waist. Photo: @Snegugu Mbambo Mtshali
Source: Facebook

The Xhosa people are very creative in choosing colours and designs for their wedding attires. It is no doubt that they are among the few African communities with the most designs for wedding dresses.

56. Nigerian wedding attire

traditional wedding dresses
A lady looking glamorous in an ankara dress. Photo: @Dinduhairstyles
Source: Facebook

In an Igbo traditional wedding, the bride buys two attires. One is for welcoming her guests to her parents' home, and the other is for the normal event. Trendy ankara designed dresses like the one the lady above is wearing are loved by many.

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57. Oromo marriage attire from Ethiopia

traditional wedding dress
A lady in an Oromo traditional wedding dress. Photo: @beauty_of_oromia
Source: Instagram

The Ethiopian conventional Oromo attire has never failed to turn heads. The beautiful clothing can be made from cotton. Traditionally, brides hand-made their wedding attires, unlike now, where tailors and clothing designers exist.

58. Habesha marriage outfit from Ethiopia

traditional wedding dress
A lady in a white Habesha kemis with patterns surrounded by flower vases. Photo: @habeshaweddings
Source: Instagram

In Ethiopia, communities in the lowlands wear lighter weight Habesha kemis and other clothing because of the heat, while those in the highlands prefer heavier clothing due to the colder weather.

59. Zulu wedding attire from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A man and woman standing near each other. Photo: @Snegugu Mbambo Mtshali
Source: Facebook

The above lady is wearing a mermaid gown with traditional embroidery on the chest and a hat called an inkehli. The hat usually symbolizes the bride's new marital status. She also has colourful beaded bracelets, which bridesmaids also wear.

60. Wedding dress from Senegal

traditional wedding dresses
A woman leaning on white wooden furniture. Photo: @Dinduhairstyles
Source: Facebook

The traditional wedding attire in Senegal is called a boubou. Most brides wear it, but those who want to be different wear ankara wedding dresses. For instance, the lady in the image above is putting on a one-shoulder ankle-length ankara attire.

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61. Xhosa bridal gown from south Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A couple wearing matching Xhosa attires. Photo: @BM BlissPic Photography
Source: Facebook

Most Xhosa brides and grooms wear matching outfits. In most cases, the best men and brides' maids also wear clothes similar to the couple's attire. However, their clothing designs slightly differ from the couple's designs.

62. Xhosa dress from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A lady in a yellow Xhosa dress. Photo: @Snegugu Mbambo Mtshali
Source: Facebook

Fashion designers of traditional attires in South Africa work round the clock to deliver the latest Xhosa wedding dresses. As a result, the Xhosa are adding more colours to their outfits, including yellow, green, blue, orange, and red.

63. Shona outfit from Zimbabwe

traditional wedding dresses
A lady wearing a Shona royalty wedding dress. Photo: @atribecalledzimbabwe
Source: Instagram

Traditional wedding clothing in Zimbabwe were mhapa and shashiko, animal skins covering the bride's front and back. These attires later evolved, and native cloths began to be manufactured when the Shona people started trading for cloth with other groups, such as the Tsonga.

64. Zimbabwe wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A woman standing near bamboo trees. Photo: @atribecalledzimbabwe
Source: Instagram

Zimbabweans culture is deeply rooted among the people, and it is incorporated in every significant event. In today's traditional weddings, the bride's dress is made from the Shona ankara fabric. Designers are also adding more fabrics, like plain-coloured cotton materials and animal decorations. For instance, the above has horns on the shoulders.

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65. Zimbabwe outfit

traditional wedding dresses
A woman covering herself with animal skin. Photo: @atribecalledzimbabwe
Source: Instagram

The Shona ancestors built great stone cities in southern Africa over a thousand years ago. There are over 10 million Shona people worldwide, with the majority living in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. Wearing animal skins is still part of their wedding traditions.

66. South African wedding attire

traditional wedding dresses
A lady looking beautiful in a Xhosa dress. Photo: @The House Of Alber'to
Source: Facebook

Most Xhosa women like white and black as their wedding gowns' primary colours. They creatively play around with these colours and fabrics to bring out the best designs. Every Xhosa bride has unique designs in mind. A slight twist to the existing designs makes the outfits look different from each other.

67. Igbo dress from Nigeria

traditional wedding dresses
A woman looking glam in an Igbo-inspired dress. Photo: @GleeStarsMag
Source: Facebook

Most Igbo brides wear two-piece ankara dresses. It means the upper body wears a different fabric from what covers her from the waist downwards. She then chooses a clutch bag, accessories, and shoes that match either of the fabrics.

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68. Senegalese wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A woman carrying a black sling bag. Photo: @royaltydesign1
Source: Instagram

The boubou is the traditional clothing of the Senegalese people. The garment is made from wax fabric, cotton, or Bazin, and it has unique embroidery. Brides can add modern style twists to fit their tastes in modern weddings.

69. Senegalese outfit

traditional wedding dresses
A woman wearing a pink boubou and headpiece. Photo: @royaltydesign1
Source: Instagram

The lady above is wearing a pink boubou with a matching headpiece and jewellery. The dress code is also found in Niger, Djibouti, Mali, and other central African countries. Men also wear tunic and pants underneath the boubou.

70. Cameroon traditional wedding dress

African traditional wedding dress
A man and woman wearing matching outfits. Photo: @camerlitweddings
Source: Instagram

Toghu or atoghu is the most famous traditional outfit in Cameroon. The fabric is beautifully embroidered with striking colours. Brides from Cameroon have embraced their culture, and it is gorgeous.

71. Nigerian bridal dress

traditional wedding dresses
A woman in an overflowing mermaid dress. Photo: @phationhub
Source: Instagram

An Igbo bride must have beads on her neck, hands, and hair. She is also expected to wear coral beads and hold a fancy tail or fan in her hands. Meanwhile, tying a wrapper at the chest, waist, or head is optional.

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72. Wedding dress from Cameroon

traditional wedding dresses
A woman carrying a fan while standing next to a man wearing an attire that matches hers. Photo: @cameroonian_weddings
Source: Instagram

The wedding dressing code of most Cameroonians is similar to that of neighbouring West African countries, especially Senegal. Senegalese and Cameroonian men wear boubou to their weddings, while women share clothing designs made from Dutch wax and ankara fabrics.

73. Cameroon wedding outfits

traditional wedding dresses
A happy couple laughing. Photo: @cameroonian_weddings
Source: Instagram

Velvet wedding attires look great on Cameroonian couples. A touch of African beads and other accessories lend the couple super traditional looks. Women used to wear kaftan-style dresses, kaba, and floor-length two-piece attires daily, not just on wedding days.

74. Ugandan traditional wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A woman in a Ugandan traditional wedding dress looking away from the camera. Photo: @ugandanweddings256
Source: Instagram

Ugandans are concerned with the exorbitant cost of preparing a traditional wedding. A modest traditional marriage ceremony costs $2,000 and $50,000. The event is expensive because of the high cost of the bride and her maids' wedding outfits and dowry.

75. Zambian wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A lady holding her dress. Photo: @zambiawedding
Source: Instagram

The people of Zambia have deeply rooted traditions. The chitenge outfit is an essential fashion detail in Zambian weddings. Brides can mix the chitenge with other fabrics to get a fantastic modern look.

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76. Yoruba wedding dress

traditional wedding dresses
A woman wearing an aso-oke fabric. Photo: @kikiz_fabs
Source: Instagram

The Yoruba traditional attire is made from aso-oke fabric. Brides ofter wear maroon, navy blue, light brown, or cream outfits. Additionally, each wedding dress must have an embroidery lace of any colour.

77. Xhosa bridal dress

traditional wedding dresses
A Xhosa bride carrying flowers. Photo: @PruddyPru Masuku
Source: Facebook

The umakoti (bride in Xhosa) has to look dashing, for she will be the centre of attraction on the wedding day. Her wedding attires signify that she is no longer a girl. A black doek wrapped around the head of the bride completes the traditional look and symbolizes respect for the elders.

78. Mijikenda bridal dress

traditional wedding dresses
A lady carrying a traditional milk guard. Photo: @mijikendatraditionalweddingske
Source: Facebook

The traditional hando skirt of the Mijikenda women is white, red or blue. They also ear brass, bronze, aluminium, or beaded anklets, necklaces, and bracelets. Cowrie shells are also a big part of their body decoration items.

79. Sotho traditional wedding dress in South Africa

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traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids standing behind the bride and groom. Photo: @sothobrides
Source: Instagram

Sotho women traditionally used Shweshwe to make dresses, skirts, aprons, and wraparounds. The Shweshwe clothing is for the newly married women in Sotho and Xhosa. Today, brides wear different fabrics.

80. Sotho bridal gown in Lesotho

traditional wedding dresses
A man holding a woman's hand. Photo: @sothobrides
Source: Instagram

Sotho women usually wear long dresses and skirts in vibrant colours and patterns. Traditionally, they used to have blankets around their waists. They would also wear traditional Basotho dress called the seshoeshoe to special functions. The seshoeshoe has endless varieties of designs, patterns and colours. Today, Sotho women wear Western-design dresses made from African fabrics.

81. South African Sotho wedding attire for a bride

traditional wedding dresses
A lady putting her hand on her waist. Photo: @sothobrides
Source: Instagram

The mokorotlo is a conical woven traditional Basotho hat with a top knot made of mosa grass. The hat is a national symbol and can be found on the Mountain Kingdom’s flag. This is one of the reasons Sotho brides tie or wear headpieces to their weddings. Today's brides do not wear the mokorotlo on their big day.

Traditional wedding dresses for bridesmaids

A wedding is not complete without gorgeous bridesmaids. The outfit chosen for them is equally important as it adds flavour to the event. Here is a look at breathtaking traditional dresses, 2022 designs and pictures:

1. Rwandese bridesmaids' attires

traditional wedding dresses
Rwandese bridesmaids wearing imishanana. Photo: @rwandan_wedding
Source: Instagram

Rwanda’s beautiful culture is usually seen at traditional marriage ceremonies. The bridesmaids wear imishanana inspired outfits. The choice of attire may be similar to that worn by the bride or slightly different.

2. Nigerian bridesmaids' attires

traditional wedding dresses
Nigerian bridesmaids standing on a tarmac road. Photo: @gio_designs
Source: Instagram

You have not seen class in African traditions if you are yet to witness the colourful Nigerian traditional marriages. Nigerian bridesmaids from different communities, especially the Yoruba and Igbo, wear stylish conventional outfits. The Yoruba aso-oke fabric is one of the best in 2020.

3. Burundi bridesmaids' dresses

traditional wedding dresses
Burundi bridesmaids standing beside the groomsmen. Photo: @consolerimage
Source: Facebook

In Burundi, a wedding reception includes drumming and cultural groups performing traditional songs and dances. The bride and her maids have two different designs of imishanana. They wear one at Gusaba Irembo, a pre-dowry or introduction ceremony, and the other at the main wedding. The events happen on different days.

4. Mijikenda traditional bridesmaids' attires from Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
Mijikenda bridesmaids dancing. Photo: @vanspixelske
Source: Instagram

In today’s marriage ceremonies, the Mijikenda brides and their maids wear dresses made from mixed colours of leso or kitenge fabric. The tops the women pair with their hando skirts are made of these fabrics. The brides carry pots and other traditional items to the wedding venue.

traditional wedding dresses
A Mijikenda bride and her maids standing behind milk guards and a pot. Photo: @mijikendatraditionalweddingske
Source: Instagram

Mijikenda women make the hando skirt by pulling threads along the fabric's grains in one direction to fray the fabric. It is then soaked in water and beaten against a tough surface while wet to soften the thread strands.

Mostly, they lay it on a stone or piece of wood and use a mortar & pestle. Next, a wide-toothed wooden comb called a mkowa is used to comb and untangle the threads to straighten the hando.

5. Zulu bridesmaids from South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
Zulu bride and her maids wearing traditional clothes. Photo: @fashionpolicing
Source: Instagram

Zulu’s iconic traditional ensemble is one of the most colourful in South Africa. Bridesmaids wear dresses that light up the event. There are numerous amazing bridesmaids' dresses in 2020 that celebrate the beautiful culture.

6. Sotho bridesmaids' outfits in Lesotho

traditional wedding dresses
A bride and her maids standing close to each other in a line. Photo: @lesothocameraman
Source: Facebook

The shweshwe design is popular among the Sotho people, and the majority of them live in South Africa. The fabric can be found in red, blue, and brown prints. The bride can modify the fabric in any design she likes.

7. Akan bridesmaids in Ghana

traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids staying close to the bride. Photo: @atchioua_photographie
Source: Facebook

In their poise to uphold the glory and culture of their country, the Akan brides always stun traditional weddings into classy kente-themed occasions. Some brides also wear a tekua, a traditional, crown-like bridal headdress. Meanwhile, the maids wear any other traditional or modern-traditional attire.

8. Venda bridesmaids South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
Venda bridesmaids and the bride taking a picture behind the house. Photo: @mukhethwa.mahlabe
Source: Instagram

South Africa is one of Africa's most diversified countries in terms of culture because of the different tribes, including the Venda. Traditional dresses for bridesmaids are embroidered with colourful stripes. The outcome is always amazing.

9. Xhosa bridesmaids in South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
A Xhosa bride and her maids wearing matching clothes. Photo: @nuvoink_beautybar
Source: Instagram

The Xhosa people are known for their beautiful culture. The bridesmaids look fantastic in the white and black-stripped dresses. The colour combination makes the outfit elegant and sophisticated.

10. Bridesmaids in Tsonga traditional wedding dresses

traditional wedding dresses
Tsonga brides in pretty blue and white clothes. Photo: @Mpumelelo Mabaso
Source: Facebook

The sophisticated flower detail is an important aspect of Tsonga bridesmaids' ensemble. The dress colour choice depends on the bride's taste and the wedding theme.

11. Cameroon bridesmaids' dresses

traditional wedding dresses
The bride and her maids standing on the doorsteps. Photo: @camerbeaute
Source: Instagram

Cameroonian weddings are a beautiful and colourful event. The bridesmaids rock in toghu inspired outfits. For an amazing look, the attire is designed to fit every lady.

12. Habesha bridesmaids' dresses in Ethiopia

traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids taking a photo with the bride. Photo: @habesha_dresses1
Source: Instagram

In Ethiopia, the Oromo peoples of Bale prefer leather garments, while women of Harar adorn themselves in red, purple, and black dresses. Meanwhile, the Afaris choose brightly coloured wraps made of cotton.

13. Ghanaian kente bridesmaids' dresses

traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids praying for the bride. Photo: @ghanawedding
Source: Instagram

Ghanaian brides wear kente themed apparel. The fabric makes the dresses unique across West Africa. Brides and their maids in other countries have also embraced the design.

14. Tswana traditional wedding dresses for bridesmaids

traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids carrying flowers. Photo: @botswanaweddings
Source: Instagram

The shweshwe design is common in Southern African countries. Botswana has also assimilated the design into their culture. A wedding can never go wrong with beautifully designed shweshwe outfits for the gorgeous bridesmaids.

15. Zimbabwe bridesmaids' attires

traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids and the bride standing in a line. Photo: @ancillarnombewu
Source: Instagram

Bridesmaids in Zimbabwe wear dresses made from the Shona ankara fabric. They have some of the most decent and also beautiful African dresses. The distinct embroidery can be blended with various matching colours.

16. Ugandan bridesmaids' dresses

traditional wedding dresses
A happy bride and her maids. Photo: @ugandanweddings256
Source: Instagram

A Ugandan wedding is not traditional if the bridesmaids do not wear gomesi apparel. They are an essential aspect that cannot be overlooked. The colour choice can vary, but the design should be gomesi.

17. Congolese bridesmaids' dresses

traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids standing on the grass. Photo: @Huldah Creation
Source: Facebook

Congolese bridesmaids' ensemble is made from liputa or kitenge materials. Bold and bright colours usually characterize Congolese weddings, for they light up the ceremony.

18. Ndebele bridesmaids' dresses in South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids carrying traditional clubs. Photo: @traditionalafricanweddings
Source: Instagram

South Africa is a beautiful country because of the many beautiful traditions among the people. Bridesmaids in Ndebele traditional weddings wear outfits with the culture’s iconic features. As an aspiring bride, having a Ndebele themed dress for your dream wedding is a fantastic idea.

19. Kikuyu bridesmaids' outfits in Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
Bridesmaids looking at the bride. Photo: @traditionalafricanweddings
Source: Facebook

Kikuyu and Maasai traditional weddings are the most recognized in Kenya. It is common for today's Kikuyu brides and their maids to rock traditional brown dresses decorated with cowrie shells and beads.

20. Maasai bridesmaids' dresses in Kenya

traditional wedding dresses
The bride and groom taking a photo with the bridesmaids. Photo: @LeCapturefotographie
Source: Facebook

Maasai’s brides and their maids put on the red, black, and white checked fabrics. The leso material can also be green. Today's brides wear white wedding gowns with traditional multi-coloured beaded necklaces, headpieces, and wrist bangles.

21. Habesha bridesmaids' outfits in Ethiopia

traditional wedding dresses
Ethiopian Habesha bride and bridesmaids wearing traditional dresses and regalia. Photo: @Karim K Young
Source: Facebook

The white-cotton outfits are beautifully embroidered to reflect the Habesha culture. The clothing design or colour difference sets women of different communities apart. Additionally, the embroidery patterns vary from one tribe to another on a massive scale.

22. Yoruba bridesmaids' attires in Nigeria

traditional wedding dresses
Yoruba bride and her maids standing on doorsteps. Photo: @yorubaweddings
Source: Facebook

In a Yoruba traditional wedding, the groom's friends wear agbada-designed attires from the same fabric. The bridesmaids also wear asoebi from the same fabric (typically lace) but sown in whichever style a maid prefers.

23. Cameroonian bridesmaids' dresses

traditional wedding dresses
Women wearing matching traditional outfits. Photo: @cameroonian_weddings
Source: Instagram

A Cameroon wedding is complete when the bride and her maids adorn themselves in ridiculously alluring traditional outfits. The toghu evening attires are quite popular among bridesmaids of this country.

24. Cameroonian bridesmaids' attires

traditional wedding dresses
Women dressed in blue toghu traditional dresses. Photo: @cameroonian_weddings
Source: Instagram

Although these strikingly beautiful toghu traditional dresses are quite expensive, women do their best to afford them because a wedding is an important rite of passage for Cameroonian communities. Men also provide them with the necessary financial support.

25. Zulu bridesmaids' outfits in South Africa

traditional wedding dresses
Zulu bridesmaids dressed in traditional clothes. Photo: @chayasaccessories
Source: Facebook

A Zulu bride attires at least thrice on her wedding day to show her beauty to her in-laws when dressed in different colours. The maids wear the traditional white attire with multi-coloured beads.

What do brides wear under their wedding dresses?

Brides wear strapless corset bras underneath strapless dresses. Wear sticky adhesive bras under backless dresses to give your butt a boost, and buy a slip or hoop if you are wearing a ball gown. The undergarments chosen must be the perfect fit and design.

How do I find the perfect African maternity wedding dress?

Choose a maternity dress that conceals or exposes the baby bump. Whatever you wear, ensure that it is comfortable.

What do you wear to a traditional African wedding?

Your religious beliefs, traditions, and sense of fashion should determine the dress you should wear on your big day.

What wedding dress looks best in plus size?

Choose a plus-size bride that flatters your asymmetrical features. A-Line, mermaid, and ball gowns will suit you. Look for one that has a drop waist, high-low hem, or corset.

Who wore the 12 million dollar wedding dress?

Martin Katz and Renee Strauss made a $12 million gown in 2006 from fine silk and 150 carats of diamonds. Nobody is yet to purchase it.

How much is a traditional wedding dress in South Africa?

The cost of a wedding gown varies with the brand. You can buy a locally-made dress at R17 000 to R45 000, but the average price is R20 000 to R30 000. Imported ones cost over R35 000.

Where to buy non-traditional wedding dresses

There are many online shops for wedding dresses in South Africa. For instance, shop at BRIDAL AISLE in Cape Town or Calegra Bridal House. You should also compare prices at Vintage Lace or check out the famous Bride&co shop. Additionally, be assured of getting quality dresses at HCC (Hannah Carolin Couture) shop.

What is the most popular wedding dress style?

Ball gowns, fit-and-flare dresses, mermaid styles, and A-line silhouettes have been popular for ages. These wedding dress designs are still trending in 2022.

Brides across African countries continue to appreciate the beauty offered by traditional wedding dresses. Tradition makes the ceremony lively and worth remembering. It also helps break away from the white wedding norm, which offers little diversity on the big day.

READ ALSO: Top 20 wedding venues in South Africa 2020

Briefly.co.za highlighted the top 20 spectacular sites where you can hold your marriage ceremony in Mzansi. The country is blessed with beautiful venues across its various towns and beaches.

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and you have to ensure every detail is attended to. Having the perfect wedding venue is an aspect that should never be overlooked. You have to choose a setting that fits your taste and budget.

Source: Briefly News

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