Stylish African traditional wedding dresses guaranteed to turn heads in 2023, 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.
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 2023.
30 traditional wedding dresses in 2023
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.
1. Kente conventional wedding dress from Ghana
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
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
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.
4. Rwandese bridal dress
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
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
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
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.
8. Yoruba attire from Nigeria
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
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
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.
11. Venda wedding dress from South Africa
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
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
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
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.
15. Sepedi traditional wedding dresses from South Africa
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
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
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
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.
19. Wedding dress from Zambia
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
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
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
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.
23. Hausa dress from Nigeria
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
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
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
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.
27. Akan dress from Ghana
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
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
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.
30. Zulu marriage outfit from South Africa
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.