The Traditional Armenian Wedding Dress

Did you know that in ancient times, Armenian brides never wore white dresses for a wedding, and that engaged women wore a ring not only on their ring finger but also on the thumb? By the way, the ring could also be made of not only gold but silver.

The red color of the female wedding attire personified happiness and the family hearth, while the green color in the male attire was a symbol of fertility.

Mandatory attributes of the women’s wedding attire were a belt and an apron. Sewn from red or purple silk, the belt contained the inscription “for the joy of what will be worn” and the bride’s name. The apron could be of any color but was always decorated with an ornament to protect the bride from the evil eye. The bride’s chest garment was decorated with embroidery too.

Brides also wore a pearl chain decorated with gold or silver coins on their head. Generally, brides wore many pieces of jewelry – it was believed that the clink of jewelry scared away evil spirits and the evil eye.

The groom’s wedding suit was sewn from expensive, quality fabric. The clothes of the bride and groom were mandatorily blessed by a priest.

On the wedding day, the priest tied a ribbon of red, green, and white threads on the wrists of the newlyweds. Red symbolized the bride, green symbolized the groom, and white symbolized innocence. The ribbons were removed after the wedding.

The bride was dressed by the wife of the Qavor (godfather from the groom’s family), and young girls assisted her – they braided the bride’s hair and helped her put the jewelry on.

The wedding dress for the bride was sewn by the groom’s side. The bride’s outfit was complemented by a long, to the knees, silk veil, which the wife of the Qavor decorated with a crown of multi-colored ribbons. The veil was pierced with seven needles so that it would not slip and so that it would protect the bride from the evil eye.

As for white wedding attire, it was especially widespread in Soviet Armenia in the 1970s. These dresses were either sewn or borrowed from someone. However, in an urban environment, white outfits have been common since the 19th century.

Original by Melania Hakobyan

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