Traditional Wedding Looks in Asia: A Guide for Aspiring Makeup Artists

Wedding StyleWestern wedding culture is, more or less, homogeneous: it usually involves a white wedding dress and a veil, so you always have something familiar to work with. Asian wedding cultures, however, are vastly diverse — one makeup style and technique won’t work for all of them.

So, what’s a makeup artist to do? An Asian bridal makeup course can help you make clients glow on their wedding day, but it also allows you to understand their culture as well.

South Asia

Indian culture holds colours in high regard, so brides traditionally wear red wedding dresses as a symbol of love, passion and the rising sun. In addition to the bold dress colours, Indian brides wear loads of jewellery and sport a bindi, which is a red dot on the forehead. As such, makeup artists should accentuate her best features without going over the top and clashing with the traditional look.

East Asia

Chinese culture, similar to Indian culture, requires the bride to be decked out in red. Instead of the colour symbolising love and passion, however, the Chinese consider it as a symbol of good luck.

In Japan, brides wear a pure white kimono as a sign of purity during the formal ceremony. Afterwards, she will change into a red kimono which, as it does in China, symbolises good luck.

Meanwhile, brides wear a white woolen dress layered with colourful robes and aprons during a traditional Tibetan wedding. Similarly, Korean brides wear a Hanbok — South Korea’s national costume — in her colour (or colours) of choice. Simple and elegant makeup, then, balances the colourful affair.

Southeast Asia

In a traditional Vietnamese wedding, the bride wears a red or pink an Áo Dài, which is Vietnam’s national costume. She will match it with a cloak that features imperial symbols in the country.

Malaysian brides who opt for traditional Malay attire will typically wear a dress made from songket, a hand-woven textile with intricate gold patterns. The country is home to many indigenous cultures and has Hindu and Islamic regions, however, so there is not one specific wedding dress style.

Likewise, Indonesian brides have a variety of wedding dress styles to choose from, depending on their regional tradition. Generally, though, they wear brightly coloured dresses with embroidery.

Evidently, Asian cultures have an inclination towards colourful wedding dresses accompanied by elaborate accessories and headdresses. As such, makeup artists must find a balance between their client’s wardrobe and makeup to make them glow on their wedding day.