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Why Do Indian Brides Wear Red?

Why Do Indian Brides Wear Red

In India, the colour red is thought to be auspicious and common in bridal attires. But have you ever wondered what is the reason behind it? Read on to find out!

In Western countries, softer colours are deemed to be pure and peaceful. No wonder the colour white, which is considered to be a symbol of peace and purity, is preferred for bridal dresses(see these for example). However, in Indian culture, there is a stark difference in how we perceive the significance of colours.

An Indian bride is usually seen wearing an elegant red bridal costume. The custom of wearing red can be traced back to several hundred years. Nowadays, many brides are experimenting with other vibrant colours or even going bold with pastels during their wedding. 

However, the colour red hasn’t lost its glory as it is still one of the most popular shades even among celebrity brides like Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra.

Learning about the reason for this popular and nearly universal tradition may be interesting for the brides-to-be.

Why is the colour Red favoured for Bridal Costumes in India:

1. Symbolic Significance

Why Do Indian Brides Wear Red

Red is such a beautiful and rich tone. Throughout the world, the colour red has been linked with love, compassion, and intimacy. A red rose is considered to be a symbol of love and exchanged by lovers in different cultures. 

In India, colours are associated with deeper meaning and symbolism. Red is not just limited to bridal attires but also a significant colour in religious Hindu ceremonies. Psychologically, the importance of the colour red can be different for different people as it can dignity various modes and emotions.

The colour red is attributed to passion, prosperity, and blessings. For some people, the colour red may also signify the journey into married life.

Red is also the colour of blood and therefore, in some cultures, it may also symbolilze fertility.

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2. Cultural Significance

Meaning and Symbolism of Red Wedding Dresses

While most brides may not be aware of the historical significance and origin of the colour red they are knowledgeable about the cultural and religious significance of the colour. Red is also the colour of vermilion worn by married women which represents the marital status of a woman and is also considered to bring good health and long life for her husband.

Furthermore, married women also sport accessories and makeup coloured in red like lipstick and bangles. The red bindi is often reserved for married women while unmarried girls wear a black bindi or prefer choosing other colours instead of red.

Red best suits the beauty and nature of a new bride because it is just as glorious and vibrant as the bride herself.

3. Religious Significance

Wedding Dress Dream Meaning Interpretation

Goddesses are given special importance in Hinduism. Durga Mata is known to be one of the most powerful goddesses, who represent “shaktior power. Her feminine nature represents life, bravery, strength, and love.

She helped restore peace in the world by defeating the monster, Mahisasur. She has many forms but is usually presented as a fiery female wearing a red saree, sindoor and decorative ornaments that married women wear as she is a form of Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva.

Married women look up to her as the ultimate symbol of feminine strength and source of marital blessings. Therefore, many brides wear red to represent the image of the goddess and also get her blessings for a happy and fulfilling married life. 

4. Aesthetic Significance:

Aesthetic Significance

During a wedding, every bride and groom want to stand out from the crowd because it’s the most important day of their life and they deserve all the attention and praise. The colour red is an absolutely rich, vibrant, and beautiful colour, as beautiful as the newlywed bride.

If you remember high school physics, we learned that the wavelength of red colour is the highest which makes it the most dominant colour in nature, visible from afar. Consequently, the bride may opt for red only because of its aesthetic beauty and its ability to stand out.

Gold is another auspicious colour and gold jewellery is considered to be auspicious by most Hindu communities. The bride, therefore, wears a lot of gold jewellery as well and the combination of red and gold gives a royal and elegant feeling.

No other colour combinations look as ethereal as gold and red.

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5. Astrological Significance:

Astrological Significance

Red is the colour of the planet Mars and this planet has special importance in astrology as it is considered to be an influential planet that governs marriage. Mars is believed to bring all the good things into your married life including love, understanding, happiness, prosperity, and forges strong bonding with your partner

Since women are traditionally the ones who leave their home after marriage, they wear this auspicious colour to bring all the good luck they can with them for a smooth transition into their married life.

Even though red is one of the most popular colours for Indian brides, it is not the only colour mein for bridal attires. Many brides choose other colours including dark pink primrose, dark green, navy blue maroon, purple, etc. Nonetheless, the colours are dark, rich, and bright for aesthetic beauty.

The bride may choose to wear fashion jewellery to go with the costume colour they pick. Modern Indian brides are daring to experiment with lighter shades of pinks and pastels paired with light coloured jewellery, a trend that gained popularity after the wedding of Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli. 


Red is considered to be an auspicious colour and is an important part of most Hindu rituals. No wonder, most Hindu brides traditionally prefer wearing red bridal attire. This colour enhances the beauty of the bride and makes her the centre of attention on her big day. It also goes well with gold jewellery.

However, aesthetic value is only a fraction of the reason why brides wear red. The colour red is symbolic and has a religious connotation. It may represent the image of Durga Mata, or the colour of the planet Mars, which is the prominent planet of marriage in astrology. The red colour may also represent passion, love, and prosperity. There’s no special reason for the bride to wear a specific colour and modern brides are free to endeavor to select from an enormous range of color options.

Even though there are no hard rules regarding the colour of bridal attire, certain colours like white and black are still a strict no-no as many people believe these colours have a bad impact and are resisted in most Hindu religious ceremonies.

Will brides experiment with these colours in the future? Only time can tell. However, even with all the variety of colours available, red and reddish tones are still the most popular among Indian brides. 

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