Red Wedding Dresses: What Do They Mean?

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What’s the first thing you think of when planning your dream wedding day?

For most women, wedding dresses rank first on their to-do list (next to the locations and the wedding rings). After all, THE dream is to walk down the aisle in a gorgeous wedding dress. In most cases (or bridal daydreams, at least), that wedding dress is white.

But here’s a thought: how about shopping for red wedding dresses?

White wedding dresses are the traditional choice for most weddings, but if you’re an out-of-the-box bride, consider colorful wedding dresses, especially the attention-catching red wedding dress.

Dramatic and bold, a red wedding dress is not for the faint of heart, but it can add a wow factor to your affair. In fact, Chinese brides wear red instead of white on their wedding day. In Chinese culture, red wedding dresses symbolize plenty of things (which we’ll get to later!)

So, if you need more persuading to wear red on your wedding day, here’s everything you need to know about the meaning of red wedding dresses, why you should go red and other red wedding dresses to try!

Red Wedding Dress Meaning: What Does It Symbolize?

While red is an unconventional color for a wedding dress, most modern brides prefer this shade because of its symbolism:

Good Fortune

In some cultures, red is the color of good luck. Chinese brides wear red to bring good fortune to their marriage. Indian brides also wear red to invite prosperity to this new chapter in their lives. So, if the bride has roots in these countries, they might wear a red wedding to honor their tradition and culture.

Love and Passion

Red is a color strongly associated with passion and love. If a bride chooses to go for red, this could be an expression of her love for her husband and the passion in their relationship.

Confidence and Boldness

Bold brides would rock red wedding dresses perfectly. Red is the perfect color for women who are confident and want to make a bold statement on their wedding day. After all, red is a powerful color compared to traditional white.

So, if you want to feel extra confident on your special day, look perfect in a red wedding gown.

What Cultures Wear Red on Their Wedding Day?

Indian Brides

As mentioned above, Indian brides wear red wedding dresses on their special day. While this color is often associated with hermits and monks, Indian women started wearing red in their weddings during the 16th century. Astrology is one of the biggest reasons for this color choice.

Hinduism and astrology are closely connected, and red is the color of the planet Mars, which rules over marriages. The Hindu goddess Durga, often colored in red, also symbolizes new beginnings and feminine power.

Chinese Brides

Chinese brides traditionally wore a red wedding gown with a red veil. As mentioned above, the Chinese saw red as a color of good luck and prosperity. On the other hand, Chinese brides rarely wore white for their weddings since the color is associated with mourning. Think of it as someone who is wearing black.

Why Do Brides Wear Red?

A Woman in Red Gown with Long Dress Train
Wow your guests by stepping out in a stunning red wedding dress. (Photo by Vivek Dabi from Pexels)

Still not convinced to make the switch to a red wedding dress?

If you’re considering shopping for a red wedding gown, know that you’re not the only bride thinking about it. Many brides choose red for their wedding dress due to a number of reasons, some of which you might resonate with.


Every wedding follows a certain color scheme. No matter what the color is, the bride should always stand out. Your wedding color palette might include red or other shades of red, so wearing contrasting shades might make you stand out (but not for the right reasons).

Make a statement at your wedding by having the rest wear either bold white or black while you stand out in a red wedding dress.

Flattering Look

Wearing white can make you look like the traditional bride — pure, innocent and gorgeous. This is probably why some brides choose to stick with a white wedding dress. Compared to white, red seems like an intimidating and dangerous bold color.

On the contrary, red wedding dresses are flattering for most women. The color enhances your body’s natural silhouette and gives you a blushing look.

Stand Out

Most brides want to be unique, so wearing a unique color (e.g. red wedding dress) is always an option. If you want to step out of the typical wedding box, go red with your wedding dress. You will surely stand out!

Is It OK To Wear a Red Wedding Dress?

There isn’t a bridal playbook that prohibits you from red or any color you want on your special day. If you want to wear a red wedding gown, you can.

However, it’s best to consult first with your groom and wedding organizers as there might be traditional or cultural practices to consider on your wedding day. While your opinion is the most important, it’s still in good taste to consult with the other people involved in your special day (especially your groom!).

Are Red Wedding Dresses for Me?

Most brides worry about wearing a red dress. What if it clashes with their makeup or hair color?

In terms of hair color, there are guidelines to consider when choosing red wedding gowns. Again, there are no set rules, and you should feel free to experiment. But if you need help, consider the following rules when wearing red on your wedding day.


Red was made for you! From icy and cool to golden and warm, red elevates and complements lighter hair perfectly. If your hair is very fair, try wedding dresses in softer reads. If you have warmer honey blonde hair, go for a wedding dress that is richer in hue.

Red Heads

If you have red hair, wearing a red dress might be the last thing on your mind. However, you don’t have to be afraid of this color! A red dress can still work for you.

Here’s a rule of thumb: cooler shades of red hair pair well with brighter red dresses. If your red hair has a warmer tone, go for a darker red gown.

Brunettes and Black Hair

You have all the freedom to experiment with red wedding dresses. Go crazy with colors like maroon, apple red or burgundy!

The Best Red Wedding Dresses to Try

With so many wedding dresses in red, finding THE dress can be difficult. So, we narrow down your choices for your big day.

Red Lace Wedding Dress

Red lace wedding gowns are showstoppers. With fitted bodices, open backs and elegant necklines, these stretch satin dresses will make you feel your best. Add drama to your lace wedding gown by adding a flared skirt and a stunning train.

Red and White Wedding Dress

If you’re still in love with the idea of a white wedding dress but want to wear red too, that shouldn’t be a problem. Get the best of both worlds by wearing a red and white wedding gown.

This white-and-red color scheme is perfect for brides who want to step out of their comfort zones, while still including the traditional bridal colors.

Wine Red Wedding Dress

Celebrate your special day with a beautiful wine red gown. This shade of red is the perfect color for ladies with black or dark brown hair. It also adds a touch of luxury to your bridal look. Create the perfect princess silhouette by going for a defined waist and full skirt.

Red Mermaid Gown

A mermaid-style wedding gown is a common choice for women who want a body-fitting dress for their wedding. This gown style has a glamorous flare from the knee or thigh. If you’ve got an inverted triangle or an hourglass figure, this is an excellent gown for you.

Customized Piece

If red is your favorite color, don’t hesitate to customize your wedding dress! This is one of the best ways to get creative with your dream dress. Feel free to add some red accents here and there. Don’t hesitate to bring your dream dress to life.

The Bottom Line: Go Red With Your Wedding Dress

Wearing a red wedding dress can symbolize many things for any bride. It can also be the perfect look for a bride who wants to make a statement. Although some brides feel hesitant or worried about wearing a bold color, there’s no reason to distance themselves from the red color.

If you and your groom love the idea of wowing your guests, go for red!

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