These very elegant, ornate, and colorful wedding costumes are traditional bride&groom’s outfits used in Ukraine 100 years ago. The wedding clothes had to be bright and eye-catching so that each guest could distinguish the bride from the crowd. The costumes in this collection are complemented with modern bridal wreaths and jewelry – wonderful pieces that are replicas of authentic Ukrainian accessories or unique products of artisans’ imagination. Enjoy the bright colors and lovely wedding dresses!
Ukrainian traditional wedding outfits look magnificent. They are not only beautiful and bright but also very significant – each part of the costume has a deep symbolic meaning. For instance, the shirt was worn on the wedding day for the first time; it had to be brand new and embroidered by the bride herself. After this day, the shirt was preserved thoroughly and worn for important celebrations only.
The skirt-like garment called “plakhta” could be also made by the bride or her family members, or it could be bought. While in everyday life women wore dark-colored skirts, the bridal plakhta often was colorful – red, pink, green, royal blue, etc.
Another difference between the day-to-day and wedding attire is the belt. The brides used an embroidered towel instead of the belt. And, of course, this towel or so-called “rushnyk” had to be embroidered by her hand as well.
The bridal jewelry set was another wonderful item. Often, there were so many rows of necklaces that they fully covered the bride’s neck, chest, and even belly. The more jewels, the better, because it meant that the bride was wealthy and could afford to show off a bit. The wedding costumes displayed below are sporting not so many jewelry pieces, but here is an example of a richly bejeweled attire.
Ukrainian traditional bridal headdress was a wreath made from artificial flowers, wax and glass beads, foil, yarn pom-pons, fabric, sequins, or other decorations. The wreath had to be adorned with long (knee-length) ribbons. It was obligatory for the ribbons to cover the long hair – worn loose – all the way down. It is believed that they serve as a protection for the bride and her feminine energies. The wedding wreaths were usually purchased from local craftswomen who produced individual headwear for every bride.
Gorgeous collection of Ukrainian wedding outfits, early 20th century
The clothing articles are vintage, the wreaths and necklaces are modern. These costumes were displayed at the Wedding Ukraine exhibition (Viktor Yushchenko Museum of Ukrainian heritage, Kyiv outlet village “Manufactura”).
Modern replica of a wedding dress from Volyn’ region of Ukraine (western part of the country). The fabric of these garments is very special – it is so thin that is transparent. There is a special technique of producing this cloth, as it is handmade. And this ultra-thin linen fabric is typical for Volyn’ region. By the way, such clothes were the only one in Ukraine that needed an undershirt because of its transparency. The wreath is also a replica of an authentic headpiece – Kyiv region, 1950-60s. The craftswoman is Svitlana Vavilova
Vintage bride’s costume from Poltava region (central Ukraine), late 19th – early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Oksana Yahodka
Authentic female clothing from Vinnytsia region (west-central Ukraine), late 19th – early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Oksana Yahodka
Vintage bride’s attire from central Ukraine, late 19th – early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Oksana Yahodka
Authentic groom’s costume from Hutsul area (western Ukraine), 1931. This shirt is even signed by the name of its owner and the year (we’re not sure, but it must be the year of the wedding). You can also see a red kerchief tied around the sleeve – it is an obligatory accessory of a groom
Vintage bride’s outfit from Ivano-Frankivsk region (western Ukraine), late 19th – early 20th century. The headdress is called “chiltse” and it is a modern replica of the local bridal headwear. The headgear and necklace are both made by the craftswoman Svitlana Vavilova
Authentic women’s attire from Kyiv region (capital of Ukraine), late 19th – early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Oksana Yahodka
Vintage bride’s clothing in beautiful navy blue color. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Svitlana Vavilova
Authentic bridal outfit from Poltava region (central Ukraine), the beginning of the 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Svitlana Vavilova
Vintage female costume of a bride, early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Svitlana Vavilova
Authentic bride’s dress from central Ukraine, early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Svitlana Vavilova
Traditional bridesmaid’s attire from eastern Ukraine, the beginning of the 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswomen are Svitlana Vavilova and Olena Solovchuk