<p>A wealthy nomad bride from the Arutchun tun tribe of Babo, Tibet, poses for a photograph.</p>

A wealthy nomad bride from the Arutchun tun tribe of Babo, Tibet, poses for a photograph.

Photograph by Dr. Joseph F. Rock, Nat Geo Image Collection

Vintage Photos Show the Beauty of Brides Around the World

These century-old photos give a rare glimpse of bridal wear from many cultures.

The white bridal gown is a ubiquitous staple of the Western wedding. But this iconic look has a relatively short history: It was only popularized in 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert. Before that, white wedding dresses were only reserved for the elite who could afford to keep their clothes spotless.

Around the world, various wedding traditions bring with them a variety of outfits that extend far beyond the white dress. This photo gallery shows color, embroidery, animal furs, and jewelry adorning wedding finery around the world—and across decades.

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