Ruracio, also known as the traditional Kikuyu wedding, is a cultural ceremony that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Unlike in the old days, today it has become a big celebration. In fact, some couples put more emphasis on Ruracio than the official wedding day.
The best part is that the Kenyan law recognizes traditional marriages, and as a result, many don’t see the need for another ceremony after the dowry has been paid.
This explains why we all want to look our very best on this big day. So, one of the most important aspects of Ruracio is the dressing code.
In this post, I share with you my go-to modern Ruracio dress ideas that will leave you looking glamorous, whether you want to go for something simple or sophisticated.
1. Ankara Corset Mermaid Dress
This dress is perfect if you want to showcase your curves while still including traditional elements. The dress features delicate embroidery on the bodice and a mermaid tail that complements your perfect figure.
2. Red Strapless Dress
The red strapless dress is a classic Ruracio dress perfect for brides who want to make a statement on their big day.
I borrowed the idea from the most glamorous Ruracio I have ever attended, and boy, did she look good!
The dress is usually paired with a beaded necklace and earrings to complete the look.
3. High-Low Dress
The high-low dress design has stood the test of time. The dress features a high-low hemline that allows the bride to showcase her footwear and beautiful legs. If you want to be daring and have a modern ruracio, this dress is perfect for you.
4. Off-Shoulder Ball Gown
If you love being unique and feel Ankara and Kikuyu traditional dresses have been worn too many times, then maybe you ought to try an off-shoulder ball gown for your Ruracio. It is a classic wedding dress that features a fitted bodice and a voluminous skirt that creates a dramatic effect. This dress will make you feel like a prom queen on your special day.
5. Net Gown with Ankara Embroidery Dress
The net gown with Ankara embroidery combines modern and traditional elements in the wedding attire. The dress features delicate netting and intricate Ankara embroidery that adds a pop of color to the dress. This dress is perfect for brides who want to make a statement while still staying true to their African tradition.
6. Lace Dress
A lace dress is a classic Ruracio dress that’s perfect for brides who want to keep their ceremony elegant yet simple. The dress features delicate lace that’s paired with a beaded necklace and earrings.
7. Two-Piece Dress
The two-piece dress is a modern Ruracio dress idea that’s perfect for brides who want to showcase their midriff. The dress features a crop top and a high-waisted skirt that complements the bride’s waist. This dress is ideal for girls who come from a modern Kikuyu family that embraces feminism.
8. Royal Blue Gown
A royal blue dress represents royalty: something every girl feels when she finds the love of her life. This color adds a touch of sophistication to the wedding attire. The best part is that you can be certain that you will look very unique on your wedding day. The dress features a fitted silhouette and a voluminous skirt that creates a dramatic effect.
9. Ankara Ball Gown
The Ankara ball gown is perfect for brides who want to incorporate African print in their wedding attire. The dress features bold, vibrant prints that make a statement. The voluminous skirt creates a dramatic effect on the dress.
10. Rwandese Traditional Wedding Dress
It’s never wrong to borrow ideas from cultures with a deep tradition. The Rwandese traditional wedding dress, often referred to as Mushanana features a wrap skirt and sash draped over one shoulder. When this design is incorporated with the Kikuyu traditional ochre color, it is a suitable Ruracio dress. The intricate design is perfect for brides who want to look unique and diverse.
11. African Print Maxi Dress
The African print maxi dress is perfect for brides who want to showcase their culture on their wedding day. The dress features bold, vibrant prints that make a statement. The maxi length adds a touch of elegance and modesty to the bride.
12. Ochre Mermaid Dress
The ochre mermaid dress is perfect for brides who want to add a touch of tradition to their wedding attire. The dress features delicate beading and a mermaid tail that complements the bride’s figure. This dress is perfect for brides who feel a special connection to their Kikuyu tradition.
13. One-Shoulder Ochre Dress
The one-shoulder dress is a modern Ruracio dress idea that’s perfect for brides who want to show off their shoulders and incorporate modern elements in their traditional wedding outfit. The dress features a fitted bodice and a voluminous skirt that creates a dramatic effect.
14. Off-Shoulder Mermaid Ankara Dress
The off-shoulder mermaid Ankara dress is perfect for brides who want to show off their shoulders and curves. The dress features delicate beading and a mermaid tail that perfectly complements the bride’s figure. This dress will leave you feeling glamorous on your Ruracio day.
15. Beaded Dress
A beaded dress is perfect for brides who want to add a touch of whimsy to their Ruracio attire while maintaining simplicity. The dress features delicate beading incorporated in a pattern that adds a pop of color to the dress. This dress brings out the fun, playful, and traditional side of the bride.
You may also want to know: Most Popular Kikuyu Traditional Dances
16. Ivory and Gold Dress
The ivory and gold dress is perfect if you want to add a touch of luxury to your Ruracio attire. The dress features an ivory pattern that complements the gold color beautifully. Want to feel like a queen on your ruracio? This is the most ideal dress for achieving that.
17. Modern Two-Pattern Maxi Dress
The modern two-pattern dress is a contemporary Ruracio dress idea that’s perfect if you would like to incorporate modern elements into your traditional wedding. The dress features two contrasting colors that create a bold and striking effect. This dress will help you make a statement on your big day.
How to Dress For a Ruracio as A Guest
As I mentioned earlier, Ruracio is a big ceremony, so when invited to attend one, you want to dress appropriately to show respect for the couple and their families.
Here are some tips on how to dress for a ruracio.
I. Be Conservative
Times may have changed, but tradition has not. A Ruracio is a ceremony that is steeped in culture and tradition, and the guest list comprises community elders.
Therefore, as a guest, dressing conservatively shows respect for the occasion.
Instead of wearing revealing attire such as short skirts and low-cut tops, why not opt for modest clothing such as a long dress, skirt, or pants?
II. Choose a Traditional Attire
There is no official dress code for a ruracio. However, a traditional outfit adds a festive mood to the occasion.
You can choose to wear an outfit with an African print such as Kitenge. Alternatively, you can have a traditional Kikuyu outfit made specially for such traditional occasions.
Make sure whatever outfit you choose to wear allows for flexibility and movement when you are invited to dance.
Learn more about Kenyan traditional outfits here: List of Traditional Kenyan Clothing That Identifies Kenyan Culture
III. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Weddings are joyous occasions, whether traditional or modern.
A Ruracio involves a lot of dancing, which you will want to be a part of when you attend the ceremony.
Let’s also not forget that the ceremony can last several hours, which might involve sitting or standing for long hours.