Photographer Monir Ali infuses a touch of simplicity, sophistication and subtle romance in his Indian wedding pictures. Playing with shadows, silhouettes and lighting, Monir creates a stunning effect that you cannot help but admire. What makes these Indian wedding pictures especially striking is the emphasis on the sky backdrop and the unity of the Indian wedding couples. For couples that are looking to make their Indian wedding pictures memorable, it is important to remember that they do not need to over the top. It is in fact the minimal details in Indian wedding pictures that turn the simple into the striking.
In a country whose basis of unity, arises not from the similarity, but the diversity of its people, it doesn’t come as a surprise when the festivities take multifarious forms as well. One comes across starkly contrasting cultures and traditions without even having to leave the country. Speaking of festivities and jamboree, which other celebration could kindle more euphoria than a good old Indian wedding! And believe it or not, like many other happy occasions celebrated in India, a wedding too has many a genre (and many kind of indian bridal dresses). So whether its north, south, east or west, every wedding is different from the rest!
If weddings in a country can be of so many styles, why on earth should the bride’s wedding dress be much behind? Unlike the West, where most brides don a white wedding gown for their special day, in India, brides wear different colours and attires depending on their culture and the state they come from. Quite aptly reflecting the spectacular melange of the motherland, Indian Bridal dresses are so varied and rich in culture, that they deserve special mention. So let’s take it from the top! (Pun intended).
In the land of Kashmir, beautifully embroidered red, pink or yellow lehengas, are the norm when it comes to bridal dresses. Kashmiri Pandit brides are also known to wear a head gear, called Kalpush, which is essentially an extensive cap folded three or four times and lined with silk or cotton from the inside. The Dupatta is put over the Kalpush, which enhances the look of the bride.
When it comes to accessorising, antique gold jewellery makes quite the style statement with moderately done makeup. The bride adorns intricate necklaces, gold bangles around the wrists and Paayal and toe ring in her feet. Another unique ornament worn by the Kashmiri bride, is the Dejharoo, which is a pair of gold pendants hanging by a gold chain worn as earrings. In addition to this, a two meter long waist band also forms an integral part of the bride’s outfit.
Kashmiri Muslim brides on the other hand, wear a long loose fitting robe known as Pheran which is quite beautifully embroidered and is well suited to the cold weather conditions of Kashmir. It is usually Red in colour and is worn with a head gear similar to that worn by the Kashmiri Pundit brides, but is known as the Kasaba. It is held tight by silver pins and trinkets and decorated with gold embroidery and embellishments of silver pendants hanging on the forehead.
Although there is so much diversity within the two kinds of Kashmiri bridal outfits, it can also be seen that they are quite similar in many ways, thus making them some of the most unique Indian bridal dresses.
Punjabis are known to be fun-loving and enthusiastic people who do not miss a single chance to celebrate their culture. The bridal attire for a Punjabi bride is usually a lehenga or salwar-kameez. The colour of the bridal attire is generally very bright which compliments the brides’ fair skin-tone. The salwar kameez consists of a long, straight blouse going below the knees, with two slits on either side. This garment is called the kameez and can be seen in tons of different colors, embroideries, pleating, and other embellishments. The salwar on the other hand, is flared with a horizontal band at the end. This look is incomplete without the traditional duppata or scarf worn in front.
Punjabi brides carry off this look with great ease and perfection, thus listing Punjab as one of the most stylish states, when it comes to Indian bridal dresses.
With changing times, many Indian Bridal dresses have become subject to miscellany, but when it comes to Gujarati wedding attires, ethnicity is the key. The style of wearing the sari is unique, with the Pallav facing the front, instead of the back, like in most Indian bridal dresses. There are basically two types of wedding saris for a Gujarati bride, one of them is the Panetar which is basically a white sari arnamented with a red Bandhini border, and the other type is the Gharchola which is a red Bhandini sari crisscrossed with woven gold squares, that enclose bandhini motifs. Though red is considered as the most auspicious colour for the bride, now-a-days contemporary colours and experimental designs have also become a hot favourite option for the brides-to-be. Designer bridal lehangas available in different shades are also gaining momentum and are substituting the traditional sarees.
The Maharashtrians are very simple and down-to-earth people, so naturally, their wedding attire too tends to be less bedazzled and ornamented than other Indian bridal dresses. The traditional attire for Maharashtrian brides is the Paithani saree. It tends to be single or dual coloured, mostly gold, yellow, or green with beautifully embellished golden borders. The Maharashtrian brides have been known to favour the colour green, and why not! The splendid green colour of the Marathi bridal dress gives it an edge over other Indian bridal dresses which are usually red in colour. The paithani sarees have thick, oblique-square designs on the borders, with motifs of peacocks, kaleidoscopes, parrots etc. in the pallu of the saree. Along with this, traditional gold jewellery with simplistic makeup add the finishing touches to this amazing piece of garment. No wonder the Marathi wedding outfit is one of the best Indian Bridal Dresses.
Much like the Marathi weddings, Bengali weddings too are humble and unpretentious affairs. A Bengali bride’s traditional wedding sari is usually made in Banaras silk, white in colour with a red, maroon or pink border. The sari, though simple in appearance, exudes elegance and grace with gold zari or buta work. These wedding saris also come with amazingly done motifs, which gives the entire outfit, a very ethereal look, further accentuated by sophisticated pearl and kundan jewellery. The Bengali bride also dons a head gear called Mukut, and her make-up also consists of artistically designed red and white dots on the sides, and a big red bindi in the centre of her forehead. Reflecting beauty and elegance, the Bengali bride is certainly a gem for the onlookers, as much as the Bengali Wedding saree is a gem for the Indian Bridal dresses.
Like in many other Indian bridal dresses, the traditional wedding attire for a Rajasthani bride is a Lehenga, which is essentially a three piece garment consisting of a blouse called the Choli, a long skirt called the Ghagra and a Dupatta or a scarf, which beautifully complements the former.
A lot of Gota work is used on the Rajasthani version of the Indian bridal dress. The impressive use of appliqué, with intricate patterns that are embroidered in fine gold threads, not to mention the Zari ribbon, enhance the richness and beauty of this bridal outfit manifold.
Rajasthani brides are known to splurge on lots of jewelry for their wedding day, that mainly consists of a Rakhri which is a circular piece of jewelry for the forehead, Balis or hanging earrings, the Chooda which is a set of gold and ivory bangles, Timaniyaan – which is a choker studded with uncut diamonds and jems embedded in gold leaf, Bichuye – gold anklets, Bajubandh or stone-studded armlets, and a Nath – a nose ring. The distinctive outfit and extraordinary jewelry, not only add to the look of a Rajasthani bride, but also make the Rajasthani wedding attire stand out from all other Indian bridal dresses.
Marked with modesty and soberness, Assamese weddings are attractive and beautiful in their own way. The traditional dress worn by the Assamese bride is called a Mekhla, which is a garment generally created from Muga silk, and adorned with gold and silver threads. Mekhla is quite an interesting ensemble, as it surely appears like a sari, but unlike the usual single cloth saree, mekhla comprises of two to three pieces of clothing, a feature which distinguishes it from other Indian Bridal dresses.
The first part of the Mekhla is worn as a skirt and the other half is draped like an anchal of the sari. The fabric on the anchal part is light-weight and flowy, whereas the fabric of the skirt is ornamented with a broad border and embroidery and is relatively heavier in texture. These Mekhlas are designed in a myriad of rich colors such as blue, green, yellow and red, which is again a distinguishing feature of this Indian bridal dress.
For the Assamese bride, jewelry is the most important form of accessory. Most of this jewelry is made of gold and is worn in contemporary or traditional designs, but some Assamese jewelry is also made by hand, and is called Jun Biri. The Jun Biri designs are immensely inspired by nature, musical instruments and various Assamese household goods, a form which is never seen in any other Indian Bridal dresses.
Telugu brides are known to wear red silk sari for the big day, as this color is considered to be very auspicious, which also holds good for many other Indian bridal dresses. The bride can also choose a color that is similar to red, such as crimson or orange, the main idea being that it should be bright. The attire is then aptly matched with traditional pieces of jewelry in gold and pearls.
In Tamil Nadu, gorgeous Kanchipuram saris make up the dress code for the wedding day. For ages, rich silk Kanchipuram sari has been the hallmark of any Tamil bride’s wedding ceremony. Replete with traditional motifs, the six yard long sari, apart from gold thread work, also has magnificent sequins and embroidery work, making it one of the most elegant Indian bridal dresses.
India has always been big on traditions and customs. In fact they are the true essence of India. Each Indian state has its own set of rituals, customary food and clothes that make them unique. Many such cultures are slowly dying with people opting for modern alternatives. For the revival of said beautiful customs and practices, we have put together a list of breath taking traditional Indian bridal dresses.
Nargis Fakhri in Rockstar dressed as a typical Kashmiri Bride in the complete attire. The brides wear a loose fitting shirt known as the Pheran which is most suitable for the cold climate. Indian bridal dresses such as these are accessorised with jewellery and a head gear known as the Kasaba which is a piece of cloth. The Kasaba is embroidered and embellished with silver trinkets that hang on the forehead.
The Kanjeevaram Sari
A traditional Tamil bride wears a beautiful and elegant 9 yard Kanjeevaram silk Sari in bright colours and brocade work. Heavy traditional jewellery like the Oddiyanam or waist belt, Nethichutty or maang tika, Vanki or arm band and Maangamalai a mango shaped necklace is worn.
Most Muslim brides opt for a very traditional Indian dress called the ‘Gharara’. The Gharara originated in Lucknow during the era of Nawabs. It consists of a kurti, dupatta and wide legged pants that are ruched at the knees and flare gracefully. Indian bridal dresses such as these are the epitome of elegance.
Princess Mehrun-nisa of Rampur is seen dressed up as a typical Muslim bride with the traditional gharara and jewellery like the Mathapatti and Jhumar. In most Ghararas, the kurti is left plain while the dupatta is wrought with heavy brocade, and embroidery. The flared pants are paid the most attention ranging from chiffon, to Kamkhab and Benarasi material with intricate zari and zardozi work.
A Maharashtrian bride is incomplete with the traditional Indian dress, Paithani. Paithani is a silk sari hand-woven in Aurangabad. They have detailed patterns and motifs like the border has oblique and slanting patterns while the pallu usually has a peacock made on it. Traditionally, the brides only wore yellow and golden Paithanis for their Indian bridal dresses, but over the years the colours blue and green have increased in popularity. The jewellery is somewhat heavy with a gold choker and several other long necklaces, traditional Marathi jhumkas, mango shaped nose rings and a bajuband or armband.
The Mekhla Chadar
The traditional wedding dress of Assam is the Mekhla Chadar an off white or cream sari made of Muga silk. It is characterized by striking golden silk embroidery all over the sari. It actually consists of three different pieces of clothing meticulously draped so that it distinctly resembles a sari. The traditional Assamese jewellery is called the Jun Biri which is handmade wrought with coloured stones and is half-moon shaped. The Maang tika is a very important element of these Indian bridal dresses, as it has typical Assamese motifs.
Photographer Gurvir Johal creates magic through his stunning bridal photography, with the goal of capturing images that will re-live through time. There is such uniqueness and a flair of sophistication to Gurvil’s photography. Indeed, nothing compares to the sheer beauty of brides captured in their Indian wedding dresses for their bridal portraits. Whether brides are seen posing in white Indian bridal dresses or traditional red bridalwear, the images speaks a thousand words of elegance and sophistication. He transports brides to beautiful and lavish settings such as in front of stunning architecture and intricate outdoor domes, reminiscent of a fairytale love story. Each image paints a stunning and beautiful story, and the bride’s elegance is captured exquisitely through their Indian wedding dresses.
Indian bridal dresses are an extension of the bride on one of the most special days of her life. Not only does the bridalwear emanate a bride’s radiance and beauty, but makes her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. A quick tip for Indian brides wanting to look absolutely stunning and glamorous in their bridal portraits: Choose Indian bridal dresses that make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world as it is one of the most important days of your life! Also remember to trust the photographer, he knows best!
Did you already choose your wedding dress for the D-Day?
Bollywood’s young brigade definitely ruled the green carpet at the IIFA Awards, showcasing a gorgeous section of Indian fashion and designers with unique styles, impressing myself, and the fans with their elegance and originality.
I have personally chosen each of these looks as I love the diversity, embellishment and colours of each of the gowns which were proudly shown off as the stars one by one graced the green carpet. Vaani Kapoor specifically stood out for me, showcasing a stunning embellished gold tone backless dress by Raakesh Agarvwal, a sure favourite of mine. The highly embellished gowns in general were definitely my preference amongst the fashion designs; it’s a key look for this season and is extremely flattering and stands out from a crowd.
Kalki Koechlin was a key example of how to wear embellishment, wearing Gaurav Gupta, she stood out at the IIFA Awards in this dazzling soft coloured number detailed with shoulder padding detail and long sleeves which created a princess style look.
Deepika Padukone had opted for a red gown by Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad, she looked gorgeous in this figure hugging lace number and simple updo hairstyle, and although the dark berry lips weren’t for everyone, I personally loved them! In general lip colour at the IIFA Awards was very neutral and nude, a trend and overall fashion look that has taken this season by storm, and successfully completes every look. Especially for brides, a nude lip creates a subtle but noticeable make-up look, which will go with almost every gown colour and style.
All in all, I’d say that the Indian wedding dresses and gowns and fashion showcased at the IIFA Awards are some of the best I’ve seen for a long time, they had me wishing I owned half of them!
Here is a selection of some of my favourite styles from the IIFA Awards
The Lakme Fashion Week is underway in Mumbai in India. Yet another fashion week I hear you say? It certainly is one more, but it’s exciting because Mumbai and this fashion week has been the hot-bed of Bollywood and the stars.
The designers from Mumbai, both who show there and the ones that are from there, are usually very well connected with the Bollywood stars and they get the stars to walk on the ramp for their shows. The show stoppers get as much attention as the clothes on the ramp!
This year, some Pakistani designers have also participated in the Lakme Fashion Week. A very welcome step, and one that got some beautiful styles to the Indian ramps. I love both types of designers, so for me this was very exciting!
The themes generally were very floral oriented. This did not make too much sense for an Autumn Winter collection, but certainly the styles are perfect for SS 15. Here are some of my favourite pics thus far – I have tried to balance the bridal and the non-bridal collections, since I LOVE bridal fashion but do have an interest in fashion obviously!
Perfectly color coordinated Men and Women’s bridal outfits gave a new definition to wedding trousseaux at Lakmé Fashion Week 2014. All these bridal collections filled the atmosphere with a feeling of royalty. The dramatic silhouettes presented by the designers took the audience back to the Mughal Era.
Designers like Gaurang Shah, Shyamal & Bhumika, Anushree Reddy,Tarun Tahiliani and many others showcased their exquisite Summer/Resort bridal collections at the fashion show.
Chogas, kalidar lehengas, sherwanis and panelled kurtas were showcased for men. Whilst, embroidered kali details were displayed for saris, angarkhas, zari zardozi embroidery work.
Designer Gaurang Shah, presented his ‘Chandbali’ collection which were a rainbow of colors and styles in an ode to the modern bride at the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2014.
His garments were mostly kanjeevarams with kalamkari creations. The dresses he presented were inspired by panchantantra stories and highlighted the intricate Korvai weaving known for its grace and elegance.
Bringing to centre stage, the ancient Jamdani weaving technique, Gaurang’s “Chandbali” was poetry in fabric form as he presented the odhna weaves on organza while the embroidery on khadi recreated the antique zardosi style.
The collection was designed in hues of surkh red, gulabi pink, zard yellow, narangi orange, sabz green ensuring the 21st century bride had ample options.
The show stopper for his show was Kirron Kher in a shocking pink brocade sari.
Designers Shyamal and Bhumika presented their spring/summer bridal wear collection at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2014.
For the ensemble called “A Mystical Garden” the ballroom was turned into a garden with the backdrop of flower bouquets and flowers lined on both the sides of the ramp.
A variety of silhouettes were showcased like flared skirts, flared maxis and gowns, ankle-length dress, short top over embroidered churidar and corset over panelled net skirt, saris.
The men’s wear had jackets, pleated shirts, trousers and polo pants.
Colors that dominated the runway included peach, beige, rose, rose pink, aqua, peach, and chocolate brown.