Tag: wedding sarees

A Love Affair with Indian Bridal Dresses

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).

KASHMIR:

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.

Indian Bridal Dresses - Kashmiri Pandit and Muslim Bride
Kashmiri Pandit Bride                                                  Kashmiri Muslim Bride

PUNJAB

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.

Punjabi lehenga and salwar kameez
Punjabi lehenga and salwar kameez

GUJARAT

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.

Panetar
Panetar
 Gharchola
Gharchola

MAHARASHTRA

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.

Maharashtra
Emerald Green Saree. Traditional Make-Up from Maharashtra

BENGAL

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.

Bengal
Traditional orange saree from Bengal
Bengal
Traditional white saree from Bengal

RAJASTHAN

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.

rajasthan
Red Rajasthani ensemble
rajasthan
Pink Rajasthani ensemble

ASSAM

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.

Assam
Assamese attire

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.

ANDHRA PRADESH

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.

Andhra Pradesh
Bride wearing an orange saree in Andhra Pradesh

TAMIL NADU

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.

Tamil Nadu
Kanchipuram sari from Tamil Nadu

 

The Many Facets of Indian Brides

Freelance photographer Vijeta Shrivastava, based in Bhopal, India, creates magic behind her lens and infuses her photography with beauty and vibrancy. She does just this through capturing beauty shots of Indian brides below.

There are various looks Indian brides need to embrace in adaption to the various different Indian wedding ceremonies, such that pretty soon the bride will lose track of her celebrity-like outfit changes! The first shot is of a beautiful bride taken during an Indian wedding ceremony. The black and white effect with an emphasis on the red vermilion powder on the bride’s forehead or sindoor, symbolises her marital status. The placing of sindoor is not simply thought of as an Indian wedding ritual, but signifies the husband’s long life.

Bride at an Indian Wedding Ceremony
Bride at an Indian Wedding Ceremony

Once the Indian wedding ceremonies have taken place, it is time for the glamorous bridal shoots to commence. Yes I know, it is difficult to contain the excitement, as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all brides to get completely dolled up for one of the biggest days of her life! The Indian bride captured in the stunning shot below is seen wearing a magenta and emerald green bridal ensemble with delicate embroidery. As important as a bride’s Indian wedding attire is, a high attention to detail should also be given to her Indian wedding jewellery choices. The bride below is seen wearing a stunning peice of hair jewellery or maang tika on her forehead, adorned with delicate pearls and semi-precious stones.

Indian bridal jewellery
Indian bridal jewellery

Some quick, yet important tips for all the Indian brides to be is to select your bridalwear with high attention to detail and in accordance to the different Indian wedding ceremonies. For traditional wedding ceremonies, a saree will be a beautiful option for Indian brides, as it is the epitome of grace and femininity. A saree or bridal lehenga are common choices for Indian brides to wear on her big wedding day. Opt for bright colours with elegant embroidery to stand out on your special day. Browse a variety of stunning bridal wear at Strand of Silk.

For more stunning shots by our featured photographer, Vijeta Shrivastava, be sure to check out her Facebook page as well!

Hot Bridal Picks from Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week SS15

It feels like just the other day I was anticipating the arrival of fashion week and before I know it, it’s done and dusted! Indeed, the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week SS15 has come to a close, but I am still not over the hot fashion trends that set the ramp on fire! With the wedding season upon us, there is no better time than to provide all my readers with an overview of my favourite Indian designer bridal looks on the ramp. After all, if you are shopping for the wedding season, you may as well do it in style. 😉

Viral, Ashish & Vikrant: Designing for Meaning

Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week SS15 certainly garnered my oohs and aahs over some of the exquisite collections that adorned the ramp this year. Now what can I say about Viral, Ashish and Vikrant’s collection, Virtues, on Day 2 of Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week? Their collection put the phrase, designing for meaning, truly into perspective. The first half of the show featured a display of powder blue pinstripes, leading into a stunning kaleidoscope of red hues, flowing silhouettes and elegant detailing. You will certainly be able to find a quirky, fusion element in this collection, with detailed dresses, jacket kurtas and asymmetrical dresses that flow gracefully with every step. The collection shed light on HIV and made prominent the message of equality. Amidst the glitz and glam of Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week, I think it is equally important to address a strong message such as this, and through what better medium than design? Overall, the collection struck the right chord with the cuts, fabrics, colours and detailing, making it an ideal choice for brides to flaunt at their outdoor mehendi event. The best thing I like about this collection is that the styles look so effortless and comfortable to carry off, yet give off such a chic vibe!

Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week
A beautiful number from the Virtues collection by Ashish, Viral and Vikrant at Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week SS15.
Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week -  Ashish, Viral, Vikrant
A spectacular parade of corals on Day 4 of Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week SS15.

Rabani & Rakha: Go Gold Goddess

Day 4 of Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week saw Rabani and Rakha’s stunning gold palette dawn the ramp. Indeed, bridalwear has expanded beyond the horizons of red…and nowadays you can even paint the town red in a stunning gold number. 😉 The collection had beautiful accents of ivory and sun-kissed peach. The highlight of Rabani and Rakha’s collection at Wills Lifestyle Fashion week were their subtly embroidered net sarees and gold sequined blouses that definitely upped the glam factor. Along with traditional Indian attire, the collection saw a fusion of gorgeous dresses and gowns, cleverly layered with luxurious lace, tulle, embroidery and brocade work. For a chance to shine and feel like a gold goddess, I would definitely opt for a gold number for one of my wedding functions!

Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week - Rabani and Rakha
Rabani and Rakha shine with an all gold collection at Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week SS15.

Sahil Kochhar: Floral Garden

The Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week also saw designer Sahil Kochhar display his beautiful collection on Day 4. There are two words I have for this collection and those are, hello details! This collection certainly stole my heart; everything about the collection was stunning from the colour choices, to the geometric embroidery, floral detailing and intricate cutwork done skilfully in the gowns and jackets. Sahil’s collection cleverly incorporates Sanjhi, which is a unique and intricate paper cutting craft from Mathura, India, through the use of stencils and embroidery in striking colour combinations. Taking a closer look at the sheer work gone into his designs, I am especially in awe of his 3D hand cut petal embroidery. Sahil’s all silk concept and beautiful detailing make the collection so apt for a bridal function, such as a Sangeet, and give it an oh so luxurious and unique touch!

Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week - Sahil Kocchar
A stunning orange number from Sahil Kochhar’s collection.
Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week - Sahil Kochhar
One word…stunning!

Rohit Bal: Royal Rose

They say the best things come to those who wait and this was certainly true for Rohit Bal’s finale collection at Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week. Think for a second that you are being transported into a fairytale era, where dusty pink roses and a sweet fragrance lingering in the air are the norm. Let’s not forget the soft, romantic flow of the moon and shimmering lights encapsulating the place. Rightly so, this year’s theme was Gulbagh, a garden of roses, drawing inspiration from the flora of Kashmir. Rohit Bal’s collection showcased rich hues of cream, red, white, gold and burgundy. The designer certainly knows what he does best and infuses his trademark colours of gold and off-white once again into his collcetion. Rohit Bal definitely created a memorable experience on the ramp, continuing to weave magic into Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week. This collection really does tick all the boxes for a bride’s dream wedding outfit!

Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week - Rohit Bal
A beautiful gold and maroon lehenga from Rohit Bal’s collection.

The collections showcased at Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week SS15 are sure to catch the fancy of brides wanting to experiment or get inspired for their bridal attire. These designs are sure to make you look and feel like an absolute diva on your wedding day!

A Guide of Styling Wedding Sarees for Different Indian Wedding Ceremonies (Part II)

I hope you enjoyed reading Part I of my article about styling wedding sarees for Indian Wedding Ceremonies, the Haldi and the Mehendi. This second part will focus on how best to style your Indian wedding sarees for the Sangeet, Wedding and Reception events! I hope you are as excited as me about these Indian wedding ceremonies, so I’m just going to dive right in!

Sangeet

I am sure all of you are familiar with the pre-wedding ceremony, the Sangeet. Two words immediately comes to my mind when I think of the Sangeet: music and dance…and lots of it! The Sangeet is a much anticipated event for the bride, groom, family and guests alike. The air is filled with a flurry of fun, frolic and celebrations, and there is entertainment everywhere with a capital E! The Sangeet also provides relief in the busy period up to the big wedding day. This is where the bride, groom and family members truly deserve a day to immerse themselves in the joy and merriment of the occasion. The best thing about a Sangeet is that this occasion can literally end up resembling a party sequence from a Bollywood movie!

Did you know that the Sangeet ceremony was traditionally exclusive for women? Yes, even I was surprised to hear this! Now, with changing times, the Sangeet party is organised by both the bride and groom’s family, and is seen as a grand, elaborate affair. Special attention is given to this occasion from everything to the venue, entertainment, and the dress theme of course! It is equally important for the bride to select an Indian outfit that matches the festivities of the Sangeet.

Wedding sarees - sangeet party venue
A colourful Sangeet party venue

As we are discussing how to style Indian wedding sarees, a fusion style, such as a wedding sarees lehenga will be an exquisite choice for the event. This wedding sarees option is an aesthetic blend between the saree and lehenga-choli, also known as the ever so popular ready-made saree. The advantage…or should I say very big advantage of this option is that you will not have to struggle to form pleats as in a traditional saree, but simply use a ‘tuck and drape’ method. What a relief and this also allows for more make-up time! 😉 A wedding sarees lehenga will not only provide you with comfort, but will also allow easy movement across the floor to allow you to clink your gorgeous, glittery heels on the floor and dance the night away! More than anything else, your wedding sarees option should definitely be bright and colourful, to stand out amidst the sea of colours. You are, after all, the bride and all eyes will be on you on this joyous occasion!

wedding sarees - his and hers outfit
A beautiful coral His & Hers outfit with gold details

Pair your gorgeous Indian wedding sarees with glowing, peach makeup and a smoky eye look, as seen in the image above, or a bold black eyeliner, as seen in the image below. Peach make-up tones work best with red and rust-coloured wedding sarees with gold embroidery.

wedding sarees - makeup
A glowing peach make-up look

Wedding

So, here we go ladies! Onto the most anticipated day for a bride…her big wedding day! I’m not sure about you, but since I was little, Bollywood has painted a picture for me on what to expect at an Indian wedding. Yes, an Indian wedding is filled with colour, delicious food, with spontaneous bursts of coordinated dancing, rich ceremonies and how can we forget, a regal range of Indian wear.

wedding sarees - wedding venue
A gorgeous crimson and cream wedding venue

Traditionally, red silk wedding sarees have been the common choice amongst brides for their Indian wedding outfit. In the modern day, the bride has several options available to her (You lucky thing!). The bride can opt for a traditional wedding sarees option, fusing it with more contemporary elements, according to individual preferences.

For your special day, wedding sarees that ooze grandeur and elegance are the best option. There is nothing more beautiful and mesmerising than a gorgeous bride decked in a traditional wedding saree, with rich embroidery, embellishment and a stunning, ethnic border. Whilst red is the epitome of Indian wedding sarees, in the modern day, the colour horizon has expanded to include hues such as maroon, magenta, fuchsia and cream, with accent hues in other colours, such as green and orange.

wedding sarees - red and gold
An stunning red bridal saree with an exquisite gold border

Pair your stunning Indian wedding sarees option with ornate, traditional Indian jewellery as shown in the image below and glowing makeup.

wedding sarees - gold bridal set
A beautiful gold statement necklace with elegant stones

Reception

As much as these Indian wedding ceremonies are anticipated, it may seem as if they go on forever. The last event that occurs in Indian weddings is the reception. The reception is held for friends and family members, by the bride and groom sides. At this event, guests greet the newly wedded couple and take photos with them. The bride may find herself having a smile plastered on her face for most of the event, and temporarily blinded by the flash of cameras! On the up side, at least you get a taster of what celebrities have to go through quite often!

wedding sarees - reception venue
Gorgeous pink, purple and gold decor for a reception venue

The key for the reception, or in other words, the big finale is to Go Glam! I can assure you, most people will not have trouble with this! The advantage of a reception is that it allows more flexibility in the attire you choose to wear. The bride can opt for an exquisite princess-style dress or gown, or adhere to traditional Indian attire. Wedding sarees with a modern twist can be a fantastic option for your wedding reception. With the broad horizon of blended traditional and contemporary elements, opting for a wedding sarees lehenga will satisfy both these elements.

wedding sarees - fancy blouse
A fancy saree blouse with intricate beading

When choosing an appropriate style for your Indian wedding sarees, opt for one that complements this glittering event, with a blend of traditional values with a modern fantasy for today’s bride. For example, you could opt for an elegant mermaid skirt with heavy embellishment or a simple silky saree with a heavy blouse. Pleasantly make yourself shine by choosing embellishments such as crystal, Swarovski, beads and sequins to complete your glittering masterpiece.

wedding sarees - reception
Pretty in pink: Here are two stunning options for modern wedding sarees

The key for styling your wedding sarees is to remember not to overdo it with garish embellishment, splashes of colour and over-accessorising. Think elegant, glamorous and sophisticated. I hope you enjoyed reading about the different ways to style wedding sarees for the Sangeet, Wedding and Reception! Please provide any thoughts, comments and suggestions below!

Do you need Indian wedding dresses?!

A Guide on Styling Wedding Sarees for Different Indian Wedding Ceremonies (Part I)

An Indian wedding is one of the grandest occasions for a bride, as well as one of the most precious and special moments in her life. The ultimate wish for every bride is for her wedding outfit to capture her spirit, beauty and elegance. As such, it is significant for a bride to choose her Indian wedding outfits with the utmost attention. A wedding saree is one of the most beautiful garments a bride can wear on her wedding day and I am sure all you ladies out there will agree with me on this! How many times have you admired the slender figures of Bollywood beauties draped in wedding sarees on the big screen? Yes, I admit, even I couldn’t help feeling slight pangs of jealousy over the fact that how well these Bollywood actresses could carry off beautiful wedding sarees. However, by choosing wedding sarees appropriate to the different Indian wedding ceremonies paired with beautiful styling, even you can look like a glamorous diva!

Traditionally, Indian culture has seen red silk wedding sarees to be the common choice for brides. It is amazing to see how much Indian wedding sarees have evolved in terms of the range of colours, cuts, styles and fabrics available for brides to choose from! Indeed, the modern day bride has a dictionary of Indian wedding outfits and styling options available to her. The process of choosing an Indian wedding outfit is certainly not an easy one and can teeter towards nervous breakdowns (I kid!). Not to scare you, but nonetheless, choosing the perfect bridal outfit can be an overwhelming task for a bride.

This is where I come in…call me an Indian wedding outfit fairy or what not, but I would certainly like to share with all my readers how the process of choosing appropriate wedding sarees can seem simpler by understanding the different Indian wedding ceremonies. Yes ceremonies, with a big, fat C! Indian weddings have so many different types of ceremonies and sometimes it can seem like they go on for days! It can often be an overwhelming task for a bride to choose which Indian wedding outfit to wear according to the different wedding ceremonies.

Here I provide you with different options for choosing appropriate styles for Indian wedding sarees for your Haldi, Mehendi, Sangeet, Wedding and Reception ceremonies. It is significant for a bride to choose her Indian wedding sarees with the utmost attention to detail. From the shape and fit of the wedding saree, to the embellishment detailing, to the colour, your chosen Indian wedding saree should ensure that all gazes are fixed on you. It is, after all, a truly special day where the bride should look and feel flawless!

Haldi

The Haldi ceremony is a very significant ritual that occurs a few days prior to the big day. There is one thing for certain, whether you like it or not, you are going to be covered in brilliant orange and yellow tints of colour. Haldi, otherwise known as a turmeric paste is applied to some areas of the bride’s body. This yellow hue is thought to be very significant and auspicious in Indian culture, signifying a prosperous life for the new couple.

Haldi ceremony
Haldi or turmeric paste ready to go for the Haldi ceremony!

The best wedding sarees option for your Haldi ceremony should definitely contain some traditional elements, such as a fancy saree border, paired with traditional Indian jewellery. You can opt for a saree in a lighter hue and something that is simple and comfortable, as watch out ladies, you are going to be the guinea pig of the day, whether you like it or not! As you can probably imagine, things may likely get messy, so I would recommend Indian wedding sarees that are cotton based and that you are able to wash easily. For those brides who would rather blend into the vibrant surroundings of this auspicious occasion, opt for a saree in rich shades of yellow, orange, red and gold.

Indian wedding sarees
A simple, pastel Indian wedding saree for a Haldi ceremony.

Mehendi

The Mehendi ceremony is the application of mehendi, a beautiful and elaborate form of art, to the hands and feet of brides. This ceremony is among the pre-wedding rituals occurring a few days before the big wedding day, filled with fun, laugher and happiness. It is a chance for the bride to be fully immersed in this beautification process and spend time with loves ones in a cheerful environment, until the wedding nerves start kicking in! This ceremony is a reflection of the richness and beauty of Indian culture and the bride’s mehendi attire should reflect this festivity. Your mehendi venue should definitely be bright and colourful. I am thinking along the lines of gorgeous drapery, marigolds, and grand seating…you know, the works!

Mehendi venue
A beautiful mehendi venue with drapery and grand seating.

Accordingly, your wedding saree should be bright and stand out, in line with the gorgeous mehendi venue surroundings! Beautiful orange, pink, purple and gold hues never fail for possible wedding saree options. These bright pops of colour in Indian wedding sarees will also enhance your beautiful, intricate mehendi design. Further, hints of embroidery and embellishment in the outfit along with gorgeous jewellery will add the icing on the cake!

Indian wedding saree
A vibrant Indian wedding saree for a Mehendi ceremony.

I hope you have gotten a better idea on suitable Indian wedding sarees to wear at your Haldi and Mehendi ceremonies. Remember, in any Indian wedding saree you choose to wear, the key is to feel beautiful, both inside and out in your wedding saree.

Speaking of mehendi ceremonies, be sure to check out a creative bridal mehendi video tutorial on Strand of Silk!

Stay tuned for Part II, where I will be covering which bridal sarees will make you shine on your Sangeet, Wedding and Reception!

Indian Wedding Ceremonies and Fashion Tips

We all know that Indian weddings aren’t like most, but that is what makes them so beautiful and a celebration that everyone wants to experience.  But why do they last so long?! Well, this long lasting affair is down to the many rituals carried out, all having their own significance and importance.

These festivities will surely be extravagant and lavish as Indians love to splash out on celebrations. I can confidently say that you have not truly celebrated until you have experienced it the Indian way.

So what ceremonies are there and what does one wear to these? Each Indian community has their own unique ceremonies, but here are those shared by most of the communities. Indian Wedding Ceremonies are loud, colourful and a LOT of fun though.

Sangeet

The wedding celebrations usually start with this event where family and friends gather together and close members perform dances for the happy couple. This is followed by dinner, more music and dancing. It is a fun event which is enjoyed by all.

Indian Wedding Sangeet

Styling tips: Taking part in the dances? Then you should wear something vibrant and pretty but easy to wear, such as a light anarkali. But if you are a close friend or relative and want to wear something heavier you can easily change, following the dances, into an anarkali, lehenga or saree. If you aren’t close to the couple then a simple and colourful anarkali is a safe bet. You will be dancing a lot, so something flowy will be perfect!

Mehendi

This pre-wedding ritual is organised by the bride’s family, attended by women who are friends and family. It is an event where the bride has a change to spend quality time with the girls.  Everyone celebrates by dancing, laughing and getting mehendi, also known as henna, applied on their hands and/or feet. Applying Mehendi is beautiful, as it signifies love and affection.

Indian Mehendi Wedding Ceremony

Styling tips: You should wear something bright  and colourful, but light since you will be sitting uncomfortably for a while when getting Mehendi applied  – an anarkali or salwar would be appropriate.  Be warned that you might get mehendi on your outfit since it takes a while to dry, so perhaps you shouldn’t wear your favourite attire!

Haldi

This is another messy but fun ceremony which is a cleansing and purifying ceremony performed before the wedding day. A detoxifying (mostly turmeric based) paste is applied on the face, hands and feet of the bride and groom. This is supposed to bring a glow to the skin which will create more attraction between the couple.

Indian Wedding Haldi Ritual

Styling tips: Similarly to the mehendi ceremony, wear something bright and light, but not precious to you – as you will be applying this paste on the bride and if they’re feeling mischevious, they may put some back on you too! A simple anarkali or salwar will be a good choice.

Wedding

The big day has finally arrived and consists of many symbolic rituals performed throughout the day, starting with the bride’s family welcoming the groom and his family and eventually ending with the performance of the marriage ceremony.

Indian Wedding Ceremony

Styling tips: A rich and heavy saree or lehenga is the most common outfit to wear on this day and apart from black, any colour can be worn. Just make sure you dress to impress and accessoriz    e as there will be hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people attending and lots of photos being taken!

Reception

This is a celebration which like most other cultures involves lots of eating, drinking and dancing. It is usually organized by the groom’s family to celebrate the arrival of the beautiful bride into their family.

Indian Wedding Reception

Styling tips: A long elegant gown, stunning saree or chic anarkali will be the right choice for this occasion and you can finally wear black!

The beauty and romance of an Indian wedding is like no other. Embrace these grand festivities, dress extravagantly and most importantly enjoy! Indian Wedding Ceremonies are part and parcel of the experience, so enjoy these as much as you can!

Wedding Sarees and Lehengas Flaunted by Hollywood Divas

Who says wedding sarees and wedding lehengas are only a part of the elaborate Indian wedding trousseau? With the growing popularity of the Indian clothing, many Hollywood models and actresses are flaunting sarees and lehengas at events, social dos and on magazine covers. Here is a look at some famous Hollywood celebrities in wedding sarees and lehengas.

Paris Hilton in a Swarovski Saree

     Paris Hilton in a Swarovski Saree

Hotel heiress Paris Hilton posed for the Bridal issue of Marie Claire in a Swarovski studded Tarun Tahiliani saree. The gorgeous net saree in silver colour was studded with Swarovski crystals all over the body and had a rich embellished silver border. She paired it with an off shoulder embellished blouse and a studded bangle. Despite going easy on the accessories, she looked mind-blowing on the magazine cover.

Halle Berry in a Traditional Red Saree

Halle Berry in a Traditional Red Saree

In a scene in the movie Cloud Atlas, Halle Berry is seen wearing a traditional red wedding saree, complete with bangles and henna tattoo on her hands and a nose pin too, just like a newlywed Indian bride. She teams the heavily embroidered saree with a silk blouse with a zari border. Going by the way she carried herself, it is very hard to say that the outfit was donned by a non-Indian.

Victoria Beckham for Vogue India Bridal Issue

Victoria Beckham for Vogue India Bridal Issue

Victoria Beckham donned a Tarun Tahiliani Saree for the Vogue India Bridal Issue that featured wedding sarees and wedding lehengas by popular Indian designers. The gorgeous red saree with elaborate embellishments resembling a wedding lehenga completely complemented her complexion. Despite minimal accessories, she looked every part the regal bride.

Naomi Campbell in a Black Saree 

Naomi Campbell in a Black Saree

Naomi Campbell scorched the ramp in a black and gold wedding saree in black net with exquisite sequins work. The gold brocade border, gold floral embellishments along the border and the gold skirt added a lot of sparkle to the look. A chunky gold cuff was the sole accessory she sported with the saree.

Pamela Anderson in a Turquoise Wedding Lehenga

Pamela Anderson in a Turquoise Wedding Lehenga

Pamela Anderson sizzed on the screen in a turquoise wedding lehenga during the filming of a popular TV Show. The shimmering wedding lehenga came with a brocade blouse that stopped just short of the waist. The flowy lehenga with gold thread work ensured that she sparkled on the screen. She teamed the lehenga with matching gold and turquoise bangles,an emerald maang tika and a kundan necklace studded with emerald.

Liz Hurley in a Pink Wedding Lehenga 

Liz Hurley in a Pink Wedding Lehenga

Elizabeth Hurley chose a pink wedding lehenga for her wedding ceremony with Arun Nayyar. The wedding lehenga came with a beautifully crafted choli that fitted her like a dream. The beauty of the wedding lehenga was that you could not make out where the choli ended and where the lehenga began. The lehenga came with a floral climber design all over which she paired with sparkling diamond jewellery.

I searched long and hard for good quality sites that sell wedding sarees and found that in the end, the customer reviews and feedback about Strand of Silk seem to be the best. Send me your thoughts and feedback

Images: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/94/49/f6/9449f67702dae514da6b04d2e3a4ede1.jpg, http://static.ibnlive.in.com/ibnlive/pix/sitepix/07_2012/halleberry.jpg, http://cdn02.cdn.justjared.com/wp-content/uploads/headlines/2008/10/victoria-beckham-sari-vogue-india.jpg, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1qtOJ-eljWg/T4nP06q86OI/AAAAAAAAAKA/4WhS05ht9s4/s1600/naomi-campbell+saree.jpg, http://www.imnotobsessed.com/wp-content/uploads/FP_6088679_BARM_Anderson_Pamela_1120101-850×1280.jpg, http://www.paklinks.com/gsmedia/files/starry_eyes/elizabeth_hurley31_45f9442568d75.jpg

Review of UK Bridal Stores (Sponsored by Strand of Silk)

In my previous posts, Part 1 and Part 2 of ‘Find Your Wedding Dress in UK’ I tried to convince Asian brides in the UK that they can find their perfect Asian wedding lehenga or saree without having to travel to India or Pakistan! As promised, here is a review of the most popular UK bridal stores for Asians.

Strand of Silk is an online retailer offering the latest indian wedding wear collections for women and men, from some of the best Indian designers, such as Anita Dongre, Raakesh Agarvwal and Siddartha Tytler.

Strand of Silk offers such stunning collections (Indian bridal sarees and lehengas) and special services which are definitely worth checking out. Their special services include a custom made service ‘Made for You’, where brides have the option to personalise their dresses to suit their requirements. With this special service they provide you with very detailed measurement instructions (pictures and video) to ensure perfect fitting. Additionally, if you are looking for just a size alteration, they offer one free alteration service for Bridal orders!

Other Strand of Silk bridal services include ‘Experience The Dress’ with which you can have your outfit ordered to your home to see the embroidery and style, try it on and show family members and friends. They also offer expert styling assistance, such as different combinations of an Indian bridal lehenga, saree and accessories, what styles can be worn at different ceremonies, as well as styling tips for guests!

UK Bridal Stores Strand of Silk Buy Wedding Bridal Outfit Wedding Lehengas buy buy designer Saree online Asian Fashion Blog

Onitaa – When I walked into this store I felt like I was entering a princess walk-in-wardrobe as it gives such a luxurious feel, and filled with  stunning Asian Bridal sarees and lehengas. The first half of the shop offers stunning collections by Pakistani designers (for women and men) such as Deepak Perwani and Zainab Chottani, whilst the far end displays Indian fashion by designers such as Mansi Malhotra and Arnab Sengupta.

However, I was more impressed with the Pakistani collection than Indian – the Indian bridal dresses were either too gaudy or too simple! On the other hand, I loved some of their in-house creations which are definitely worth checking out! They also offer some pretty contemporary clutches and jewellery by Amishi.

Phulkari London – Phulkari’s store is located on Ilford Lane (East London), conveniently situated for Indian wedding shopping. They offer a great range of Asian fashion designers from India and Pakistan, including Sabyasachi and Satya Paul. They also offer their own in-house collections Phulkari Bespoke which are eye-catching with starting prices from £700.

RDC London – Another store located on Ilford Lane, the heart of Asian fashion shopping, offers gorgeous Indian and Pakistani inspired fashion and bridalwear. This is a great store if you are not interested in a designers name but rather a pretty and affordable wedding dress. Their special bridal service offer includes creating a wedding dress from scratch to fulfil your requirements!

Aashni + Co – This gorgeous store definitely lives up to its high-end location Notting Hill, offering Indian wedding outfits from some popular Indian bridal designers such as Rohit Bal and Manish Malhotra. If you have a high budget and want to be seen in specific designer’s creation, then this could be the place for you.

Personally, Strand of Silk is my favourite of the UK bridal stores for Asians since they offer such a beautiful bridal collection suitable for a range of budgets. They are also extremely helpful, by giving the option to have the garment ordered home to try on and show others before committing yourself. You can simply sit back, relax, order your dream dress at home and let them do the rest for you.  They will advise you and handle the garment with so much care – they truly understand the importance of a wedding dress for a bride!