It’s crazy that in many cultures people can only choose ONE outfit for their wedding. They will be seen in all their wedding pictures in the same colors, hair, make-up, jewelry, everything! Lucky for you…you’re a Indian bride! It’s great to be able to wear different outfits to your multiple wedding occasions, however you have to be slightly strategic about your style for each event.
Shopping for Indian Wedding Clothes
Most families prefer to travel to India, Pakistan, or wherever they’re from to get their wedding outfits. This si a great idea because you have a wider selection, lower prices, and custom tailoring. Even if you don’t have the time or ability to travel abroad for shopping, the Indian wedding clothes shopping advice is the same. Always go shopping with at least one other person whose opinion you value so that they can give you input on how you look from the outside. Try on EVERYTHING! You will get tired of taking these heavy outfits on and off and wrapping saris, etc., but you have to try on anything you remotely like. Don’t buy anything the first time you see it. Take a camera with you to take pictures of everything you try on. Go home, look through the pictures and go back to the shops for the outfits that you really like. Also, have fun trying on the plethora of clothes, colors, and styles!
Indian Mendhi Party Outfit
The mendhi (or henna) party is celebrated many different ways depending mostly on family traditions. In Gujrati culture, traditionally just women participate in the Mendhi party and all get together for dinner, laughter, and mostly to get their mendhi done by a professional artist. In Punjabi culture, traditionally the groom’s side and bride’s side have separate mendhi parties, but both men and women are invited to both. Men in Punjabi culture also get mendhi done as small keri (mango) designs on their hand, back of their neck, or head. As the bride, you will most likely be the first to get your mendhi done, it often takes 3-5 hours depending on the artist and how intricate your design is. So, outfit-wise, this definitely means you need to wear something super comfortable and not anything too itchy with embroidery all over it. Usually the bride will wear a fancy Punjabi or pant-suit for her own mendhi party. Bright colors are a big at the mendhi party and pictures turn out beautifully when you wear bright colros to contrast your dark mendhi. Another thing to keep in mind with your outfit is that if you plan on leaving your mendhi on overnight, you may want to wear something with a zipper back so that it’s easier to change before you go to bed.
Indian Garba/Sangeet Outfit
Depending on your family, culture, who your marrying, and mostly what part of India you’re from, you may have a Raas Garba, a Sangeet, or both before your wedding. Whatever you have, this is a night of FUN and all your guests getting to know each other. You need to wear something that reflects that fun and friendly atmosphere. Take the opportunity here to wear something more casual. For a Raas Garba, the traditional choice is a choli, however nowadays we see brides in lenghas and churidars at their own events, and they still look amazing. Depending on how traditional your family is, you should wear what you can dance and feel free in. For Sangeets, the traditional Indian outfit is a fashionable lengha, or salwar kameez. We’ve seen that more with Sangeets than anything, it’s about the latest fashion and style.
Indian Wedding Ceremony Outfit
Of course one of the main focal points of any wedding ceremony is the bride’s wedding dress. Traditionally, the Indian bride will wear a heavy and full lengha with bright colors and bold gold jewelry. In America, traditions have merged and we see the Indian bride shifting to a more simple and contemporary style lengha. To keep a good balance of traditional and modern, most brides prefer to stay in the area of a rec wedding lengha, however we have seen beautiful Indian brides that wear a predominantly white or green lengha. Another thing to keep in mind when trying to stick to your roots is that gold is a color that is believe to be associated with good fortune and wealth, so although silver is becoming a more popular highlight color, most Indian brides opt to stay with classic gold, for their wedding outfit anyway. Lastly, remember that it’s not ALL about your outfit that makes you look great on your wedding day. The bhindis above your eyebrows, your up-do, your ornate jewelry, and your mendhi will all keep you looking like a beautiful traditional bride.
Indian Reception Outfit
This is when you can let a more modern touch control your outfit! The Indian reception outfit has taken on so many different styles, cuts, and colors in America that it makes it more fun for the Indian bride to express her personality and creativity. The biggest thing to remember is that (whether you like it or not) YOU are the center of attention! Even if you’re a simple person, your reception outfit need not be modest because it needs to make you pop. Indian reception lenghas are bright and shiny with heavy embroidery. Nowadays, many brides incorporate sexy cuts into their reception outfits, such as a halter, strapless, or slit in the skirt design. According to our new American and Indian culture, this is totally acceptable by all the “Aunties” and “Uncles” and can really be used to flatter your figure. This is the outfit that you can have silver as your highlight color instead of gold, if you want. Other popular choices are turquoise, Tiffany blue, pink, and purple. Saris are also worn at the Indian wedding reception, but we say it’s the bride’s choice. Choose a lengha or a sari depending on what your more comfortable in and what you feel good in!
We understand the dilemma of trying to look beautiful, classy, traditional, and modern for your Indian Wedding. Feel free to contact us for advice or opinions on your specific situation. As an Indian bride, you will look gorgeous no matter what on your wedding day, it’s a matter of how to choose your outfits to create the vibe you’re trying to give off for your unique wedding. Now, it’s time to go shopping!
Image 1 via AA Creation Photography
Image 2 via Our Asia
Image 3 via Style of India
Image 4 via AA Creation Photography