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Bridal wear

25 Votes | Average: 3.64 out of 525 Votes | Average: 3.64 out of 525 Votes | Average: 3.64 out of 525 Votes | Average: 3.64 out of 525 Votes | Average: 3.64 out of 5 (25 votes, average: 3.64 out of 5)
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GhaghrasEverything goes from bits of jewellery picked up at the Goan flea markets, to colours that our mothers and grandmothers would have baulked at. The 21st century bride is getting experimental. “The Indian bride is no longer stuck on just one look. She is experimenting with colours, the jewellery she sports or the bags she carries,” says designer Manish Malhotra.


While the choice of the ensemble remains the same - ghagra choli, a saree or a salwar kameez - the Indian bride is ready to try out new colours.

Blue, lime green, peach, pink, purple, just about anything goes. Says designer Benu Sehgal, “Brides wear ensembles in two colours that co-ordinate or contrast with each other. For instance, gold coloured saree with a red colour dupatta.”

Brighter the better

Bright is the buzzword. Hot pink, maroon, shades of blue, rust and not forgetting the traditional red-and-gold. The stress is more on elegance with a hint of flamboyance. You can also choose from vibrant, intense colours like deep purple, navy blue to warmer colours like reds, rusts and gold.

Unusual blends

The focus is on unusual colour blends. “For some brides, I have made entire trousseaus in lavender, midnight blue, aubergine and turquoise. What also works very well are metallic silks and oxidized embroideries,” says designer J J Valaya.

Exquisite embroidery

The other option is to have clothes embellished with rich embroideries, like a red Jamevar lehenga in twelve kalis, with gota and salma work in silver and gold. Or a tie-and-dye lehenga in shocking pink, rust and red worked in mixed media. Designer Mona, one-half of the Monapali label, says, “Our ethnic roots inspire us, especially for the wedding clothes. But sequins or zardozi has given way to kantha work and tribal motifs, which are increasingly being used in bridal ensembles these days.”

Exquisite hand embroideries like antique zardosi, resham or beaded embroidery gives the bridal dress a certain charm and grace. Shimmer is the order of the day. Crystal plays an important role in bridal dressing, so it is perfectly acceptable to flaunt Swarovski and shine like a star. Never overdo shimmer though; the idea is to use it to enhance the entire look, not to get overshadowed by it.


Ensembles by Satya Paul, the fashion label, which launched its bridal line last year with Bridal Asia, epitomise the experimental angle for the nuptial angel. “We have come up with kali-less lehengas, abstractly cut and stitched, offset with traditional colours of the season like red and maroon,” says Puneet Nanda, the creative head behind Satya Paul.

Polka Dots

For those who don’t want to carry the load of 50 kg ensemble, Nanda offers the option of polka dotted lehengas. “We are catering to a clientele bored of seeing their mother and relatives in heavy zardozi stuff. We are showcasing saris with motifs from leading European artists and for the first time introducing prints in bridal line,” he claims.


Some my wedding outfits also come with two stoles, a heavier one to drape effectively and a lighter, less cumbersome one to cover the head with.

If the bride wants to be a bit more adventurous, she could opt for an Indo-Western, says designer Manav Gangwani. She could team a short kurti with Jamewar pants and a tissue crepe dupatta.

Ritu Kumar says that while the overall feel of the garments is traditional, sexy and fitted blouses offer the contemporary look. The lehenga-cum-skirt, which can be worn straight from the wedding reception to a party, is also very popular.


Interestingly, fabrics are contemporary. The market has lehengas and sarees in fabrics’ like georgettes, satin, net, along with silk and tussar silk. Designer Pallavi Jaikishan’s collection, says, “Opulent fabrics, brocades and silks in rich, bright colours, or sarees with a mix of brocade and embroidery are in for brides.”

The silhouettes are closer to the body, a style that makes the bride look more sensuous and flattering. The leaner, slimmer look is widely prevalent.

Designer J J Valaya recommends a slick lehnga for the bride. “Voluminous gathers and huge gheras are pass Diaphanous or sheer fabrics are in. You could settle on a variety of interesting fabrics such as jacquard, tanchoi, net and organza,” he adds.

Swarovski Crystals

The bridal collection of designer Anna Singh has red bridal outfits in net, with a satin petticoat. It sports French motifs with French knots and fine intricate stitches, embellished with diamond Swarovski, as well as beige net shirts with a short crushed kurta also in beige. She says, “If you want to look contemporary, you can use Swarovski crystals on the sari, lehenga, dupatta or the blouse, instead of traditional embroidery.”


The easiest way to experiment is with the choli, which is getting bolder and contemporary. Designer Tarun Tahiliani recommends combining bustier, corsets or low back blouses, with the bridal saree. Corsets and structured drapes dominate designer Tahiliani’s bridal collection. “Cholis can be exotic and over-the-top, a look which will complement a traditional saree.”


Ritu Kumar has cholis made of two different fabrics and colours. The styles include the bold backless cholis or one with a plunging neckline. Designer Suneet Varma has combined halter-neck cholis with sarees in his wedding collection, while Tahiliani has given an option of spaghetti straps to new age brides. Designer Azeem Khan has introduced front tie-up blouse for brides, in his new wedding collection, while Benu Sehgal’s bridal collection has an elaborately designed choli with just strings to hold it up.

The bridegroom

The metro sexual man, or the man who loves dressing up, spends as much money on his clothes as the women do. Achkans or sherwanis are fast replacing suits as the accepted look for the main day as far as men are concerned.

Tahiliani recommends stunning sherwanis and jodhpuris available in the traditional range. Vibhas Srivastava, in-house designer for leading store Jade Blue in Mumbai says, “This season what is most popular is sherwanis with capes. Then equally fashionable is the three-piece sherwani with a long jacket and churidars.” But men who would like to experiment could try a voluminous dhoti teamed with a kurta.

If you want to look good as a couple, the groom should try and find out what colour the bride is wearing. “And then according to that you can decide on what shade of beige or off-white would suit you,” he adds.

Neutral Shades

Though the basic colour palette for the groom still remains the good, old neutral shades like beiges, taupe, ivories and gold, today, it is perfectly acceptable for a man to flaunt colour like pink, blue or red on the wedding day. “However, it is integral to cleverly blend it with some masculine shades to achieve the right look. After all, in earlier days, the maharajas used to dress up in very ornate clothing and still manage to look as macho and authoritative,” says Valaya.

Designer Arjun Khanna’s wedding collection for men includes a range of sherwanis and kurtas, in colours like off white, eggshell, stone white, beige, biscuit, hints of peach, olive, teal, gold, burnt gold and black, with hints of burgundy. “Even men are experimenting with colours,” he says. “Wedding outfits are beautifully embroidered, and look almost like surface texture, or have resham embroidered motifs on them.”

The works

The cuts should be symmetrical with slight variations in the necklines. Lean structured men should go in for extended shoulders, as it will look good. In embroideries, men can go in crystals with zardosi. “For the reception, the bridegroom can wear suits with slim lean cuts. Colours should be dark and for those who love to experiment they can even try out colours like dark greens for suits,” says Mehta.

If you are not the sherwani or jodhpuri type, you can also combine kurtas with a jacket, or even an embroidered dhoti with a kurta. In Western wear, you could opt for shirts with two-button jackets or even the Nehru jacket.


No bridal outfit is complete without accessories - jewellery, accessories, handbags, clutch purses and shoes. “Bags can be contemporary, and more international in their styling,” says designer Krishna Mehta. Cheemo collection, for instance, has the Watermelon and the Out of Africa collection, which is dressy, yet modern. Or try Adity’s sequined bags, very hot and happening with a bridal outfit.

Designer Jewellery

Jewellery could be both or traditional, depending on the bride’s preference. Several new age brides are opting for very traditional jewellery, like gold and pearl jhumkas Opulence rules, but with a difference. Most brides prefer designer jewellery or foreign brands like Sogni D’Oro, an Italian brand.

Says Shehzad Zaveri of Minawala Jewellers, one of Mumbai’s leading jewellers, “Designer jewellery is opulent and more colourful. Our latest collection - Flowers and fire - is dong well with brides, because it is very rich looking.”

Exotic Stones

Jewellers are increasingly using exotic stones, like tasavorites, iotie, iloti and kurzintine, which come from Africa and South America, in their designs.

“Brides tend to buy sets in pink, light blue, purplish tourmaline, besides the regular gold,” says jewellery designer Neelam Kothari.

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Responses to Bridal wear

  1. 1 sohini som

    I liked reading this article. however, with so many weddings in the family (my family is not only multi-lingual but also multi-religious) each trousseau looks pretty much like the other.┬áProper guidelines are given in this article. isn’t it time we did something a little more original? i would love to when my 2 children get married.

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