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Confusion when choosing your Indian bridal wear?

Updated on December 30, 2014


The term "Bride" is the keyword of every wedding across all the countries in the world. Even if theoretically a wedding is an event to celebrate the union between a man and a woman who want to create a family together, the truth is that the main protagonist of every wedding is always the bride.

At the end of the day, she is the one who decides (almost!) everything about this celebrative event. Obviously she is supported by the family, whether it is her own or the groom’s in the decision making process, but the final word generally is up to her. Moreover, depending on the bride’s character, but generally in most of the cases, it will be completely counter-productive to contradict the bride.

One main problem for brides generally is to find the perfect bridal dress. It must be gorgeous, but at the same time comfortable; it must be different from all the others, but at the same time trendy; it must have a traditional style, but at the same not look too old. It is a really hard decision and it leads some people, bride and family included, to truly freak out finding the right one.

For Indian brides, just like all other brides, the problems are equally acute. The truth is that nowadays there are too many options and too many designers in terms of Indian bridal wear. From the times when dresses were passed from mother to daughter and the colour to choose was just the one - Red - times have changed and a brides’ range of options have become so wide that it is difficult to know all the things that can be available.

From this confusion, I would like to highlight some important cornerstones of advice in order to bring some clarity amongst the chaos.

First of all, I can say that the first thing to do before starting your research is to have a clear idea in your mind about what kind of dress do you want to choose, or what Designer you like the most.

For the wedding there are basically three types of dresses for the bride: sarees, lehengas and anarkalis. Let us have a brief look at the main differences between them.

Wedding Sarees

These are the traditional wedding dresses of choice. Until some years ago, the colour was traditionally red with gold embroidery.

But during recent years, colour preferences have changed and now it is really common to find brides dressed in pink, gold, orange and maroon. Moreover while traditional materials included silk as the choice for luxury pieces, nowadays georgette and brocade have also become attractive options.

Bridal Lehengas

Lehengas are long skirts combined with a blouse and a dupatta (a sort of stole arranged around the bride’s shoulder). This style has been the traditional North Indian wedding outfit for many generations.

Lehengas can be found in many colours and while generally the contemporary styles were the preferred ones, recently it seems that brides have change their minds and the traditional lehengas are back in fashion once again.

Perhaps inspired by Bollywood movies, brides are increasing opting for bridal lehengas combined with a modern blouse, that gives a fresh look to the traditional outfit. Indeed, a lot of styles currently on trend are inspired by famous Bollywood movies.

Wedding Anarkalis

These are the newest trend for Indian bridal wear. Generally used in the North of India, they comprise of a long, frock-style top and trousers for the bottom.

The styles can be either heavily embroidered or not, and have different lengths according to each bride's preferences. This is a more modern outfit and, even if really appreciated, is not the most common choice amongst brides.

So after having selected the type of dress, other important decisions include,

- Colour: red, orange, gold, maroon, pink or magenta are the usual colour tones

- Material: silk, chiffon, georgette or brocade are the luxury materials of choice for such an important occasion

- Embroidery: heavy or lighter, since this is a trade-off between looking opulent and being comfortable

- and finally the blouse: should it match the skirt or should it be subtle or completely muted so as not to up-stage the other parts of the outfit


The best thing for the bride is to commit themselves to their favourite designer and let him/her help them step by step in the choice. In this way they can count on the skills of an expert and the process will be easier and even fun at some points of time.

Remember that it will be your Big Day, so don’t be scared and don’t stress yourself too much: experts are there to help you and the most important thing is to enjoy the organisation, so just delegate the annoying parts!

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