A wedding is a big celebration in the Indian community and the idea is to celebrate the union in a show of extravagance, color, vibrancy and celebration. For the guest to an Indian wedding, nothing is more exciting than the events that one dresses up for.
From wedding gowns to designer salwar suits or anarkalis, or a stunning lehenga and choli, the choices are endless. The Most Popular Choice Of Wedding Dress Is The Ubiquitous Saree which serves to celebrate the feminine form and beauty that charms effortlessly. But as a guest, do remember that your wedding saree should not be less heavy than the reception attire, and more so than the Mehendi.
From the sangeet to the mehendi, wedding, cocktail party and reception, you can think beyond the seductive saree. Ensure that your heavily embroidered and worked ensembles are reserved for the wedding while lighter, yet graceful dresses are there for the earlier events. For the sangeet, it makes sense to wear something fun-filled and vibrant which celebrates the concept of you and embodies your style statement. But let’s start at the beginning and see what makes for true wedding finery capable of dazzling everyone and creating a sensation.
The sangeet being a traditional song and dance wedding ceremony, it is an occasion for fun loving friends to gather together and participate in a song, dance or act. Some weddings even have traditional dances such as the garba and raas (Gujarati wedding) or the dandiya. Punjabi weddings have the traditional bhangra dance while Maharashtrian weddings involve dancing too. So, wear Indian clothes because these do not hamper mobility and ensure that you look graceful.
· Choose between a light lehenga choli or a salwar kameez. Leave red for the bride and choose vibrant colors such as light pink, deep purple, sea blue with silver and golden highlights.
· Dress as per your age and personality; if you enjoy dancing, go for lightweight outfits you can dance and twirl in, so that they don’t weigh you down.
· Opt for bright and bold colors such as crimson, maroon, emerald or fuschia.
- Use jewelry in new and interesting ways. You could match a brooch with a diamond choker. Beware of too many dazzling pieces though. After all, you don’t want to upstage the bride on her wedding day! Try vintage lace earrings and minimum jewelry. Limit yourself to a neckpiece and light earrings ranging from danglers to studs.
- Opt for a silver or light gold that is subtle and understated, yet attractive at the same time.
Mehendi or henna ceremony is a special event and a rites de passage for the bride. This is a ladies only event. Wear light and comfortable outfits here too. Choose darker shades such as peacock blue or golden brown.
- Henna stains are a big problem so choose an outfit that offers minimum coverage yet maximum elegance. It can range from tunic tops and long skirts to chania cholis/ghagra cholis that can be lifted to apply the henna on the feet and ankles with ease.
- Short lehengas are another popular choice for the mehendi ceremony.
- Rather than opting for long lehengas, use shorter ones as it is easier for the mehendi artists to apply henna.
- Opt for simple jewelry such as necklaces and earrings that are not too heavy
- Don’t go in for bangles or anklets as this can smudge the henna; remove rings on toes and fingers for the same reason.
Cocktail parties are the perfect occasion to go in for Western wear. Choose either flowing gowns or short numbers. Little black dresses or long stylish gowns are the right choice.
- If you do want to dazzle in Indian wear, go for a subtle saree in vibrant and rich hues such as earthen gold, silver and rustic shades or bold, bright and dramatic colours depending upon your age and style quotient.
- When it comes to accessories, choose high heels, peep toes or stilettos. Strappy sandals or wedge heels can also add height, grace, charm, and make heads turn at every step you take.
- For the cocktail party, subtle is in. Choose minimalist jewelry that captures understated elegance whether it is through a bracelet on the arm or a shiny neck piece.
Finally, the main event arrives. It’s the wedding day and you are all prepped and ready for it. This is the day when everyone will be present, from the bride’s family to friends and more. That is why, you must ensure to look your best, but also keep in mind it’s the bride’s special day. Stay low, but look chic.
- Whether you opt for a salwar kameez, saree, chaniya choli, or anarkalis in silk, chiffon, tissue or crepe. The outfit needs to be accessorized with bangles, bindis and bright purses.
- Indian wedding wear is glittery, colourful and well embellished with everything from zari (golden and silver thread) to Swarowski crystals
- Ethnic wardrobe musts for such events include net sarees, lehenga sarees, blouses with pretty motifs, suits such as anarkali.
- Shades can range from pastel to vibrant hues and shades.
- Designer sarees with velvet blouses are another vintage and classic look for style that never goes out of fashion
- Choose happy and festive shades such as coral, fuchsia and deep blues.
- If you have a tall, slim built, opt for anarkalis. For a smaller frame, opt for moderate volume and anarkalis that end at your knees
- Monochrome anarkalis add height too.
- Do not choose white or black as these are associated with mourning, not celebration in the Indian context
- Choose modern hues and intricate embroidery with finesse that suits the contours and build of your body
- A statement neckpiece will add to the allure and charm of the dress
- Enhance your appeal with beautiful earrings in gold, silver or platinum
- Choose bangles and anklets to complement your outfit
- Use bindis and dramatic eye makeup to match the festive mood of the occasion
From sarees, to suits and lehengas, the possibilities are countless. Designer outfits that are subtle yet appealing can add to the glamour quotient. Choose a theme such as stylish and sophisticated or Bollywood style bling depending upon what you can carry off. Remember, the trick is to stay comfortable and choose fabrics and jewelry pieces that are easy to wear. Match your outfit with your significant other. Matching or complementary colors can make for an outfit that is color coordinated and stylish at the same time.
Rajat Garg is the Founder of Shimply, one of India’s fastest growing multi-category online bazaar for Indian made products. He earned his M.S in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, San Francisco and then went on to join Amazon as a part of the Affiliate Marketing Team. By the time that Rajat left Amazon, he was well-equipped with Scalable and less-known Digital Marketing methods and he moved on to work with a startup in the U.S, after which he moved to India to start SocialAppsHQ and then, Shimply with the motto, ‘India Ko Try Karke Dekho’ changing the way people shop online and offline