The Indian Bride can look traditional and just as beautiful in a variety of colours. Find out which one suits you best
The red bride
Root for traditions
Red needs no introduction. The first fundamental colour, red is the shade of love and war, of passion and power, of desire and danger. In most Asian cultures, including India, it also stands for happiness and prosperity, and is considered auspicious and pure. Which is why, for centuries now, red has been the colour of marriage in India. The bridal trousseau is almost invariably red or some shade of it. And no matter how many new colours appear in the wedding wardrobe now, I think the bride still looks the best in red. Which is why, I went for it without any doubt. I didn’t want a traditional lehenga though. So, no borders or kalis for me, please. My legenga was a Shyamal & Bhumika design – a complete red lehenga with antique work. In fact, while shopping for my trousseau, I was told that the colour selling the most these days is coke wine (the colour of coke). But I wanted only and only red. It’s the best colour to denote passion, love and commitment, after all.
- Kriti Arora, 25, Teacher, Got married on November 16
Stylist’s Take: “Traditional yet modern. Brides who want to look trendy on their wedding day should definitely go for the solid red-on-red look, and wear statement jewellery,” says Sara Awwad, who styled this shoot. “This look is designed for brides who want to amp up tradition.”
The golden bride
Light up the aisle
Gold may be the colour of riches, opulence and grandeur, but it also lends meaning to glitz, glamour and illumination. Whenever I’ve pictured myself as a bride, I’ve always seen myself shimmering in golden. The usual reds and maroons simply never occurred to me. They’re just so overdone also, don’t you think? Most women wear some shade of red on their wedding day, sticking to the cultural norms we’ve followed all along. I want to look different on my wedding day, I want to stand out in people’s memories as the golden bride. Of course, a lot of people advised me against it. So much so that I too had a glimmer of doubt when I went lehenga-shopping. But as soon as I saw the golden lehenga that I ultimately bought, I knew in my heart that yes, this is it! I’ve picked a gorgeous golden lehenga with heavy zardozi embroidery, a matching choli, and a golden net dupatta to go with it all. My fiancé too would be wearing a golden sherwani. It sure is going to be one shimmery affair.
- Minakshi Sharma, 26, Lawyer, Getting married in February
Stylist’s Take: Sara says, “This look works best for women who want to feel comfortable in their own skin and more importantly, be who they are. The septum nose ring will definitely make a statement.”
The embroidered bride
Embellish your style quotient
Embroidery is part of our culture in India. There are hundreds of different types of embroidery in this diverse country of ours. And like that perfect pickle recipe, it is also something that is passed down generations, especially among the women – from your grandmother to your mother to you. But considering most of us millennials hardly have any time or patience from our social media feeds to learn the craft, the least we can do is help carry it forward in any other way we can. Which is why, for the most special day of my life, I chose a lehenga that was fully embroidered with peacock motifs from neck to toe. It was inspired by Rajasthani traditions and had zardozi work in gold and silver – it made me feel so royal and look nothing short of a queen!
- Nidhi Sharma, 25, HR Professional, Got married on November 16
Stylist’s Take: “For brides with minimalist tastes, pairing elegant western style jewellery with Indian wear strikes a perfect balance between avoiding a dressy avatar and being overdressed,” suggests Sara.
The blue bride
Act like a blue blood
It’s interesting that blue is hardly ever considered for the colour of a wedding trousseau, even though it symbolises trust, loyalty and stability – requisites for a successful marriage ahead. Which is why for my wedding day, I’ve chosen a navy-blue lehenga in a mix of zardozi, dabka and mirrorwork embroidery. I wanted to retain the traditional style of the lehenga choli as the colour itself is bold and modern. It’s exciting to see that many women today have started experimenting with the colour of their trousseau and are not shying away from wearing a colour such as blue. In fact, the richer hues of blue, such as navy, suits the Indian skin tone a lot. I’d earlier chosen an ivory lehenga with huge peacocks on it. My mother was fine with that too and even suggested that I could wear a maroon dupatta with it. But, I settled for the navy blue one as I want to stand out and be the centre of all attention on my D-day.
- Atika, 30, Fashion Designer, Getting married on January 18, 2017
Stylist’s Take: Sara says, “This season trend embraces colours that showcase royalty, so go for jewel tones: Emerald green, sapphire, ox blood.”
The black bride
Be black & bold
Black. Ominous, inauspicious, evil black. But also powerful, elegant, mysterious black, which at once makes you look sexy, sultry and glamourous! Black is my absolute favourite colour. I have more outfits in black in my wardrobe than I do in any other colours. And when I get married, I’d love to include black in my wedding trousseau as well. No other colour can make me feel as confident and self-assured as black does. It, in fact, adds an extra boost to my outgoing personality. It’s very exciting for me to see that a lot of bridal wear today is being designed in midnight blue and ebony. But many are still sceptical about wearing these shades on their D-day; most wear it on receptions or cocktails. I, on the other hand, would love to wear a black lehenga right on the day of my wedding. It’s time someone broke the taboo attached with black, no?
- Deeksha Sikarwar, 26, Fashion Technologist, Wants to get married in black
Stylist’s Take: “For tall women who like to flaunt their figure, this pantsuit look will accentuate the body,” Sara says.
The ivory bride
Don that Mughal elegance
Like white, the neutral colour of ivory is soft, calming and pure. And it comes with an added richness – courtesy its slightly warmer tone. It’s this interplay of softness and richness that gives ivory its own unique appeal. Initially I wanted to wear a black-and-red lehenga for my wedding, but my family wasn’t very keen. So after some persuasion, I settled on a black-and-red gown for my cocktail dress. For the wedding day, I’m now going in for an ivory-coloured lehenga with a platinum top. Ivory may not be as bold a colour as red or maroon, but its softness really appeals to me a lot. I don’t want to show off my belly, so the top is being designed such that it covers the torso completely and gives me a nice curvy shape as well.
- Neha Chauhan, 27, Teacher, Getting married on February 1, 2017
Stylist’s Take: “Channel your inner Mughal bride. A lot of girls have grown up taking inspiration for this important era in the Indian culture. Embody the style of Nur Jehan,” says Sara.
The peach bride
Shine soft, win big
Peach – the subtler, softer cousin of pink – is modest, delicate and yet so charming. I prefer subtle colours over loud ones. When I got married in Florence last year, I didn’t want to go in for the conventional red or maroon or wear something very heavy. I’m not a very traditional person in my ways and outlook. So even though we had a Hindu wedding, most of the customs were adapted to what my husband and I believe in. Which is why, for my wedding trousseau, I picked a light peach lehenga from Shantanu & Nikhil. It didn’t have the typical zari or zardozi work on it. In fact, it was very contemporary, matching my own outlook towards things and also the style of wedding we had. It just blended in perfectly with everything.
- Ambika Seth, 29, Co-founder - CAARA India Pvt Ltd, Got married in August 2015
Stylist’s Take: While bright color bridals will always be a tradition for women, nothing can beat the statement a bride can make dressing in subtle tones. This look works beautifully for all the brides who feel pastels suit their skin tone better than the loud tones of color.
The floral bride
Pick a bunch of the best
Why choose one when you can have all? Just like a bunch of flowers can come in all kinds of colours, a floral lehenga can amalgamate the best that individual colours have to offer. Which is why when I decide to get married, I’d love to combine the best qualities of all colours in one and go for a floral lehenga. In fact, I recently saw a beautiful floral lehenga in pink at a Manish Malhotra store which I simply loved. Besides being a big trend right now, floral patterns tend to be more subtle as compared to most of the over-the-top lehengas that you see during weddings. Florals work beautifully with pastel colours that suit our skin tones. You can easily wear it with diamonds, pearls or even floral jewellery, which is such a big relief from the usual gold jewellery. You can go for floral maang tikas or even haath phools – that sure will make you stand out from the crowd.
- Shreiya Saxena, 23, MBA Student, Wants to get married in floral
Stylist’s Take: Every free spirit, bohemian at heart bride should definitely stun the crowd with bold printed outfit.
About the stylist: Sara Awwad is an Iranian-origin fashion stylist based in New Delhi, who has styled several ad campaigns and has worked with top fashion magazines like Vogue Italia amongst others.
From HT Brunch, November 27, 2016
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch