The best thing about Indian culture is its exquisiteness. North, East, South or West, various rituals and customs around the nation are deeply loved and respected. You would not believe, but it is true that with every state or region, the customs in India vary. Be it festivals, weddings, or any other religious events, everything has its own uniqueness and with it comes its distinctive colour, flavour, and taste.
In India, weddings are not just an occasion to celebrate the union of two souls, but a bond that gets cemented for saat janam. Indian weddings are larger than life celebrations, which see brides flaunting their best looks. So, here are a few bridal looks from India that will leave you mesmerised.
Due to its size and population, India is a diverse country and wedding customs are hardly homogeneous. Traditions will vary region to region but here are some of the most popular elements that can be found at an Indian
Today’s Indian Bridal looks are the result of a great transition. Contemporary brides are more open to experimentation with new and unique looks that often make them stand out and look stunning! The classic look is still very popular but the newer trends are catching on and making a wave!
A Sikh bride can wear loads of jewels and gems, but her bridal look can never be complete without the chooda and kalire. For the Anand Karaj ceremony, the bride can either opt for a lehenga, or anarkali suit. She keeps the veil over her head up to the forehead for the entire ceremony.
A Punjabi bride prefers wearing a red, maroon or pink lehenga on her wedding day. However, there is no restriction as such and she can wear any colour she wants. The colours that are usually avoided are black and white. Apart from her royal dress and other pieces of jewellery, a nose ring or nath, forms an integral part of her solah shringar.
The beautiful blend of rich wedding traditions and the flawless beauty of Punjabi brides can leave anyone spellbound.
It is said that Islam first came to the western coast of India when Arab traders as early as the 7th century CE came to coastal Malabar and Konkan-Gujarat.
Muslim weddings are known as Nikah in Urdu. The ceremonies and rituals related to a Muslim wedding may differ according to the region, sects, and customs of the people involved. But, down-the-line, every wedding has one significant purpose to it - celebrating the sacred union of two people.
The first thing you will notice about a Muslim bride's attire would be her jewellery, especially the jhoomar. Another important part of her bridal look, is the silk cloth on her wrist wrapping the silver or gold coin tied by the groom's mother ahead of the wedding. Most Muslim brides often wear floral garlands supporting the veil that covers their face (which is revealed only after their Nikah).
A muslim bride's eye makeup is something to die for, the finesse of the kajal, lip colour, and eyebrow pencil turns them into ethereal beauties.
It is traditionally believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who supposedly landed in Kerala in 52 AD. There is a general scholarly consensus that Christianity was definitely established in India by the 6th century AD.
Indian Christians have certain customs that varies according to their region, like Mangalorean Christians, Goan Christians, North-East Christians etc. Not all Christian weddings in India, have brides wearing a white dress, some of them stick to wearing brightly coloured sarees for various events. But, those who choose to wear white, have certain fashion rules to follow, like a net veil supported by a tiara, a train along with their dress, a white flower bouquet. As a mark of their traditional practice the bride is walked down the aisle in the church by her father.
With more and more women, going in for the white wedding, the Internet is filled with options for some beautiful gowns, tiaras, veils, etc. For their jewellery, they stick to earrings, neckpieces, or bracelets and these are all in silver, diamond or platinum.
As per Assamese wedding customs, the bride has to wear the mekhla chadar, a traditional bridal outfit, given to her by the groom's mother. It is often a cream or off-white silk saree with gold work. An Assamese bride goes low on makeup and jewellery quotient (restricted to only traditional jewels.) Their maang teeka is considered to be auspicious and is of utmost importance.
Usually, Bengali women wear white, or off-white sarees with red, pink and maroon borders for various religious ceremonies. But, as a traditional bridal attire, their outfits are commonly the bright red, pink or maroon Banarasi silk sarees with zari work. Alta, which is applied to her feet is a major part of a Bengali bride's makeup.
Weddings down south are very different from those up north of India. Tamil people represent the major identity of South Indian communities and are known for their stress on simple living and great education. Typical Tamil weddings are more about sticking to the age old customs and traditions than a lavish affair. For the Tamilians, the spiritual symbolism of a wedding is paramount rather than all the pomp and show. Sure, Tamil weddings are filled with lots of fun and light moments as well as they are a big event with distant relatives in attendance, but there for sure will not be any compromise on the actual ceremony.
The highlight of a Tamilian bride is her jewellery. A Tamilian bride has her hair braided in the most beautiful way, which is then decorated with traditional gold jewellery. Most brides, wear multi-layer neckpiece made out of gold.
Even their head is completely decorated with heavy jewellery, comprising a single string maang teeka with matha patti, long earrings moving up till her hair bun. They wear bright coloured Kanjeevaram sarees with zari border.
A Telugu bride changes into two bridal outfits during her wedding. For the part, where she is brought in by her brother and maternal uncle in a tokri or a bamboo basket, she wears a traditional silk saree, complete with her bridal jewellery including a kamarbandh.
For the Jeelakarra Bellamu and Madhuparkam ceremonies, the bride changes into a white cotton saree with a red border.
Just like other South Indian brides, the Malayali brides too are high on metal jewellery quotient, despite having a simple lifestyle. For the wedding, they are dressed up in white silk saree with golden border. They prefer floral jewellery to go with their outfit, which includes gajra, necklace and bracelet made up of white and orange rajnigandha flowers as well as jasmine flowers.
Marwari/ Marwadi Bride
A traditional Marwari bride has a heavily embellished lehenga or saree with embroidered silk and gold work. Her jewellery stands equal in competition with her bridal outfit, and is extremly heavy. Borla, a fingerlet, a kundan neckpiece or choker, and gold nath are the utmost important jewels for most Marwari brides.
During the rituals, the bride is laden with a bandhni odhni, which acts as a veil to cover her face or head.
A Gujarati bride's wedding outfit is intricately designed which is deeply connected to her community. Unlike, other Indian brides, the Gujarati females wear their saree with pallu/palla facing the front. A Gujarati bride, changes into two sarees during her wedding, a Panetar and Gharchola.
Panetar is a richly designed white saree with red, golden and green dots handmade (bandhini) and is considered to be a last gift from her parents and relatives from the maternal side. On the other hand, Gharchola, a bright red saree with silk and zari work in stripes and checked pattern, is given by her in-laws affirming their acceptance of her as their daughter.
Mundavalya, a string of flowers or pearls, is the first thing one will notice that distinguishes a Maharashtrian bride from the other Indian brides. Her bridal outfit is a two-tone, silk saree with a golden border, known as Paithani, and her hair is tied in a bun adorned with mogra flowers. Usually, the bride wears the saree in a dhoti style.
The bride wears a traditional half-moon shaped nath, matching the crescent shaped bindi with a red dot and her jewellery is comprised of white pearls and gold.
Kashmiri (pandit) wedding rituals and traditions are no doubt very simple and easy to perform, yet the wedding celebrations go on for many days due to the increased number of rituals. Starting from the pre-wedding rituals, to the main wedding and on to the post-wedding rituals, the Kashmiri marriages are varied and many.
The traditional outfit for a Kashmiri bride comprises a pheran, which is a raffle-designed with an ari or hook embroidery at the neck, cuff and edges; it can be in red, yellow and pink colour. The headwear includes Kalpush along with Zoojh (a white colour cloth with golden glaze paper), and together the entire thing is called Tarang.
The bride either wears a lehenga or saree with Kashmiri embroidery, and the dupatta is worn over the headwear to accentuate her beauty.
An Oriya bride wears maroon, red or magenta-coloured, heavily embellished lehenga or saree with hand work. During the wedding ritual, the bride is laden with a bright red chunari with gota work. And the couple wears a traditional headgear.
Parsi (Zoroastrian) Bride
The exact date of the Parsi migration is unknown. According to tradition, the Parsis initially settled at Hormuz on the Persian Gulf, but finding themselves still persecuted (following the Muslim conquest of Iran) they set sail for India, arriving in the 8th century. The migration may, in fact, have taken place as late as the 10th century, or in both. They settled first at Diu in Kāthiāwār but soon moved to Gujarat.
Similar to the Christian wedding, the Parsi wedding too has the bride wearing an all-white outfit, a saree with heavy embroidery work. Usually, the bride keeps her head covered with the saree's palla throughout the ceremony.
But with changing times, women have restricted to covering their heads till the wedding ritual is performed. Their jewellery comprises mostly of platinum and white pearls.
Ladakhi Buddhist Bride
Ladakh is a beautiful place to visit in India and like the place; the people in Ladakh are also hospitable and kind-hearted. Their cheerful nature and humble living show their loyalty towards nature. And perhaps this is one well-grounded reason why Ladakh spikes with beauty and might. The people in Ladakh have a different appearance and the clothes they wear are likewise to those of Tibet and Central Asia
A Ladakhi Buddhist bride on her wedding day wears the traditional costume, a Goncha. It is made of a thick woollen cloth that is supported by belt tied around the waist. The bride wears the Goncha with a loose trouser skirt and intricately embroidered kamarbandh. The headgear, a Perak is coated with black lamb and decorated with turquoise stones, which is to wish the bride a beautiful life ahead.