What Are the Best Indian Wedding Dresses for Brides, Grooms and Wedding Guests?
Do you plan a traditional Indian wedding? No matter if you are a true Hindu or are just fond of this culture and want to have a wedding, which follows the traditions of this country, you, first of all, need to think about Indian dresses for wedding. And we don’t talk only about the bridal gown. The outfits of a groom and other participants of the ceremony are also important.
So, let’s take a closer look at Indian wedding dresses for brides and grooms as well as for wedding guests.
Indian Wedding Dresses for Bride
Basically, the majority of us imagine traditional Indian wedding dresses as luxurious red gowns, featuring embroidery and luxurious adornments. And that’s actually true. Red is the traditional color for the Indian bride. It symbolizes fortune, success, honor, fertility, love, luck as well as the start of the new life.
But the wedding dresses may look different in various regions of the country. For instance, in the North, the brides usually wear silk lehengas, which consist of a short top and a long skirt either in a-line or mermaid silhouette. As a rule, they are traditional red Indian wedding dresses, decorated with beads and rhinestones. The gold embroidery is also a traditional decoration.
Moreover, each state may have its variations. Thus, the Gujurati panetar is a variant of red and white Indian wedding dresses. The embroidery may have various motifs from hearts and stars to the images of animals.
In the South, brides wear kanjivaram silk saris, which they belt with gold cumbarbands. Sari is a drape, which is wrapped around the waist, while its one end is placed over the shoulder. It’s usually of 4.5-8 meters long and 60-120 cm wide. There are dozens of ways how the sari can be draped.
While red is still the most traditional color, the brides are free to choose any other color they like. You can meet royal blue Indian wedding dresses as well as golden Indian wedding dresses or the ones in any other color. However, purely white gowns aren’t worn as the white is the mourning color in India. The gown may have just some white decor.
The wedding silk saris of the South may look simpler than the beaded gowns in the North, but, in fact, a kanjivaram sari is decorated with gold zari and only real professionals can create them.
The bride’s makeup and adornments are called the Solah Shringar. It’s a set of 16 pieces, which every bride must wear at her wedding day from the head to toes. They are:
- Bindi (the colored dot in the center of the forehead)
- Sindoor or Vermillion (a red powder, which is applied on the parting of the hair)
- Maang Tika (a jewelry, which is attached to the hair and extended to the forehead)
- Kajal or Anjana (a black dye for the eyes)
- Nath or Nose Ring
- Karn Phool or Ear Ornaments
- Haar or Necklace
- Mehndi (elaborate designs on the hands and feet with the help of henna)
- Bajubandh or Armband (worn on the upper arms)
- Aarsi or Haathful (rings, which are attached to the bracelet)
- Kamarbandh or Waist Accessories
- Payals or Anklets (chains, which are worn around the ankles)
- Bichhua or Toe Ring
- Keshapasharachana or Hair Accessory
Of course, today, the brides have a wide choice of wedding dresses. Every Indian wedding dresses designer offers a huge selection of possible bridal looks. The majority of designers try to combine traditions with some new wedding trends. As a result, many Indian wedding dresses look like pieces of art.
Moreover, some Indian designer wedding dresses may have some touches of the Western style. For instance, it can be a wedding gown, not sari or lehenga, but which is decorated in the traditional Indian style.
So, if you aren’t Hindu but are astonished by the beauty of Indian wedding dresses, you can organize a wedding party in Indian style and dress up in the sari, lehenga or any gown you like. Today, it’s cool that you can buy such an outfit not only in your city, but also order the one directly from India as you are free to buy Indian wedding dresses online.
Indian Wedding Dresses for Groom
Surprisingly enough, men also wear dresses for Indian wedding. In truth, they aren’t dresses in the direct meaning, but are often called in such a way. Traditional Indian wedding dresses for men have four pieces, which are required. They are safa, sehra, sherwani and mojari.
Safa is a piece of clothes, which is wound around the groom’s head. In fact, it’s something like a wedding turban. They are either sold ready or as just long pieces of fabric. Safas may be made of different fabrics and feature various colors and adornments, depending on the region.
In addition, safas can be decorated with the sarpech. This ornament is similar to the peacock feather and is placed in the center of a turban. It can be decorated with some jewels.
Nowadays, sehra isn’t an obligatory item for a groom. So, some grooms wear it and some not. It’s a small curtain of beads of flowers, which is attached to turban, which blocks the groom’s view. This item was more used before, when the Hindu grooms were prohibited to see the bride before the wedding ceremony.
The sherwani is a blouse with long sleeves, which extends to the knees. It’s worn together with churidar pants. The most traditional colors are pale gold, brown and maroon. However, the other colors are also used nowadays. The sherwani always features embroidery.
Mojari, which are also called Khussa, are the shoes, which will remind you the ones, worn by Aladdin. They are leather flats, which curl at the toes. They can be adorned by embroidery, shells, mirrors and gems. Mojari are more common for the Northern regions of the country. In South, they are used rarely.
In addition, a groom may wear kurta. Kurta is a long and loose blouse. Before, it differed from sherwani by the way it was worn. It was worn under the sherwani. However, now, kurta designs are so similar to the ones of sherwani that it’s easy to mix them up. Just like sherwani, kurta can feature embroidery and have luxurious decorations. While sherwani usually has buttons, kurta is traditionally loose. Also, a kurta is more like a blouse while a sherwani is more like a coat.
For a semi-formal wedding, a groom may wear a bandhgala. It is closer to the traditional Western look of the groom. Bandhgala is an evening suit, which also called a Jodpuri suit. It consists of a blazers and matching trousers. The jacket features the standing and closed collar.
Moreover, men’s wedding dresses Indian can be in the form of achkans. Achkan also looks similar to sherwani, but differs in fabrics and length. As a rule, achkan is sewed from a lighter fabric, like chikan, linen and jamwar. As to the length, achkan is shorter than traditional sherwani.
Wedding Indian Dresses for Guests
If you are invited to the Indian wedding, you need to think over your outfit very carefully. First of all, you need to choose the proper color of Indian wedding party dresses. It’s important to avoid wearing black and white clothes as these colors are associated with mourning. You must have noticed that Indian people are fond of bright colors and you are free to choose any color except red as it’s the color of the bride. You can wear pastel and neutral tones as well.
In India, the female wedding guests usually wear saris, anarkali suits or lehengas. Anarkali suits are the most popular among Indian women. If you prefer a sari, opt for the one made of silk, crepe, chiffon or georgette with intricate embellishments. You can find some astonishing variants among designer Indian wedding dresses for guests. If the wedding is semi-formal or isn’t held in India, you can wear other clothes. However, avoid baring the shoulders, low cut tops and skirts and other revealing clothes.
Traditionally, men wear a kurta with pyjama. Nowadays there are many cool designs of them in any color and of different materials. Such an outfit is very convenient and is comfortable for long Indian wedding ceremonies. Instead of kurta, it’s possible to wear sherwani.
In addition, you will need to cover your head if the wedding ceremony takes place in a temple. You can do that with a long scarf or pashmina. Men also need to cover their heads. They can get the head cover at the temple or bring a large white handkerchief.
The great plus of Indian wedding guest dresses is that you don’t need to think much about the shoes. Usually, it’s required to take the shoes off at any religious wedding ceremony in India. Moreover, the women are also recommended to wear jewelry. At least, choose a necklace and the matching earrings. Indian women often take on bangles as well.
In general, Indian style wedding dresses for guests mustn’t look too casual. Avoid outfits without any embellishment as they will look to simple. The exception is a gown, made of luxurious fabric like silk or brocade. At the same time, you mustn’t look brighter that the newlyweds. Give preference to something elegant.
Be ready that Indian wedding dresses for bride's sister or the groom’s sister will be more intricate than the ones of wedding guests. A sister is the third person at the wedding (after the bride and groom), who gets much attention, and that’s why her dress will be just a bit simpler than the bridal gown. However, it will definitely be heavily embellished.
So, you see that wedding dresses in Indian culture aren’t just pieces of beautiful clothes. Each item has a certain meaning as well as its color. The dresses for bride and groom may look different in various regions, but they are united by the incredible beauty and luxury.
Moreover, if you choose the Indian wedding theme not because you are Hindu, but just because you like the beauty of their celebrations, you can just buy Indian inspired wedding dresses and not to follow all the traditions strictly.