Get ready to look your best, for it’s the season of wedding celebrations again! Bidding adieu to monsoon and getting into the pleasant vibes of autumn- it’s time to let yourself into the social bubble. The months of October to February witness millions of marriages- sometimes over a hundred wed-locks in the same city on a single day! These are the days that people look forward to since they make a gleeful break from routine- bringing friends and relatives together and sumptuous meals that people inherently relish.
In a collectivistic country like India where family, groups and community play an important role, elaborate celebrations hold a high level of significance.Whether you’re an enthusiastic baraati, a chic bridesmaid or just an associate from the couple’s extended network- walking in with an impeccable wardrobe is a protocol that you need to follow at every Indian wedding. Especially women tend to spend hours getting ready for functions and well, multiple days for having their closet stocked with the latest wedding lehengas, sarees and trendy designer silhouettes. Frankly as a woman I would say that these extra efforts are totally justified- for when you have hundreds of people watching you, a highly appealing wardrobe is must!
The desire to look your best can sometimes just be too overwhelming, especially with the array of pre and post-wedding functions! Ganesh puja, haldi, mehendi, ring ceremony, sehra-bandhi, baraat, pheras, reception, pag phera- there are so many rituals and get-togethers happening around an Indian wedding, not to mention those extra ‘after-parties’ and cocktail treat moments and for each of these functions, you have to stand well-presented. “What to wear” is a question that can haunt you with its underlying fear of not looking upto your expected standards- which can be a nightmare for the ones who love to be appreciated for their sense of fashion. To ease out things, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of traditional as well as contemporary outfits for functions surrounding this beautiful event, to make you earn you the title of being the ‘Most Stylish Wedding Guest’!
Soft net, tulles and sheers like tissue- it’s indeed a smart move to blend in with the elite party crowd by donning a sensual sheer detailed outfit. Sheer outfits tend to have a snazzy glam element attached while staying within the zone of modesty- now that’s a total win for an Indian fashion empress!
For a daytime wed-lock ceremony, a soft pastel designer lehenga with sheers and moderate shimmer can be worn with dazzling diamond accessories. You can also wear sheers in elaborate silhouettes for a dolled-up look at the ring ceremony or for a cocktail party function. For such occasions that are inspired from the western culture, a sheer detailed gown or a contemporary floor-length Anarkali suit can be picked.
Your wardrobe should not be limited to sarees, lehengas and salwar suits– especially if you’re not the one who likes to blend in with the crowd! So go ahead and experiment with outfits- pick an off-beat silhouette like a dhoti set, poncho suit or a sizzling palazzo set that has an embroidered bustier blouse and a long jacket layer. Such spunky garments are better suited for less formal events like mehendi party or a pre-wedding bash. However, these days, women have been sporting such fusion silhouettes even at the main ritual! Trends aside, choose a silhouette that matches your personality and meets your comfort levels.
Bold and Striped:
Stripes- of all colours and dimensions are the hottest trend to have imbued the closet of fashion devotees across the globe! Striped patterns over ethnic wear are definitely not a new amalgamation, but have now become a rage, being sported by women even at Indian weddings. A bold striped saree comes handy for those informal ad-hoc parties or when you want to look outstanding with minimum efforts.
Style Tip: If you’re opting for a striped saree that has contrasting colours, then opt for just 1-2 pieces of minimal jewellery. Also, pick a blouse that is totally plain so that your saree stands out well.
Music, dancing and ostentatious arrangements- Indian weddings immanently entail a lot of drama. If you’re keen on highly ‘disciplined’ attire then you can stick to classics like a crispy ornate Banarasi silk saree, but if you wish to plunge into the carefree mood of the occasion then go ahead and embrace silhouettes that have wavy edges, uneven gatherings or fairytale frills that spark a feeling of nostalgia- reminding you of childhood bedtime stories.
For the engagement party, ring ceremony or the reception bash a frilly lehenga choli in tones of dusky pink, golden or wine can be worn with fine diamond jewellery. While for functions that involve religious rituals, you can stick to your basic ethno-classics!
Flowers are perhaps the safest detail to pick for a celebration- for they never go out of fashion! If you’re not one of those who prefer buying new clothes for every occasion then investing in a couple floral sarees and floral lehenga cholis is a good idea and these garments can be carried forward for even a decade. Floral prints over a white or cream lehenga looks buoyant for functions taking place during daytime- like the haldi, mehendi function, Ganesh puja and the wed-lock ceremony. If you’re attending the marriage of a far-off relative or a business associate and are not too keen on wearing something heavy, then a floral printed or appliqué work anarkali suit can be your go-to outfit.
Style-tip: If your garment has colorful and prominent flower details, then you must choose accessories having muted tones and get a simple hair-do.
Every woman, at least at some point of time in her life wishes to have her Cinderella moments! A grand evening ball gives you the liberty to live this dream. Such fantasy gowns look elegant and glorious for indoor parties that are held under the dazzle of chandeliers. You can complete your doll-like look with a neat or softly curled hair-style.
These days ethnic and fusion gowns are also quite in vogue. Saree gowns, anarkali gowns and draped floor-length silhouettes are quite a rage for global Indians for such outfits given them the best of Indian and western cultures.
Your wedding wardrobe need not always be loud with fiery tones; you can stand out while underplaying on colour palettes! White, which was always labeled as a ‘mourning’ colour in the Indian culture, is today one of the trending hues for festive wear. The recently held star-studded wedding of actress Sonam Kapoor even had a white dress code at one of the functions. If you’re still unyielding to wearing a white garment for a joyous occasion, then soft and muted tones like light peach, pastel pink, soft mint green, cream and taupe are tinted options worth exploring.
Subdued tones are suitable for daytime parties and resort weddings as well as occasions that involve contemporary themed decorations. For example, a peach and white silk palazzo suit can be worn for the sehra-bandhi ceremony or a similar ritual held indoors in presence of close family members.
The alluring appeal of layers is hard to overlook! Buying layered garments like a poncho blouse saree or a jacket-style suit for formal events is a smart move because you can later on mix-and-match the same garment with different add-ons and turn up at the next party with a completely new look!
Long embroidered shrugs and capes look cozy as well as majestic when worn over a plain suit or lehenga choli set. Depending on the colours, fabric and amount of embroidery, such garments can be worn for any of the pre and post-wedding functions.
Getting decked up for a wedding should always be a delightful activity and by choosing the right garments and add-ons and more importantly, feeling confident of your attire, you can be assured of being noticed and appreciated for being an up-to-date attendee!