One of the most stunning style alternatives to traditional western wedding attire is the Indian style wedding dress. Indian wedding dresses by design are brightly colored and ornate, with intricate embroidery, shimmering fabrics, and lots of sparkle. An Indian bride must shine on her wedding day. Indian wedding dresses are almost always red and are never, ever white. Red is considered a lucky and prosperous color for the couple, whereas white is the color of mourning.
Types of Indian Wedding Dresses
In India, cultural and religious diversity generally dictate the style of wedding dress for a bride, and some of the more commonly seen styles are the gaghra choli, the shalwar chameez, and the sari.
The gaghra choli is long skirt complemented by a short blouse. A dupatta, or long scarf, is draped across the bride’s chest.
The shalwar chameez consists of a long tunic worn over pants. Again, a dupatta is draped across the chest, but the bride may choose to wear it around her neck or over her head pinned to one of her shoulders instead.
The sari, probably the best-known Indian wedding dress in western cultures, is a broad piece of fabric wrapped around the bride’s body in a precise pattern. It may be secured either by pins, or by simply tucking it into the waistband. The remaining loose fabric, called the pallu, is then gracefully draped over the shoulder.
Intricate, embroidered designs are the one feature all these styles of Indian dresses share. Exquisite combinations of beadwork, patterns, and even embossed wire of pure gold and silver, may be found on a traditional Indian wedding dress.
As for fabrics, anything that carries a sheen, such as satin, silk, and certain chiffons, is typically used to make an Indian wedding dress.
Indian Bridal Accessories
Just as with western bridal attire, Indian wedding dresses are not complete without an array of accessories. For Indian brides, these accessories include all types of body and hair jewelry. Of course, shoes, purses, and floral adornments are also part of an Indian bride’s wedding ensemble.
New Trends in Indian Bridal Wear
The red Indian dress will probably never change due to its solid roots in Indian culture and religion. But, some features of Indian bridal wedding attire that are slowly changing include the introduction of softer shades of red, greater variety in styling, and more subtle jewelry. Also, a blending of Western styling with traditional Indian themes is on rise, with modern brides opting for sleeker lines than those of earlier generations.