Much has been said about the Indian wedding, and much more will be written in times to come. Marriages are made in heaven, goes the saying. One wouldn’t be wrong to think that many Indian weddings also happen in heaven. When it comes to Indian weddings there probably is no such thing as ‘too much’. Proud parents across all sections of society save over a lifetime to ensure they can gift the best possible wedding day to their child. Exotic island beach weddings, flashy cars and expensive designer clothes, dream-like settings in a palace of old and Bollywood star performances – all these are just some ways to add to the excitement of the Indian wedding. For proud parents, it’s the time to host an event of such proportions that it will be talked about for days to come.
And for every bride, it is the time to put her best foot forward.
Wherever you may be from, one thing is a certainty in every wedding – the day belongs to the bride and she is the cynosure of all eyes. And if popular culture is to be believed, every girl dreams of this day! No wonder then, that so much time, money and effort goes into preparing her to look her absolute best. And the most important question on every bride’s mind: what do I wear?
A sari is the most popular choice for brides across India. Over the many smaller events that comprise the wedding, there is at least one where the bride is draped in a sari that brings out the best in her appearance. A significant majority of women choose to wear a sari during the significant wedding ceremony. From color to fabric to designs and style, everything is explored and the advice of friends and family taken before zeroing in on the final choice. And considering the sheer variety of saris on offer, it is no easy job. So here are a few factors to keep in mind while choosing a wedding sari.
Traditionally, every part of India has its own specific color for the wedding sari. But the contemporary bride may make a few unconventional choices to go with her preferences and her skin tone. A person with a fair complexion may be able to pull off even the brightest hues. A person of medium to heavy build and darker complexion can go for slightly darker shades that will complement their skin tone and body contours. A dark-colored sari can magically take away a few pounds off one’s frame. The color will also determine the kind of jewelry worn, so it is important to keep that in mind too.
Flowing chiffon and georgette with classy Indian embroidery may not be the most conventional choice, but it still has its takers. Silk saris continue to be the favored choice, and with the many varieties of silk, there is something for every body shape and size. Silk can be expensive, so one can choose less pricey designer saris with beautiful handcrafted embroidery and other designs. The fabric should be chosen keeping in mind the comfort needed for the long hours spent in the wedding rituals. Saris that hold up without getting too crumpled or messy are a smarter choice.
There are saris that weigh many kilograms – they have lovely zari work and embellishments and crystals and much more! As beautiful as they are, remember that you may have to compromise on comfort when wearing something of this kind. Heavy work on saris typically look wonderful on women of slight to average build. This is a matter of personal preferences and one can experiment a little to find the right designs.
For brides of heavy / bulky build: The sari is a versatile garment; chosen and draped correctly, it can make one look much slimmer. The general notion, sadly, is that saris make women look plumper. This feeling by itself may prevent one from looking their best, since half the story is about the poise and confidence of the bride. Chiffon, crepe and saris of flowing material are a blessing for the heavy body type. They do not add volume and fall beautifully, making the bride look slimmer. Saris in dark colors with light-colored borders are also a good bet for this body type.
For the skinny bride: The skinny bride can go all out and pick a heavy Kanjivaram, or go contemporary with designer saris with heavy embellishments. Worn correctly, they add just the right bit of volume to give a fuller appearance. Heavy embroidery or large prints on cotton or organza can create a uniquely stunning look. Saris which are of flowing fabric are better left to women with an average to heavy build.
Tall women look gorgeous in saris, however one must carefully consider the overall length of the sari before buying one. Kanjivaram saris are a safe bet for weddings; they exude elegance and taste. If you are worried about appearing too tall, go for saris with large prints or big borders. Raw and pure silk saris complement your height and with the pallu left open over one arm, can look gorgeous.
Shorter women can go for pleasant pastel shades with a narrow border. A wide border may make one look shorter, so it is better avoided. Have a little fun! Pair a barebacked blouse with a chiffon or silk sari. Select delicate embroidery and smaller prints and patterns to give you a trim look.
The right color and tone are critical elements of your wedding sari. Pick something that is neither too gaudy, nor too light and simple. Your make-up and jewelry will make you look a little different; so choose colors that will look good on you under the harsh video camera lights. Zari work and crystals may glitter with beautiful effect on embellished saris. It is also a good idea to wear a bit of make-up and jewelry when shopping for the wedding sari.
The beautiful dusky complexioned women of the country look dazzling in warm, earthy tones, golden hues and neutral colors. Choose colors and color combinations that pop – maroon and green make a good combination. Team it up with the right jewelry for best results.
A wheatish complexion is most commonly found in India. Most movie stars have a wheatish complexion under those heavy layers of make-up. Avoid dull colors that will make you look dull too. White, sky blue and pink are excellent choices for this complexion.
A fair-skinned bride can play with multiple colors and shades. Intricate zari work can elevate a sari in pastel shades to a new high, and make the wearer look graceful and chic. Just because all colors look good, you may be tempted to play around a little too much with the color; resist that temptation!
Whatever your complexion, keep the make-up simple. Ensure there aren’t too many things clamoring for attention in your outfit. For best results, build a simple ensemble where there are only a few elements that you need to try and match. Carefully choose the right color and shade, fabric, jewels and embellishments that complement and do not compete with each other. And you are all set to be the star of your wedding day.