Manish Malhotra 2012 Collection

Nothing is quite as elegant as an Indian wedding. It is the one time that South Asian people splurge to have the most beautiful and elaborate clothing, jewelry and decorations.  Culture, tradition and religion are also very important in any South Asian wedding whether Hindu, Jain, Sikh or Muslim.

According to ZeeNews India, Bollywood`s favorite designer, Manish Malhotra, displayed his take on traditional and modern Indian bridal wear at the recent PCJ Delhi Couture Week. Celebrities like Katrina Kaif and Vidyut Jamwal showcased Malhotra’s designs.

“The collection consisted of 20 select couture pieces, which spun together an exquisite story of diverse timeless, vintage styles,” Malhotra said. “I have drawn inspiration from the classic styles of the 50s and 60s of India.”

According to Malhotra, much inspiration for high-end Indian couture stems from traditional bridal fashions. Whether you are going for a full-traditional style or adding your own modern twist, there are some wedding fashion essentials every Indian bride should have for their special day.

Saris, Lehngas and Shararas

Perhaps the most important part of the wedding-wear ensemble, the traditional Sari is a draped fabric the bride can wear around her body that comes in many fabrics and styles like silk, embroidered, Georgette or a weaved design. A more elaborate style of Sari is a Stitched Sari. These elegant dress-like Saris have many drapes and embroidery. They have a tight fit top and flow at the bottom.

© Sandeep Saxena

Lehngas have a slimmer fit through the entire garment. They are usually made from the same materials and embroideries as Saris and Stitched Saris, but they have two pieces, a top and a skirt, that sometimes show the navel and a small part of the stomach. Whichever of these designs you choose, they come in virtually any color and design.

Footwear

According to Maharaniweddings.com, “The mandap is the place the bride enters as a member of her family, and leaves as a member of a new family.” It is traditionally a decorated, four-pillar covered structure. The mandap is an ancient wedding tradition and it is customary not to wear shoes once you have entered it for the ceremony.

For the rest of the celebration, however, there are several kinds of stylish slippers and sandals for the bridal party and guests to wear that can be matched to your wedding outfit and theme.

Accessories

Christian Louboutin for Marchesa

Jewelry and bindis are an essential and fun part of the ceremony. Traditionally, bindis are a red dot on the forehead that symbolizes female energy and protection. It also symbolizes the third eye of concentration, the area between the eyebrows where attention is focused during meditation.

Today, bindis are more of a fashion statement. Non-Hindus wear them and they can be any color. Sometimes a jewel is adorned on the forehead instead of a dot. Jewelry, such as bangles, earrings and traditional wedding nose rings can also be used to accessorize for your special day.

Henna

According to the Washington Post, South Asian weddings can be lavish affairs, “the culmination of a lifetime of parents’ savings and prayers.” These festivities can last up to ten days. There are prayer ceremonies, games, entertainment and singing and dancing parties known as “sangeets.” One wedding tradition is the henna or Mehndi party which takes place at the bride’s home a day or two before the actual wedding. The bride’s friends and family adorn her with intricate henna tattoos to enhance her beauty on the wedding day. Henna is all-natural and lasts about two to four weeks.

The tradition of South Asian weddings bring together two souls and their families. Every bride wants to look her best and remember the day forever. Once you have the right fashion essentials to compliment you on your special day, you can enjoy your celebration with your family, friends and loved ones.

Victor Aguiar Victor worked with several fashion icons and now writes for fashion blogs and forums. His eye for couture is sharp and his words sharper.

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