India is a diverse country and oh, how beautifully diverse it is. From the food and festivities, the climates and cash crops and to the terrains and traditions, each Indian state stands out in its own unique way. Talking about traditions and festivities, we Indians are celebrators to the very core; we acknowledge everything, births, demise, anniversaries, homecomings, fasts and what not. However the wedding celebration in India has always been a persistent chartbuster as most of us plan on getting married only once in their lifetime or even for the seven incarnations to come for that matter. Thus, weddings are, have always been and will always be a huge affair for us.
Now, the most important character of the wedding is the Bride of course. The groom is equally important too, but for now let’s just concentrate on the one who makes the heads turn – ‘The Indian Bride’. The aforementioned diversity magnificently reflects in the bridal attires all across the country, not much is required to differentiate South Indian Brides from the Maharashtrian ones. Let’s have a look at what these brides wear at their weddings in myriad regions of our country.
- The Kaanjivaram Queen
At a South Indian wedding where all that glitters is actually gold, brides traditionally wear illustrious Kaanjivaram sarees laden with splendid gold jewelry, literally from head to toe. Gajraas are another indispensable accessory which gives the bride a rather grand yet clean and compact look as there are hardly any layered and voluminous garments involved.
- The Iconic Bong Bride
Similar to the southern bridal attire, Bengali brides too are adorned in sarees. However, the contrast lies in the way the sarees are draped around the upper half of the body. Another striking feature is the ‘Mukut’, an ivory colored head gear along with the crimson dyed hands and heavy gold jewelry gives the bride an alluring appearance.
- The Ethnic Eastern Bride
The seven sisterly states are mystically unusual in every dimension and wedding attire is no exception. Unlike the sarees or lehengas you will find an East Indian bride wearing a ‘potloi’, a delicately decorated cylindrical skirt along with ‘silum’, a long blouse covering the entire torso. The blouse and the skirt are draped over by a beautiful net fabric along with a crown and jewelry to accessorize the outfit.
- The Maharashtrian Navrai
Brides in Maharashtra stand out because of the peculiarly shaped nose pin, ‘mundavalya’ usually a pearl ornament tied around the forehead with its ends hanging on either side of the face and of course a lustrous ‘paithani’ saree made out of the finest silk.
- The North Indian Dulhan
Lehenga is undoubtedly the most common bridal attire and is popular in the entire north, north western and central region. Although the dress color stays in the crimson palette, a little local flavor does not go unnoticed. It shows in the artwork on the fabric or the way the dupatta is draped.
- The Kashmir ki Kali
The traditional bridal attire in Kashmir is a long kurta called ‘pehran’ however brides haves resorted to lehengas in this region too. A sophisticated and sequined skull cap called ‘tarang’ still remains exclusive to the Kashmiri Brides.
- The Regal Rajasthani Bride
Coming downwards to Rajasthan, here lehenga is worn with a small elbow sleeved blouse ‘kanchli’ which lies beneath the ‘kurti’ a sleeveless blouse adorned with an ‘odhni’ .The outfit is completed with intricately carved hemispherical piece of jewelry called ‘bor’ worn like a teeka and spanning necklaces. This forms a typical ‘Rajputi poshak ‘and depicts the true Rajasthani royalty and splendor.
While these may definitely rule the Indian wedding scenario, the diversity of the nation only goes onto say how vast the bridal styles may be. In Gujarat, the girls take to wearing panetar chenia choli where the dupatta is draped coming from over the shoulder and flared up neatly till the waist. In Punjab, the dupatta falls freely from the head over the shoulders to the entire body. And this doesn’t end here. The smallest of villages in the hills to the largest of royal dwellings, the traditions and cultures have a different flavor and that is what makes it so exciting. Being a bride is an out of the world feeling already and being one in India is an altogether different voyage.