Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Having met over 150 brides now, and seen a tad bit of some of the top wedding trousseau designers in action now, there are a few things which I've seen perpetually every bride struggle with or is in a bit of hassle with on the D-day with their wedding lehenga.
So here are a few pointers that might...let's say brides-to-be...help you choose your wedding lehenga with a little more clarity and be proud of your choice.
Dear Brides-to-be, I know the sentiments behind the Indian wedding dream to get married in a RED wedding lehenga. Times havn't changed much and red; still is the choice of 7 out of 10 Indian brides. But hey there you; reading this...do we have some new age modern Indian brides who know a thing or two to strike a cord of perfect balance between the old and the new!! The advent of pastels as a wedding trend have indeed stirred things, and thus we saw a lot of Indian brides daring to go this "let's find a new color" route. From peaches to pinks to white to green to blues...a lot has been seen and the only word for this - 100% refreshing.
Despite being an absolute sloggish of a hard worker, have been a strong believer of destiny and just can't believe my luck how I got to meet such incredible brides who are the real inspiration behind this post. It's just my words, these ladies are the one's who actually set an example. Check out some real brides who did not opt for a RED wedding lehenga and boy oh boy...arn't they a treat!!
White wedding lehenga with peach, pink and coral!! Wooow what a pretty cocktail this was!! Well you might think, this just looks good for her portraits only, check out our bride Khushbu's happy days and what fond memories the whole family still brings and make us thank our luck for just being present for her big day.
Huuuuuuuuuge shout-out to one of my favouritest make-up artist Sahibba, for adding some colors that just was indeed the cherry on the cake.
I would name this Spring Pink. How mintblushlove found this pink and created this colorful palette is something I would leave her to answer. As of from me...Brides-to-be wanting pink, bookmark, pin, insta save and screenshot this happy spring mountain wedding, if you are planning your big day that revolves around your love story and the closest of families that help you stand strong.
Peach pink, with muted gold and green, say whaaatttt....possible! This would be Pinterest wedding goals achieved, like a boss!! More than Tulika's bridal style, I think so I would like to salute them for daring and choosing to enjoy their wedding day on their own terms, and saying no to any society pressure. You would too, when I say they had a guest list of just 20!! Yo possible, check this perfect day and the dream team who made this possible here.
As Pratistha defines this as Lilac Pink. Can I just officially declare this as the bridal color of the season. Love love love loooooooooooooooove this.
Lilac pink, gold kundan and pearl jewellery with a heart-throbbing dash of rose gold, Pratishtha's self-designed wedding lehenga is definitely what striking the right cords of balance between the old and new is; and defining what makes a modern Indian Bridal statment.
Shashank and Ishita's wedding was one wedding made of souls and hearts and good vibes. If they plan to have an anniversary bash very year with their friends and families, I would be there to click it for free!!
Rose gold, peach, diamonds and that bridal panache. After a very long time I could feel a strange vibe of mesmerizing calmness by just being around someone. Nothing short of amazing to see Ishita's bridal soul and making some art for her that sort of defines timeless bridal beauty!
Rutuja's wedding day look had all the modern day Indian bridal requirements. A fresh statement color, lightweight and breezy with some statement heirloom jewellery.
Now coming the the fine print...Hope I'v been able to plant this idea of at least start looking out for new colors for your big day. Now coming to the stitch and the embroidery details.
Now I'm sure you must have heard horror tales from brides from their wedding day,
"My lehenga weighed half of what I weighed!"
"My waist and my shoulders feel like I'v been moving around with a mud sack!"
Well trust me, when I say this is not how it should be. Comfort should be amongst the top 3 priorities for your wedding lehenga, coz you know what...if you are not happy and comfortable wearing your outfit; you will not look happy. Unless you come from the world of pro-models who make walking on a six inch like I would nvr be able to pull off on my platforms also! How do you choose being comfortable and yet look fab!
An over-all zari lehenga will be a thousand times heavier than a gotta-patti lehenga. Pratishtha's lilac pink lehenga for her anand karj in gotta patti sets the perfect example for this. And if it's this against Lilac Pink, that's what should go on your forever-in-vogue board.
Choose interesting thread word. This amazing color palooza and that floral details by Tamanna Punjabi Kapoor was such a breeze of fresh air. And as per the bride Rutuja...I think so the only thing wore her down was the chilly November Mussorie weather, and definitely not the lehenga.
Did you know that wedding lehengas can have a pocket also!! Yes and what a relief would it be to at least have your phone and a touch-up lipstick at your disposal at any given time. Real Bride Pratishtha cracked it like a boss lady at her own wedding and definitely made her not be dependent on anyone for a few bridal essentials.
If you are getting a custom lehenga fitting done, do make sure to discuss addition of these pockets into your lehenga. With good craftsmanship, these are practically invisible. It was indeed a fluke of moment amidst the wedding meet-and-greet when Pratishtha just magically took out her phone from the lehenga that got me quizzing! Getting something like this done with a store-bought lehenga is slightly tough, but hey...asking never hurt.
If you are planning on a double dupatta, then do make sure you check on the length and the material of these two dupattas. The length of the draping dupatta should be long enough to give you the much desired neat pleats. Side pleats of back pleats is however a totally personal choice, but ladies...do try out the length and suit yourself.
The material in consideration. The drapping dupatta with embroidered borders, tends to give a better fall. But just be a lil cautious of the areas where the dupatta is going to get tucked in. With heavy zari embroidery, or a heavy border lace, be prepared for a bruised side tummy. It will leave a rash for sure if you tuck it in. A simple solution to this could be to find drapping solution that involve pinning and not tucking in. Now did anyone tell you about this!! But trust me, I'v seen brides who could just not bear the embroidery scratching with the skin and just took the dupatta out and hold it themselves in dispair in between their function. So either choose a soft lace border or a softer cloth so that overall weight of the lehenga and the drapping is also not a major concern on the big day.
Some serious drapping inspiration here from two of our real brides Ishita, who happens to be an artisitc wedding photographer herself; no doubt the color selection was so on point and Khushbu who is professionally a happy high person.
Now comes my absolute favorite part of a wedding attire - the veils. Everyone pretty much knows by now, that I just absolutely adore taking veils shots. Having seen the most rockstar of brides have a week-in-the-knee moments with bridal veil shots, I personally feel that it's one piece of the entire bridal attire that just makes you a bride wholely. After-all when in life later would you be even slightly close to having an absolutely regal lady-like experience like this!!
Brides-to-be, if you want a veil, just for pictures of maybe if you want to enter with a veil for the added mysticism, please plan the material of the veil a little logically. The aim of this piece of this cloth is to set the perfect teaser for your big day. It hides, yet still reveals the needed details. Once unveiled it becomes your wedding outfit trail that hangs from your head bun. So the only and only important thing for this peace of cloth is to be as lightweight as possible. Because a heavy super embroidered chunni hanging in from your head bun for 8-10 hours will make you run for a migrane pill. Trust me again, I have seen brides pop the pill! Make-up artists might give you a solution of pinning it from the back, but that definitely makes an amazing back shot of your lehenga go for a toss.
Not pretty much aware of the textile details that make this possible, but a lot of the designers with whom some of these veil shots of some of our real brides were cracked had soft tulle or net as the material. The creative possibilities with this particular piece are umpteen, so make sure you do your research on this and find your mystic vibe.
A side note as a photographer - If having these veil shots are on your list, please make sure you get them done before it get tied in with your head bun. Once tied in, there is no turning back. You will not have the face covering veil shots, because the length needed will not be there and I'm pretty sure getting the make-up artist to undo the pins would be last thing either of the two of you would want.
A humble and earnest request to all brides-to-be to take up a strict self-care regime and be at your best of health in your own skin color. The best of make-up artists may hide your flaws for a day, but the wonders a good skin would do for your big day would make you happy inside out, because later when you look back, you would be able to see a lot of 'YOU' in the pictures and not a made-up YOU.
What no one give you a guide book as to how to crack the right make-up for your big day. But as a starter after talking to a lot of brides is to choose the right make-up artist. If you want a natural look for your big day, keep that as a filter for your search. If you want a Bollywood glam for your look, hunt for fashion specific make-up artists. The terms and terminologies for this field are unending, but here are some brides that shared some really very interesting facts.
Real bride Pratishtha, was indeed blessed with good skin so the brief was simple - good base and eye make-up to enhance the colors of the lehenga. Well just when we thought lehenga matching eye-shadow was a fad, boom this!!
It's only after all these years of being around make-up artists that has educated me a tab bit about the specific usage of a primer and foundation! Khushbu here, like me would be a equally educated w.r.t make-up. But daym did Sahibba work her wonders around this one.
What I did learn about educating brides about make-up from Sahibba is the art of using the color mash-up for eye make-up and how you judge a good make-up by it longevity during the day.
Mauve, purple and a that subtle hint of green in the bindi to match the wedding jewellery, should compliment this to be a nice touch.
Here still happily flawless practically 6-7 hours into the function.
Ankita, chooses her natural skin tone and soft pastel make-up for her look.
And here's make-up artist Disha cracking muted golds for Ishita's big day.
A piece of advice that no one give you, is how important it is to follow make-up artists who post pictures straight out of the camera with no filter or edits. Their pictures in a single go, might look slightly unprofessional in this picture perfect world of weddings, but would give a very realistic insight to their work done for a real bride. Start talking to such artists.
Also it's the make-up artists area of expertise for hair and draping. Hair styles now a day have a moodboard of their own, such are the creative possibilities. In order to avoid panic, cluelesslessness and time wastage because of these two, get cracking your look with your make-up artist. Try finding the right balance between your dream and the artists creative capabilities.
And again what no one will ever tell you is to discuss the time allotted for make-up. This would quiz you a bit, right!! I have seen brides 7-8 hours into a make-up session and all the possible time scheduled for portraits go for a toss. All the details - make-up, hair lehenga, your big bridal look to be wrapped up in pictures and videos in just 15 minutes! I have absolutely no words for the sorry state of brides who are not able to get their bridal details clicked because of such delays. My heart aches more than them. This is avoidable, talk and plan.
The accessories you choose to compliment your lehenga is what finally get you create your own dream board. Here are some elements that no one told you could be very prettily experimented with.
A few bridal look elements that just take a back-seat and never get discussed about upfront are these tiny pretty nails. Chuck the glitter and choose a color.
This mangalsutra is what seals the deal for Indian weddings. A lot of you think that there are no possibilities here. Well have been a witness when these brides choose to make this as the most personal statement for their big day.
Gold for a wedding day is not the only option. If you have opted for a rose gold lehenga, girl; you are bold enough to choose diamonds for your big day.
Add a bit of vintage to your look if you are opting for modern colors.
Color palettes like these...all hearts.
Floral garlands aka Varmala is an essential element for Hindu weddings. Most of the time this element gets missed out and end up ruining your dream look.
What no-one tells you here is what you should not do for a varmala.
Avoid flowers like marigold totally. They stain!
Avoid artificially colored natural flowers. They will stain!
You may get creative and choose artificial flowers also, but if you use real flowers you will just feel very pleasant with the fragrance.
Baby breaths are a latest trend in varmalas, but again what no one tells you is however dreamy they might look, they itch. Hence, choose a design so that the baby breath is not around your neck.
Avoid layers and layers of flowers. It will get heavy. Lemme share a rule for cracking the varmala design - choose two flower varieties, preferably from you wedding outfit color palette and mash them up creatively. Ankita chooses a simplest light pink and white roses and man!! I can experience the whiff of roses right now. The natural green of these roses is such a good relief.