The saree is considered to be the world’s most popular and longest enduring fashion item for women. The word originally came from Sanskrit and means strip of cloth. The cloth is draped around the body in various different ways and is often worn with a ravika or choli which tends to be a blouse and then a skirt for the bottom half of the outfit.
Because of the popularity of this item of clothing, wedding sarees are a common choice for an Indian bride. Handmade sarees, made from natural fibres tend to be the preferred choice for weddings. These sarees are usually made from cotton or silk which is coloured with natural dyes.
Brides wear wedding sarees of all different colours, however these colour choices come from deeply rooted symbolic beliefs. It is a general belief that all brides wear red sarees, however this is not the case and it typically tends to be those brides from north India, Bengal and Brahmins of south India. The colour red is appropriate because it represents marital bliss, as well as fertility.
Another colour that is very prominent at Indian wedding ceremonies and indeed is picked for wedding sarees is the colour yellow. This colour is considered sacred because it represents wheat and mustard and a good harvest as well as religion and healing. In eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the maternal grandmother gives a piri, a yellow saree to the bride for lagan. The groom on the other hand wears a golden yellow jama-chola or dhoti. In the Kangra region, it is the maternal aunt that used to stitch a full-length, yellow ling-chola, which is now worn as an under-kameez.
The Maharashtrian brides wear green wedding sarees, often with red borders that are wrapped around the legs. So as you can see there are quite a few traditions that have appeared around India for the wedding ritual however all of these are deeply rooted in a religious and culturally rich past.