A traditional Indian wedding ceremony does not have the concept of ‘bridesmaids’. The sisters of the bride and her best friends are in the limelight definitely, but there has been no custom of them dressing up in a kind of uniform at Indian weddings. Today, the influence of western media has made the idea of dressing up in a similar fashion charming and it was only a matter of time before these ladies appointed themselves as bridesmaids, and chose to wear co-ordinated Indian bridesmaid dresses at the wedding.
If you too belong to one such group and are preparing for your best friend’s big day, then let us tell you that choosing a bridesmaid’s dress is as difficult as picking a bridal outfit. A tad bit too extravagant and you are giving stiff competition to the bride. But anything understated will only make you look washed out during the ceremony. The secret is to find Indian bridesmaid dresses with the right balance of colour, embellishments and richness such that they look remarkable, without stealing the bride’s limelight. To make things simple for you, we have put together some handpicked designer Indian bridesmaid dresses for every budget that are perfect for your friend’s big day.
The rule of thumb for every bridesmaid is to see to it that her outfit does not overshadow that of the bride’s. A good way to ensure this is to pick Indian bridesmaid dresses that are chic but not overtly expensive. Whether you choose to wear gowns, anarkali suits or even sarees, the occasion also presents a good opportunity to experiment with fusion outfits and contemporary silhouettes which are normally avoided by the bride during the traditional ceremony.
A fusion outfit like this Pink TrueBrowns Gown makes for a striking Indian bridesmaid dress for an outdoor wedding - it is not traditional like your typical saree or anarkali suit but the fabric brings in just the right ethnic touch to make it fit for a wedding. The full length gown is festive, bright and most importantly extremely comfortable for you to wear for an entire day while you go about your bridesmaid duties. What’s more, at such an attractive price, it is a steal! Dress it up with golden chaand balis or jhumkas, a pair of pearl bangles and a layered pearl necklace to make a stunning impact.
For those ladies who think that a gown is too radical for an Indian bridesmaid dress, we suggest you pick anarkali suits in gossamer fabrics with just a hint of embellishment. This Mint Green Nidhika Shekhar Anarkali fits the bill to the T - fresh and understated colour, light and breezy fabric and most importantly, a silhouette that tugs at the right places and accentuates your figure like a dream! The pearl detailing around the neck and the golden belt add a smart finish to the pleated anarkali - it is a great way for young girls to look swish and sophisticated at a traditional ceremony. Want something bolder? Then try this Vibrant Red Suit by the same designer with a modern shirt collar.
Indian bridesmaids who want to wear a lehenga to the wedding will find them on offer in every price range - it is only a matter of picking the right colour combination and design to suit your taste. This peach and mint green lehenga set by Priti Sahni is ideal for girls who want to sport the crop top trend. With a flowy tulle skirt and a chic boat-neck top, this set is what you need for a neat look for a day event. Keep the accessories to a minimum, wear your hair up in a messy bun for a charming appeal.
However, there is no rule that Indian bridesmaid dresses like lehengas need to be in muted or contemporary colours. Bright, traditional colours also work well but one needs to also look at what the bride is wearing. If she isn’t flaunting anything in red, maroon or gold, then the bridesmaids can as well pick those colours for their outfits. This maroon, orange and golden Lehenga Set by Kriti J is one such piece that is simple, yet ravishing. The golden sequinned blouse is as dazzling and versatile as blouses get while the lehenga and the dupatta are understated. Want something brighter? Try this mango yellow and orange lehenga by Yosshita and Neha that exemplifies elegance. With a smart sleeveless brocade choli and a vibrant skirt with floral motifs, this lehenga is for the fun and flirty bridesmaids who are out to have a good time during their BFF’s wedding.
Want to go the saree way? Stay away from the regular silks and georgettes and try something new, like these delicate Chantily lace sarees by Priti Sahni in a pretty peach and golden colours. Trimmed with a golden border and paired with a golden blouse, these sarees will bring out the princess in you! For ladies who want something a little more elaborate than lace, the designer also offers similar sarees with brocade pleats that take the festive quotient up a notch.
A slightly higher price range guarantees Indian bridesmaid dresses in lush fabrics, with impeccable sartorial detailing. In this price range, it is very easy to find outfits smothered in embellishments but that’s exactly what we want you to stay away from. Leave the bling to the bride. Instead, choose Indian bridesmaid dresses that feature minimal embellishments but stand out for their design or silhouette.
Case in point these Anita Dongre crop tops and lehengas. With delicate gota patti embroidery on the sleeveless tops that are teamed with solid skirts, these sets are a match made in heaven for Indian bridesmaids. They look great in pictures, can be teamed with some contemporary jewellery and exude a chic vibe that is hard to resist. Pair the outfit with funky sunglasses for an outdoor event and all of you girls will cut a really pretty picture.
Other than the regular salwar suits and anarkalis which are available a plenty in this price range, Indian bridesmaids can also experiment with the latest trend in fusion wear - wearing a sharara with a jacket or a kurta. The fluidic pyjama paired with a peek-a-boo jacket exudes sensuality and mystique. The outfits, with their embellishments and design are so versatile that they need very few accessories to complete the look. All you need would be a pair of high heels and a fancy clutch to make a splash as a bridesmaid at your friend’s wedding.
Want to wear a saree or a lehenga? Then try one of these gorgeous embellished lehengas by designers handpicked by us. The Peach House of Trove lehenga is classy and modern but simple enough that it won’t compete with the bride’s lehenga. The white number by Neha Gursahani is another example of a well-crafted outfit that stands out for its design without screaming for attention. Given the colours of this outfit, you can be rest assured that it will help you look every bit the contemporary Indian bridesmaid that you are aiming for.
If it is a saree that you want to wear, how about going in for a pre-draped saree that is as comfortable as a lehenga? Draped sarees are a class apart and look extremely modern when paired with minimal accessories. They’ll help you flaunt a cool demeanour even while you’ve got six yards of fabric wrapped around you. This outfit by Mandira Wirk is our pick for you in case you want to sizzle in a distinctively alluring outfit.
All said and done, if you ladies have made up your mind that it is going to be a traditional saree only for you, then here are three lovely pieces by Kyra that are elegant and adorned with intricate and delicate handwork at the border. In juicy colours, these sarees are made for the discerning woman who wants a sumptuous amount of charm and polish in her outfit.
When your budget is high, then like they say, the sky's the limit. But again, it is not your wedding. So better don’t splurge on outfits that won’t be approved by the bride. Stick to elegant styles in festive colours but avoid vibrant colours like red, green and purple which may clash with the bridal outfit.
In this price range, you can find some timeless salwar-kurtas and anarkalis that outdo lehengas and sarees as Indian bridesmaid dresses. Take these Devnaagri outfits for instance. Intricate gota patti embroidery and some nifty trims make them lust worthy outfits that you can even flaunt at evening parties or a sangeet ceremony.
Lehengas in this price range often fall into the bracket of bridal outfits, so it is always advisable to stay away from them, unless the bride is sporting a super-heavy bridal lehenga that costs a bomb. Moreover, a lehenga should be your last option - go for it if you are unable to find any other outfit that does the trick for you. What you can invest in, instead are some stunning designer sarees that you could perhaps treasure for years to come.
Like this vintage Siddartha Tytler rose saree which will transport you to floral heaven or this minimal Anita Dongre number with subtle detailing. Want something jazzy? Then try this Indigo Mandira Wirk drape saree that is made for the woman of today.
Now that you’ve seen so many Indian bridesmaid outfits that we have on offer, do tell us if you have a favourite
So you are almost through with shopping for your trousseau and finalising all the other details like hair, makeup and accessories. The next important item on your list now is your bridesmaids’ dresses. It is a hot trend these days for bridesmaids to wear matching or coordinated outfits at their best friend’s wedding. The onus is on you to take them out on a fun shopping expedition to pick sarees, lehengas or anarkali suits that they will all stand out in. Before you start your shopping spree, here are some tips to remember while shopping for Indian bridesmaid dresses and some ideas about what your bridesmaids can wear on your big day.
A salwar-kameez is by far the easiest outfit to pick for Indian bridesmaids - while they are stylish and smart, they are not the kind of outfits that will compete with say, a lehenga or a saree that you are most likely to wear. Most importantly, a well made salwar kameez is a keeper for life - your bridesmaids can wear it at various occasions without relegating the outfit to a plastic wrapper buried in the depths of their cupboard.
You could choose an Indian bridesmaid dress like this peach Devnaagri number or this turquoise Silvereene suit which will do complete justice to the occasion. You will notice that they are well-tailored and elegant, without being too over the top. They work well both indoors as well as outdoors but especially look good in sunlight. This wine coloured Anita Dongre suit is another fabulous option for your friends who are looking for a sophisticated number without too many frills. These outfits can be dressed up with jhumkas, bangles and a jewelled clutch for a festive touch.
Anarkali Suits have been in vogue as Indian bridesmaid dresses for a while now and the trend of seems to be here to stay. So for a bride who wants the best of both worlds for her bridesmaids - a grand outfit that is also very comfortable, our recommendation would be for you to pick an anarkali suit for your friends. Choose styles that feature embellishments either on the bodice or the panels rather than all over to avoid an outfit that is too busy and extravagant.
Take for instance, this wine colour Chanderi silk Anita Dongre anarkali suit. It features intricate gota patti, dori embroidery and sequin detailing on the placket while the rest of the body is plain. We also love this beautiful vintage Siddartha Tytler anarkali for the same reason - despite being simple and sophisticated, the outfit is elegant enough to make a splash at the wedding. Want a more vibrant and festive colour? This fiery orange Nidhika Shekar anarkali comes to your rescue. With sequins and pearl embroidery on the bodice and the sleeve, the dress is resplendant, without being too loud!
The latest rage this season at Indian weddings is for young ladies to wear crop tops with a lehenga as an alternative to heavy lehenga-cholis. Crop tops paired with skirts are fun, flirty and trendy and don’t add years to a girl’s overall look as a saree or lehenga-choli would. What’s more, if you suggest a crop top-skirt combination to your friends, chances are that, they will only be too thrilled to don it as a bridesmaid.
The top and the skirt can be picked as a set or be mixed and matched. They can then be dressed up or down depending on the location and the dress code at the wedding. A beach wedding calls for a flowy skirt and a sensuous crop top like this yellow Rinku Sobti number with macramé, knotting and pearl work. Indian bridesmaids can also team an embellished crop top with a floral skirt or sharara like this Kriti J outfit which is perfect for a bold and quirky look at an outdoor wedding. Girls who are looking for a tasteful option can pick classic pieces like this white and blue Anita Dongre crop top and lehenga set that is delicately detailed or this rustic TrueBrowns set that when dressed up with the right kind of accessories and jewellery will make a lasting statement.
In case you are wearing a lehenga choli and want your bridesmaids to match your look, then you can go ahead and choose simple lehenga-choli sets sans too much embellishment for them. A good idea would be to look for lehenga-cholis in a colour that matches the trims or prints in your outfit. This way, you and your bridesmaids together will make a lovely picture.
This yellow and green lehenga by Swaha is a wonderful example of how a simple outfit manages to look ravishing even with minimal embellishments. The cut-out in the choli along with the 3-d embellishments give the lehenga a striking look. Paired with an understated contrast skirt and dupatta, this lehenga-choli set is a surefire keeper. In case you think that the outfit too revealing for an Indian bridesmaid dress, you could go in for traditional styles like this Yosshita & Neha lehenga in purple and orange or this lavender lehenga by Manjula Soni.
There are many weddings, like South Indian weddings for instance where the saree is the quintessential outfit of choice. If you are wearing a saree and want your bridesmaids to also wear the same, then how about picking similar sarees in different colours for them?
Plain sarees, with barely-there embellishments work really well as Indian bridesmaid dresses. A clutch in one hand, a pair of chaand balis and a chunky necklace can easily make your bridesmaids look out of the world. If you like the idea, may we suggest these gorgeous chiffon sarees in brilliant colours like pink, sunshine yellow and orange. With a hint of gold along the border and a fluidic drape, these sarees are perfect for the young woman of today who does not want to be weighed down by silks.
If not a saree, a draped saree or a ‘saree gown’ as it is called, is also something that your bridesmaids can flaunt on your big day. Even though they fall under the category of bridal wear for an occasion like a sangeet ceremony or a reception, a relatively modest saree gown is a great option for bridesmaids. Why do we think so? Because saree gowns are hip, modern and extremely comfortable to wear throughout the day while running errands for the bride. Our first pick is this demure Nidhika Shekar Coral Drape Saree which is as refined as draped sarees get.
In case you are looking for something experimental, try this palazzo saree by Kanelle or this dhoti saree by Siddartha Tytler - both of them are bold and eclectic - just right for the modern fashion forward woman who likes a little bit of edge in her outfit.
Of course, one needs to remember that these sarees border on being edgy. So if the guests are conservative, then it is better to stay away from them. That said, if you think the wedding party would love something offbeat, then go ahead and get your bridesmaids to choose from funky pre-draped sarees in trendy silhouettes.
Another excellent alternative for Indian bridesmaid dresses are gowns for your group of lovely ladies. Gowns in traditional fabrics like silk or brocade or outfits with elements like zari, zardosi and gota patti embroidery that are quintessentially Indian look fabulous as bridesmaid dresses. Don’t take our word for it, check out this gorgeous blue Anita Dongre gown for yourself. In a flattering silhouette and with charming floral embroidery on the front placket, this gown is going to please your friends and onlookers alike. Clean lines and a smart finishing ensure that the gown maintains an urbane appeal and yet gels well in a wedding setting.
In case the ladies are looking for something more modern, they can choose straight cut gowns like this chocolate and gold gown by Yosshita and Neha or this one shouldered embellished gown by Swatee Singh. Don’t be deceived by the modern design of these outfits - just add a few Indian accessories and watch them go from contemporary to fusion wear in no time!
Now that you have seen some splendid options in Indian bridesmaid dresses, how about rounding up your besties and going over them? We’re sure that with choices as splendid as these, you will end up buying your bridesmaid dresses online rather than spend hours scouting for them on the street or in a mall.
Image credit: indianweddingsite