After an array of rollicking functions and customs, arrives the ultimate day. It's the last day of the grand celebration when two individuals finally tie the knot for life. Everything about this day is majestic and memorable - from the food, to the people at the wedding, to the groom and the bride, everything and everybody are at their absolute best. It is no less than a royal gathering. However, at the wedding, there's one specific moment that everybody excitedly awaits; it's the arrival of the bride. As soon as the bride enters, she is greeted with a wave of ‘awwwwwws’ and ‘ooooohhhhs’ that goes around the entire hall. And why not, she is unquestionably the most stunning lady in the room, dressed like an absolute vision of beauty in her finest bridal saree or lehenga.
It is said that ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’ and there is no better place to witness the truth behind this expression than India. Brides in the country are dressed differently across cultures to look absolutely divine. While some cultures believe in ‘beauty in simplicity’, others leave no stone unturned to make the brides glow with glamour. And the most evident distinction is in the colours of the bridal outfits chosen by different cultural groups.
The colour Red and Indian weddings cannot be separated. Brides tend to prefer red over any other colour and the reasons behind it go far beyond ‘it looks pretty’ or ‘it is striking’. If we were to go by the mythology of India, red is related to Goddess Durga who symbolizes strength and gallantry. Also, astrologically the planet Mars, red in colour, is known to be the planet of marriages that signifies prosperity and providence. Red is also the color of fertile clay and hence signifies fertility and fruitfulness. By adorning a red sari she conveys that she possess all these qualities. Even today, most brides are made to wear red across India; however, it is more prominent in North Indian regions. Other than red, yellow is also considered auspicious. Brides in regions like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh usually adorn yellow sarees for their big day.
It’s interesting how diverse our country is. In every culture, there is a whole new set of traditions and customs entirely different from your own. Red might be the most common bridal wear but you’ll be amazed to know that it is not the only traditional wedding colour. Here are some colourful bridal wears that brides adorn across India.
Panetar is the traditional bridal wedding saree for the Gujarati brides. It is a red and white sari together with gold accentuations, heavy embroidery, and motifs on pure silk. Red is used in the Panetar Sari’s border, whereas its body is white or off-white. The pallu and the border are ornate. Often the pallu is a golden weave, decorated with rich hand-work embroideries like Zardozi or stone or cut-dana work.
This saree is a combination of red and green and is mostly worn by brides in Gujarat and also the Western state of Rajasthan. Often it is worn as a drape along with the Panetar, on their wedding day. Their flamboyant motifs are inspired by Indian art and sculptures and birds, animals, and flora. These dazzling sarees are light-weight as the silk used is not very heavy.
The rich red Banarasi sarees with thick gold borders have been the most desired bridal wear since ages. As the name suggests, these are made in the holy city of Varanasi. These are extremely expensive because of the handloom weaved, pure Banarasi silk used to create them. A bride dressed in a Banarasi silk saree doesn’t look any short of a royalty.
The Kasavu sarees are white in colour with thick gold borders. These gorgeous silk sarees add to the bride’s grandeur. This saree is a traditional bridal wear in Kerela and it is also worn by Christian brides in different parts of the country.
Brides lately are experimenting a lot with their bridal wears. Different colours, designs, embroideries and what not! Albeit there's enough competition, a red sari for the bride appears to outshine all others. In most parts of the country women still prefer to wear red. It is deeply connected to marriage for all the reasons already mentioned and so most girls prefer to take forward this beautiful tradition.
Having said that, I have a little theory of my own to justify why red is the hero colour. Red is the most striking color of all. Scientifically, red light is scattered the least by air molecules and hence is the most suitable color for drawing attention. And if there is anybody at a marriage who commands all kinds of attention it is, but obviously, the bride. It makes the bride stand out from the crowd making it one of the most desirable wedding colours.
And lastly, red has stood the test of time, never in the history of an Indian wedding has red ever let any bride down. Coming down to the the kind of red sarees, that varies from culture to culture. Usually, in the Northern regions, silk and net sarees are sported by the brides with significant zardozi work and gold jewellery. And in the Southern regions, simpler versions like the traditional Kanjivaram sarees are adorned paired with gold jewellery.
With time, our brides have managed to take a leap from red to various other colours. Barring red, these are some of the most worn bridal colours.
Every girl has gone through that ‘Nothing but pink’ phase at some point in her life and for some, that point was the day of their marriage. Pink is associated with happiness and romance hence making it a bride favorite. The subtlety of this colour is what makes it stand out. A pink saree of various fabrics and with different kinds of embroideries are widely worn by brides these days.
Manish Malhotra's heavily embroidered tilla and gotta saree in tea pink is a splendid blend of elegance and charm. The halter blouse makes it all the more breathtaking. This unique hue of pink and the right amount of shimmer makes this a perfect bridal outfit!
Mandira Wirk is known for her modern take on traditional outfits. Her designs are simply stunning and versatile. For brides who prefer modern and subtle styles over the usual dramatic ones, Mandira has just the collection. This mesmerizing light pink saree with ethnic zari and resham embroidery along with a stunning off shoulder bodice will surely top your list of bridal sarees.
Everything that glitters may not be gold however it could definitely be your bridal saree. Gold signifies prosperity, prestige and sophistication. It reflects royalty and who doesn’t want to look royal and sophisticated at their own wedding. These days, gold bridal wear has become a rage.
The veteran designer Sabyasachi Mukherji has made gold very popular among potential brides. This glittering, all gold bridal saree is royally glorious and is bound to make any bride look drop-dead -gorgeous!
New age brides love to play with vibrant colours for their special day. This sophisticated gold and wine drape saree by Mandira Wirk with a metallic bodice and scoop neckline could make for an innovative and unique bridal outfit.
Green conveys balance and harmony whereas blue is all about peace and tranquility, everything a bride wants her marriage life to be.These bold colours have enthralled Indian brides.
This green and blue Manish Malhotra bridal saree is worth all your attention. The silver embroidery and blouse add the needed sparkle making it a distinctive bridal look.
This gorgeous borcade teal green and blue drape saree by Mandira Wirk is a modern masterpiece which can be adorned by brides during various ceremonies like the mehendi ceremony. It's classy and comfortable at the same time.
So, if you are planning to get married anytime soon, make sure it's a colourful wedding!
Image sources: Panash India Blog, Pinterest, Fashion Twist, Strand of Silk, Fashion Pick, Metro Mela.