There are few personal events in life as lavish or as exciting as an Indian wedding. This also means that they can be one of the most challenging events to fully prepare for. Every detail from the venue, catering, lodging, and countless other details must be allotted for.
This is true of any wedding, but Indian celebrations take wedding observations to a whole new level. A journalist in Washington D.C., admittedly an expensive place to live, pointed out that the average wedding costs roughly $35,000. Speaking to planners in the area suggested that the average budget for Indian clients was $200,000.
Getting ready for an Indian wedding takes a lot. A lot of that effort is involved in getting ready for an Indian bridal party. The bridal party is there, fundamentally, to support and celebrate the bride throughout the engagement process.
A traditional Indian wedding would not involve much of a bridal party. There would be the bride, her family, and the maid of honor. With more Indians living abroad than ever, many are adopting or incorporating Western traditions into their celebrations. This includes the addition of a greater number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
However you choose to celebrate, Lashkaraa is here to support you. All traditions shift over time, but one way in which Indian weddings have not changed is in the apparel. Every bride that wants it, no matter where she lives, deserves easy access to high-quality apparel in the Indian tradition. Lashkaraa has everything you need, from apparel to jewelry to essential FAQs.
Before anything else, we are here to offer ideas and suggestions on how to prepare for your bridal party.
Your first decision, generally, should be how traditional you want your wedding to be. Many eschew the traditional multi-day affairs to instead have one or two-day celebrations. This comes from a position of both fiscal practicality and needed planning. There is nothing innately wrong with this, but it should be a conversation to be had.
This is especially the case when it comes to interfaith or intercultural marriages. Arguably one of the most recent interfaith marriages is that between Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra. The wedding, though a multi-day affair, incorporated both Hindu and Christian teachings. The magazine was stunning and was splashed all over international magazines.
This sort of fusion, though unique, is not terribly uncommon. Planners, family members, and spiritual leaders alike can offer guidance. It can also be helpful, psychologically speaking, to make a list of wedding things you don’t particularly care for. This can keep your to-do list shorter, and the planning will be at least a tiny bit easier.
Once you’ve decided to have a bridal party, however extensive, it will be time to begin asking your bridesmaids.
How Do You Choose Your Bridal Party?
There are several considerations to make when choosing your bridal party. First and foremost, they should be people whom you are close with. Your bridal party is going to be with you every step of the process.
It may also be nice to include bridesmaids from various portions of your life. It can be a time to celebrate your various identities at school, work, and elsewhere before embarking on a new one.
Your bridesmaids don’t necessarily have to be geographically close to you. Though there is traditionally some level of involvement in the build-up to a wedding, this can be done digitally. Furthermore, the vast networks of airports have made air travel easy. The U.S., for example, has over 5,000 public airports, more than any other nation.
You should also consider social demands. You don’t necessarily need to include blood relatives in your bridal party, but it may cause hurt feelings. Consider finding other ways to involve your siblings in the wedding, if not in the bridal party.
Choosing your bridesmaids is easy (well, relatively speaking). Choosing your maid of honor is a harder matter. The maid of honor is pivotal to traditional Indian weddings, even if a large bridal party isn’t. The position is traditionally held by a sibling or cousin, though modernity has shifted this somewhat.
Your maid of honor should be the person closest to you emotionally and capable of helping. They should be able to handle duties beyond those expected of bridesmaids. Respecting personal feelings while creating the wedding you want to have is critical. Make whoever you wish your maid of honor, but make that decision with great care.
Now the bridal party should be assembled. With this, it’s now time to begin performing their duties.
What Are the Duties of an Indian Bridal Party?
Generally, the bridal party will support the bride and perform tasks throughout the service. Traditional duties leading up to the wedding may include helping choose dresses, makeup, hairstyles, organizing bridal showers, and more. If other Western traditions like a bachelorette party are included, this will become a big topic in group chats on Whatsapp.
For the bride, do your best to be clear about what you would like your bridesmaids to do. This can alleviate stress and make it easier to deal with pain points like financing or scheduling. For bridesmaids, be available to your bride and ask questions if there are any points of confusion.
Leading up to the wedding, you may need to prepare for dance rehearsals. On the third day of Hindu weddings, members of the bride's and groom’s families perform the sangeet or garba. These festive dance performances range from simple folk songs to full production numbers worthy of huge Bollywood movies.
Staying well-rested, hydrated, and energized during these times is a must. On the day, keep an emergency kit nearby with a sewing kit, painkillers, makeup, and anything else you may need. You should also delegate tasks to bridesmaids based on their skill sets.
If you have an expert organizer, put them in charge of coordinating your schedule. Hand someone else your phone, and put them in charge of social media and call screening. Someone else should be specifically in charge of handling emergencies as they pop up, just to be safe. Make it an open conversation so that the bridesmaids can be doing tasks they enjoy rather than because they’re assigned.
The more others can focus on particular tasks, the more the bride can relax. With the bridal party acting as a cohesive unit, a day that is naturally stressful can become the perfect celebration.
Being a bridesmaid takes dedication, and they deserve to be rewarded for their engagement and involvement in the wedding.
One such gift that can be made is the dress that they will wear to the wedding.
Red and gold are two colors that are reserved for Indian brides. Thus, a pink lehenga, or any other garment for that matter, resembles a more delicate version of these tones. Apparel that hints towards the bridalwear, like the Pink and Gold Sequins Embroidered Lehenga, would work beautifully.
You can also consider more individualized gifts. Personalized candles, chocolate, or fruit sets can offer consumable home goods chosen to each bridesmaid's taste. Alternatively, you may consider ornate Indian jewelry for the day. This may be especially appropriate to create a uniform or carefully curated look for a bridal party overall.
The next apparel choice is, arguably, the most important: The bride’s dress.
The Perfect Outfit for Indian Brides
Few garments will be as iconic as the one a bride wears on her wedding day. (Or, for Indian weddings, the multiple outfits she wears.)
In multi-day functions, a bride and her bridal party will attend numerous events, which will vary based on the bride and groom’s religion. No matter what religion, having a different outfit for each event is essential.
Indian culture is a beautiful tapestry of many different religions and regional practices.
What To Wear to the Mehndi Ceremony
Right now, let’s talk about the Mehndi ceremony, often celebrated in Hindu and Sikh practices.
The Mehndi ceremony is more relaxed than the wedding itself but no less festive. This ceremony is where a bride receives a stain of the mehndi, dances, and bonds with female friends and family.
A Green Heavy Embroidered Velvet Lehenga can bring a touch of relaxed elegance to any ceremony. The lehenga features a santoon inner with a velvet bottom, all decorated in embroidery. Shimmering zari, sequins, and stonework are all represented, with similar designs on the hem of the dupatta.
What To Wear to the Wedding Ceremony Itself
The Mehndi ceremony, though important, is not the main event. That honor belongs to the wedding itself, which demands its own special garments. We propose a look at once glamorous and traditional with the Gold Sequins Embroidered Net Saree.
Gold and rose-gold colored sequins run throughout the garment, as well as a tulle pleat. This results in a richly layered look, especially in comparison with the pallu. The pallu is arguably the defining star of this ensemble. It drapes effortlessly on the shoulder and glimmers with large sequin work.
All Lashkaraa sarees come pre-pleated and ready to wear. Planning a wedding can be difficult, but getting dressed on that special day shouldn’t be!
On the day of, it is time to put all your hard planning work shine. Once you’ve gotten completely ready for the wedding, there is nothing left to do but go through it.
Get dressed, be present, dance, eat, and be merry. Planning a wedding, traditional or not, is hard, and your bridal party will help you succeed with grace and ease.