All That Shaadi Swagger: Styling For An Indian Wedding
The Indian wedding is a complex equation that combines emotion and energy to produce intensive exhaustion. The post-wedding blues, if you will. Amidst the all-consuming whirlwind of weddings between November and February, there’s a tendency to become jaded by the plethora of parties. Living in London, perhaps my peripheral position in the South Bombay and Delhi shaadi-circles is an advantage – the first wedding that I attended during Shaadi-season was this month.
When 9 people fly in from 7 countries to experience a 3-day shindig, you can be sure that this is not your basic Desi wedding. A quick shopping trip, pit stop at the parlour, dance practice, and #aMadShaadi has officially kicked off.
Cocktail Nights: Calm Before The Storm
Shaadi style has become much too gaudy for my liking, so I’m all about the sass and less about the flash. A last-minute trip to Oxford Street in search of the perfect outfit for the cocktail party proves successful. A simple but elegant white peplum jumpsuit is purchased for the occasion. Paired with plain black heels and my favourite Tarini Nirula clutch, the outfit is complete. I also manage to squeeze in an ever-so-quick make-up run to grab Mac’s ‘Chili’ red lipstick, a warm shade that complements the clothes.
Mehendi: Contrasting and Colourful
Mehendis are an excuse to don your brightest. When shopping with the bride-to-be at IMC’s annual exhibition at NSCI (National Sports Club of India) in Mumbai, these pallazo pants at a boutique designer’s stall caught our attention. Far too simple for a bride, they’re perfectly edgy for her best friend.
Instead of stressing about having a kurta stitched, I went for a fusion look and paired it with a simple pink crop top. Yes, contrasting and contemporary is a definite winner for any Mehendi function.
I paired this look with flats, since my feet were sore from the previous night, and completed it with curls, a Malaga purse, and one of my all-time favourite Mac shades called All Fired Up – an apt reflection of my mood that morning!
Sangeet: Dance the Night Away
The Sangeet is the trickiest function for female fashion, because you have to look stunning, but be comfortable enough to dance the night away. If you’re the bride’s bestie, that dancing will most likely involve memorising choreographed moves and performing on stage. In short, bad clothing decisions can be disastrous.
Owing to a past blog collaboration with Indian Hanger, I became the lucky owner of a trendy dhoti saree, which I have been waiting for an occasion to don. It fulfills the practical and aesthetic functions, since it is pre-stitched, requires little draping, and is an attractive shade of blue that isn’t a usual shaadi-hue.
A note of caution: I am still unsure about the right way to drape this. After many attempts at failing to drape it like a regular saree, we opted for the back-drape, otherwise it was too uncomfortable to walk in!
While I was tempted to complete this silhouette with juttis since they would be hella comfortable to dance in, the final look didn’t feel formal enough for a Sangeet. Nude wedges saved the night, because they’re much easier to walk in than regular heels.
The Shaadi: Seal The Deal.
Coordinating seven girls, two hairstylists, and one saree draper made wedding styling a slightly feverish affair. Luckily I had my outfit all planned out, since I had bought this saree on sale for a destination wedding, but couldn’t end up wearing it since there was no draper on duty. The contemporary combination of colours and textures caught my eye on this one. Although the outfit came with gold fabric for the blouse, I decided to pair it with a plain black crop top to keep the vibe young and trendy.
Seeing as it was an outdoor wedding in the month of March, I kept my hair in a bun, which held for all six hours despite the humidity, courtesy lots of hairpins and hairspray. But the real bravery award goes to the bride for surviving the heat in an outfit that heavy, but breaking convention with her bridal expressions. So much for “eyes down, don’t smile.” Like I said, this isn’t your basic Desi wedding. It’s a tribute to old friendships, new beginnings, borrowed dance moves, and all that blue – as the newly weds head to the Maldives for their honeymoon.
#aMadShaadi, may your memories live on in our hearts and Instagram feeds.