Indian brides are beautiful. The colors (red, green, orange), the jewelry, the mehndi on the hands would make anyone want to get married Indian style.
If you are a bride-to-be or just curious about Indian traditions, then this list of 16 jewelry adornments and accessories (known as the solah shringar) is for you. This is also your essential checklist as an Indian Hindu bride. Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist Indian brides have their own special accessories.
Head Accessories for the Indian Bride
The bindi has a strong religious implication and is a sacred symbol of a married woman. Regional brides may also decorate the bindi with red and white dots around the forehead and along the eyebrows. The bindi symbolizes dedication towards her husband. The bindi is not the same as the sindoor or maangteeka along in casual reference they maybe interchanged.
A sacred symbol of suhaag, sindoor or vermillion is applied on the center parting of the hair and is a part of the shringar of a married woman.
Maangteeka – Long bindi
A hair accessory, the maangtika is worn on the central parting of the hair of the bride. It is mostly made out of gold.
Kajal or kohl is one of the most popular solah shringar. It is black eyeliner that is meant to highlight and accentuate a bride’s beautiful doe eyes. Today many girls use a strong black pencil eyeliner to achieve the kohl look.
Nath or the nose ring is by far one of the most traditional and ethnic Indian looks. Made of gold, silver, or pearls, it is generally worn on the left nostril and is supported by a gold chain, which extends just behind left ear. Some South Indian brides wear another nose ring at the base of their nose.
The bride’s neck is adored with a beautiful haar or necklace. It is usually made of gold and embellished with diamonds, pearls or precious stones stones. The necklace symbolizes prosperity. The most traditional haar is the mangalsutra, given by the husband on the wedding day. It is made of black beads and good.
Known as earrings, the karn phool adorn the ear of the bride. Karnphul translated from Sanskrit means “flower of the ear.” Beautiful and romantic! These earrings are heavy and intricate and can come in a variety of styles such as dhol (drums), lokaparo (pigeon), the joonbiri (crescent), or jhumka.
Hair style plays an imperative role in determining the look of the bride. An indian bride’s hair normally tied up in a bride with hair extensions, hair accessories and flowers accentuating the look. Few brides have their hair completely down because the myth says a woman can enchant a man with her hair; during the wedding it is therefore respectful to tie it up.
Body Accessories for the Indian Bride
Henna signifies the essence of love and applied on the hands and feet of the bride, to strengthen that bond of love. Henna parties for the bride are one of the most special pre-wedding rituals today.
Bangles or choodiyan adore the wrist of the bride and are usally made of glass, laakh or gold. Conventionally, brides adore their wrist with red bangles. Sikh and Punjabi brides add kaleeras to the bangle set. Read Kanika’s story of the kaliri. It is said a new bride should not be cooking and cleaning in the husband’s house when she first moves in, that is why she has all the bangles and kalira on!
Baajuband are known as armlets are worn on the upper arms of the bride and are similar to bangles in their appearance. The Mughal, Rajasthani or Jaipuri are the most popular designs of baajuband.
The bride’s fingers are adored with exotic rings. Aarsi is the thumb ring which has a mirror so the bride may sneak a peek at her husband, and herself of course.
The Kamarband is a waist band, like a belt, for the bride. Made up of gold, it is embellished with stones, diamonds and precious gems and is ornately designed.
Itar is a special fragrance that is applied onto the bride. It helps bride stay fresh despite the long rituals performed.
The indian bridal dress maybe a sari or lengha and come in a variety of colors: red, green, marigold, red/white and styles, navari, panetar, patani that represent the bride’s heritage. It is custom for the bride to wear a dress that hails from her region in India.
Foot Accessories for the Indian Bride
Payal & Bichuas
Made up of silver, the payal is a thick chain that is tied on the ankle and is adored with tiny bells. Bichuas or toe rings are also made of silver. They are also a symbol of her marriage and are worn till her husband’s death.
Does your culture have any shringar that you love? Please share with us!