What I love about India is all the different cultures and traditions you can find without having to leave the country. Unlike in the West, where most brides wear a white wedding gown, in India, brides wear different colors and clothing depending on their culture and where they come from.
There are many types of well known bridal lenghas and saris: Bengali saris, Tamil saris, Maharastrian saris, Sikh saris, and many more. Since I am part Gujarati, I will be wearing a panetar chenia choli (lengha) for my wedding.
The panetar is a Gujarati bridal sari usually consisting of red and white colors, and sometimes red, white, and green colors. The pallu is placed over the front of the bride, instead of the back as in most normal wear. I really love the front-style pallu, as it has a delicate, feminine look.
With most Gujarati panetar chenia cholis, there are two dupattas: one to drape over the shoulder, which is heavily embroidered; and one to drape over the head, which is made of a lighter fabric and less embroidered called the gharchola.
The panetar style can be anything from simply embroidered to covered with gemstones and other heavy decorations. Some may also have very specific styles of embroidery or cuts to reflect the region in Gujarat the dress and bride comes from. The panetar has a long history and it is shown in the bride’s outfits.