7 Quick Wedding Dresses Shopping Tips

2011 Mar 8 - by Preeti
Going to India to shop for the bride's wedding clothes can be like going on a safari for tigers. You know what you want but in the process you see a lot great pieces but not the target itself.

I was emailing my friend in LA about her clothes shopping in India and we both realized: 1. it's exhausting, and 2. maddening. With all the chaos, lists, aunties, unrequested opinions, colors, you eventually feel like pulling your hair and running off to a mental institution to stay in a simple, padded white room.

She and I both shared lists of what we bought and where, if we could remember. And so I thought I would share what we bought. I compiled a list of Indian clothes for the bride to buy. I also based this on a Gujurati/Maharastrian wedding. If you're having a Sikh wedding or even a South Indian wedding, your wedding list will be very different.

Sangeet - Buy something fun and easy to dance in. Sequins, gemstones, and bright colors are fun for the sangeet ceremony. Some regions will have a garba or traditional indian folk dances. Wear some distinctly ethnic for the sangeet.

Mehndi - The henna ceremony is super popular because it is an occasion for all the women to spend time together, get mehndi put on, eat great food, and be without the men! Actually, today it is quite common for the men to gate crash, so expect it to happen. As for clothing, wear something very comfortable because as the bride, you will be still for several hours. I am wearing a bright crushed orange and brown ghagra choli.

Wedding Ceremony - Panetar lengha for a Gujarati wedding or marigold/orange sari for a Maharastrian wedding. Some Maharastrian weddings will have a green sari instead of the marigold. North Indian brides wear red and white lenghas or saris. Be sure to check with mom what you should wear!

Wedding Reception - An ornate sari or ghagra choli. Any color is usually accepted and style as well. Today it is very popular to wear a lengha choli instead of the sari, but the preference is entirely up to you.

Vidaai - An elegant sari or lengha choli. The vidaii usually occurs the day after the wedding and is the official ceremony when the bride leaves her home to enter into the husband's family and household. Expect tears and hugs.

General Outfits - In between your downtimes, visiting the relatives, and hosting gatherings during the days before and after the wedding, you should buy 3-4 salwar kameez and another 3-4 saris. Pick a couple, easy to wear and then a few dinner party style.


Mangalsutra - This is the black and gold necklace the groom's family buys for the bride.

Chooda - The chooda is a set of bangles given by the mother's brother family. The Jains receive bangles in ivory color and the new in-laws will fill the bangles with gold trimming.

Costume Jewelry - You need to buy matching costume jewelry for the sangeet, mehndi, and wedding reception. Bindis, mang tikkas, bangles, necklaces, and earrings and other little accessories are good to have. For the wedding ceremony, you maybe using real jewelry or buying special pieces. I also bought a new pair of payal (the cute anklets that make a lot of noise).

hmmm...what to buy!

Some girls wear hair extensions for the wedding ceremony if they have short hair. They can really be cool!

For the wedding ceremony, check with your family what all you need. My mom told me for the wedding ceremony I need all new clothes including underwear and bra. Hahaha. The shoes, chooda, and wedding ceremony sari come from my mama's family (maternal uncle). I'm still looking for the shoes sadly (Sweden is not shoe shopping central).

This is just a short shopping list for you to work with, check out my complete Hindu wedding shopping list for all functions. Don't get overwhelmed, break everything down. Women in India are experts at mastering long, convoluted processes. And most buy what you want. If you try it on and love it, buy it!