Indian culture encompasses a wide range of traditions and customs, and people cherish each one, no matter which part of the country they come from. Culture and festivals differ from region to region, caste to caste, and section to section.
In India, weddings are not just the union of two souls but a bond that is meant to last for Saat Janam. They are a celebration of life, and brides showcase their best looks.
Here are some stunning bridal looks from different parts of India that are sure to leave you spellbound!
1. Sikh Bride
A Sikh bride’s look is not complete without two essential items – chooda and kalire – no matter how many jewels and gems she wears. For the Anand Karaj function, she can either choose an Anarkali suit or a heavy lehenga. During the ceremony, a veil covers her head up to her forehead.
The bride’s chooda is a set of bangles that can be white, red, pink, or peach, given by her maternal uncle and aunt. The kalire, small golden or silver trinkets, are tied to the bride’s chooda by her mama, symbolizing blessings for the bride.
2. Christian Bride
Christian communities in India follow unique traditions and customs that are specific to their respective regions. For instance, Mangalorean Christians, Goan Christians, North-East Christians, and others have their distinct cultural practices. While not all Christian brides prefer wearing a white wedding dress, some may choose to adorn themselves with brightly colored sarees for different functions.
However, if a bride decides to go for a white dress, she must adhere to certain strict fashion rules. These rules include wearing a net veil, placing a tiara on her head, adding a train to her dress, and carrying a white flower bouquet.
As per the custom, the bride walks down the aisle in the church accompanied by her father. Typically, Christian brides in India opt for a white wedding, which offers a wide variety of options for dresses, veils, and other accessories. When it comes to jewelry, they prefer platinum, silver, or diamond neckpieces, earrings, and bracelets.
3. Assamese Bride
According to their customs, the bride is expected to wear a mekhla chadar, which is considered the bridal outfit and is gifted to her by the groom’s mother. This attire typically comprises an off-white or cream-colored saree embroidered with intricate gold-work. Generally, they limit the amount of jewelry and makeup the bride wears, but the maang teeka holds significant importance and is considered sacred.
4. Muslim Bride
Muslim brides are known for their exquisite jewelry, especially the jhoomar, which is worn on the side of their head. Another important element of their attire is a silk cloth wrapped around their wrist that contains a silver or gold coin gifted to them by the groom’s mother before the wedding. A garland is also worn to support the veil that covers their face, and they are only allowed to reveal their face after their Nikah ceremony. Their eye makeup is often breathtaking and adds to the overall beauty of their look.
5. Telugu Bride
During the wedding ceremony, the bride typically changes her outfit twice. For the main ceremony, she wears a silk saree adorned with exquisite jewelry and a Kamar bandh. Traditionally, she is carried in a bamboo basket or tokri by her brother and maternal uncle. Later, for the Jeelakarra Bellamu and Madhuparkam function, she changes into a white cotton saree with red embroidery.
6. Bengali Bride
When it comes to Bengali weddings, the bride typically wears a white or off-white saree with intricate red, maroon, and pink embroidery. The traditional attire includes bright pink, maroon, or red Banarasi silk sarees with exquisite zari work. Another essential element of the bridal look is the application of Alta, which is considered an auspicious ritual. It is applied to the bride’s feet and palms, adding to the overall beauty of her attire.
7. Malayali Bride
Similar to other South Indian brides, these brides are adorned with lavish metal jewelry, adding to the grandeur of their look. Their attire typically comprises a white silk saree with a beautiful golden border. In addition to their metal jewelry, they also wear floral jewelry, which includes a gajra, bracelet, and necklace made from fragrant white and orange rajnigandha flowers, as well as jasmine flowers, adding a touch of natural elegance to their overall look.
8. Tamilian Bride
When it comes to Tamilian brides, the first thing that catches your eye is their exquisite jewelry. Their hair is braided in an elegant manner and adorned with elaborate gold jewelry. Most Tamilian brides wear a multi-layered necklace made of stunning gold.
The head of the bride is also heavily decorated with jewelry, including a single string maang teeka with matha Patti, and long earrings that run up to their hair bun. The bridal attire typically includes a bright-colored Kanjeevaram saree with a beautiful zari border, adding to the overall regal and elegant look of the bride.
9. Maharashtrian Bride
What sets Maharashtrian brides apart from other Indian brides is the Mundavalya, which is a string of flowers worn on the forehead. Their traditional outfit consists of a beautiful silk saree with a golden border, known as Paithani, complemented with a bun adorned with mogra flowers. A unique aspect of their attire is the way they drape their saree, which is styled in a dhoti style, giving the bride an elegant and sophisticated look.
10. Marwari Bride
The Marwadi bride’s attire is the heaviest and most ornate of them all, featuring a stunning and intricate lehenga with silk or goldwork. The jewelry that accompanies the lehenga is just as heavy and opulent. Notable pieces include the Borla, Kundan choker or neckpiece, a fingerlet, and a gold Nath.
During the wedding rituals, the bride is often draped in a bandhni odhni, which acts as a veil to cover her head or face, adding to the overall grandeur of the attire. The Marwadi bride’s regal look is truly one of a kind, showcasing the rich and vibrant culture of Rajasthan.
11. Gujarati Bride
The bridal outfit of this community is carefully crafted to reflect their traditions. The bride wears a saree with the pallu draped in the front. During the wedding ceremony, she changes into two different sarees – the Gharchola and the Panetar.
The Gharchola is a bright red saree with silk and zari work in a checked or striped pattern. It is given by the groom’s family as a symbol of accepting the bride as their daughter. On the other hand, the Panetar is a white saree with intricate designs of red, golden, and green dots. It is considered as the final gift to the bride from her maternal side.
12. Oriya Bride
The bride’s attire is truly remarkable, with a majestic lehenga or saree in shades of maroon, red, and magenta, adorned with intricate handwork. The traditional wedding outfit is typically accompanied by a red chunari that features gota work. Both the bride and groom must wear traditional headgear during the ceremony, adding to the cultural significance of the occasion.
13. Andhra Bride
The attire of these brides is known for its simplicity and elegance. They wear a silk saree with checkered and patterned work, and their jewelry consists of a bajubandh, neckpiece, and earrings.
14. Kashmiri Bride
The traditional attire of the Kashmiri bride is unique and distinct. It includes a pheran, a long cloak-like garment with a raffle design. The pheran also has ari or hook embroidery in red, yellow, and pink colors at the neck, cuff, and edges. The bride’s headwear is called Kalpush and is accompanied by a white cloth with a golden glaze paper called Zoojh, which is wrapped around the Kalpush. The complete headwear is known as Tarang.
15. Ladakhi Buddhist Bride
The traditional costume of this bride consists of a goncha and a loose trouser skirt. The goncha is made of thick woolen material and is tied with a belt around the waist, along with a Kamar bandh. The bride also wears a Perak, which is a headgear covered with black lamb and adorned with turquoise stones. This is considered as a blessing for the bride’s happy life ahead.
16. Parsi Bride
The bride wears a white saree with intricate and elaborate embroidery. She drapes the palla of her saree over her head during the entire ceremony, but nowadays, modern brides tend to keep their heads uncovered until the rituals are completed. The jewelry she wears is made of platinum and adorned with white pearls.