Traditional Jewellery Guide for the Kerala Bride
From glittering diamond tiaras to stunning Mughal inspired choker necklaces, the Kerala bride’s jewelry showcases diversity and beauty.
A hotpot of culture, and surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, the state of Kerala boasts of many cultures that have seamlessly fused their traditions with native ones to create beautiful jewelry designs and bridal outfits that’ll take one’s breath away. This includes Kerala Muslims, Christians, Namboothiris, and Nairs, each of who celebrate weddings in their unique way and yet due to their geographical location are influenced by each other.
So, if you’re a bride from Kerala looking to go for a traditional look for your big day, here’s a quick jewelry guide to help you make the best choices.
Kerala Christian Brides
Known for their elegance and simplicity, Kerala Christian Brides prefer jewelry that’s light with hints of precious gemstones that glimmer beautifully with their white outfit. Kerala Christian ceremonies are a delightful blend of western and Indian traditions. And, the same is reflected in the jewelry choices of the bride. Here’s a list of the must-have pieces in her bridal jewelry set:
A revered piece of jewelry that is usually handed down over generations, Kerala Christian brides are known for their dainty diamond-studded tiaras that gently nudge their inner princess.
Photo Courtesy: Neelima Studio and Weva Photography
A delicate choker that sits at the base of the bride’s throat, this necklace is a finely crafted gold ornament adorned with intricate designs that glimmer brightly in the sunshine.
Photo Courtesy: Crystalline Photography and Neelima Studio
The Kerala Bride’s love for diamonds doesn’t just end at tiaras or bun clips. Diamond encrusted gold bangles are in fact, quite a favorite for the extra dash of dazzle and sparkle they add to the wrists.
Photo Courtesy: Talwar Jewellers and Manubhai
A chain fashioned out of small gold beads fused together closely carrying a statement locket in the center, the Krumulaku Mala sits right in the middle of the many other necklaces that this bride sports.
Photo Courtesy: Camrin Films Photography and Malabar
Kerala Nair Brides
Making an elegant statement in her gold and white kasavu saree, the Kerala Nair Brides are the epitome of grace as they carry even the heaviest gold jewelry pieces with absolute ease. While the sheer amount of gold these brides sport may not have been popularised, it’s safe to say that when it comes to jewelry, she is fearless yet graceful. Her ‘aamaadapetti’ (jewelry box) contains some of the most exquisitely designed jewelry for almost every part of her body. Here’s a list of the must-have pieces in her bridal jewelry set:
Equipped with an adjustable chord and studded with green or blue gemstones, this ornate gold necklace is a staple in the Kerala Nair bride’s jewelry box.
Photo Courtesy: Shutterbug Film Company and Mirraw
A long gold necklace encrusted with colored glass that adds a delightful pop of deep green against her white saree, the palakka mala is one of the colorful necklaces worn by the Kerala Nair bride.
Photo Courtesy: Kollam Supreme and Vasah
A masterpiece crafted out of gold, the mullamottu mala is one of the first necklaces worn by the bride and makes a bold statement with its spiked design and red gems.
Photo Courtesy: Rainbow Media photography and Kollam Supreme
Equivalent to the mangalsutra, the kumbla thali’s design includes a leaf-shaped gold locket attached to a delicate gold chain.
Photo Courtesy: Crystalline Photography
Embossed with images of Goddess Lakshmi, the Lakshmi mala for the Kerala Nair bride is similar to the kasu mala which is adorned with several coin lockets that bear auspicious symbols.
Photo Courtesy: Rainbow Media photography and Crystalline Photography
A long gold chain with a multicolored gem-encrusted locket dangling at the end, the netti chutti rests on the bride’s forehead and is a must-have on every Nair bride’s list.
Photo Courtesy: Shutterbug Film Company
Kerala Muslim Brides
Decked with multiple gold necklaces and a heavy saree or lehenga paired with a dupatta on her head, it’s safe to say that the Kerala Muslim bride loves her gold and doesn’t shy away from bling. With jewelry pieces that boast of several colorful gemstones and designs that are inspired by the Mughals, this bride’s jewelry collection is surely one of a kind. Here’s a list of the must-have pieces in her bridal jewelry set:
A triangular-shaped choker necklace adorned with precious gemstones that rests at the base of the bride’s throat, this one is usually characterized with Mughal motifs that showcases her rich cultural heritage.
Photo Courtesy: Vikhyath Media
Mirroring the shape of a bell, the jhimki is a versatile ornament worn by many Indian brides. Its design usually consists of dainty floral motifs and dangling gold beads that sway with every move.
Photo Courtesy: NAC Jewellers.
Forged out of gold and encrusted with tiny gemstones that glimmer in the light, the nettipattam rests on the bride’s forehead just like a maang tikka would, and is delightfully embossed with complex carvings.
Photo Courtesy: RK Wedding Company and Weva Photography
Another Mughal inspired jewelry piece, the jhoomar, which also goes by the name of passa, is sported on the side of the head by the bride. In many cases, the bride also forgoes the nettipattam and instead, chooses to adorn her head with a pearl and gemstone encrusted jhoomar which rests on one side of the hair partition.
Photo Courtesy: Shutterdown Photography and Amanta Gill MakeupArtist
One of the must-have pieces in her bridal jewelry box, the haathphool adorns the bride’s henna patterned hands with delicate chains that are attached to rings.
Photo Courtesy: Raajputi Jewellery Design
Minimalistic in design, the Kerala Muslim bride’s waistbelt is known as the arappatta and helps in accentuating her waist.
Photo Courtesy: Malabar Gold & Diamonds
Spread over 4 days, the Namboothiri marriage rituals are extensive and intricate, which is a stark contrast to the bride and groom’s outfits that are astonishingly simple. A complete family affair that follows traditions that have remained unchanged over the centuries, the Namboothiri bridal attire includes a conventional kasavu saree, gajra bound in her hair, and simple yet exquisite gold jewelry that echo the glorious designs of Southern India. Here’s a list of the must-have pieces in her bridal jewelry set:
Equivalent to the mangalsutra, the Malarthi thali is one of the many mangalsutra designs sported by the Namboothiri Bride. With a locket shaped like an upturned leaf, this necklace comprises of gold threads and manis.
Photo Courtesy: Krishna Jewels
With several malarthi thalis/lockets linked together, this necklace is a longer version of the malarthi thali which can be worn alone or paired with other necklaces.
Photo Courtesy: AKN Jewellers
Crafted out of delicate leaf shaped motifs with intricate arimbu work on the ends that are placed alternatively with glimmering manis, the kamazhthi thali is favored by brides for its stunning design.
Photo Courtesy: AKN Jewellers
Surrounded by an intricate mogra or Indian jasmine shaped locket that is encrusted with glittering gemstones, this gold necklace is the epitome of elegance with it’s complex yet dainty design.
Photo Courtesy: Krishna Jewels
Embossed with miniature floral designs and following a symmetrical pattern comprising of geometrical shapes, the katturumbu is one of the bolder necklaces sported by the elegant Namboothiri bride.
Here’s a list of stores that are known for their unique jewelery designs perfect for the Kerala bride:
Malabar Gold and Diamonds
A Geeri Pai Gold & Diamonds