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Ankita Singh

US-based Indian Ankita Singh shares her journey of finding her dream wedding outfits within a week of wedding shopping in India.

Ankita lives in California, Ashish in Seattle. The couple’s individual corporate lives are super busy and so, Ankita says, “We were on a tight schedule. I’d always imagined an elegant wedding with all the rituals. So we planned a two day wedding at a resort just outside Kanpur, my hometown and had the tilak, godhbharai, engagement and cocktails on day one and the wedding on day two.”

Wedding Functions
“I designed the theme for the engagement – a classy combination of roses and chinese lanterns. I asked for a canopy of lights and lanterns to be hung outdoors under which guests could sit to enjoy the event or dance their cares away.

The wedding ceremony had more traditional accents – marigolds, bells, candles. I wanted the ceremony to be perfectly timed so we planned the jai maal and pheras in the evening. Post that, we were onstage to meet guests.

The jai maal had a flower bedecked ‘jhoola’ as backdrop and we set the mandap up next to the pool which made the entire experience very beautiful.”

Wedding Outfits
“The big challenge is finding the perfect outfit and when you live in the US, it’s a pretty disconcerting feeling knowing you’re getting married and you can’t go shopping.

My one solace was browsing through all the wedding websites and checking out bridal collections by virtually all the designers. WeddingSutra was a great blessing! I had access to wedding ideas and beautiful pictures. It was an inspiration and helped me put together the most perfect wedding ever!

Post all the research, I planned a trip to India with the intention of shopping for my entire trousseau in the span of a week. I have to say checking out all sorts of bridal wear all over Delhi was super overwhelming! My last resort was Om Prakash Jawahar Lal where I found a beautiful peach lehenga the colour of which was soothing to the eye after all the bling and bright reds and it was within my budget too! And of course, like every other bride, I am obsessed with Sabyasachi and bought my engagement attire, a lehenga-sari from the Carma store at Malcha Marg. (A little indulgence doesn’t hurt!)”

Wedding Accessories
“My mother loathes artificial jewellery for important events like one’s own wedding so I invested in a polki and ruby set and a lovely black meenakari polki set, both from Kays Jewellers in Kanpur.

This fantastic store in Mehrauli, Delhi called Evoluzione stocks a brilliant collection (matching my taste) in suits and accessories. There’s also Tiana in Khan market that specializes in wedding jewellery from where I bought the perfect paasa to match my wedding jewellery.”

Hair and Makeup by Vandana Mishra “I’d say, very confidently that Vandana Mishra from Kanpur is one of the best in the country. You don’t need to wrack your brain for a particular look. She knows what will suit you best by looking at the structure of your features and your outfit. I just sat back, relaxed and sipped my coffee and when I opened my eyes, hallelujah, I was the most beautiful bride ever!!”

Photography by DotDusk Studios
“Our wedding photographer DotDusk Studios understood what we wanted and they did a brilliant job.”

You don’t spend on DotDusk, you invest in them. You can be assured that what you will get in return is worth every penny. Sundeep and Lakhbir, the co-fouders of DotDusk are great fun to work with! In fact many of our guests including my Nani (grand-mother) praised them to the hilt: “Woh photographers jo dilli waale hai…badhe achhe ladhke hai… well behaved boys ” quipped my Nani. And they were so patient and calm amidst the craziness of the ceremonies. DotDusk immortalized my wedding through their mind-blowing images and it’s been, by far, one of the best experiences of my life.

Recommendations for other brides-to-be
– It’s your day. You need to look unique and your best so don’t look like everyone else. There should be a twist to your attire. If a guest attends three weddings on the same day, he/she should remember your look for all the right reasons. I bought myself a pale peach gota-patti lehenga and paired it with ruby jewellery because I personally think it was an unusual combination.

– We spend money on designer couture for the wedding but we need to also budget for buying beautiful garments for use after. Once the wedding is over, those are the garments you are going to wear the most.

– For someone like me who won’t wear traditional clothes here in the US, or even otherwise, I’d suggest investing in traditional sarees and chanderis because
a. they are absolutely gorgeous.
b. unlike the net and chiffon sarees, they camouflage all the weight you put on during the wedding.
c. they NEVER go out of fashion. Get fun blouses stitched and remain in vogue all your life!

– Wear comfortable shoes

– The groom’s clothes are as important as yours. His attire should complement yours in a subtle way but don’t be too matchy.

– Enjoy your wedding food and dance it off. If some things do not go as planned, let them go! I was one of those bridezilla types but eventually I didn’t worry about anything too much and man, I enjoyed my wedding!”

Photos Courtesy- DotDusk Studios

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