My Fashion Outlook
For the wedding, I felt it was very important to look like a traditional bride. But I wanted to be fashion forward and have a very unique look as well. And somehow I wasnt as concerned with comfort as I was with fashion and thankfully I did not regret that decision even through the wedding day.
What I wore for the different wedding functions
Although I had planned to go to India, circumstances halted my trip and I ended up doing most of my wedding shopping in California. While in LA for a graduation party, remembering a friends recommendation, I stopped at Mehr Couture in Artesia. With no intention of purchasing anything, I consulted with the designer Bavma. But to my grand luck, I left LA that weekend with big glamorous booty, my Sangeet and Wedding ceremony outfits along with 7 others for my trousseau!
For the Sangeet
I wore a green sari with brown and gold detailing designed by Bavma. I knew this was the only event that I could really dress slightly more modern, so I opted for a modern sari cut that had 3 different pleats throughout the front (Kali sari). I wore my hair down and straight and wore antique style jewelry.
For the Wedding
Initially I was set on wearing red in different fabrics for both the wedding and the reception. I bought my reception outfit first, which was a blood red colored silk. And for the wedding ceremony I planned on wearing red in a lighter fabric. However the minute I stepped into Mehr, I saw the exact outfit that I wanted to wear, except in salmon/carrot pink. Though I considered getting it remade into a classic red/gold combination, I decided to keep the pink because it looked not only unique but traditional and fashionable also.
The lehenga had a gold top and a salmon pink A-line skirt with different patterns detailed with big jewels throughout the fabric. The dupatta it came with was too simple for my tastes, so we decided on a fabric that was several shades brighter than the skirt. It was embellished with large and small jewels with the traditional Indian bride print (the criss-crossed flower pattern).
For the Reception
I wore a fish-cut lengha in blood red on silk with heavy Swarovski crystal detailing. My mother-in-law and I sketched out ideas for the top and came up with a blouse that had a very large diamond shaped cut out in the back, where a large broach would hang. But on the actual night, I wanted a hair piece and this beautiful red broach was the only thing that my hairstylist and I could lay our hands on, leaving my blouse nearly backless!
My makeup and hairstyle for the big day and wedding reception
My makeup for the wedding was done by Dararoug, a makeup company that is co-owned by one of my dearest friends Darshini. Darshini has done my makeup previously in a variety of events like outing with friends and formal Indian events. I just told her I wanted to glow and she used her imagination.
My reception look (makeup and hair) was done by Parvina Kumar. We met several times for consultations and facials. She also dressed me (and draped my dupatta) for both events.
I met both Darshini and Parvina several times before the event. So by the time it came around, I had the utmost confidence in their abilities.
Where I Shopped
I shopped at Sari Palace in Berkeley for my reception outfit and at Mehr Couture, LA for the others. My favorite designers are Bavma and Satya Paul. I am also a fan of Shikha Paul Couture, an upcoming designer based in Californias Bay Area region.
My advice for Brides-to-be
I was dead set on going to India to do my shopping and was devastated when circumstances changed our plans. It was weeks later that I was grateful that I did my shopping in California and was personally involved with every decision that was made.
Although I went in for fittings all summer, it wasnt until the end of the summer that I lost the17 pounds that I had planned to lose earlier. Because of this last minute drastic change and the detailing of my outfits, I wasnt entirely happy with the fit of my clothing. In fact, I thought I looked thinner in them before I had lost any weight. So remember to shed those pounds before you complete your wedding shopping or just dont bother at all.
Most importantly, you should feel like the most beautiful bride in the world. Take all possible steps to ensure that you do your research on hair and makeup preferences, try on EVERYTHING in all colors before you purchase your outfits, do a dress rehearsal, coordinate all of your jewels, your choora, and bindis before the final day. Style doesnt require a lot of money and good taste cannot be bought. So dont be discouraged and just take your time to put things in order and it will all go just fine!
Photos by: Samay Studio, 650.386.6808