Sattaj Kaur

Posted on June 04 2019


Bridal Dress is the most important aspect in any bride’s wedding planning process, and an Indian Wedding is no different! Indian bridal-wears are known for their gorgeous and highly decorated forms. The grandeur of the attires is supported by the diversity that these are available across the different regions in the Indian subcontinent.

While sarees are the common Indian wear for women, the traditional bridal wears show interesting variations depending upon the various part of the country. Lehengas, Ghagras and Salwars can be found more commonly among Northern and Western brides. A Saree is common for the brides in the East while it gets modified in the North Easter part of India.

In South India, while the Saree is predominant, the draping style, the choice of colour and even ornaments  that differentiates  the look of the saree  and it bring variation in the entire look of the bride. Apart from the bridal outfits, the bridal adornments also show beautiful variations along with associated wedding rituals, culture, and ethnicity. All in all, the different types of Indian Bridal wear make it very interesting to take a look into each of them.  


Pehran - Kashmiri Bridal Outfits


A scene from Rockstar Movie showing the traditional Kashmiri bridal outfit

The traditional bridal dress is called the ‘Pheran’. The pheran is a combination of Indian and Iranian dressing. The outfit hangs as a loose knee-length kameez with beautiful Ari embroidery over the edges. The bride has to wear an elaborate headgear called the ‘Tarang’. A white cloth turban called ‘Zoojh’ is tied on the bride’s head along with a ‘Kalpush’. The Zoojh is covered with a golden glazed paper.  Finally, a beautiful drape of embroidered dupatta covers the head. This bridal Lehenga has heavy Zari and very famous  Kashmiri embroidery work. Heavy gold jewelry is worn. A unique jewellery called the ‘Dejharoo’ is worn which consist of a pair of small pendants worn through the ear lobes.


Nauvari - Maharashtrian Bridal Outfit


A Maharashtrian Bride

A Maharashtrian bride wears a traditional saree known as ‘Nauvari’ which literally means nine yard saree. The saree is usually a bicoloured Paithani with golden pattern border. The bride looks very elegant with the saree being draped in a dhoti style. A characteristic headgear is worn which is called the ‘Mundavalya’—a string of pearls or flowers with two dangling ends on the sides of the face. The jewelry is made of gold, pearls and mogra flowers (Jasmine) are used for adorning the hair. A crescent shaped nose ring is worn matching the bindi on the forehead.


Rajasthani Bridal Outfit


Rajasthani Bride

The dress is a heavily embellished Lehenga or a saree. The Marwari community  has heavily decorated bridal attire with gold and silk thread work. The chiffon Dupatta called the ‘Odhni’ is a very important part of the bridal outfit. Tucked to the waist, it covers the head like a veil. It is decorated with hand embroidery. Heavy Kundan and gold jewellery are worn by the bride.


Panetar - Gujarati Bridal Outfit


Gujarati Bride

The Gujarati bride wears a ‘Panetar’ for the wedding, which is a bridal saree usually  with colours red and white. The saree ‘pallu’ is kept in the front instead of the back. A heavily embroidered dupatta covers the bride’s head. The work on a Panetar can be simple to heavy stone laden decorations. The jewelry is mostly Kundan and gold.  

 Lehenga Choli - Bridal Outfits in Uttar Pradesh


U.P. Bride

 Lehenga Choli is a three-piece attire comprising the lehenga, a long Indian skirt .The dress is rich with embroidery. Red is the colour chosen by most of the brides and the dress can be of silk, velvet or crepe. Gold Jewellery adorns the bride with ‘choora’ bangles and ‘bichua’—the toe ring which is very important for a U.P. bride.   


Punjabi Bridal Outfits


Punjabi Bride

The wedding in Punjab region takes place mostly on lines of the Sikh tradition. The traditional wedding dress is a Salwar Kameez or Lehenga. The brides are gorgeously decorated head to toe. The color chosen is mostly red and the entire dress is exquisitely decorated with beads and embroidery. A dupatta covers the head and the jewelry that is worn includes the ‘Ranihaar’—long, ornamental gold necklace, decorated red and white ‘Choora’ bangles, Tika, Nath and most importantly the ‘Kalire’. The Kalire is tied to the Choora. It consists of pretty golden and silver danglings.  


Mekhla Chadar -  Assamese Bridal Outfit


The traditional Assamese dress is the ‘Mekhla Chadar’. It is made from silk. The colours used are sober like white, gold, cream and silver. The bridal make-up and jewellery are kept minimum yet classy. Traditional gold jewelry is worn. The Maangtika worn has traditional Assamese motifs on it.


Banarasi Saree - Bengali Bridal Outfit


Bengali Bride

The traditional Bengali bridal wear is the Benarasi silk saree. Red is the traditional colour, but similar shades are also worn. The saree has beautiful golden Zari work all over. Gold jewellery is worn all over. A white Styrofoam tiara made in traditional design completes the look. Another beautiful part is the use of sandalwood paste and red paint designs painted on the bride’s forehead, cheeks, and chin. ‘Alta’ a red dye is applied on the palm and feet.


Bridal Outfits from Odisha


Odiya Bride

The bridal dress is a yellow saree with red borders. Gold jewellery is worn by the bride and similar to Bengal, the bride’s feet are decorated with the red ‘Alta’. A scarf called ‘Uttariya’ is also worn around the saree.  Nowadays, brides also choose Lehengas as well. 


Kanjeevaram  Tamilian Bridal Outfit


The Tamil bride wears Kanjeevaram silk sarees in bright colors. The sarees have exquisite Zari borders and golden ‘Buta’ embroidery.  The most beautiful adornments of the bride are the jewelry decked on the hair and worn around the waist. The traditional ‘Jadai Nagam’ is worn on the braid of the hair which symbolizes a cobra—standing for fertility. They also wear a beautiful headpiece called ‘Nethi’ bordering the forehead with ‘Maangtika’. The waist belt is called ‘Oddiyanam’ and 2-3 layers of gold necklaces are worn by the bride.  


Bridal Outfits in Andhra-Telangana (Telegu Bride)


The Telegu brides wear interesting outfits. They have to change their outfits twice for the rituals. During Kanyadaan ceremony, the bride is brought in a basket by her maternal male relatives. At this time she wears a Kanjeevaram saree complete with her bridal jewellery. Next, in the Madhuparkam ceremony, the bride changes into a white cotton saree with a red brocade border. Jewellery consists of gold and pearl.


Bridal Outfits in Kerala (Malayali Bride)


This bridal dress is a white silk saree with golden border called ‘Kasavu’. Its usually adorn by  gold jewellery along with lot of floral jewelry. This gives a simplicity and elegance to the bridal dressing.Its complimented by accessories like necklace, bracelets, and garlands on the hair of Jasmine and Rajanigandha flowers.

Apart from these regionally diverse bridal outfits, there are also other differences in bridal wears across India. It is indeed fascinating to see bridal beauty in so many flavors. 


Image Sources: Girlish, IndianRoots, Pinterest, WiseShe, StyleCraze, WeddingMantra

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