An expert guide to BRIDAL looks for a SOUTH INDIAN WEDDING

India is a land of diverse cultures and the same is very well reflected in different Indian weddings. A North Indian wedding is drastically different from a South Indian wedding. And so is a wedding that happens in the Eastern states of the country different from a Maharashtrian wedding or of any other wedding in Western India. Though the essence of the rituals and the ceremonies is more or less the same, the way they are carried out is markedly different. Wedding in any culture is intrinsically the coming together of two individuals, with the blessings of their families, and vowing to spend the rest of their lives together; standing unwaveringly through each of the high or low tides. 

Each of these weddings is a mesmerizing experience in itself. It is not for no reason that Indian weddings are so revered and applauded all over the world. Couples, across the globe of both Indian as well as foreign origins, wishfully desire to walk down the aisle in the great Big Fat Indian Wedding style.

If you belong to the northern, easter, or western parts of India and have for some reason missed out on witnessing a South Indian Wedding live, then you have missed a very one-of-its-kind, fun, and celebratory experience in your life. South Indian weddings essentially comprise of weddings from the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Telangana. At the cost of sounding like an unabashed gorger, the food at these weddings is just another big reason to be a part of them. Just the mention of their traditional delicacies like Sambar, Aviyal, Coconut curry, Bisibelabath (Karnataka dish), Biryani, Poriyal, Appalam, Kootu, Payasam, that are served in the wedding menu is enough to arouse the taste buds.

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Bridal outfits across different regions of SOUTH INDIA

For the sake of decoding, a Kerala bride or a Malayali bride usually wears a serene, frosted white saree in silk with a striking broad gold border usually in brocade or zardozi. Else a red silk saree with a broad border again. A lot of them also traditionally tie their saree, which is flared at the bottom, such that it resembles a lehenga or a skirt. South Indian brides are usually fond of wearing a lot of gold jewelry. Their gold jewelry is symbolic of the whole look and rather defines and puts together the whole vibe.

South Indian wedding
South Indian wedding
traditional south indian bridal look

South Indian Brides from Kerala

Traditionally consisting of Palakka, Kasu Mala, Kamarband, Maatha Patti, South Indian bridal jewelry works on the concept of ‘more is more’ or rather, ‘more is less’. There are layers and layers of heavy gold necklaces and no complaints there because it does make for a heroic, extraordinaire, goddess-like visual. The hair is tied in a thick, long braid or a bun, adorned with jasmine flowers or the traditional ornaments.

A Kannadiga bride usually dresses up more or less like her Maharashtrian counterpart, usually flaunting her nine-yard traditional Naavari saree.

traditional south indian bridal look
south indian look for wedding
traditional south indian bridal look

South Indian Brides from Karnataka

Hyderabadi brides are either the Reddy brides, the Andhra Varsya brides, or the Muslim Nizam brides. The attire is traditionally the ravishingly elegant zari saree (often in gold color) or a white saree in silk with a captivating gold and red border. The traditional bridal attire of a Muslim Nizam bride from Andhra is the very well-famed Khara-Dupatta. Usually made of net, with heavy embroidery and zardozi work, the bridal set consists of a kurta, a churidar (slim paints with gatherings), and a heavy dupatta. Though, of late, keeping with the trends, brides often replace the churidar with a flared sharara or a gharara. The side maang tikka is what enhances the overall ethereal feel and makes the bride look drop-dead gorgeous.

south Indian wedding saree
south Indian wedding saree

South Indian Brides from Hyderabad

The world-known Kanjeevaram sarees that are so reminiscent of our South Indian heritage and culture, are worn by the Chennai or Tamil bride on her wedding day. They usually wear it in a bright color with layers of gold jewelry to compliment the look. The brahmin bride wears a 9-yard saree in the traditional madisar way, whereas the non-brahmin drapes a 6-yard Kanjeevaram saree. The whole look is transcended notches higher with the stunning hair jewelry that these brides adorn on their thick braids, called the ‘Jadai Nagam’ jewelry. 

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South Indian Brides from Chennai/Tamil Nadu

For her SOUTH INDIAN WEDDING, the BRIDE should keep these points in mind for her look

1. South Indian bridal look is one of the most elegant and traditional bridal looks in the world. Go all out there embracing your traditions and culture while planning every detail. Bring all the elements together, so that the result makes for a very picturesque South India bride. 

2. Do not wear less jewelry. Yes, we are saying that !. A South Indian bride is incomplete without her maatha pati, vaddanam or haram (kamarbandh), gold choker or vanki, heavy jhumka earring, and layers of those heavy long neckpieces. If you are a modern contemporary bride and would want to add your personal touch to the looks, you can experiment with the designs of the jewelry. You can include jadau and Kundan work in your gold jewelry and maybe also wear semi-precious stones, but do not wear any lesser number of jewelry pieces!

3. Keep your makeup minimum and in the traditional South Indian style with heavily kohled eyes and blushed out cheeks. A strong red or maroon lip looks splendid with South Indian features and the skin tone, but if your eyes are too dark, go with a nude shade of lip color. Even all bronzed makeup with muted lips look great. But refrain from experimenting much with any other color on your eyes and face. A South Indian bride is known for her poise and grace and the same should be reflected in her makeup.

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4. For the hair, go the floral or ornamental way. Wear that never-ending long braid that is so synonymous. Ornate it with an equally thick braid of jasmine flowers. Wear that thick bun all covered in white flowers. These hair-dos give a very heavenly look to the bride and it is something brides from the other parts of the world wish they could carry! So, do not miss these hairstyles or underwhelm their final effect.

It is a pride for the culture that the South Indian brides are such a figure of power, strength, and force. With all the traditional elements put well together in her look, the bride looks larger-than-life and reminds of an enthralling heavenly deity coming down from her abode. 

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Till we meet next,

Garima/Team LadyInRoseGold