ENGAGEMENT LOOK IDEAS for the modern Indian Bride
“I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance, the venue filled with friends and family. I asked him what kind of wedding he wished for. He said the one that would make me his wife.”
Didn’t you just go all ‘aww’ and shed a minor tear, whilst reading this romantic statement? Obviously, today’s couples enjoy celebrating a four to five-day wedding fiesta to commemorate the most adventurous chapter of their lives. Gone are the days where weddings were simply seen as a ritual to be performed. On the other hand, the turn of the 21st century has brought along with it, a spunky dose of fun, frolic and a grand beginning to one’s happily ever after’. Whether it is a ‘Big Fat Indian Wedding’ in all its exuberance, or an intimate, home-bound ceremony, they’re all Instagram-worthy in their own right, beautifully portraying the diverse personalities and flavours.
The festivity that markes the beginning of it all is the all fun Engagement ceremony. There is a certain ease to this function as it is devoid of all the wedding prep pressures and rush. This is mostly, the first time that both the sides of the relatives and friends are actually getting to meet the bride and the groom for the first time and get acquainted. Not to be take lightly, it sure makes up for a very strong case to dress up in your finest attires and create an engagment look that creates a lasting impression forever.
Jokes apart, this is the time to make gazillion memories. The ubér sweet seasonings of this extravaganza with thousands of emotions stringing along almost simultaneously; the heartfelt symbolism with an infusion of our rich cultural traditions and our loved ones enveloping us in their warm, blessing-filled embrace is what makes a wedding so endearing. Different themes galore, this definitely is an affair to remember. As Ed Sheeran’s lingering melody rings in our ears, “We keep this love in a photograph”, what a wonderful way to kick-start this journey right? Surely, it’s a given that the bride, groom and their respective families will leave no stone unturned when it comes to looking like the royalty that they deserve to be. Speaking of which, didn’t you get some classy outfit ideas from Alia Bhatt’s Instagram feed when she recently attended her best friend’s wedding a couple of weeks back. Can we just say #Majorbestfriendgoals?
Leave the lavish vibe of the wedding films and Netflix shows (hello, The Big Day) aside, we Indians have been showing the formula to slay in our trousseau and finery for ages. We have sometimes mistaken the Pheras ceremony as the most integral, but let’s not forget the second most important one- the traditional Sagan or an engagement ceremony; a gift and some traditional goodies exchanging custom infused with energy and elation of two families being weaved and bound together through thin and thin; their love, laughter and happily ever after. And, we have to say that we love this idea! According to us, it’s just not a culmination of two souls, but their entire families into this sacred union. And for this, your engagement look better ought to be nothing less than perfect!
Engagement Look Inspiration, 101
If you’re a Bride to be, who needs some fashion advice to look like a vision to behold, then do not fret- this article is dedicated to you to make a decision that will take you one step closer to purchasing that ensemble that screams of being YOU.
Before you go ahead on this “excursion” of sorts, understand yourself better. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want to exude my glam avatar?
- Do I want to go all traditional and uphold our ethereal cultural ethos?
- Do I want alchemy of traditional and contemporary; be the woman merging the past and the present into a fantastical future?
Did this help you attain some perspective? If yes, you’ve conquered half your battle. If not, treat yourselves to this visual delight which may help you tremendously.
1. LEHENGAS: For all you girls who got major vibes from Kareena Kapoor in K3G two decades back, these ones for you. Ethereal yet classy; regal yet spirited, this is a costume that can transcend from traditional to modern very easily. Preserving our deep-rooted entity, irrespective of how fashion-forward the times maybe, an Indian Wedding will always be synonymous with this timeless piece. What we love about Lehengas is that it has a wide scope to imbibe the bride’s personalities and tastes, so that it is tailor-made for the values that she stands for.
In hues of resplendent blush pink, lavender, or mauve; the soothing mint green, the luminous yellow and alike, replete with intricately embroidered motifs and varying necklines, with a tinge of old school in them, the Anita Dongre brides are in complete harmony and peace with themselves. If you’re a bit conservative, yet elegant, you can also go for a peplum blouse. For all you mirror-work lovers, Abhinav Mishra is your ‘knight in shining (pun intended) armour’
Another great designer duo, Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla creates some eternal traditional outfits which are sartorial and sophisticated, catering to the conventional goddess in us. To bring out the vibrant, ditsy or the eccentric hustler; akin to a rule breaker in many modes, surely opt for the unique Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika lehengas. They are surely going to give you a colourful riot of an engagement look. Her lehengas with complimenting strapped blouses are sassy all the way. Lastly, if you want to glam it up with ruffles and metallic embellishments Tarun Tahliani (we’d call him an amalgamation of both old and new) is your go-to couturier.
Image Courtesy – Designers Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika and Anita Dongre
2. GOWNS: Satiating all our feels to attend an Oscar’s or an Emmy’snight these western pieces are edgy, stylish and romantic, all in one. Truly giving us our fairy tale, Prince Charming meets his Princess moment, we can play around with the designs and adorn ruffles, stiff patterns, sheer and what not. Our verdict is that ‘all these glitters is definitely gold’ (quite literally:p). India’s answer to Elie Saab or Ralph and Russo; we fashion enthusiasts are always drooling over power house talents such as Falguni & Shane Peacock, Nadine Dhody and Zara Umrigar. What opulence and panache right? From crystals embroidered motifs providing us with an iridescent illusion to a thousand encrusted diamonds; sheer see-through ripple effect to a metallic, feathered or ruffled dripped silhouette, these dream makers will make many heads turn. Get ready for your ‘award winning’ moment and the élan to make all heads turn. Speaking of avant-garde couturiers, how can we miss out on Gaurav Gupta’s label– statement, bold and surreal and Amit Aggarwal – who can make every gown look surreal as hell
Image Courtesy – Designers Nadine Dhody and Gaurav Gupta
3. SAREES: An outfit so benevolent, graceful and poised, sarees are six-yard cloth, which breathes sophistication into a woman. Adored and revered by all generations, this garb never goes out of style. Traversing between morning and evening wear; traditional and contemporary chic, there is something for everyone. From the classic Panetars and Bandinis to the modern chiffon and lace, their luxe materials make all the difference. Also, pairing it up with a corset blouse creating some pre-draped magic, this is a super versatile piece, radiating the Indian beauty with full gravitas. Just trust industry experts like Sabyasachi, Amit Aggarwal, Arpita Mehta, Ridhi Mehra and Punit Balana to give you some major goals. Also, if you’re an eclectic, earthy person, Masaba Gupta is your go-to maven.
Image Courtesy – Designers Sabyasachi and Arpita Mehta
4. ANARKALIS AND SHARARAS: Remember Kanagana Ranaut’s naïve dialogue from the movie Queen, ‘We Indians are best at everything’, holds so true in this regard. Our very own answer to the western gowns, which exudes our cultural integrity with aplomb, an Anarkali is a floor-length marvel that can be subtle and regal, at the same time. Filled with detailed craftsmanship, this comfortable, yet the iconic piece is a sight to look at. Angarakha inspired designs or knee-length blouses with shararas look out of the world. All hail designers like Anshika Jain, Mahima Mahajan, Astha Narang and Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla for making us fall in love with these wonders. With muses like the mother-daughter duo Neeta and Isha Ambani, the evergreen beauty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and the demure, yet stylistic Shweta Bachchan Nanda, who wouldn’t fall in love with these bespoke wardrobe essentials?
Image Courtesy – Designer Astha Narang
5. COORDINATES: If you’re an out and out modern, sassy and a rock star bride with the rawness of an authentic person, but the attitude of an easy-breezy hustler, coordinates consisting of a crop top and a satin cowl skirt or dhoti pants, replete with a voluminous cape may define you! Of course, there are many such options, and this one is just a suggestion. In fact, jumpsuits may also look super-duper stellar. Florals to ivory embellished; cutwork to drape, you will be blown away by the ‘x’ factor and the indo-western fusion that it brings to the table. Gen-Z designers such as Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika (love the jovial eccentricity of it all), while fashion stalwarts like Manish Malhotra and Tarun Tahiliani keep evolving with time and produce some jaw-dropping designs.
Image Courtesy – Designers Manish Malhotra and Tarun Tahiliani
For all you blushing brides to be, we hope we’ve slightly calmed your nerves down. Our only advice to you is that whatever engagement look that you go for, be sure you feel relaxed, and wear that big, gorgeous million watts smile with pride. Flaunt it, honey! It is your day, and you deserve to look like the shining star that you truly are. Just enjoy this exhilarating experience and soak every moment in.