If you’re looking for an Indian wedding gown, chances are you have Indian heritage or are marrying someone with Indian heritage. But what kind of Indian wedding dress is right for you?
The more common types of traditional Indian wedding dresses include lehengas and saris. They each come in many different styles and colors, depending on which area of India they originate. Though both the lehenga and the sari are traditional, there are many options for an updated style to fit with more modern fashion.
The lehenga, for instance, is an ankle-length skirt. Usually paired with a bodice and shawl, the lehenga today has a series of possible cuts and silhouettes, such as A-line, paneled, flared, or mermaid.
In comparison, the sari is one long length of fabric artistically wrapped around the body, fitting overtop a bodice and petticoat. Upgrades to saris for the modern era include more modern crop tops instead of the traditional bodices, or corset saris, which use corsets overtop the sari to help keep it in place and give the wearer a lovely shape.
Some brides prefer more Western-style wedding dresses for their Indian weddings. However, a Western influence might be as simple as choosing white as the predominant color for the bride’s dress.
With so much choice, it can be hard to decide which is the dress for you. To help you choose, check out our list of the best Indian wedding dresses below!
Gorgeous Bridal Gowns for a Traditional Indian Wedding
Though lehengas and saris are more popular choices for a traditional Indian wedding, they aren’t the only options. Even so, with so many styles and cuts to choose from, anyone can find their perfect traditional Indian wedding dress, no matter what their body shape or budget.
Traditional Indian Wedding Dresses & Saris
The traditional Indian wedding gown includes an ankle-length skirt, a short bodice, and a dupatta (shawl) or sari.
Traditional dresses make extensive use of jewelry and embroidery, so no element of the dress or bride herself is without decoration. Saris, in particular, use golden waistbands to both decorate and accentuate the waist.
Any bride wishing to hold a traditional Indian wedding will benefit from a traditional Indian dress. Saris prove to be some of the most comfortable weddings gowns available, so you can easily wear one all day, or several days, without issue.
A traditional dress will best suit a bride with an hourglass shape. They range in prices from as little as $300 to $25K. The cost depends on where you purchase and the quality of the dress.
Gorgeous Bridal Lehenga
A bridal lehenga consists of a flared skirt, a short-sleeved and cropped bodice, and a dupatta. More modern lehenga use non-traditional sleeves or an even further cropped top for a more exposed midriff. The lehenga itself can have many styles, such as pleated or paneled.
Often, a bride with a lehenga will choose to wear a single plait. These hairstyles accommodate accessories like a dupatta or Maang Tikka. These days, more brides choosing the lehenga also choose to add a waistband, something that wasn’t as popular decades ago.
Any bride that wants to mix traditional with modernization at their wedding will feel at home with a lehenga. The lehenga looks best on hourglass or pear-shaped bodies.
Because they are so popular, there are plenty of options for inexpensive lehenga. The range caters to women of any income, making even fancier lehengas more affordable.
Red Indian Wedding Dresses
Red is the traditional color for many Indian wedding dresses and is still a popular choice today. Often, red wedding dresses use gold trim or embroidery to compliment the color and symbolize security or prosperity. Red gowns are usually lehengas or saris, paired with gold, white, or other complimentary colors.
Bright reds are more common than other shades because bright colors symbolize cheerfulness and optimism. However, a more modern take on the traditional red gown is to use a less vibrant shade. Paler reds, orange-reds, or even maroons are now options for the bride who wants a different take on tradition.
Red wedding dresses or saris are some of the more affordable ones out there. Prices can be as low as $62, making them very available.
Modern Indian Wedding Gowns
Some modern Indian wedding dresses use Western elements such as veils in place of a dupatta. They can also have more modern blouses with shorter lengths, smaller sleeves, or cutouts to show more skin. Other times, a modern Indian wedding gown will have an entirely Western look but modestly cut with full sleeves and an attached headdress.
Hairstyles and accessories for these kinds of dresses either include a mix of traditional and Western, or more Western designs. A bride who prefers Western style or who is not fond of traditional wedding themes will likely choose such a dress. Modern wedding gowns are the best for an hourglass or rectangular body type.
More modern dresses tend to be more expensive, especially Western ones.
Gold Indian Bridal Dresses
A golden bridal dress will generally use a lot of the same color in each of its elements. However, one or two elements will usually have a contrasting color to break up the monotony. For instance, if a bride chooses a golden sari and uses primarily golden accessories, she might wear a red blouse that will complement all the gold, but be bright enough to cut through.
Gold is a popular choice for traditional weddings, similar to red dresses. Gold is also flattering on many body types, allowing for a versatile and gorgeous wedding experience.
However, gold dresses are often the most expensive option for a bride. Often the lower end of the scale is still well within several hundred dollars.
Elegant Indian Wedding Dresses
Elegant Indian wedding dresses are lehengas, saris, or shararas that feature zardozi embroidery. These elaborate designs use more expensive fabrics like silk or satin to showcase their majesty. Gold thread is a common material for zardozi, but beads, seed pearls, and gold and silver lace are also part of the design.
Often, hairstyles and accessories will carry similar designs to the zardozi work itself. Lotus flowers, for example, will feature in both the dress and necklaces or earrings.
Depending on the bride’s headpiece, she will either wear her hair in a simple braid or bun or loose to offset the elegance of the zardozi. Any bride who wants to be extra elegant on her special day will consider a dress with zardozi work.
These dresses are among the more expensive Indian dresses, meaning there are fewer available for affordable options.
Colorful Indian Wedding Gowns
Colorful Indian wedding dresses come in all shapes and sizes. Bright colors are good luck for Indian culture, as they signify optimism and hope. Therefore it’s extremely common to find an Indian wedding gown in any color, with an assortment of bright decorations to boot.
Colorful gowns will have complimentary bright hues for their trim and embroidery. These embellishments will make the wedding dress stand out and look utterly fabulous.
If a bride wishes for a happy wedding and marriage, she will often choose a colorful dress.
Bright colors tend to work with all body types, allowing for plenty of options. Similarly, since they are so popular, it’s easy to find an affordable colorful dress that fits you.
Though there are so many fabulous Indian wedding dresses to choose from, it is possible to pick the right one for you. Whether you want to be more traditional with a lehenga or sari or more modern with a Western dress, the choice is yours.
Consider what colors compliment you. Do you look best in red or something colorful like yellow and green? More elegant designs with zardozi might be more expensive, but then again, they might be more worth your while.
Similarly, if you choose a gold dress, you must be willing to offer more in the way of cash. Also, if most of your accessories are gold, think about where you could add a contrasting color.
Saris and lehengas both tend to look great on hourglass figures, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them to flatter a different shape. With the right flare and the proper colors, these kinds of dresses can look great on just about anyone.
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