When I got engaged, Radhika was one of the first ones with whom I spoke to at length , to get ‘reality-of-a-wedding’ advice. I have known her for many years now – a software engineer, singer and in her own words ‘hyper-organized’. Not only are our wedding venues the same, but we also share similar ideas on weddings.
Here you go, the first guest post by Radhika Venkataraman for my Wedding Series. Our weddings have the bride change her attire a few times. It is all about the bridal wardrobe and how she managed to look traditional & chic without repeating the colors and without spending an exorbitant amount of money.
How does a hyper-organised and self-directed bride – from an unpretentious TamBram family – amidst the never ending wedding hoopla – manage to pull off a sensible (which is synonymous with purse-friendly picks) yet stunning wardrobe for the wedding that spans many velais (ceremonies)?
Look around. Do your research.
Having survived 25 years of ignorant bliss dipping into mum’s and friends’ closets for sarees, with more than enough time on my hands, accompanied by the harrowing thought of being left with a dozen sarees after the wedding, impelled me to research my options (I had decided to go with sarees for all ceremonies).
- Non-festive part of the year is ideal, to walk around and see if it’s the borderless soft silk with paisley motifs, tussars, intricate jacquards, uppadas or traditional heavy Kanjivarams that excite you for the relatively more rigid ceremonies (like vratham, nichayathartham, unjal & muhurtham) or printed crepes, chiffons and georgettes (for reception, grahaprevesam & nalangu).
- Don’t refrain from draping the ones in odd looking prints and uncommon border shades. They might turn out to be just what you were looking for.
- Try and convince the store’s annas or akkas to accompany you to check the colour of the saree in sunlight. Shades look different without the influence of the glaring yellow light. (Folks don’t fuss when its a request from the bride!)
- Market research helps in getting a realistic idea about the budget. Patience and a pair of Birkenstocks will help you accomplish this task with ease.
- Kancheepuram is a blessing and totally worth the effort if you prefer making a decision after having looked at a dozen sarees with the exact motif you had in mind – in a particular shade/combination – each saree unique in its own way – within a pleasing budget.
Try not to repeat.
Outfit colour repetitions can be a nightmare if the mama (maternal uncle) who is supposed to buy the unjal saree, nathanar (sister-in-law) who is supposed to buy the nalangu saree or in-laws who are supposed to buy the muhurtham and nichayathartham (engagement) sarees stay miles apart and can’t make it to the store of your choice (unless you manage to strike a “I shall buy – you shall reimburse” deal). Whatsapping does help ease this scenario.
The factors in my DO-NOT-REPEAT list were :
- dominant shade of the saree
- border shade of the saree
- pattern/print/motifs in the saree
Experiment with the fabric for the blouse as well. Don’t feel compelled to stick to the one that comes with the saree. I did manage not to repeat the neck-shoulder designs of my blouses & the tassels used for the doris (strings) as well – huge fan of the tassels, I must admit.
Have a couple of sit-down sessions with your photographer to discuss your wardrobe. There is no harm in finding out which colours look best in the morning, indoors and in the evening. This makes fixing your palette easier and makes shopping for the groom a breeze. A wedding wardrobe that reflects your style and personality is gratifying.
My go-to list.*
- Prakash Silks
- A. S. Babu Shah
- Chennai Silks
- Tulsi Silks
*These are her personal recommendations and we are not associated with any of the shops mentioned above.
What do you think of Radhika’s recommendations and her saree selections? Do you have any interesting stories to share about your wedding wardrobe? Would you like to be a part of this series and share your inputs on any aspect of a wedding? Please do comment or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.