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Here Comes the Bride

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A marriage is an everlasting bond between a man and a woman. It is a promise to never walk away from each other. It is also an occasion for the bride and the groom’s families to come together and celebrate their union. If Indian marriages are all about glitz and glamour, Marwari weddings go way beyond to be lavish affairs. Wedding trousseaus for brides—an integral part of Marwari weddings–accordingly are lavish too. To cue in to-be brides on the season’s trousseau trends, we spoke to four Marwari entrepreneurs, who specialise in wedding trousseau collections.

Clothed in beauty

Sunita and Sandeep Burad

While bright colours like deep orange, fuchsia and red are in trend for bridal wear, traditionalism, it seems is back.
Sandeep and Sunita Burad of Jaipur-based Mangalmayee feel that although women experiment with modern styles and silhouettes in their daily lives, when it comes to their wedding, they prefer to go traditional. As a brand synonymous with royal attire since 1911, Mangalmayee has been making costumes for brides of Rajput royal families for four generations, and thus its wedding wear is much sought-after. The brand offers a vast choice in poshaaks and chiffon saris—as worn by the maharanis of yore—for the modern bride, along with matching jootis, potlis and gathjodas.

Talking about the season’s trends, Sunita Burad says, “This wedding season, we are seeing a lot of intricate workmanship, embroidered patterns and vintage styles. There is a massive shift from modern clothing to traditional attire in the fashion industry, the keywords being unique craftsmanship and ethnicity.”

Over the last few years, brides thus have been opting for century-old traditional patterns and embroideries and lehngas showcasing the rich heritage of Rajasthan, and crafts like wasli, danka, antique zardozi, fine aari work and gota patti are all back.

Left: Mangalmayee signature red, hand-dyed shamo satin Rajputi poshak (comprising an inner blouse, a 16-panel lehnga and a georgette odhna) finely crafted in zardozi
Right: Mangalmayee pink tissue lehnga and inner blouse with contrasting green georgette odhna handcrafted with zardozi embroidery

“Artisans or karigars are being acknowledged for their fine craftsmanship and that is being reflected in the popularity of handwoven and handcrafted fabrics,” adds Sunita Burad’s husband, Sandeep. Thus, there has been a shift from industry-made materials to rich natural yarns of cotton, modal and Chanderi, blended with silk for a breezy and soft look. Timeless Banarasi weaves and rich textiles also have become an integral part of trousseau collections.

Adorned with love

Neha Roongta

A trousseau is incomplete without the box of jewels that the bride’s family hand-picks for her. Full of love and blessings, they are her priceless possessions. From the bajubandh to the borla or maang tikka, from the bangles to the nathni, from the kamarbandh to the aad, each piece has its unique charm. Here, once again a return to heritage is noticeable among modern brides.

“Over the last couple of years, Marwari brides are choosing classic and timeless designs over bold styles. This trend is hardly a surprise, as these pieces have heritage value and can be passed on from one generation to the next,” says Neha Roongta of Neha Roongta Fine Jewellery.

The top trend for bridal jewellery is classic pieces with a modern twist, according to her. Also, there has been a shift from minimalist designs to period classics, with royal and timeless pieces complementing traditional bridal outfits.

Roongta predicts that wedding jewellery will be more modular in the years to come, with brides opting for flexibility in order to wear them more often, rather than just for the wedding. Her brand, launched in 2015 in Mumbai, specialises in statement pieces set in gold with a mixture of diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones.

Bridal jewellery from Neha Roongta Fine Jewellery  Columbian emerald and diamond necklace

As a Marwari wedding is all about the coming together of family members, this year, apart from bridal sets, Roongta has created a range of pieces that can be gifted to family members and loved ones.

The world at her feet

Nidhi Bhandari

This is 2019, and bridal footwear is just as glamorous and stunning as bridal wear. It complements the bridal look with intricate embroideries that match the colour and style of the wedding lehnga or sari. Comfort is key, but not a deterrent to style, as brides want nothing but the best to adorn their beautiful mehndi-dyed feet.

“Imagine gorgeous slip-ons in rose gold colour, or Swarovski crystal-studded tie-ups! The bride of today is not shy of experimenting when it comes to her footwear,” says Nidhi Bhandari of Nidhi Bhandari Fine Couture Footwear. Kolhapuris, slip-ons, ankle straps and tie-ups are all in trend, according to her.

There are various new styles and colours this season though, the most prominent being transparent heels or straps. The modern bride wants to invest in a pair that she can wear for other occasions as well, informs Bhandari. Also, because comfort is key, there is more demand for blocks and platform heels.

Bhandari’s brand, launched in 2013, in Pune, guarantees utmost comfort and impeccable bespoke style. “Our forte lies in laser-cut patterns, and brides love this fusion of laser-cut details and hand-embroidered artistry,” she says.

Custom-made sandals with glass tassels, crafted to match the bride’s blue lehnga, from Nidhi Bhandari Fine Couture Footwear

Since a Marwari wedding comprises several ceremonies, Bhandari customises footwear for each. “For instance, for the sangeet we design something with straps and preferably wedges that would allow the bride to enjoy without worrying about her shoes. For the wedding day, we design shoes that are easy to remove and wear, keeping in mind the pheras,” she says. Monograms of the initials of the names of the bride and groom, and incorporating the wedding date into the embroidery on the bride’s footwear are gaining popularity.

Packed with care

Devina Dalmia

An Indian wedding is never complete without gifts, whether they are for the bride or the groom or their families and relatives. Marwari families demand nothing less than exquisite packaging, and here’s where Devina Dalmia steps in. Her brand Le Jahaan, which specialises in wooden packaging for gifting, was launched in Delhi, in 2012.

This wedding season is all about glamour and sustainability, according to Dalmia. “People know what they want, when it comes to luxury. However, they keep in mind the utility, as far as the gift goes. We are witnessing a trend that supports sustainability and recycling. And because our wooden lacquer boxes and trays are reusable and bespoke, families of the bride or groom are happy to use them for gifting purposes,” says Dalmia.

Unique shapes and sizes for gifting trays and boxes, such as the hexagon, are in trend, according to her. And so are nuanced colours like blush and mint green, which are elegant, while bright red is an all-time favourite.

Dalmia and her team offer an entire gamut of products such as personalised and bespoke groom hampers, lehnga and beauty boxes, bridegroom and watch boxes, humidors, wedding giveaways and bridal trunks, to mention just a few. She also provides end-to-end packing for each of these giveaways, or for the trousseau, with exotic flowers and decor. Le Jahaan has a few special offerings such as Papad Mangodi boxes, which the bride’s family places inside the groom’s and his relatives’ cars after the wedding; Sagan and Milni boxes, which are exchanged by the two families; Ginni boxes that hold gold coins; and Mudda boxes, which are used to gift jewellery to the bride.

Jewellery and cufflink boxes from Le Jahaan Right: Silver-plated boxes, silver top candles and boxes and Ginni boxes from Le Jahaan

Brides today know what they want and what suits them, rather than blindly copying the latest trends. That there are vendors who are easily accessible and who offer bespoke products in various categories, makes it convenient for brides to select the best.

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