The big fat Indian weddings has always been an elaborate affair, but when it comes to Marwari weddings, the extravagance, the splurge and élan is like no other. From exotic destinations and Michelin-starred chefs to curated designer trousseaus and breathtaking décor, nothing but the very best is the norm rather than an exception in Marwari weddings. And adding the final touch to all the splendour is drop-dead gorgeous jewellery that gives a magical aura to the bride-to-be, making her the cynosure of all eyes. We spoke to four top jewellery houses—Archana Parasrampuria Jewellery, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jaipur, White Jewels and Jaipur Jewels—to help us decode the jewellery staples that the community nurses a soft spot for, while discovering the new-age Marwari bride’s list of must-haves and, of course, the season’s trends.
A 150-year-old house, Jaipur Jewels owes its genesis to Roopchand Naheta, who started his jewellery business in Multan, now in Pakistan. Hailing from what is one of India’s oldest jewellery families, Subhash Naheta, its present owner, has ensured that the brand offers brides individualistic pieces that, at the same time, remain true to their identity. The family’s legacy finds expression in a mélange of exclusive fine jewellery in jadau, diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones and real pearls.
A changing mindset
Many Marwari brides today perceive jewellery differently, it being more of a form of self-expression that reflects her personality. As Marwari women are steadily making their presence felt in the world of business, this independence has also made its way into other aspects of their lives, pulling them away from old-fashioned ways. Speaking about this changing mindset, Vikas Jain, the founder of White Jewels, says, “Thanks to increasing global exposure and more educated women joining the workforce, jewellery has evolved to become a fashion accessory. As a result, modern Marwari brides have been experimenting a lot more with jewellery, in their bid to stand out and wear a piece that no other woman has.”
Shedding light on what modern Marwari brides look for in jewellery, Subhash Naheta, the chairman of Jaipur Jewels, says, “Today’s bride is far different from her predecessors. She is classic, but with an international worldview. She seeks meaningful experiences and is not afraid to be individualistic.” Accordingly, the brand’s soon-to-be- launched collection revolves around the theme that there are things of far greater value than precious metals and gemstones. “In this collection, we have made room to incorporate the things that are precious to the wearer, like a special person from her past, her hopes for the future, her dreams or a memory—all those valuable things without a price tag,” adds Naheta.
Marwari brides are also no longer scouting for jewellery that will simply sit locked up in their safe deposit boxes after their wedding day. Archana Parasrampuria, the founder of Archana Parasrampuria Jewellery, states that young Marwari girls do not prefer pieces that are made or bought only for a given occasion. According to her, layered jewellery is a big hit with today’s Marwari brides. “We design jewellery in the form of a choker, a necklace and a long necklace, which can be worn together or as separate pieces, making them multifunctional and ‘re-wearable’. We also design pieces that double up as choker-cum- bracelets.
Hailing from Bareilly, Archana Parasrampuria moved base to Mumbai after her marriage and forayed into the world of jewellery but merely pursuing it as a hobby. Fifteen years later, she has turned this penchant into a blossoming business of designing and manufacturing jewellery. Specialising in bespoke pieces that keep up with the changing needs of clients, her brand creates jewellery that are a mix of Indian and Western styles and can perk up any attire.
Echoing similar views, Yash Agarwal, the creative director of Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jaipur, says, “One of the biggest jewellery trends for this wedding season is multiple layering of neckpieces: pair beautifully carved chokers with multiple neckpieces for a regal look,” he suggests. He also opines that modern Marwari brides have finally started appreciating diamonds, coloured stones, jadau and contemporary jewellery, as opposed to the erstwhile obsession for heavy gold jewellery.
Back to the classics
According to Subhash Naheta, this wedding season is also seeing a glorious return to tradition, because even though the modern bride wants to set herself apart, she still has a conventional role to play on her big day. “Polki jewellery will continue to rule the roost this wedding season, while enamelled jadau jewellery in hues of pink, blue and white will add freshness to the trousseau of the experimental bride-to-be,” he adds.
Yash Agarwal agrees that the Marwari bride-to-be certainly has no qualms about embracing her traditions. According to him, oversized naths and traditional Rajasthani borlas are the season’s biggest hits.
Archana Parasrampuria feels that solitaires are a classic choice. “Solitaires are something that brides can never get tired of, and this year, we are seeing a lot of brides opting for them. We spoil the brides for choice by offering them an exquisite variety of solitaires, and asking them to pick a shape and size. We then design the entire piece around it.” Vikas Jain’s views similarly reflect Marwaris’ love for traditional jewellery, especially jewellery inspired by royal personalities and the Mughal era. “After all,” he says, “a Marwari wedding is an elaborate celebration of style.”
Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas is counted amongst Jaipur’s oldest jewellery houses. Having carved a niche for itself in the luxury jewellery segment over the years, the house is known for combining age-old traditional techniques with advanced modern technology. Catering to the upper crust of society, the brand specialises in handcrafted creations that reinterpret art, craft or heritage that has gone astray, through original designs, contemporary adaptations and edgy creativity.
The statement factor
Even though Marwaris are deep-rooted in their traditions, they also do not mind indulging in the latest trends. In fact, today’s brides are all for marrying heritage with a generous dose of modernity. Speaking about how this also makes for a practical choice, Subhash Naheta says, “While classic jewellery designs are an important part of any bridal trousseau, infusing contemporary elements into them makes the jewellery more versatile, thereby making it adaptive to suit both Indian and Western ensembles.”
Another trend that seems to be gaining momentum is wearing statement pieces that do all the talking. But brides do not need to look to the West for inspiration—even traditional Indian ornaments are becoming statement pieces of a new kind. According to Yash Agarwal, donning statement headpieces is particularly au courant. He goes on to explain that modern Marwari brides who like to experiment can opt for an unconventional look by teaming a beautiful matha patti with chunky layered neckpieces.
Subhash Naheta feels that oversized naths and haathphools are must-haves for brides-to-be to make a statement on their wedding day; and headpieces like big tikkas, chipkas and elaborate matha pattis too are high up on the trend charts. “Statement accessories like knuckle and palm rings will be in vogue for prewedding showers and cocktail evenings to kick-start the festivities,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Vikas Jain emphasises on the need for brides to wear statement jewellery studded with fancy coloured diamonds in order to make an everlasting impact. According to him, dual gold chokers embellished with fine diamonds and coloured stones make it to the top of the list.
Vikas Jain, the founder of White Jewels, discovered his true calling at a young age, when his mother, after noticing his eye for intricate detail, inspired him to take up jewellery design. With her unconditional support, he set out to make his name in the world of jewellery through mesmerising innovations and extraordinary finesse. White Jewels prides itself on its artistic fusion of Indo-Western designs—showcased in everything from captivating pendants and exquisite necklaces to scintillating bracelets and signature rings—that makes every woman feel like royalty.
By virtue of being household names and knowing the art of innovating well, these four top jewellery houses are seasoned hands that cater to all kinds of bridal jewellery. So, what are their offerings that can serve as must-haves for Marwari brides this season, while accentuating their natural beauty and wedding attires?
For Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jaipur, it is their ‘Delhi Durbar’ collection that they feel will make heads turn at the wedding, with each piece inspired by jewellery worn by royal families of yesteryears. “The collection celebrates Indian brides who love to wear traditional jewellery in their own unique way. We have incorporated age-old traditional techniques, modern silhouettes and pastel hues into the jewellery and worked with superior quality gemstones like Mughal carved rubies, classic rose-cut diamonds, old European-cut diamonds, pink sapphires, polkis and natural pearls,” reveals Yash Agarwal.
While Marwari brides are increasingly going by strong preferences and choices, they are also making sure that their picks complement their roots. With this in mind, Archana Parasrampuria Jewellery’s new and innovative collection explores a cultural connect in terms of the design. “We dug deep into our roots and crafted a range of Rajwada-style pieces, pachelis, modern elephant bracelets and jadau wear, especially for Marwari brides,” says Archana Parasrampuria.
The idea that jewellery should be an authentic extension of how the bride wishes to communicate what is important to her finds favour in Jaipur Jewels’ new bridal collection. Subhash Naheta explains: “With our new bridal collection, brides can tap into their individuality and bring deeper meaning to what is likely to be the most important day of their lives. For some brides, it will be like a blank canvas for their personal identity, while for others, who would like to bring their own personality to the table and yet not mess with tradition, this collection would be a medium of self-expression.”
For brides who want to keep it traditional yet trendy, White Jewels has worked with coloured stones and uncut diamonds to create maharani-style necklaces to match with the wedding outfit, along with shoulder dusters which are a safe bet as fun and lightweight jewellery and are perfect for the mehndi ceremony and cocktail parties. Vikas Jain also recommends brides to invest in new-fangled earrings, reinvented jhumkas and Chandbalis to create an elegant statement.