The interesting thing about Indian culture is its diversity! Every nook and cranny in India has a different ritual, religion and custom that make the country colourful alchemy of cultures.
Weddings, especially in India, are an interesting affair simply because every religion has a different type of wedding ceremony. Obviously then, the brides and their traditional outfits too are different and that makes the Indian beauty scene just as diverse.
Read on as we try and put together bridal looks from different cultures…
- The Punjabi Bride
- Muslim Bride
- Christian Bride
- Bengali Bride
- Tamilian Bride
- Rajasthani Bride
- Maharashtrian Bride
The Punjabi Bride
A Punjabi bride usually wears a salwar suit or a lehenga in vibrant colours and the Punjabi tradition is full of jewellery typical to the religion. ‘Kaleere’, a hand ornament,’ chooda’, the ‘nath’ and the ‘maang tikka’ are a Punjabi bride’s staples.
Makeup is kept simple and the hair is often tied back as the bride is required to cover her head with a veil through the wedding ceremony.
The first thing that is attractive about the Muslim bride is the vibrant outfit called ‘sharara’ or ‘gharara’. Brides traditionally dress in red and green, heavily embroidered outfits. There are many ornaments that are typical to a Muslim bride. ‘Jhumar’ or ‘paasa’ or the ‘paakeeza’ is the accessory worn on the side of the head, by itself or alongside the ‘maang tikka’. This is the most eye-catching accessory that you won’t see on any other bride. The makeup is done to compliment the outfit, with an emphasis on the eyes. Very often, you will find the Muslim bride with heavily kohled eyes and light lips. The hair is kept tied back as the bride covers her head with a veil.
Dressed in white with a veil to cover her head, a Christian bride looks elegant and sophisticated. Nude or minimal makeup will ensure that her dress takes center stage. This is the only bridal wedding attire that allows the bride to leave her hair in loose waves or keep it tied back, depending on her choice. She can accessorise with elegant, dainty pieces of jewellery and a simple corsage of flowers in her hair.
Traditionally, Bengali brides wear red or maroon Benarasi silk saris with heavy zari work. They drape their Benarasi saree in a style that is typical to the state. They apply ‘alta’ on their feet and palms; this plays a major role in the makeup of the bride. Alta is a mehendi substitute that has a deep maroon stain. The forehead of the bride is painted with sandalwood in red and white colours and a big red bindi is placed at the centre of the forehead. The lips are kept red to match the bindi and hair is kept tied back in a bun.
Dressed in kanjeevaram silk sarees, which is either draped in the regular way or the ‘madisaru’ style, where the saree is in the style of a dhoti at the bottom, and pleated in a pallu at the top. This style of draping the saree is typical to the Tamil bride. Hair is braided or styled in a bun. Special hair accessories are used on the braid or the bun. Chokers, mango ‘maalais’ (necklaces with mango motifs), a thick golden waist cincher and a nose ring are all a Tamil brides staple ornaments. Makeup is kept simple with an accent on the eyes.
There is something regal about the bridal attire of a Rajasthani woman. The lehenga or the ghagra is usually made of silk and embellished with embroidery. The odhni or the veil is an important part of the Rajasthani tradition and is used to cover the head of the bride. The important pieces of jewellery for the Rajasthani bride are the ‘bor’ (a specific type of maang tikka), the ‘timanniya’ (a specific type of choker) and the ‘baajuband’, which is an armlet. With the heavy jewellery and lehenga, the bride usually is seen in light makeup with tied back hair.
The Marathi bride is a beautiful sight to behold. Dressed in a ‘nauvari’ saree, which is similar to the Tamil way of draping a saree, the bride has the typical half-moon bindi and the ‘karwar nath’ which is a nose ring designed out of pearls. She also wears an ‘ambada’ which is a bun ornament specific to the Marathi bride. Makeup is kept simple and elegant with the hairstyle in a bun.