I was recently going through some images from an Indian fashion show in India and thought, wow there are so many different styles of lenghas out there, how does a bride choose which is the perfect one for her, plus being a wedding photographer means I get to see so many lush Indian bridal outfits, I often wonder how many trips to the various boutiques the bride has made to find her ideal dress.
Of course most of us girls know what we would like, we’ve been dreaming of this day for years, cutting out images from the latest bridal magazines, spending hours watching all the latest Bollywood films and star plus dramas so that we know what the new trends are, and as insightful as that is, what it does it tell us what we like, what is pleasing to our eyes but it doesn’t tell us if that will look good on us. For this you must try on the outfit and unless you are close personal friends with Manish Malhotra or Priyanka Chopra who might lend you the outfits to try on, you’re going to have to take on the high streets in Southall, Wembley, Green Street etc and try on a gazillion outfits until you find the perfect lengha for you, note that this task is tedious and may take months…
Sooo here’s something to get you started on finding the dress of your dreams…
Firstly, know your shape. Not everyone suits a fishtail lengha, that is a fact. I say this because I know that I wouldn’t wear it with my wide hips, I’m kind of a pear shape, so I choose to wear lenghas and skirts that are A line that give me shape without making my hips look wider. This is also true of the amount of embroidery and embellishment that is on the skirt or the top, and the pattern itself, some motifs can be unflattering if placed in upper areas of the skirt for instance.
Then, know the colour you want your lengha to be. Many brides are afraid to wear red, it’s a strong, vivid colour. But there are so many different shades of red, that it’s best to try outfits in the different shades, this will give you an idea of what shade of red is good for your skin tone. Saying that you don’t have to wear red, try shades of pink or green, or combinations of red and green or red and blue.
Try as many outfits as you can, seriously its like a marathon – there’s a thought a lengha marathon, imagine that!!
Know your budget too, this can be a deal breaker as some amazing bespoke lenghas can cost a bit of a fortune, but if it’s the dress of your dreams than splurge…ok maybe shop around first. You may find something that is equally as lush and similar to the bespoke lengha in a high street shop and some of the bridal shops now take orders to get your lengha made especially for you directly from India. Be careful though not all of them will be to the standard and quality you want it to be.
So choose carefully, ask lots of questions about the material and the time it will take to get it made, the exactness of the colour and follow it up regularly, not everyday maybe once every few weeks.
Trends are not everything either, some trends will come and go really quickly so choose wisely. I know brides who have had their lenghas made into suits after the wedding so they can wear them at a family wedding and why not make it more useful, when was the last time you looked at your wedding lengha?
Choose something that will be you and that will make you feel comfortable, if you’re going to be dancing in the lengha think about how heavy it might be with lots of embroidery on it.
Think also of how you would accessorise the outfit, sometimes the jewellery can make all the difference to turn a dress into a beautiful dress!
ooh and always take your heels with you when trying on dresses, it will let you know the length you want your lengha to be and take someone with you who will give you an honest opinion, don’t go shopping with 10 aunties and 12 cousins, you’ll never make a decision for yourself then.
I love shopping for Indian clothes, it can be so much fun! In fact, I love shopping full stop, who doesn’t?
Have a great weekend and have fun shopping for your perfect Indian wedding dress.
Indian Wedding Photography by Bhavna Barratt