Bridal preparation is one of my favourite things to photograph. I love the atmosphere that surrounds the bride whilst she gets ready for one of the happiest day of her life. But that is not the only reason I love bridal prep. It’s also because I love seeing the brides outfits and the accessories that she has chosen to go with her dress(es). I mean who doesn’t like shiny sparkly things?
An Indian bridal outfit is not complete without the jewellery and bindis that go with it.
Indian bridal accessories will usually include:
An ornate necklace, sometimes there are layers of necklaces.
Earrings that match the necklace, sometimes these will come with an ornate string attachment that attaches to your hair.
Slave bracelets for the hands, these can also be matched to the rest of the jewellery, I love these. If they’re not too ornate you can pair them up with a lovely black dress too.
Bangles – lots of them! These are usually in the colours of the outfits and some will have gold and silver in them too. I love a bride with lots of bangles.
Kaleeras – usually worn by Sikh brides, these are ornate bells that hang from the wrist, they make a subtle jingly sound.
Anklets (aka Payal) – these are also quite ornate and will sometimes have a jingle to them, in olden days this was to alert the groom of the brides arrival.
Nose ring (nath) – many brides will choose to have a nath, this is a circular ring that is worn on the nose and that attaches to the hair.
Tikka – no this has nothing to do with food. In fact this is an accessory that is worn on the head and comes down to the forehead. This is one of my favourite accessories.
Matha pati – you may have seen these around, as they have become quite popular in Western shops too. They are headpieces that are usually made up of 3 or 5 strings with a centre piece that is ornate and worn along the hairline, once worn it transforms you into a princess!
Jhoomers – these are quite popular hair accessories in the Pakistani community but due to trends, most South Asian brides are now wearing them. They are usually made to match the head piece.
Rings, saree belts and armlets are also popular accessories.
It’s not just the bride however that gets all dolled up like a princess. The groom has to look the part too! Some grooms will have an ornate Kalgi which is a little feather broach that attaches to the turban.
It’s in trend now to wear a pearl necklace or have a string of pearls decorating the sherwani.
Some grooms will carry a sword and wear the pointy shoes that remind me of Aladdin. But they are totally amazing shoes.
In recent times when gold is expensive and where brides are not fond of wearing real gold jewellery, there has been an increase in brides wearing jewellery made for them by the likes of Bees (http://shopbees.com) and Kyles (http://www.kylescollection.com) both UK based companies.
I actually own most of this jewellery because I wore it all when I got married and I sometimes wear the head piece when I’m sat infront of the computer, like today. I like feeling special.
Finally, we got a few requests from readers on how to wear sarees, so here’s a youtube video that will show you how to drape a saree (universal drape).
Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll go back to being a princess.
Have a great weekend.
Indian Wedding Photography by Bhavna Barratt
Profile picture by Tux & Tales Photography