Bridesmaids are staples at Western weddings, however, few people realize that in fact even Indian weddings have the concept of bridesmaids in the form of the ‘sahelis’ or friends and sisters of the bride. Whatever the culture and religion of the bride and her bridesmaid, the cardinal rule at any wedding is that the bride must be the most beautiful at the wedding, the one who is most resplendently dressed and the most ornately decked out. At the same time, the bridesmaids too have to look appropriately festive and beautiful.
When picking bridesmaids dresses, the most important thing is to ensure the dress does not clash with the bridal dress. Most weddings nowadays have a theme so the bridesmaid dress should ideally fit in with the overall color scheme and design. Indian bridesmaid dresses are obviously worn at Indian weddings, but are even becoming popular at western weddings with an ethnic or Indian theme. The graceful cut and variety of colorful designs available in Indian women’s clothing is what makes it such an attractive choice even for non-Indians.
Indian bridesmaids have a lot of duties which involve plenty of movement and action; this is why the salwar kameez is becoming a popular outfit for weddings. Nowadays certain varieties of salwar kameez like the anarkali salwar kameez are considered very trendy. Moreover, they are very flatteringly cut and the wedding versions come with reams of colorful fabrics and intricate designs.
On the other hand, sarees have an unbeatable Indian vibe. They exude grace, elegance and class and despite the tricky drape many women firmly believe that for a wedding only a saree would be appropriate. Regional favorites include the Kanjeevaram saree and the Banarasi silk saree as well as Tanjore Silk, Tussar Silk, Jamawar Silk and Paithani Silk sarees. Modern women who want to enjoy all the sophistication and beauty of Indian bridesmaid sarees without sacrificing comfort and mobility can opt for contemporary variations like the half-saree, lehenga saree or a pre-stitched saree. These are very easy to slip into and can be managed without a problem. Moreover they can be just as authentic in terms of fabric and design as unstitched sarees, coming with intricate embroideries and embellishments like Kota Doria, Cut Dana, Kalamkari, Zardosi, Kasab, Kantha, Kundan, Booti, Aari, Chikankari and Phulkari work.
Lehenga cholis are also popular Indian bridesmaid’s dresses; they are the ultimate in bridal fashion. They are typically worn for special occasions because of the high level of glamour and beauty attached to them. While all Indian bridesmaid outfits are colorful and ornate, these also come with a unique silhouette which is very flattering for the female figure. There are many variations available in design, color and cut in this category of Indian style bridesmaid dresses. The upper body garment termed the choli can be backless, deep neck, sleeve-less or full sleeve as per individual tastes; just like saree blouse, it too can be embroidered or embellished to create a more rich effect. The dupatta too can be draped in a variety of ways to create the most comfortable and chic look.
At an Indian wedding, bridesmaid dresses along with the bridal gown are the highlight in terms of fashion. The range of colors and designs available is vast, from deep reds and maroons to bright pinks, greens, blues, yellows and purples.
Trendy Ethnic Bridesmaid Dress Styles
For a bridesmaid, Indian dresses present the most colorful and interesting variety. A great tip is for the bride to wear her preferred color and array the bridesmaid in a range of Indian bridesmaid sarees in rainbow hues which complement her own dress. On the other hand, subtle shades like pastel greens, blues or yellows as well as white, beige, silver and cream are emerging in bridal and bridesmaid collections by top Indian designers. Another trend is to add a daringly cut blouse to Indian bridesmaid’s sarees for a glamorous, modern look.
Bridesmaid dresses should strike that balance between subtle and celebratory; while complementing the bride, they should definitely not overwhelm the bridal dress. Traditionally in India the bridesmaid’s dress is a less ornate version of the bride’s dress. Thus if the bride is wearing a saree the bridesmaids will have to don a less elaborate saree. Now the trend is to offer more freedom in terms of the choice of garment (thus a salwar kameez, lehenga choli or saree can be worn irrespective of what the bride is wearing) though some symmetry in terms of color and design is always desirable.
When it comes to accessorizing ethnic bridesmaid dresses, Indian jewelry is the best bet. Kundan necklaces, Thewa jewelry, Meenakari bangles and Polki earrings are some of the most beautiful jewelry choices to wear with any Indian bridesmaid dress.