Pakistani bridal dresses are amongst the most ornate and elegant dresses anywhere in the world. Pakistani weddings are elaborate affairs and for the Nikah or the main wedding ceremony the bride is expected to be dressed in the most beautiful clothes. Islam is the dominant religion in Pakistan and this is why Pakistani bridal wear too is Islamic influenced; however, Pakistan has a unique culture and the dresses worn here for weddings are distinctive and different from those worn in any other part of the world. They are inspired by Mughal culture as well as the local clothes of people in the Indian sub-continent.
Pakistani brides wear three main types of dresses. The most popular Pakistani bridal dress is the sharara-kurta. It consists of a long fitted shirt or kurta and a pair of ruched wide-legged pants, called the sharara. This is combined with a long veil that is wrapped over the head and/or around the shoulders. Shararas are extremely comfortable as the material with which the pants are made is picked to facilitate ease of movement and airiness. Usually, the sharara is elaborately embroidered from the knees downwards (i.e. in the visible area) and the kurta can either have large, bold borders or designs all over. The Pakistani bridal sharara usually displays intricate and attractive embroidery and embellishments and is made of luxurious brocade or silk materials. They are quite conservative in the sense that they cover the body from head to toe, but nevertheless look very sophisticated and graceful.
The Pakistani bridal lehenga is another popular Nikaah outfit for women. This is bolder than other options and can be designed in a way that is more revealing. It consists of a long skirt (or wide-legged pant), a shawl, and a fitted blouse called the choli. This can either reach till the waist or stop just above the navel, depending on the look the bride wants to go in for. The sleeves and the neckline can also be experimented with to make the bridal outfit more daring. Pakistani bridal lehengas, like shararas, are usually decorated with rich designs all over, made with unique ethnic techniques ek taar work with crystals, zari work and cut dana.
Pakistani bridal suits or bridal salwar kameez are similarly embroidered and beautifully embellished. These also have the long kameez or kurta but this is paired up with a salwar, which is a loose pant that tapers towards the ankles. The veil or shawl (dupatta) is also essential to this outfit.
Any Pakistani bridal collection is incomplete without at least one of these traditional outfits. They usually come in classic colors like red, pink, purple or green, though nowadays modern women don’t mind donning unconventional multi-colored or pastel hues. Besides the traditional garments, one can also find plenty of beautiful designer innovations like the Pakistani bridal gowns. These are the preferred options for women who want to look trendy and modern without giving up on the finesse and beauty of Pakistani embroidery and designs. In fact the latest Pakistani bridal dresses are worn by women across the world, even those from a non-religious background or those having a multi-cultural wedding. The variety of designs, elegance of the silhouettes and intricacy of the designs of Pakistani bridal dresses has made them internationally famous and in-demand.
Accessorizing Pakistani Bridal Dresses
The over-all Pakistani bridal look is incomplete without the addition of traditional jewelry and the appropriate accessories. Typically, the most traditional Pakistani bridal dresses are supposed to be paired up with heavy gold jewelry sets of necklaces, earrings, bangles and so on. Pakistani bridal jewelry has a unique look, though it is crafted using ethnic techniques that are widely employed across the Indian sub-continent. They are often multi-layered, with strings of gold beads (or pearls) connected to a central design or pendant. The jewelry worn on the forehead, called the jhoomar or passa, is similarly elaborate and multi-layered, worn over the hairline till the ears. Large earrings, nose-rings and bangles are also usually part of the look. They are always made of gold, though they may also have multi-colored beads, precious or semi-precious stones to add sparkle and beauty.
Besides these traditional ornaments, women can also opt for sophisticated diamond necklaces and fine gold filigree jewelry, especially with gowns and dresses. However, with the traditional Pakistani outfits like shararas and lehengas, it is best to stick to the classic Pakistani bridal jewelry.
The Pakistani bridal look has become extremely fashionable of late, with many women, irrespective of their culture, are opting for Pakistani dresses and jewelry on their special day. A lot of credits goes to popular actors and actresses who choose to go down the traditional route for their wedding, thus bringing many classic styles back into the limelight and enhancing their glamour and appeal.