photo credit Raj Kumar
When being asked about an Indian bride most people would portrait her in red sari with lots and lots of golden jewelry. That is a typical image of a Hindu bride. But in reality it is not quite so because in different parts of India brides wear different kinds of clothes, ornaments, and adornments that are usually typical of the area. A Rajasthani bride would wear a lehenga, a Punjabi bride would wear a salwar-kameez, and a Maharashtrian bride would wear a nine-yard saree. The costume is usually in shades of red, pink or mustard. Like her clothes, the bride's ornaments also differ according to local tradition.
photos from hereMaharashtrian brides wear a face-framing chaplet of jasmine buds. Some families do not approve of the common custom of decorating the bride with display of golden jewelry at the wedding ceremony. Instead, they prepare an entire matching set of ornaments made of flowers.
Bengali bride. Photo credit Vishaka
Bengali bride. Photo credit Raj Kumar
Bengali brides wear a traditional crown called makuta made of shola pith. Shola is a unique wild plant used in several areas of India for creating various types of personal and festive ornaments. It is a small bush growing in Bengal. Inside its stems is white spongy fiber called pith. So, ornaments are made from it with great imagination and skill. They may be additionally decorated with gold or silver threads, wire or foils.
Bride from Karnataka. Photo credit Shruthi G.Bhat
Tamil bride. Photo credit Kirsten
Many South Indian brides wear special flowery headdresses made of jasmine.
Sikh bride, photo from here
Punjabi brides traditionally cover their heads with a shawl called dupatta ornamented with gold thread, ribbons and tinsel appliques. The maternal uncle and aunt of the bride adorn the bride’s wrist with white and red bangles and an ornament made up of gold or silver known as kalira (jingle) is tied to these bangles which symbolize their good wishes and blessings. Besides it is said a new bride should not be cooking and cleaning in the husband’s house when she first moves in, that is why she has all the bangles and kalira on.
Bride from Manipur. Photo credit Raj Kumar
Brides from Manipur wear a very interesting traditional dress called potloi. It is heavy and not that much comfortable but looks amazingly beautiful. The skirt of potloi is called kumin and is traditionally decorated with mirror and applique work and embroidery. The pattern usually consists of seven to ten lines. Earlier, kumin was made of pure silk but now it can be replaced with satin. Traditional colours for the kumin are red and green. The bride also wears a headgear kok resembling a crown, and numerous necklaces.
Kinnaur brides, photos from here
Brides from Kinnaur wear veils over their faces made of silver chains; a large silver necklace with elaborate enameled inserts; enormous silver Buddhist charm boxes suspended on a waist cord.
Ladakhi bride, photo from here
Ladakhi brides wear the perak, a traditional headdress decorated with turquoises, corals and gold or silver amulet cases (I wrote about perak here). Their faces should be veiled with a kind of net made of river pearls.
Rajput bride from Rajasthan. Photo credit Abrinsky
On their way to the groom's house Rajput brides cover their faces with dupatta and wear a headgear called sheesphul.
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