A wedding outfit should be a personal choice for any woman. What she wears on her big day is a decision that she alone can make. Having said that, in our country, lehengas and sarees are the most popular wedding outfit options. And while many women prefer the lehenga, there are also those who prefer to make their trousseau by picking from the most popular wedding saree collections.
Given the rich cultural heritage that is spread across our country’s vast geography, wedding sarees, too, are diverse in every part and specific to many cultures. However, they are all rich, handwoven, and adapted to look modern to suit the new-age bride while continuing to be steeped in culture.
Picking the right saree, however, can be highly stressful for brides-to-be, so here are some bridal saree inspirations that you can pick from wedding saree collections of the shops you will visit to make the process more manageable and stress-free. Although there are many types in India, we’re talking in detail about the most popular variety, often a bridal favourite.
1. Kanchipuram Wedding Saree
2. Banarasi Wedding Saree
3. Modern Cocktail Wedding Sarees
4. FAQs on Wedding Sarees
Kanchipuram Wedding Saree
Kanchipuram is a village in Southern India famous for its silk sarees. Kanchipuram Sarees are made from pure mulberry silk and are woven in silver and gold zari. Kanchipuram sarees are woven in a unique manner found only in this part of the country. They feature-wealthy designs and intricate detailing which makes the saree cost an arm and leg!
The designs are often inspired by ancient Indian temples and scriptures like temple borders, coin design motifs, flowers used in rituals, and even stripes, and checks. The pallu, made in gold zari, is the highlight of the saree. It is interesting to note that the body and the palla are woven separately and joined together with a discreet zigzag stitch. This type of saree is also called the Kanchi saree or the Kanjivaram saree in the south.
There are several types of Kanchipuram sarees that you will find in the wedding saree collections of famous saree destinations like Pothys in the South and in Nalli’s bridal saree collection.
There are four main types of Kanchipuram sarees that are popular:
- Kanchipuram Jacquard Saree
- Kanchipuram Brocade Saree
- Kanchipuram Checked Saree
- Kanchipuram Half and Half Saree
Tip: Wear your Kanchipuram wedding saree with temple or kundan jewellery for a full traditional look. Take inspiration from Deepika Padukone whose antique-finished jewellery is adding to the look of her Kanjivaram.
Banarasi Wedding Saree
Banarasi sarees originate from Varanasi, an ancient city, also known as Banaras, in Uttar Pradesh. Banarasi sarees have a fascinating history and have been mentioned in the Mahabharata. Woven from magnificent silk, they are known for their shimmering accents, vibrant colors, intricate motif designs, impressive zari highlights, and sumptuous brocades.
The main features of the Banarasi sarees are their gold and silver brocade or zari and designs inspired by the Mughals, who introduced this exquisite craftsmanship to India. Banarasi saris were initially made from real gold and silver threads just for the royalty but now are worn not only all over the country but also internationally and are easily accessible because of India’s highly skilled artisans.
Due to its royal look, Banarasi saris will undoubtedly make the perfect wedding attire. They have been a part of a bride’s trousseau for ages and are now being added to every bride’s wishlist all across the country.
There are several varieties of Banarasi saris you can add to your wedding ensembles, however, the most popular Banarasi saree styles are pure silk or katan saree, organza Banarasi saree with zari brocade, butidar Banarasi sarees featuring two-tone brocade (popularly called Ganga-Jamuna), lightweight georgette Banarasi sarees, and jangla Banarasi sarees featuring nature-inspired motifs.
Tip: Although Banarasi sarees are famous in jewel tones, contemporary versions of the saree are available in pastel shades that brides-to-be can experiment with.
Modern Cocktail Wedding Sarees
While traditional silk sarees are timeless and elegant, today’s brides also need saree options that are glamorous that they can wear to a wedding reception party or to a fun cocktail and sangeet night. For these occasions, there are many modern versions that Indian designers are serving.
There are saree gowns in metallic crinkled lurex fabric that are basically pre-draped sarees that can be worn like a dress and simply zipped into place and found in the collections of designer Tarun Tahiliani, Seema Gujral, etc. as well as lehenga sarees, a signature silhouette of designer Gaurav Gupta, and pre-pleated metallic sarees with hyper-structured shoulders by Amit Aggarwal.
Many designers are also inundating their creations with sequins and other surface-level ornamentations to make the saree more glamorous like Manish Malhotra and Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna.
Tip: Invest in a good cocktail saree for a pre-wedding event where the mood is glamorous yet comfortable. A pre-draped saree provides all the benefits of a saree without having to drape one.
FAQs on Wedding Sarees
Q. Which saree is the best for a wedding?
A. What a bride-to-be wants to wear on her wedding day must be her choice alone. The saree she picks often represents her cultural heritage – usually a significant indicator of what part of the country she belongs to – and varies according to geography. However, nowadays, women are forgoing these rules and choosing to wear whatever they feel like on their wedding day, as long as it looks Instagrammable. The most popular sarees that you will find in wedding saree collections of most bridal shops are Kanjivaram sarees, Banarasi sarees, saree featuring detailed gota embroidery, patan patola sarees, and even chikankari sarees. It is also completely okay for a bride to not pick any of the traditional options from the sarees above and go for modern sarees like lehenga sarees and pre-draped sarees, which are often an important part of their bridal outfits and reserved for weddings receptions and sangeets, to their main wedding.
Q. What is the latest designer saree?
A. Many eminent designers like Gaurav Gupta, Amit Aggarwal, Tarun Tahiliani, to name a few, have been offering their modern brides-to-be many contemporary saree options like pre-draped lehenga sarees, sarees with structured elements, and draped saree gowns. These sarees are often heavily embellished with bugle beads, pearls, Swarovski crystals, rhinestones, etc., and are often reserved for events like wedding reception parties or sangeets where the mood is laid back and celebratory as these are not traditional saree options. Designer Manish Malhotra has been offering brides many contemporary sarees that are inundated with sequins. Designer Karan Torani, too, has been glamorizing the outfit by making velvet and organza half and half sarees. If a bride-to-be likes big floral prints on diaphanous organza fabrics, then she should look toward designer Sabyasachi who specializes in them.
Q. Which type of pattu saree is best?
A. The Kanjivaram silk saree is the best pattu saree that most South Indians, and these days even brides from other parts of the country, prefer. It has a rich look that is perfect for Indian weddings. It can even be preserved for future generations as heirlooms.
Q. Why are wedding sarees red?
A. Red is a colour that is associated with prosperity and fertility. It also signifies new beginnings. In Hindu astrology, the colour red also indicates Mars, a planet that is in charge of marriage and responsible for a smooth-sailing marital life. It is also believed that the colour red is symbolic of the goddess Durga and her inner strength, and hence of significance to women. Although red is commonly seen in Indian weddings, in many cultures, wearing green, yellow and even white at their wedding is customary.