As i look at the wedding pictures,I cannot control but laugh at the incredible story & drama behind the wedding outfits. There is immense pressure on the bride to look absolutely stunning on her big day. It was no different for me. As soon as Saurabh and I started discussing our marriage, I started my mad search for the perfect wedding lehnga. It all started with downloading numerous references from Pintrest, religiously following the top Indian designers like Sabyasachi, Ritu Kumar, Anita Dongre, Neeta Lulla and many others.
Various websites like Wedmegood, Weddingsutra, Weddingz.in were extremely handy to understand the latest market trends and also help with the wedding planning as they connect you to experienced vendors and facilitate the entire planning process.
As per the family tradition, the North Indian bride usually wears a Yellow saree/Lehnga for the pheras. I’ve never really worn yellow outfits and hence tried convincing my mom if I could wear a different color outfit for the wedding but this idea was totally rejected. So I ventured on my own little adventure to find the perfect Yellow lehnga. All I knew that I wanted a lehnga without a lot of bling and with minimal and floral motifs. I was totally obsessed with Anushree Reddy collection. Pastels, florals, the right amount of bling. These lehngas were perfect in every sense.
I was literally drooling over these gorgeous yellow lehngas and I knew I wanted something exactly similar minus the exorbitant price tag. Since Saurabh resided in Gurugram, we started our lehnga hunt from Frontier Raas which is one of the most popular stores for bridal wear shopping. They had some amazing lehngas but none like I wanted. I had a clear vision in my mind and it was becoming relatively difficult to narrow down and select a few pieces for trial. As soon as the salesperson knows you’re the bride to be , they begin showcasing heavy work lehngas which have way too much bling. Since i couldn’t find any lehngas in yellow, the salesperson assured me that they can customize a lehnga in any color/fabric/work . All I had to do is just select a design I love and they would customize the same in color of my choice. As simple as it may sound, this is the most difficult part as for majority of girls like me who do not wear traditional dresses/colors very often , it’s not easy to visualize. I showed him a couple of pictures but unfortunately they had noting in store similar to my references.
I decided to try a few Sabyasachi replicas they had in store. Tried one similar to the lehnga below. It was surprising to see my fiance`s jaw drop when I stepped out of the dressing room. I was amazed at the quality and attention to detail. It was definitely a very close copy of the lehnga. I was told that they work with highly skilled craftsmen which results in such beautiful handwork .
Since I was also looking for an outfit for my reception, I tried on a few more lehngas to get a basic understanding of the various color combinations and fabric flow. Surprisingly few outfits which i rejected initially because of the bling looked great when i actually tried them on. That’s when i realized that its important that you keep and open mind and try various patterns/colors/fabric to decided what looks the best on you.
After spending almost 2-3 hrs at the store and being amazed at the prices being quoted, we decided to check out few other popular stores located close by. As the day progressed, I was beginning to realize that this is not going to be easy.
Once I was back in Mumbai, I continued visiting the popular stores like Kalki, Seasons, Queens, Kala Niketan, RoopKala but due to the ongoing end of season sale and old stock I could hardly find anything good. This made me extremely frustrated and I only hoped that I had tons of money to splurge on my wedding outfit. My rational and focused mind started behaving irrational and kept pestering me to upscale my lehnga budget.
My sister, friends kept sending me links, tagging me in Instagram posts for bridal wear. With less than 5 months for the wedding I started visiting small boutiques, contacting a couple of local designers via Instagram & Facebook but was disappointed by the quality of lehngas they offered. I then decided that i need to find a good designer and get the wedding lehnga customized. Luckily, one of my sister’s school friend had a small boutique in Thane and I decided to try it out.
I booked an appointment for one of the weekends. I was quite surprised by the variety of options available and also the price which was quite reasonable. Since they did not have any yellow colored lehnga in stock, I started looking for patterns/fabric/lehngas which I could get customized in yellow and i finally found a few. I chose a Raw silk fabric (Lemon color)which has its own richness and elegance. For the blouse I opted for a pearl color net fabric with french embroidery in gold. All I did was mix and match from the available patterns to design my own lehnga.
I still remember the day I went to collect my lehnga in October 2016. I was so nervous and scared. With just two months left for the wedding, I definitely did not want any disasters. I literally cried when I saw my wedding lehnga, all my concepts/designs/influences turned in to this beautiful yellow sparkling lehnga which lit me up instantly.