The Indian bride, as she stands at the crossroads of tradition and change, for her wedding wear chooses from a host of western and ethnic wear

It's that time of the year when everyone gets into the mood to splurge, and make merry. Indian weddings are getting bigger, better and more fashionable as well!

When it comes to shopping, the consumer has a plethora of options to choose from. Designer stuff, haute couture brands, international brands, the finest trousseau collections, customised and designer-jewellery, complete home furnishing options.

Showrooms have decked up with the finest of fine wares that add extra special touch to the wedding this season. People are spending heavily on classy selections of sherwanis, lehangas and a host of trousseau collections, after all the price tag isn't all-important when it's a once in a lifetime occasion. It's the glamour, and experience that is important.

Till about a decade ago, the male preferences were restricted to a dhoti-kurta or kurta-pyjama for the traditional ceremony and a suit for the reception. Today there is a turnaround. For the last few years the sporting of ethnic wear - sherwanis, long kurtas, achkans or even jodhpuris by the film heroes determined wedding wear. And what is increasingly gaining ground is the advice sought by grooms on what to wear. Opinions are taken on shades, fabrics, and styles.

The fabrics normally used for the ensembles are silk, brocade, heavy crepes, jamevars, muga silk, tussar, polynosics (polyester-viscose) and other blends like polyester silk. In most of the boutiques and big shopping malls the outfits can be picked up off the shelves (if the sizes are readily available) or could be made to order. As far as colours go cream and gold are the most popular in ethnic wear.

The Indian bride, as she stands today at the crossroads of tradition and change, for her wedding wear chooses from a host of western and ethnic wear. Most designers, who take orders for the entire trousseau, ensure they give their clientele a number of mix `n' match outfits, such as kurtis that team up with a ghagra, trousers, or a capri.

Various `cuts'

These are matched with stoles, scarves, sequined and embroidered handbags, and shoes. Ghagras have invaded traditional South Indian weddings too. The ghagras no longer have a canned look about them, but are trendy and come in various styles such as the mermaid cut, fish tail cut, or simply a straight cut, which are designed to flaunt the silhouette, and can be teamed up with pants or chudidars.

The varied designs and embroideries on the wide range of fabrics makes all the difference and gives it the special look to make the bride look absolutely stunning on this great event of her life.

But at the bottom of her heart lies her weakness for this traditional attire, the sari, which her great grandmother, grandmother, mother, and heroines of yore have draped and looked astonishingly beautiful on their wedding day. The sari remains, and will stay on. And today the bride prefers light fabric for saris, instead of heavy silks.

Nivedita Ganguly