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Being Bridesmaids

By Sanhati Banerjee

They have always been there in all generations but they have not been formally called so and Hence not dressed up in that easily recognizable manner in most Indian weddings. We are talking About the bride’s best friends who dance, take care of the bride, let the ice break between the groom’s friends and the bride’s party and dress up delectably. Here’s what is looking up in couture for our very own bridesmaids

 You must have seen the lovely bridesmaids in Hollywood films getting almost as anxious as the bride-to-be thinking about what to wear and how to deck up on their best friend’s wedding. After all, your dear gal pals’ weddings are important occasions in your life as well (you might turn the bride anytime soon and then want them to playthe pretty bridesmaids) –you have grown up together dreaming over the pyjama parties and boozy nights, talking about rushes and heartbreaks, sharing your secrets and wardrobes, crying, fighting and shopping, shopping and shopping together! You have been this girl gang taking those independent, daring steps together, covering up for each other and moving over boyfriends. And now, one of you is getting married, which in most cases means she has found love and is going to settle down with her man and which could mean less time with you all and more time with her new family. It is this celebration that pays a tribute to all those years of love, laughter and tears shared together. You want to be a part of her wedding – and let her know that you are there for her even now and will be there always.

And now ladies, as you know, it’s just not enough to be there, take responsibilities and have fun. You have to look stunning as well and if you are a group of girlfriends attending your friend’s wedding, you are the unofficial bridesmaids at her wedding party. You are her unwritten support system, unsung cheerleaders and her pride. So although having bridesmaids at your wedding is a Christian wedding concept and a European/American wedding staple, you can incorporate this nice concept in a Hindu wedding as well. Contemporary theme weddings have made this incorporation easier as now after a traditional ritualistic wedding, most couples love to throw a fusion-themed wedding party where both Western and Indian concepts and elements are blended together.

NRIs marrying in India also love this concept of having a fusion wedding as in this manner they can not only pep up their own weddings back home but assimilate their non-Indian friends into their weddings very easily. Whether at a wedding party in your own city or at a destination wedding venue, Indian weddings have opened up to the concept of formally incorporating “flower girls” into their weddings in a variety of theme-oriented functions.

Couture Board for Bridesmaids

Keeping in mind the many moods, tones, settings and flavours of pre-wedding or post-wedding parties, the wardrobe for bridesmaids can be created with a lot of contemporary variety. The bridesmaids will either be there as a formal part of the sangeetcocktail party, wedding party or post-wedding party. While for the former as well as for the latter, Indo-western gowns will be suitable options, if it’s a wedding party, then a saree or anarkali will be the order of the day.

To Coordinate or not to coordinate
Since bridesmaids form a group together, “to coordinate or not coordinate” deriving from the famous Shakespearean dilemma can be a difficult question to answer. All Christian weddings will have their bridesmaids lined up in perfectly coordinated and matched gowns making them look as they are meant to be. But for a non- Christian wedding, you can loosen this norm and do this partinterestingly. Whether you are opting for gowns or sarees – youcan get these designed in the same pattern, drape, embroidery, embellishment but in different colours – basically all aspects remain the same but not the colour that brings in a difference in the same design row. Or if it’s an anarkali, you can just let the colour of the dupatta be different and the rest of the garments remain the same. This can also be done with the colour of the blouse, if it’s a saree that you are opting for.

If you do not want coordinated couture, then matching the flowers on your hair or floral hair accessories could be a nice way of bringing that element of “looking like bridesmaids” to your group. After all, that is the whole idea of going ahead with this theme!

Poster Girls of a Wedding
You are the poster girls at your friend’s wedding. And getting it all right in terms of dresses and style is not easy. What you need to keep in mind is that your look should blend well with the purpose of the ceremony and the flavour of the party. While you would make for delightful pictures together as well as flanking the bride, remember that the bride is the bride. It’s her day and she should be the star of her wedding. All of you can be the giggling, merry making and delightfully precious maids of honour dressed up finely but not like the bride herself!

Unlike a Christian wedding, where you can make out the bride in her white gown and a long trail, in a non-Christian Indian wedding, where the bride opts for so many colours and the bridesmaids are also free to do so as well, you should make it a point not to take any part of her attire in your own attires – be it the colour, the drape, the accessories, the cuts, just about anything. This also brings us to the question of retaining a key common feature in the attires of the bridesmaids; be it in terms of a separate or accessory to make their look synchronised without looking painstakingly matched.

In a nutshell, bridal-casual wear or Indo-western festive party wear is what should decide the tonality of the bridesmaids’ garments and look. On a final note, don’t forget to start shopping early and keep checking with the bride constantly to avoid a faux pas on the day you will be the poster girls at your friend’s wedding!

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