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The Engaging Factor

By Sanhati Banerjee

While the wedding day may have been marked as the most important day in a would-be-groom’s planner; the engagement ceremony is an equally important one. The engagement ceremony marks the beginning of the wedding session and hence has that unique first-of-the-first’s appeal. This is one occasion when you proudly anoint your life partner for the first time. Plan Your Wedding presents a bouquet of sartorial ideas so that you can rock the engagement look.

The engagement being the dress rehearsal for a big fat Indian wedding, the grooms-to-be have to put their best foot forward and need to gratify innumerable inquisitive eyes judging the couple just by their looks. “First impression is the last impression and this is the time both the bride and groom have to look out of the world” says Abhishek Gupta, the owner of Gupta Creations. There may not be as many invitees present for the function but all eyes remain focused on the celebrity couple and not to mention on their dresses. “This ceremony is very important as it is the first union of families which will be one eventually. Your first look, impression, style and everything is noticed. So you should be taking the engagement ceremony quite seriously”says Sid J, the head designer at Attire. Let us look at the style statements that a groom can adorn to make this lovely affair even more memorable.

Comfortably Coordinated
Choosing the right attire for your engagement day needs to be a combination of individual taste, time of day and keeping in mind what the bride-to-be would be wearing. So, first and foremost speak to your fiancée about her plans for the day. Both of you need to be on the same plane when it comes to the first big event of the wedding celebrations. Coordinating your outfits will go a long way in making the affair even more enjoyable. According to Parvin Arora, head designer at Style Innovations, “the groom and the bride-to-be should sit down and discuss this event in great detail.They should not shy away from experimenting with the colours.” A subtle contrast in colours and style will make you stand out and hence this is one aspect of dressing up, which should not be overlooked. According to Akhtar Hassan, the lead designer at Mehboob Sons, “Coordination with the bride’s dress is an important aspect to be kept in mind as the world now wants to see you as a couple and not two. So the groom should definitely match his colour scheme with bride’s dress.”

Elegant Ethnic or Wow Western?
The first question that stares you is what kind of an ensemble should you go for? Should it be ethnic wear or a Western outfit like a tuxedo or something that is in the spirit of fusion wear? Engagement happens to be a dress rehearsal for the wedding. But, at the same time you have the leverage to use your grey matter on the occasion. So, experiment with the dresses and see what fits best on the event. “Fusion dresses add sparkle to the ceremony. And a colour contrast would stand out in photographs which will be cherished in times to come” says Abhishek Gupta. On the other hand, a tuxedo works like a charm provided it coordinates with the outfit on the other side. However, a designer fusion dress promises to be a stunner. Akhtar Hassan says, “A designer fusion top with a dhoti or a salwar with matching jootis will surely leave a good impression on the guests.”

Add Colour to your Trousseau
When it comes to the colour of the engagement dress, darker shades are generally preferred. According to Sudhir Diwan of Diwan Saheb, the theme should ideally be shiny formals. “A black velvet jacket with breeches-trousers paired with a designer shirt and a scarf looks classy,” says Sudhir Diwan. Apart from taking into consideration what your fiancée is wearing do keep in mind the season, timing and the venue of the party before deciding upon the tinge of your dress. Arjun Singh of Libas adds, “The colour of that ceremony depends greatly on the timing of the event. Use lighter colours for the day and prefer darker shades if the party happens to be after sunset.” Designers however bet generally on darker shades. “Darker shades look the best on the grooms-to-be, and they should not shy away from colours like black, dark blue or a combination of gold and burgundy” says Pravin Arora. The shade of the engagement dress has to be decided upon very carefully. The outfit has to be such that you should also look adept enough to make a style statement of yours leaving the guests in awe. Not only that, the outfit should have a tinge of romance borrowed from your would-be-spouse’s attire. “You can wear a small but a prominent signature of your partner’s dress shade to make it a special and a classy affair” adds Sid J.

Latest Trends
If you go by the latest trends in the market, fusion dressing seems to be the contemporary flavour. Diwan Saheb, a leading label has launched a special range for the season this time around. “A knee-length fusion silk dress in print or jacquard paired with trousers is in vogue.” says Sudhir Diwan. Regs Designer Studio has also launched a special designer range for the occasion. Their exclusive range of Indo-western dresses in pastel shades paired with exclusively crafted patiala salwars is a must for a Punjabi groom. According to designer duo Mithu and Sonu at Regs Designer Studio, “a delicately carved fusion dresses preferably worn with designer patiala salwar or polo pants is going to lead the trend this season.” However, if you are settling for something regular like a Nehru jacket or a Jodhpuri then better get it customised. Chances are that there might be some more similar looking dresses floating around in the party. A Jodhpuri suit is the ultimate outfit for a groom on engagement. A polo pant should be preferred if the groom is slim and a slim fit trouser would do for a little healthier groom, adds Akhtar Hassan. On the other hand, Arjun Singh, the lead designer at Libas says that “The engagement dress is normally fusion concept. Nowadays, the bride and the groom both don’t want very heavy outfits for that day.”

Right Embellishments
And lest you forget, ornamentations remain an integral part of the attire. It is extremely important as it adds glamour and value to your dress. “An ornamental watch and a bracelet (if you are comfortable) along with cufflinks if wearing formals should be used for the desired look,’ says Sudhir Diwan. However, be cautious about overuse of the shiny attachments.” Too much of embellishment is not good for your engagement day as the wedding day is even grander in scale and your attire for your pre-wedding ceremony should not outshine your D-day outfit,” says Arjun Singh. First and foremost, be chivalrous and let your wife dazzle more than you. Do not let them undermine your designer costumes. Expert designer Sid J says, “Everything which is more is always harmful.” Do not repeat your embellishments (under any circumstances) on your wedding day. According to the designer duo Mithu and Sonu “Embellishments lend exclusivity to your dress and one should select matching cufflinks, ties and pocket squares.”
So all you grooms-to-be, imbibe a few simple rules and ride on your imaginations for a great engagement party and set the stage on fire with your awe-inspiring looks.

• For Indian outfits, churidar kurtas, pathani suits with crushed stoles or even a Jodhpuri jacket with polo pants or trousers.
• Silks or woven silks and woven brocades are the best bets.
• Better still, if the groom wants to experiment, he can go in for a styled suit without a tie.
• If you choose to wear a Western suit, then velvet would be apt for you.
• Use darker shades of olive green, air force blue, beige or off white. This works both for the Indian outfits or the Western suits.
Input are taken from Parvin Arora, Head Designer, Style Innovations

Embellishments: Do’s and Don’ts
• Embellishments add to the gorgeousness of your attire; however, they should not be allowed to overshadow your engagement trousseau.
• Avoid the studs which might end up being too flashy.
• It must be ensured that the embellishments should not be ideally repeated on the wedding day. Avoid wearing the same cufflinks, ornamental buttons or pocket watches etc. on the engagement ceremony as well as on the wedding.
• Be slightly modest on your engagement day and save the best for wedding day. Embellishments should be lesser on the engagement day as compared to your wedding. Ideally save 60 percent of all for the wedding day!
Inputs are taken from Sid J,
Head Designer, Attire


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