Welcome to Mahari’s first blog post! I’m excited to launch this space to share styling tips, behind-the-scenes content and much more with you all.
Our first post covers all things bridal outfit related! Selecting a wedding day outfit is such an exciting experience but can also be a little daunting. Where do you start? What important things should you consider? Whether you are shopping for a ready-made outfit or looking for a custom design I hope our top 10 tips are a helpful starting point for you:
When you're looking at racks and racks of stunning wedding lenghas it can be hard to focus on the budget you set for yourself. Its easy to get carried away and want to try everything on! I strongly suggest setting a budget before you start shopping for your bridal lengha. It can help you stay focused and make sure you only spend what you are comfortable with. This makes the shopping experience to find “the one” a whole lot easier. Over the years I’ve been lucky to help many brides select looks from our affordable collections. With our mix and match shopping concept they’ve been able to build looks within their budgets for their pre-wedding, wedding and reception events.
When thinking of your bridal lengha it can be easy to get lost in a world of fabrics, embroideries and colours. I suggest starting with your silhouette. When thinking of your silhouette consider the following design features:
- Sleeves: Do you want sleeves or a sleeveless design? If opting for sleeves consider how your mendhi (henna) and jewelry (such as a choora) will sit.
- Neckline: There are a range of neckline styles from boat necks, off-shoulder, plunging necklines etc. I’d suggest trying a few different styles to see what works best for you and what you feel most comfortable in. Sometimes a design such as an off-shoulder can look beautiful in a photoshoot campaign but may not be as comfortable and practical when worn.
- Flare: Lengha skirts are traditionally created from panels which are sewn together to create the flare and volume of the skirt. Bridal lenghas are generally constructed of more/wider panels to create more flare. This is to create volume for a more glamorous look but also to allow you to easily sit and stand in the piece. You want to aim for a minimum of 6-7 metres of fabric in your lengha skirt.
- Netting: Your bridal lengha will likely have a layer of netting sewn into the lining of the skirt to create structure. Most skirts require this as without it the skirt will hang very flat. Some bridal lenghas will have light layers and others very heavy layers of netting. The volume you’d like is up to you and you should work with your designer to achieve your perfect look. Just before your big day it is important to steam this netting to get the shape to settle as it can get crushed during shipping and storage.
The most commonly used fabrics for bridal lenghas are silk, net, georgette and velvet. Consider the season you are getting married, for example velvet may be too thick for summer but would work great in winter! Silks and velvets can sit more stiff to create an a-line shape vs. georgette and nets which can be flow more freely due to their lightweight nature. Fabrics also vary in price points with pure silks being the most costly. I’d recommend trying a few different options to see which you like.
By this point you have your silhouette and fabric picked! Now it’s time to add some colour. Although red is often seen as a traditional Indian bridal colour the possibilities are endless and trends can change every season. I’ve recently seen an influx in brides breaking traditions and opting to wear ivory and white tones from our collections. If opting for a neutral or lighter tone you can compliment by adding colour through accessories such as a bold jewelry set, flowers or vibrant clutch etc.
If you are struggling to choose a colour, start by building a mood board of the aesthetics you like for your wedding (e.g. rustics, bohemian, beach wedding). I often find a visual mood board can help you feel inspired and generate a colour palette for your outfit and wedding. When looking at complimentary combinations for you and your partner, I suggest utilizing the colour wheel. This tool shows various shades and colours which compliment one another. If you are working with a designer to create a custom colour, I highly recommend asking for a colour swatch on your preferred fabric so you can confirm your colour choice. You can also add this swatch to your mood board to help you plan other elements of your wedding!
India is home to an array of talent when it comes to embroidery. There are many different embroidery techniques which incorporate different materials such as threads, sequins, pearls, zari, gotta etc. Selecting the embroidery on your outfit really comes down to your personal preference! Some brides opt for very lightweight and minimal embroidery and others love a heavily embroidered design. The style and amount of embroidery will likely be the biggest determinator of cost for your final outfit. It's also important to keep in mind that hand embroidery is more time intensive. Therefore, this is typically more costly vs. machine embroidery. A hand embroidered lengha may also take over 6 months to construct, so you will need to order early.
We think that slogan “beauty is pain” is just crazy and really comfort is key! You’ll be wearing your lengha all day and making sure you are comfortable is important for your big day. Select an outfit that works for your location and ceremony style - consider if you will be indoors/outdoors? Standing/sitting for your ceremony? A well stitched garment with high quality finishings such as good zips, drawstrings and cups will ensure you stay comfortable through out the day. A tip I give to my brides is to select a top with a fully open centre back fastening so that you can put on your outfit last. If there isn’t a full opening you’ll need to put on your top before hair and make up starts which can mean sitting and creasing your bridal top for hours before your ceremony.
7. Destination Weddings
Destination weddings are becoming ever more popular and can provide beautiful locations for your special day. If you’ll be getting married outdoors in warm weather I recommend opting for light colours (think creams, ivory, pastel shades) in lightweight fabrics (such as crepe, georgette, net) to help you stay cool throughout your ceremony.
When travelling for your wedding, I recommend taking your lengha as a carry on item in a garment bag. This way you can carefully transport it and make sure you aren’t left without your outfit in the case of missing luggage. Also I recommend checking ahead with your hotel to see if they provide a steaming service and book in to get your outfits steamed when you arrive. You can also purchase a travel steamer to take with you for any last minute touch ups.
There is so much fun you can have with accessories and it'll be easiest to choose these after you have purchased your bridal lengha. Here is a quick checklist of accessories:
- Shoes: whether you opt for flats or heels make sure they are comfortable! Also select a heel height that works with the length of your skirt.
- Jewelry: South asian bridal looks are known for the beautiful jewelry! The options are endless and its easiest to pick your jewelry while wearing your bridal top. Select a necklace that works with your neckline. A choker tends to work well with a boat neck and a longer necklace style with a top with little to no embroidery.
- Clutch: Add a fun clutch bag to complete your look or even a pop of contrast colour. Check out our hand embellished clutches which have been popular with brides.
Treating your garments with care will help ensure they last a long time and this is especially the case for bridal lenghas with their delicate embroideries. After your wedding get your lengha dry-cleaned to remove any stains. Keep your lengha in either a garment bag, large storage box or even a preservation box. Use a clothing steamer to safely remove any creases from the fabric. And wear your pieces again! I’ve seen many brides mix and match their Mahari Bridal pieces with other items in their wardrobe to create new looks.
10. Stay True To Your Style
Lastly, it can be easy to be swayed by seasonal trends, traditions or family/friends opinions but remember this is your special day! You should choose a look which makes you happy and feel the most confident.
If you managed to make it this far thank you for reading! I wanted to pack this with as much valuable information and hopefully this blog post can help you on your journey to finding your dream bridal lengha. If you have any questions for us about our designs for your wedding events please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via our website.