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A Guide For The Experimental Bride

Anita Dongre

For every bride-to-be, the discovery of her dream lehenga is a vision board or two away. Most of them have an idea of how they want to look on their big day, albeit an inkling of it at best. Especially when the bride-to-be wishes to experiment, there are several aspects to consider. How much is too much? With destinations and themes widening their horizons to contemporary influences, maintaining the opulence of a quintessential Indian bride yet executing your own take needs a skilful flair. While millions of wedding photographs take over Instagram during the peak season, there is nothing more refreshing than a bride who decided to take a leeway from the conventional look, undeterred by the norms. If the one-of-a-kind statement is sacrosanct to you, scroll ahead for chic ideas.

Say Yes To Prints

Traditionally hand-rendered prints offer a quintessential richness if you’re planning to give heavy embellishments a miss. Add the heritage artwork of India to your mood board of printed bridal lehengas for an experimental look that isn’t time-bound. Archana Jaju puts a spotlight on the artisanal hand-rendered Kalamkari work in her roster of wedding-worthy lehengas, catering to the art and culture-loving sensibilities of modern women. Similarly, Anita Dongre celebrates craft and colour with handpainted Pichwai art that translates the lush life of forests in light prints to  ornate the lehenga as beautifully as the ones doused in intricate embroideries. Sabyasachi renders painterly floral motifs to define a summer wedding look.

Archana Jaju

Anita Dongre


Select Voluminous and Sculptural Silhouettes

Designers are interpreting a mix of exaggerated volumes and form-fitted shapes to offer the grandeur that brides-to-be desire as they walk down the aisle. As modern women incline towards choices that resonate with their multifaceted personalities, bridal offerings are being imagined with the right balance between never-seen-before elements and the quintessential charm. As the nuptials are based on destinations and multicultural themes, a futuristic and innovative take on the wedding lehenga serves as the perfect fusion style statement. Amit Aggarwal champions the renaissance of bridal lehengas with his signature fabric engineered with artsy multitudinous metallic lines. Kamaali Couture’s bold drapes promise the dramatic flair sought after by experimenting brides.

Amit Aggarwal

Kamaali Couture

Choose The Pantone Palette

In the bridal lexicon, colour is always the defining factor of what women want to express on their big day. Blush pastels to imbibe a romantic nature, red for a rooted style—an unexplored hue is the easiest way to experiment with the code. Declared the Pantone Colour of the Year 2023- Viva Magenta is a dynamic jewel tone ready to add a whiff of newness to the wedding repertoire. The hybrid tone features a nuanced spin on a blend of pink, red and purple that can attune beautifully to Indian gemstone jewellery for the big day. Couturiers like Ekaya, Manish Malhotra, Anushree Reddy and Ritika Mirchandani have promoted this new narrative into the colour spectrum defining the carmine-inspired shade in their bridal offerings.


Manish Malhotra

Anushree Reddy

Ritika Mirchandani

Choose Artsy Drapes

The growing desire in brides-to-be to wear their bridal attire beyond the wedding day makes the sari a perfect choice. While you may have made an impression embracing the six drapes in a plethora of weddings as a guest, wearing a sari to walk down the aisle morphs the ensemble into something more awe-inspiring. Tarun Tahiliani makes a case with drapes that serve the Grecian Goddess charm-featuring a mélange of drapes accentuating the skirt as well as the bodice. Parallely, Manish Malhotra reiterates the contouring silhouette of a pre-drape sari with a thigh-high slit, sequins and plumage on the trail that embodies the persona of a red-carpet stunner. Consider re-wearing the glamorous creations to a friend’s reception soiree. Sulakshana Monga champions elegance with soft drapes for a low-key wedding ceremony.

Tarun Tahiliani

Manish Malhotra

Sulakshana Monga

Say ‘I Do’ To A Kurta

The modern bride certainly embraces her roots as much as she gravitates towards comfort and experimentation. Bridal kurtas are the perfect choice if you wish to subscribe to the comfort-first statement for your traditional Anand Karaj ceremony or the pheras. Earthy and deep shades of red are ideal to reinstate the kurta’s place as a wedding ensemble. While the sharara and salwar pairing has been a part of several Indian communities’ bridal repertoire, choosing a churidar invariably fits the easy-breezy bill for experimenting. Sabyasachi’s wedding-ready iterations are easy on the eyes yet hard to overlook. You can recreate this fuss-free bridal look for your first Karwa Chauth rituals. On the other hand, Mahima Mahajan’s artsy red anarkali is perfect for pre-ceremony affairs and a versatile trousseau investment.



Mahima Mahajan

Modern brides are steering clear of lehengas that weigh them down in the repute of a traditional look, interpreting fresh colours, art, craft and contemporary silhouettes. Designers are matching these globally-savvy choices with new bridal iterations season after season. So, if you’re typing the knot this season, embrace the best of both worlds — classic and modern with a dash of your individualistic style quotient.