Tips for Wedding Shopping in India

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Simmi Singh

Simmi Singh

Founder & CEO at The Crimson Bride. As I planned my own wedding not long ago, I really enjoyed the creative process of putting together a wedding that would be true to who I am and our story. I loved discovering amazing designers and wedding professionals and found myself spending countless hours being inspired by their incredible work. I began sharing my musings on a humble blog titled called The Crimson Bride, and the rest is history. Well, actually you can read more about it here.

The Crimson Bride is also my creative outlet and an opportunity for me to share my love and admiration for all things Indian - art, craft, culture, film and fashion. I am also a bit of a film geek and may have a mild crush on Ryan Gosling. I love travelling, spending quality time with family and friends.

So you just got engaged and are frantically planning a trip to India to do your wedding shopping! Woohoo! Time to buy the outfit you've been drooling over for the past few months! But as the trip draws closer, you start to panic when you realise that you have to buy at least 4 amazing outfits + jewellery for each of them + outfits for your husband-to-be. Not to mention outfits for the rest of your family. And all this in the space of just a week! Eeek!


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Karishma Boolani Instagram @cookieboolani

Where on earth do you start and how do you make the most of your time there? In a place like India, where there is no shortage of bridal stores, you could literally be searching for days before you find your perfect outfit for each occasion. Then there is the obvious question about which stores are actually good, which are the ones to avoid and how much money do you need to spend?

If you're not used to shopping in India, this what you can expect:


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Pretty overwhelming right? Luckily we had the opportunity to catchup with Indian wedding shopping expert and blogger, Mehak Sagar from Wed Me Good to give us some tips on where to go and what to expect when it comes to wedding shopping in India. Mehak is also a beauty writer for the popular blog, PeachesandBlush and also owns her own Indian bridal shopping service, Brides by Peaches & Blush. 

The first thing brides always want to know is where to go for Indian bridal wear shopping in India? Let's start with cities - which Indian city is the best for wedding shopping in India? 
Delhi. It is my favourite city for bridal shopping as you have options right from local  budget stores doing quality work to high end designers to niche, local boutiques. You are kind of spoilt for choice. If you are a gota patti fan, you can also take a short trip to Jaipur from Delhi which has some great outfits. Mumbai is of course another big hub and if  you are looking for more edgy clothing such as concept saris, or sari-gowns etc you may find more of those in Mumbai. For lehengas however - Delhi.


What are your top 3 bridal stores in Delhi and Mumbai for the Modern Indian Bride?
So apart from the big name designers (whom everyone will know, so no point in talking about those) there are some great local stores.

In Delhi - the Dolly J store is a MUST visit. She is a Delhi based designer who is relatively affordable and does phenomenal work and has a style that blends traditional with contemporary. I also like the local store Frontier Raas in South Ex II and Anarkali in Karol Bagh.

In Mumbai - there are mostly small designers and boutiques. Aza is of course a must visit in Mumbai - it stocks a lot more designers than the Delhi ones stock. There are also Chamee and Palak- lesser known designer duo who do light, fluid, affordable clothing. Then there is Shruti Sheth who does really fun, modern lehengas as well.


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Wed Me Good
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Wed Me Good

How much money can a bride reasonably expect to spend on bridal outfits for their wedding, sangeet, mehendi and reception? 
It depends: 

  • A non designer lehenga that is tasteful, with good fabrics and high quality work ranges from between Rs. 80,000 to 200,000 / 2 lakh (AUD 1,400-3,500)
  • The designer pieces are upwards of Rs. 250,000 / 2.5 lakh and go up to Rs. 1,000,000 / 10 lakh depending on which designer you want to buy
  • Of course I'm sure you can go cheaper or more expensive but this is in general the average

For mehendi, finding outfits is extremely difficult because most stores tend to concentrate on heavy outfits so in most cases mehendi outfits are customized or just fun, anarkalis to pick up. Probably Rs. 30,000-60,000 for mehendi. Sangeet lehengas depends on how heavy / light you want it to be but again about Rs. 80,000.


Is it worth buying an original designer bridal piece vs. buying from a local store which tend to imitate the big designer names?
 I think it’s a personal choice and largely dependent on your budget. If you can afford a designer lehenga, go ahead and splurge, there is always something special associated with having Sabyasachi in your closet. If you are on a budget however, go ahead to these local stores and pick a piece you love - and be proud to wear that too. Hard to pick one over the other because it comes down to how much you want to spend on it.


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Wed Me Good

Do you recommend working with a tailor to create a lehenga from scratch?
That’s a hard question, because it depends on the tailor. I always say - see a design and do modifications like color, add an extra border, switch up embroidery patterns from another lehenga etc to create your own look. Doing a lehenga from scratch with nothing to go on is a bit risky. In fact a lot of people don’t realise just how much you can customize lehengas and how much we do anyway. Almost always, blouses are made from scratch, dupattas are changed up, and lehenga colors and embroideries are played with. However always have a base lehenga to go by so you know 80% of what it will look like, try not to visualise a lehenga out of thin air, unless you're working with Sabyasachi directly!


Working directly with Sabyasachi - we wish! What about jewellery? What are your favourite stores for costume jewellery and real jewellery?
 My favourite for costume jewellery would be Apala Jewels in Hauz Khaz Village, BG’s in South Ex, Preeti Mohan in Shahpur Jat.

My favourite for real jewellery would be Suranas, Hazoorilal, M Rajsons, Shree Raj Mahal & Khanna's, depending on what type you want. Khanna has are the best for diamonds, while Suranas and M Rajsons are gorgeous for polka and Hazoorilal has the best gold.


So, what types of services are available for brides who may find the whole Indian shopping experience daunting? How does it work? 
We have our own personal shopping service Brides by Peaches & Blush, where we can take you to stores after we do a style and budget consultation. We do a lot of consulting over email to understand what a customer likes before taking them anywhere. Our personal shopping service also extends to NRIs who can't make it to India, we can show them what is available at local stores here, they can place an order through our photos and then we charge a fixed fee for coordinating, customising and arranging their outfit.

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Wed Me Good

What are the latest trends you are seeing in Indian bridal wear? Any particular colours, styles, designers? Any personal favourites?

Hmm, its been a year of pastel and softer colors. A lot of the contrasts that Sabyasachi used to do (yellow with pink, red with green etc) is now slowly fading and more classic, monochrome lehengas are coming back - which you would have seen in his Opium collection as well as Tarun Tahiliani's latest collection.

There is a whole lot of colors like mint, peach, softer pinks that brides are going for along with just all-gold outfits as well versus the very bright colors and of course red will always stand the test of time.

Apart from that the silhouette itself from being very stiff and structured is changing to more light, flowy with georgettes and silks.

In some ways this year is a year of minimalistic brides. Plain tops layered with heavy jewellery and monochromatic lehenga skirts. Shararas and Pakistani silhouettes are also having a huge influence on Indian fashion, there is a big emphasis on intricacy and craftsmenship along with modest silhouettes in full sleeves and high necks. If I had to put it in one word, this is the modern, vintage bride if that makes any sense. The embroideries etc are all vintage, but the silhouettes are modern.

Favourites - I mean, Sabyasachi, Anamika Khanna and Tarun Tahiliani are eternal favourites for me. I also love how fun Dolly J’s clothing is and Anushree Reddy had my heart at those floral print pieces and Ridhi Mehra is fab as well.


Final piece of advice for overseas brides travelling to India for their wedding shopping? What makes for a good shopping trip?

One rule for all brides - don’t have a set mindset. So many times I see brides coming in with colors, outfits, and what they want exactly etched out in their mind and then they get totally confused because the variety here is mind numbing!! Keep your options open, and don’t have set ideas of what you want.


Did you recently do your wedding shopping in India? How was your experience? Are there must visit stores that you would recommend?

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  • Vishal Pandiyan
    Vishal Pandiyan

    Wedding shopping is very important and if it is not planned properly and well in advance, it might be very hectic for the couple. The above article gives you great tips on where to buy what. Here is a list of top wedding shopping blogs i came across

  • CraftNShop India
    CraftNShop India

    What a great insight, thank you for sharing this article.

  • Rare Is Rich
    Rare Is Rich

    nice post!!loved it please do check this jewellery related website to get the beautiful well-crafted designs. <a href="">Best Jeweller in Delhi</a> <a href="">Top Jeweller in Delhi</a>

  • Mfb Khan
    Mfb Khan

    Great article! wedding is the most important occasion and a good outfit with suitable makeup makes the bride more attractive to overcome this issue, wedding planners are advised to hire a good professional makeup artist. There are top bridal makeup artists in Hyderabad, wedding planners check this artist