We girls dream about our wedding lehenga, don’t we?I had always wanted something in pink, something like Kareena Kapoor wore in 3 Idiots and Sabyasachi had been on my mind for a very, very long time.
The night my to-be in laws left my place after deciding the wedding date, I had already started dreaming of the D-day. I could envision myself walking under a phoolon ki chadar in all my bridal finery.
The date was fixed for the 28th of November and I started my wedding shopping sometime in June. My sister had gotten married around 5 years ago and so we already had a good idea about wedding shopping. My mother, sister and I started out with wedding exhibitions: Wedding Asia, Vivah, Bridal Asia, Bride & Groom, we made a beeline for all of them. Exhibitions are a mix of high-end designers, upcoming talent, small scale boutiques, renowned stores and you sure do get a lot of variety under one roof. I picked up some trousseau basics ranging from 8K for a pretty, straight-cut suit from a Mumbai-based boutique to around 30K for a stylish Shaina NC saree.
Chandni Chowk was our next stop. We headed straight to Chetan Saree from where most of my sister’s stuff was bought. Om Prakash & Sons, Asiana Couture, Chhabra 555 are the other popular stores that we visited but the cheap designer replicas and heavily-embellished chamak dhamak stuff failed to impress.
We were in the middle of July and I still didn’t have an engagement outfit and my wedding lehenga too was nowhere in sight. The three of us were literally spending all days and nights visiting every store but came back home dejected. We looked through the Sabyasachi store in Mehrauli too. Surprisingly, everything there just looked like a finer version of all that I had seen in Chandni Chowk and the exorbitant prices were a spoiler.
Shahpur Jat was our last stop and that’s where I found an elaborate orange anarkali in the jacket style at Preeti S Kapoor. I didn’t love it but decided to settle on it for the engagement. On our way to withdraw cash I spotted this little corner store, right under Potbelly (the popular restaurant that serves delicious Bihari cuisine!). Shahpur shuts early and this was the only store on that street with it’s lights still on. A stunning blush pink lehenga hung in the window and I begged my mom for this one last stop.
Young and upcoming designer Abhinav Mishra’s pretty pastels, minimal work, delicate embroiderys, flowy fabrics and fresh new styles were just what I had been dreaming of all this while. Within minutes I had bought the blush pink lehenga for my engagement! Quick tip - Most stores at Shahpur Jat do not have fixed rates and you must bargain a great deal. Also, trial samples on display are always cheaper than the customised one and you can expect a 10-15K cut. After all the compliments I received, Abhinav was my stop for all the outfits to come and I gave him the thumbs up for the wedding attire too.
I had always wanted to wear pink on my wedding but Abhinav convinced me that since I already had 2 pink outfits I should go in for another colour. In fact, he literally forced me to wear red, the colour I was totally against. It had been done to death! But Abhinav and my mom were convinced that I would make a beautiful bride in a striking cherry red kurta and sharara. All I saw was a colour sample and the order was placed. We didn’t discuss the work, the embroidery, the zari details, the design, the cuts, the look, the price, nothing. My mind had anyhow reached a saturation point. I was exhausted and my love for Abhinav’s work was enough to trust him with the most special day of my life!
My lehenga was nothing like I had dreamt of. It was even better. I wanted a royal look for my wedding day complete with a nath and a gorgeous passa. And it was just that. It was perfect.