#ShaadiDiaries: How I Found My *Dream* Wedding Lehenga...
Devina MalhotraGuilty Bytes
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A life + style blogger, a Bollywood addict, a home baker, an army brat who loves Indian weddings and a true Punjabi, Devina from Guilty Bytes is all set to get married this November. And the pretty bride-to-be will be sharing all the little details of her bridal journey with us! Here’s the very first from her #ShaadiDiaries.
There’s nothing that’s more important and more difficult than finding a “dream” wedding lehenga. This has always been an important discussion in my family, but not as important till we finally went lehenga hunting. We had LONG discussions on the style, the budgets, the colour, the number of dupattas, and what not. I happened to speak to my married bffs on the lehenga style and the only common advice I received was that ‘I shouldn’t go all out with it’ since I would only get to wear my wedding lehenga once. With multiple (chaotic, exciting and nervous) feelings I began searching for my dream dress and this is what happened next…
I shortlisted a few designers and also checked out the popular wedding outfit stores in Old Delhi. We went to the famous Om Prakash at Chandni Chowk and while they house a really good variety of lehengas, it is a place for brides who love bling. The only thing that helped me filter my choice was the clarity on the kind of work I wanted on my wedding dress. I have been the biggest fan of hand embroidery and that was one thing I knew I wanted on my dress. We checked out some designs at the Asiana Couture too and had our share of favorites but honestly we were awaiting the ‘wow’ moment! I went to the bridal lehenga guru, designer Sabyasachi’s store for colour inspiration and then took a trip to designer Anita Dongre’s world for my kind of embroidery and shortlisted two lehengas for my big day. But my 'eureka' happened at the Frontier Raas South Ex store, when after going through a 100+ odd designs, I decided to get a custom made lehenga for myself. I am now wearing two dupattas, the colour that I wanted after seeing so many designs and the kind of work that I dreamt of. This is a sneak peek of my work in progress…
The only tip that I can share with any bride-to-be in order to make this process a pleasurable experience is to sit with your folks and lock on a budget. I know everyone has an idea, but setting up a budget limit will help you with your options and will ensure you don’t get carried away. Next, you should shortlist 2-3 kinds of work/embroideries that you want to don on your big day. I know you can never have a design in mind especially before you check out some options but knowing the kind of work you want on your dress will give you a better idea even if you have to co-create your outfit with a brand just like I did. Lastly, don’t compromise on your happiness. Pick the outfit that brings a smile on your face. :-)
As for the wedding shoes, these came slightly easy to me as I considered the fabric, the colour and the comfort level as the basic criteria. You will see me don high heels and stilettos for my shoots and while I attend events, but for my wedding I decided to break the heel code and opt for versatile flats that would keep me comfortable throughout. The background for this is that my wedding pheras happen early in the evening and that’s why the celebration is going to be an extended affair. So instead of wearing out and not being able to walk, I considered comfort as the most important factor and bought beautiful pair of shoes from Needledust, Shahpur Jat!
For wedding shoes fabric, silk and satin are traditionally the two most popular choices. Because my lehenga has silk fabric in it, I chose shoes in the same fabric. Also going by my experience of shoe shopping, I have noticed a lot of girls settle for buying cheap shoes that lack padding and the extra support which makes wearing them intolerable. Girls, dedicate a budget but don’t compromise on your comfort. While you’ll have a heavy dress on and will be dressed in jewels, just know that shoes provide the basic level support at all times.
Lastly, before you make the final decision just ask yourself if would you would like to wear those shoes again. I know you’d go like - who wouldn’t re-use shoes but when my sister bought heels at the time of her wedding (that cost Rs 10,000, 4.5 years back btw), she just bought them for how pretty they looked, and didn’t bother about how uncomfy they were. Now because they were so expensive she has to use them still (I hope she is not reading this) but she cries every time she wears them for more than an hour due to the discomfort.
Check online websites for designs, browse through juttis from brands like NeedleDust, The Cobbler, Fizzy Goblet etc. for traditional looking flats and I have also seen people visit Venus Steps in Delhi for wedding shoes.
In the end, all I want for everyone to say is, “She looked so happy in her wedding dress.”