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Look your best on your wedding day

A wedding is a very colorful affair in India; both bride and groom and indeed the whole extended bridal entourages preen and gleam, flaunting their very best clothes and jewelry.

The costumes at Indian weddings vary across the country but traditionally a sari, lehnga-choli or salwar kameez are the most popular garments for the bride. The groom wears a dhoti or pajama with a kurta.

Wedding garments are usually made of rich fabrics like silk, satin, brocade, chiffon and are mostly embroidered in gold and silver thread. Shades of red, green and yellow are the most preferred colors for wedding attire. All brides wear jewelry, bangles on the hands, large earrings and gold chains around the neck. The grooms sport quite a bit of jewelry too.

The Hindu Bride

Hindu BrideThe Hindu bride is generally adorned in a sari. Brides from Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jammu and Uttar Pradesh also wear a lehnga-choli or a salwar kameez that is heavily embroidered with gold thread. In Maharashtra, brides wear a Paithani sari and shawl with its gold brocade border woven intricately with birds, flowers and geometrical patterns. The hair is adorned with flowers and on the forehead has a tikka in different colours. All brides wear jewelry. Normally plain white is never worn by a hindu bride; in the South though, the bride does wear off-white or cream with gold zari or a coloured border.

The Muslim Bride

Muslim brides are generally dressed in a zari-encrusted blouse with a skirt. The veil is edged with gold tassels and embroidered all over. Tissues and brocades are used in abundance. Most brides also wear a nose-ring that is normally made of gold, pearls and diamonds. The bride normally sits with a bowed head and a veil is worn covering the face.

The Sikh Bride

The Sikh bride generally wears a red salwar kameez with a dupatta as a veil during the wedding ceremony. She may also wear a sari with a headscarf.

The Christian Bride

Most Christian brides in India are dressed in a white saree that could be accompanied by a veil. Some of them choose the Western white gown with a veil and switch to a sari mid-way through the reception. The Christian bride carries a bouquet.

The Parsi Bride

The Parsi bride generally wears a white sari embroidered with silver or gold. Her head is always partially covered.

The Hindu Bridegroom

The Hindu bridegroom usually wears a kurta or a kameez with either a dhoti or pyjamas. He may also wear a Cufni suit (mostly worn by north Indian bridegrooms). The groom also wears a turban and the styles vary from region to region. Hindu men sometimes wear a turban that looks like a crown. It may also be decorated with a feather, sequins, or jewels. Grooms may also wear a kalgi or sehra (a curtain worn over the face). The kalgi or sehra is often made from gold tinsel or flowers.

The Muslim Bridegroom

The Muslim bridegroom wears a kurta- pajama that is always accompanied by a turban.

The Sikh Bridegroom

The groom normally wears a pink turban, with either an Indian or a Western suit.

The Christian Bridegroom

The Christian bridegroom is generally dressed in a western suit. Some of them could also be dressed in a tuxedo.

The Parsi Bridegroom

The Parsi groom wears a 'dugli' which is a traditional white overcoat. The'dugli' is accompanied by white cotton pants and a hat called 'pughdi' or 'fetah'. As a mark of respect during the wedding ceremony, footwear is never worn.

At the wedding reception, the bride generally wears a sari that is richly embroidered with gold thread. The costumes at the wedding ceremony are more traditional; the attire for the wedding reception is more fashionable. The groom is generally dressed in a western suit at the reception.
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