My Wedding Lehenga… De-Constructed!

15th May, 2011 (Yep! Over 6yrs ago ;))


I always had these ideas about how that evening would be… .
The silhouette when it swirls… the fragrance of the flowers… The look in his eyes… .
And then one day, it actually happened! All that I’d dreamed of, exactly how I’d imagined it to be… .
I collected all those memories carefully in its weaves and its threads… .
And then, once that evening was over… I locked it away… & never looked at it again!


What am I talking about? Well… it’s my wedding lehenga of course!


Let’s be honest… one of the greatest joys (and the biggest stress point) of wedding preparations, is the selection of that all-important Lehenga! Endless store visits, trials, sleepless nights and a huge hole-in-the-pocket later, the bride is presented with that gorgeous, dreamy lehenga… which well, she wears for just a few hours on that special night!


And after being immortalized by those countless lovely pictures and the admiring glances of everyone in the gathering, it is beautifully packed (often by someone else) … wrapped in satins and sheets of butter paper… and put away… never to be seen again! Oh yes! It hardly ever comes out… maybe on that Karwa Chauth day – or maybe not even then!


Mine for example, had been sitting inside, quietly tucked away for over 6 years, till I finally decided to do something about it! Frankly, I didn’t even remember how it looked till I actually opened it again after all these years! And when I held it again, I wasn’t just left admiring it all over again, flushed by a tsunami of memories… I was also thinking about how so many of us Indian women… brides, ex-brides actually go through the same story. Thousands and lakhs of rupees (and memories), woven into the embroideries of these Lehengas, sitting lost and forgotten in the corner of your old closet (or maybe even the loft).


So, I decided to re-use my wedding ‘joda’, and created 5 different looks with it, which I can actually wear to 5 different functions this season, and look like I’m wearing a new outfit each time!


Also, personally, I’m a very sentimental about it and would never want to cut or chop my bridal lehenga! And yes, it’s a 6 years old outfit, hence, in its entirety as one single outfit, it may not be the trendiest or the most ‘in-vogue’ attire… but then, that’s the beauty of this exercise! I’ve tried to mix-n-match and create outfits in a way that each piece remains intact and yet looks really trendy and fashionable.



Look 1:


The Lehenga Skirt + A white Shirt + Heavy Jewellery!




Now as you can see, my wedding lehenga was a traditional bridal Red! And hence, unlike some of the pastels and blues that brides opt for these days, this becomes even more un-wearable in functions other than your own wedding!


Hence, I decided to try a look with the skirt of the Lehenga and pair it with my most favorite garment ever – the regular, classic white shirt… knotted up, to look a little more glamourous, so as to go with the entire look! And I think it worked wonderfully!


This in fact also gives you the chance to bring out your bridal jewelry set… because on a plain white shirt, it won’t look as heavy as it would on anything else.


The necklace I’m wearing here is not the necklace I wore on my wedding… that one obviously is 5 times this… but I think when I actually wear this look to someone else’s wedding, I can go with that too 🙂

The earrings though, are from my original bridal jewellery set and the nath just adds to the whole glamour!



Where would I wear it?

To my best friend’s wedding reception or even my sibling’s / cousin’s engagement, sangeet or Mehendi function. That’s because it has the right fusion of indo-western and the right blend of sobriety, funk and bling!



Look 2:


The Lehenga Skirt + A plain black blouse + A plain black dupatta



 Black is a colour that is festive and dressy and well as very neutral. It’s easy to pair and is something you can’t really go wrong with.


So, I chose a plain black blouse, with a close-knit layer of matte black sequin all over, and a black silk Dupatta from Fab India.


This black blouse is something I’ve had in my wardrobe for years and is my go-to blouse for most sarees at most functions 😉



I’m wearing the earrings and the maang tikka both of which I also wore on my wedding day.

The maang tikka especially, is my absolute favorite. Most brides settle with their maang tikka being make in silver or imitation jewelry… I however, had insisted that I want my maang tikka to be real gold and kundan, because that’s actually the only piece that is most clearly visible on your face! While the necklace adds beauty to your outfit, the maang tikka, actually adds to the beauty of your face! So why settle for anything that’s imperfect or less precious as the highlight on your face as a bride?
And hence, for me, it’s one of my most special pieces of jewelry. It’s something that I use as a savior with most of my ethnic outfits, and of course, wearing it brings back memories from the most special day of my life :)”




Where would I wear this?

Again, to a close friend’s or cousin’s/sibling’s wedding, sangeet or mehendi ceremony.

That’s because the black helps mute the bling from the lehenga and yet, unlike the shirt from the previous look, the blouse and dupatta keep the look in the more ethnic zone.



Look 3:


The wedding blouse + Black dhoti pants + Dupatta




This time I’ve reversed the colours and paired the red blouse (corset in my case) of my wedding attire, with a pair of plain black dhoti pants from Fabindia. And I’ve matched a red and gold sheer dupatta from one of my old Anarkalis to go with it.


The trick is simple! Use a light-weight dupatta that matches your blouse and a neutral colour bottom. So, if not black, it could be beige or copper or even gold… depending on how much bling you require for the occasion.


Oh! And again, don’t forget the maang tikka to finish the look! This is another one that I’ve had forever… I wear it every time I don’t want to get my real one out 🙂




Where would I wear this?

To a Diwali party or a friend’s mehendi function. Or even to a distant friend / relative’s / colleague’s wedding cocktails or sangeet party.



Look 4:


The Wedding Blouse + A plain cream Saree





Red and cream are like a match made in Pantone’s heaven!

This happens to be one of my most favorite looks… which does complete justice to my gorgeous red corset blouse, this beautiful plain cream, silk blended saree and my love for the 6 yards.


No matter what colour or how heavy your blouse is, it’d look lovely under a plain silk or cotton blended saree in beige, off-white or any other neutral colour.



Where would I wear it?

A Pooja, a dinner party, traditional day at work, actually, just about anywhere! 😀



Look 5:


The Wedding Dupatta + A plain black maxi skirt and a plain black racer-back top



The gorgeous and grand dupattas of our bridal lehengas are actually one of the most important elements of the outfit. They are what give it that grandeur and extravagance… and ironically, they’re also, one of the main reasons why we find it difficult to re-use the outfit again!


But take that dupatta away from the lehenga… and it’s an outfit in itself. Pair it with something very neutral… and wear it just as a dupatta on the side, or drape it like a lehenga saree!



Where would I wear this?

A wedding cocktail party, a destination wedding reception, a Diwali party, or even to play dandiya during Navratri.



I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it inspires you to bring out your own bridal lehenga and relive it, the way I did.

Do leave your thoughts and comments below.





PS: All these beautiful pics are clicked by Sonalee Das


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About Me

Sonal is a Post Graduate in Luxury Brand Management from Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, Florence (Italy) and has over 9 years of experience as a Brand Strategist working in the advertising industry.

She has also been a Consumer Insights Miner specializing in fashion and luxury brands.