(Not Your) Basic Bride

The cookie-cutter trousseau was just not going to happen for me, I knew that, and it’s a risk I willingly took. A common, valid concern for mum and friends was that it might be too less, but if I was ever going to pull off effortless chic, it was now. My vision and moodboards were translated to the T by Disha, and the best friend and I patiently perused various exhibitions until we found my Holi outfit from Kylee by Ruchi Jain. The timing was great, I’m a type A planner, and I’m very particular about what I want and how I want it, so it all worked out for me. A majority of the questions I got were about ditching over-the-top bling in favour of understated elegance, so I put together a listicle deconstructing how I did it, and how you can too. 

All the nice pictures are by Journeys by Ram

1. Whole = sum of the parts: I began by narrowing down my choices in every area - color, silhouette, length, embroideries, hair/ makeup, and jewelry - in cohérence with each other. Always imagine an entire look instead of focusing on the outfit alone. The white jumpsuit looked a little plain on its own, but together with the smokey eye (which I did a trial of at Sephora) and the sleek ponytail, it was definitely elevated. Also, don’t underestimate the power of statement studs, particularly when your hair is in an updo. 

2. Less is more: My mantra through and through. For Holi, I only had one piece of jewelry: a statement choker. For the ceremony, I swapped traditional South Indian gold for antique gold pieces weren't  in-your-face-bridal; and clearly stated my preference beforehand - no more than 3 pieces. I didn’t opt for a long braid with additional gold on it because fresh jasmine flowers lend such an elegant vibe. Less and more are relative terms: it’s not less, just lesser than what a decadent/ maximalist bride would wear.  

3. Muted colors are your best canvas: Every outfit I wore came in a pastel shade - lilac for the Mehendi, mauve + rose pink for Holi, and antique gold/ ochre/ off-white Kanjivarams for the wedding. But because I underplayed the colors so much, I went all out with textures and embroideries. From heavy threadwork on the Chikan sari, to at least five types of beading on my wedding blouse...those are the elements that enhance the beauty in seemingly dull colors. 

4. Jewels of Wisdom: For South Indians, it is especially difficult to talk your way out of heavy bridal pieces, but don't be afraid to explore beyond South Indian traditions and style. However, run everything by your parents and in-laws, take them shopping with you if you can. This way you won't be breaking rules by making them uncomfortable/ unhappy. Mine are usually supportive of my offbeat choices, but it helped that they saw my jewelry on me vs in a picture/ on a mannequin. Most importantly, just rock your simplicity with confidence.  

5. Comfort over EVERYTHING else: With a plethora of wedding content inspiration taking over your news feed, it is easy to feel like you need to follow the norm.  Take it from the one who tried and tested, you'll be SO much more comfortable if you just dress and feel like your usual self.