Wedding Season – What I Wore (Part 2)
This is part 2 of a mini-series about Wedding Season. In the first post, I wrote about what I wore at Sukh’s first cousin Ricky’s wedding. I described each outfit for all the different events and why I chose to wear it.In this post I am going through the outfits I wore at Suraj’s wedding. He’s also Sukh’s first cousin and the wedding was a big deal for us as a family. On my trip to Mumbai in January, I had picked out all the outfits I needed. There are several events in a big fat Indian wedding and I made sure Shalini and I had enough to cover the various days.
The first event was the Sangeet Night, which as I explained in my previous wedding post is all about singing and dancing into the early hours of the morning. Suraj’s mum had decided she wanted a theme for this event and asked everyone to come in phulkari dupattas. These are really vibrant scarves with a rich mix of colours.My in-laws had been to India a couple of months before the wedding and they bought these outfits for several family members. All the dupattas were similar but were matched up with different colours for the salwar kameez. I had asked for orange. I think it’s a colour that really signifies a sangeet night and I love how much it stands out.As I’ve said before, I love big and loud colours. It was really nice to see everyone dressed similarly and we had fun snapping lots of photos.
Normally I prefer to wear a lightweight saree in bright floral prints on a sangeet night but I was happy to adhere to the requested theme on this occasion. When the outfit arrived it was tailored nicely but I had lost a bit of weight at the time so had my own tailor re-fit it. I also bought some blue tassels to attach at the back.
I went to my favourite salon for a big bouncy blow dry earlier in the day and kept my make-up simple with a brown shade of lipstick so as not to clash with all the orange. I don’t wear a lot of jewellery with Indian wear anymore. If the outfit is quite loud, it doesn’t need a lot of adornment. On this occasion, I wore shiny studs and an orange bracelet on each arm instead of an arm full of bangles. I went all out on a necklace though and chose a huge pendant my mum had bought back from India on her last visit.
I chose to wear a traditional Punjabi salwar kameez for the Maiyan. just like I had with Ricky’s. This ritual consists of rubbing a paste on the bride and groom (both in their own respective houses with their families). The paste is made out of turmeric, flour and oil. It’s done a couple of days before the wedding day in order to ‘create a glow’ for the couple tying the knot. The morning usually consists of a Sikh religious ceremony at home too followed by the maiyan so I wanted a dupatta (scarf) which would be comfortable for when I covered my head.I never wear red on an Indian wedding day. Reds and hot pinks are strictly a no-no and should be left for the bride only. It’s like someone else turning up in a white dress at an English wedding. I have lots of red outfits so I thought the Maiyan would be the best day to wear my new salwar kameez. The top has gold embroidery and the dupatta broke up the red nicely as half of it is navy blue.It was a warm day but it had been drizzling overnight – one of the rare rainy days in this heatwave. I did a basic twist on one side and pulled my hair back into a comfortable ponytail. I kept my make-up subtle but couldn’t resist my favourite red lipstick.
That evening there was a pre-party. This was for the groom’s side only – close family, extended family and friends. It’s a kind of like a stag do but family-friendly! As this was an evening party, I chose a lehenga I had bought in Mumbai earlier this year. The velvet off-the-shoulder crop top had intricate embroidery all over but was fairly simple. Blue, white and gold beads lined the section across the top.The skirt was a pale and shiny green with gold patterns. On paper, the combination doesn’t seem like it could ever work. But when you throw in the net dupatta in a cream shade with the same green border and gold embroidery, it just pulls the look together nicely. I folded the dupatta several times and pinned it to one side. I finished the outfit off with a saree belt to hold it all together.I had booked my friend and make-up artist Preeti Sehmi who I trust implicitly to deliver the look I want. For Ricky’s wedding, I had considered how I wanted my hair and make-up to look for most of the events. This time though, I left it all completely to Preeti. She suggested an updo with a beehive but a messy roll at the back. She kept my eyes understated with just a splash of green to compliment my skirt. My lips were nude, my blusher was a light pink and my highlighter was popping. I completed the look with large gold studs and a simple bangle on each wrist.
The following day was a rest day for most family and friends but a handful of us had duties to fulfil. In my family, it’s tradition for the bride to choose her wedding outfit and then give it over to her in-laws, as they’re the ones who gift it to her. This includes her shoes, handbag, jewellery and make-up items. During the week, a few of us had wrapped all of this up and were ready to take it over to her. It’s a small ceremony in which the gifts are handed to the bride’s brother. As I hadn’t had the chance to wear one of my floral sarees on the sangeet. I decided this was the perfect time to ensure I got to wear one at this wedding. It was a beautiful summer’s evening and so I chose a pale grey chiffon saree. It had a red border and bright orange, yellow and green flowers.It ended up being another late night and I barely slept for four hours before Preeti was at my door in the early hours of the morning. I always allow three hours to get ready. If we manage to do it in less than that, then bonus. But three hours covers any do-overs and delays that can happen sometimes. Preeti worked on my updo first so that I could rest my eyes. I think I actually fell asleep at one point. She swept my hair over to one side with some strands shaping my face.
I can’t believe how well Preeti worked to paint my tiredness away. She used nude and peachy shades with black eyeliner on my lids and lower lash line. It all worked so well with my lehenga which was a peach crop top with a heart-shaped neck, gold embroidery criss-crossing all the way down and white stones at the neckline.The skirt is made out of net with white lace, handmade in India. The net dupatta in the same shade with a white lace border completed the look. Again, I pinned the dupatta to one side and finished it off wiith a saree belt. My jewellery was kept simple and elegant, with a delicate gold necklace and matching earring set. I wore a few gold bangles with white stone work on each arm.
After the wedding ceremony, we went on to the venue for the reception. Here I changed into another lehenga, which I wore as a skirt and top. This time, I left out the dupatta. The top was a cream silk with minimal embroidery in copper down one side. The rest of it was plain and simple. The skirt had big circular patterns and flowers on a base colour of beige.It was a simple outfit and perfect for the beautiful summer’s day. It was also comfortable to dance in. I was surprised how much I did dance throughout the party, as I was so shattered from all the events. I kept my earrings and bangles on from the morning ceremony but removed my necklace as it wouldn’t work with the boat neck.
The day after the wedding, a few family members went to the bride’s house once again. This time she is visiting with her new family and the evening consists of a dinner, exchanging of gifts and games. The bride’s sisters tease the groom and he in turn gifts them rings but they have to earn them first. I chose another floral print saree because it was a fairly hot evening and I needed something comfortable and cool. I opted for a a saree with a hot pink border and orange flowersAgain it was very bright and summery. When my mum last visited India, I had asked for some plain crop tops in vibrant colours. She brought a few back and these come in so handy. The joy of print sarees, is that several colours are combined. So you can make an outfit look completely different to the last time you wore it just by changing the colour of the top. Subtle make-up with a pink lipstick finished off the look.
As if we hadn’t had two big parties already, it was no time for the third and final one. This was the post-wedding reception, a week after the wedding itself. I was still so tired from the actual events but I had spent a good couple of months prior to the wedding, helping with all the preparations. I think it had all finally crept up on me and I was out for the count, running a fever and fairly bunged up. So to motivate myself for one final bash took all the willpower I could muster. Thankfully Preeti was going to be dressing me up again so at least the stress of getting ready was out of my hands.This was another lehenga I had picked up in Mumbai. The skirt was navy blue with minimal gold embroidery. The top was a sparkly champagne and the navy dupatta was in a net material which again, I pinned to the side. I find it easier this way. Once the dancing gets underway it’s easier to just take the pins out and remove the dupatta altogether.Apart from a pop of blue on my eyes, the rest of my make-up was kept quite toned down. I finished the outfit off with gold earrings and a bangle on each arm. It was a fuss-free look and Preeti always secures my hair so well that no matter how mad I get on the dance floor, the hair doesn’t shift!
Part 3 of what I wore during Wedding Season is coming soon.
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