Bridal lehengas with matching jewellery have been around since the times of Jodha-Akbar or Bajirao Mastani and we mean the actual historical periods here not the feature films. But that doesn’t mean you need to stick to the age old norms especially if you happen to be an unconventional dresser. A brilliant way to divide up your bridal lehenga accessories is to separate your looks into two distinct categories of contemporary and traditional depending on the purpose, mood and ambience of each wedding festivity.
Traditional Bridal Lehenga Accessories
Typically most ceremonies of the religious kind will necessitate traditional bridal lehengas and accessories. These will usually be the wedding, mehendi and maybe another small ceremony at home with close family and friends. However there is no stopping you from going traditional at every wedding function if that’s your style aesthetic.
When figuring out what accessories to wear with your traditional lehenga think vintage designs in gold, kundan and polki that work seamlessly with all types of traditional attire. If you ever wanted an absolutely legit reason to go digging into your mom or grand mom’s treasure trove of family heirlooms then this is your chance to pick something that is not only jaw-droppingly beautiful but also has great sentimental value attached to it.
The two heavily embellished creations by Saroj Jalan are definitely for the bride who wants to be in the spotlight on her big day. While the simple version by Anita Dongre is more suited to smaller functions or for the understated bride on her wedding day. Ensure the bridal lehenga accessories are just as dramatic or minimalistic as the wardrobe to ensure the whole look comes together beautifully.
Lower neckline blouses work for most styles of neckpieces but nothing compares to the statement-making abilities of a jadau-encrusted choker. Choose to wear only one neckpiece with an embroidered or printed blouse to avoid the cardinal sin of over accessorising. Similarly if you would rather be dripping in baubles than clothing then go for plain blouses with high or low necklines and mix it up with different lengths of necklaces for a wonderfully vintage layered look.
If you choose to go with a matching set then opt for lightweight earrings so you don’t end up with sore and red ear lobes by the end of the ceremony. Pick dainty earrings with chunky neckpieces or ditch the neckpiece and go for long dramatic earrings instead.
Bangles with lehengas for the wedding ceremony are a bridal favourite and style classic. Depending on your religious background you may be required to wear a certain colour of bangles but don’t let that stop you from getting experimental with your bangle set combinations. Remember there will be countless pictures featuring your hands on the wedding day. Go for contrasting coloured bangles or mix it up with different hues and you’re sure to get some frame worthy shots.
If bangles are a bit too cumbersome for your free spirited style or if you just want something simple for a ceremony other than the wedding then opt for cuffs and bracelets instead. Broad gold cuffs with ethnic motifs or dainty bracelets with a few charms make for unpretentious and elegant bridal lehenga accessories.
Once you’ve gotten the main three accessories for your bridal lehenga finalised think about smaller pieces to make the entire ensemble true to your own personal style. Maang tikkas could be considered a mainstay in all bridal accessories but a few brides choose to avoid them for fear of looking overly made-up. If you absolutely must wear one then alter the size based on your neckpiece and earrings to avoid looking like a Christmas tree.
From broad side chains to borlas to diminutive single strand pieces, there is a whole range of maang tikka styles for every need. Haath panjas or Hand harnesses have come back in style in the past few years while cocktail rings have been around for a while. Pick only one and not both to avoid looking over the top and slightly comical. Waist belts, Bazubandhs or armlets and Panjebs or anklets are a few other accessories for lehengas that can be mixed up to create distinct style statements.
Contemporary Bridal Lehenga Accessories
Functions that are more upbeat and require everyone to shake a leg such as the sangeet, cocktail, engagement and any other parties preceding the wedding usually call for contemporary bridal lehengas. A whole new generation of young designers have churned out a plethora of contemporary lehenga creations leaving modern brides spoilt for choice. It is essential for accessories for contemporary lehengas to follow the nuances of the clothing and compliment the ensemble rather than overpower it.
Diamonds, white gold, antique gold and crystals are popular jewellery choices for pairing with contemporary lehengas. However combining traditional jewellery with contemporary outfits is a new-age trend, which if done right will instantly catapult you into ‘most stylish bride’ category. The designs are less about size and more about intricacies, quality workmanship and flair. In fact it is perfectly acceptable if not a requirement to skip wearing complete sets and going for a mix match of different pieces that add a little oomph of their own to the final result.
Contemporary bridal lehengas range from crop tops with flared high waisted lehengas to cape style jackets and blouses to strappy blouses with attached draped dupattas. Pick from these outfits by Siddhartha Tytler and Mandira Wirk depending on the occasion and your own dress sense.
The current trend of high neck and boat neck crop blouses with high waisted embroidered lehengas lends itself perfectly for pairings with large statement neckpieces. The blouses are purposely plain so that neckpieces take centre stage. If a massive neckpiece feels a bit too out there for your tastes then go for classic diamond choker sets in contrasting or matching colours to the outfit. Sets are also a worthy investment as they can be worked into several different types of attire. Keep in mind that printed or embellished blouses don’t require any neckpieces for a contemporary bridal lehenga look.
If massive neckpieces don’t float your boat then skip the neckpiece altogether in favour of statement earrings instead. These can work as bridal lehenga accessories for traditional lehengas as well. However if you do plan on wearing a statement neckpiece then wear studs or nothing at all.