It’s daunting…. isn’t it? To find the perfect lehenga – the one that resonates with your style, taste, and wants while looking alluring to people present at the event. With plenty of options and lehenga stores propping every week, the existing perplexing task seems like a herculean one to accomplish. But to make a bride-to-be’s life easier is exactly what we are here for. We’ve listed below 5 easy steps to snag the lehenga straight out of your childhood dreams. You can bid goodbye to all the fretting and welcome seamless decision-making with this blog. Don’t forget to tap the bookmark button on the top right corner so you can find it in ‘your bookmarks’ section before you head out for bridal shopping.
Step One: Sort Your Pinterest Boards/ Instagram Collections
Owing to the amount of inspiration on these platforms, it can be overwhelming, sometimes intimidating, to sort the many lehengas you’ve tapped the save button on. But this is the first step to finding your ideal wedding wardrobe. Now, it’s time to do the needful and sort the countless options you’ve saved on Pinterest boards. To make things easier, here are some sample boards you can make.
- Bridal Lehengas (can be further divided based on color like red, pastels, or style like over-the-top or effortless)
- Mehendi Options
- Haldi Dresses
- New Styles To Try (includes a few trendy options you might want to give a go like dhoti-style lehenga)
- Stores (a few lehenga stores which might be in your city or the city you’re planning to visit for wedding shopping)
- Blouse Designs
You can omit/ edit depending on your preference. If you’ve any other smart ideas to add, please share them in the comments section below.
Step out for wedding shopping once you’re done segregating the Pinterest boards/ Instagram collections. And don’t (we know it’s a tough one) add any lehengas while you’re on the shopping spree, otherwise, it will just add to the swirling confusion.
After the segregation is done, shortlist your choices for further clarity. Having a clear preference in mind will also help the store manager fetch similar styles for you and guide your search to a perfect lehenga well.
We understand that your priorities will change as you start the hunt and hop from one lehenga store to another. Although a strong basis to start with makes the find easier.
Step Two: Let The Hunt Begin
There are many ways to shop for the perfect ensemble that fits into your trousseau. But the shopping will depend on one thing more than anything else – Time.
The more time you have, the better chances of meandering through all the available options in the market. So, for example, you’d like to shop at a certain store during their prime time sale, you’ll need to wait for a specific month. This might happen only when you have time on hand. The same goes for any wedding shows/ exhibitions you’ve your eyes on.
This will obviously be the go-to option for any bride. If you’re planning to cover a city apart from your hometown, plan ahead and keep at least 5 days on hand. Some of the most popular cities for lehenga shopping are Calcutta, Delhi, Jaipur, Surat, Chennai, and Kerala. Each city has 4-5 dedicated regions for Indian wear shopping and it would take you at least a day to properly scan all of them. Take, for example, Calcutta’s Park Street or Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.
Also, be sure to ask the following before you visit:
- Appointments/ Walk-In: Some stores have an appointment system in place because they offer a dedicated stylist to each bride. Other stores are still following limited customer policy because of the pandemic. So, it’s always a good choice to call and ask how they take in customers.
- Price Range: As a bride, sticking to your wedding budget is important. If the store has majority of attire falling out of your budget, save yourself the heartache and go elsewhere.
- Customization: Not all trousseau shops are open to customization and for brides looking to add their personalized touch to their lehenga, this store might need a skip.
- Peak Times: All stores have a peak time when they experience the maximum footfall. Plan your visit during non-peak times so the customer-service managers can offer you undivided attention and a seamless shopping experience.
Exhibitions & Shows:
Throughout the year, many popular and budding designers showcase their collections through wedding exhibitions and shows. Most of them also offer sales on their couture to compete with the on-site competitors. Moreover, you can also find promising designers who haven’t yet grown, so the cost of the collection is low but the quality is amazing. We say go ahead and purchase from them. Not only will you get a beautiful lehenga piece to add to your ethnic wardrobe but you’ll also be supporting someone starting out, and we all know how much that means.
All couturiers, barring some, like Sabyasachi, hosts annual sales. If they fall into your wedding timeline, arrive on the first day or during the last hours when new merchandise is being restocked. You can easily save up to 30 to 40 percent by shopping during a sale. Start calling your favorite stores as soon as you are engaged and sign up for their messaging services or email newsletters to stay alert.
In the wake of Covid-19, many stores have taken their shop online – including Gaurav Gupta, Nidhi Tholia, and JJ Valaya. They are also offering virtual support to brides. And there’s nothing like browsing the favorite pieces from your favorite designer from the comforts of your own home. Plus it gives your busy schedule a rest. Before you go ahead and purchase a lehenga, or any other ethnic wear, online, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Know your measurements (especially the waist)
- Read product descriptions carefully (get to know the fabric and pick the one you’re most comfortable with)
- Pick a ‘try it out’ style if possible
- Read the store policies on exchange and return
Step Three: Make Your Visits Count
Now that you sorted out the inspiration content and are aware of the shopping options, here’s all you need to know whilst inside the store.
#1 Have a sense of preparedness
It would take your sales associate, as it took you, hours to figure out your preference and style if there’s no base to start with. To help guide the sales manager, show them a few of your top favorite lehenga designs (this is where the whole hard work of Step ONE comes to life) and tell them a few things about your wedding (whether it’s a day or a night wedding, decor, etc.) and most importantly, set a budget to save yourself from any heartache later.
#2 Keep an open mind
This is contradictory to point 1, but hear us out. Even if you have a very clear vision, try out different styles. You never know which silhouette you will end up falling in love with.
I’m sure all you reading this are familiar with the absolute delight of crushing on and picking something as soon as you try it on. Like the minute it’s on you, it feels like this was made to be on you forever. Keeping an open mind might pave the way to experience this moment during your wedding shopping spree.
#3 Take your time
Round up a few options in each store, get viewpoints of those shopping with you, and list the pros/ cons of each outfit before narrowing your search.
‘The one’ rarely comes easy.
#4 Allow a decision time-gap
After you’re done selecting a few pieces from multiple stores, give yourself a day or two before finalizing. Just like every important decision needs some time away before reaching the final conclusion, this one will too. So, give yourself some space and then come back to it.
Step Four: Buy ‘The One’
The time has come. But before you pick ‘the one’ here are three things to consider:
#1 Decor and Wedding Vibe:
Whether you want a regal look in a palatial setting or a breezy look in a garden setting, your lehenga ensemble should reflect the vibe of your wedding. We recommend you take it into account so you feel comfortable flaunting your attire with the venue settings on D-Day.
There are so many trending colors in the market, and a new one shows up every week. Like just yesterday, we spotted a lehenga color combination with pastel blue and yellow; it looked drop-dead gorgeous. Who knew these two would make for such an alluring merger.
Similarly, there are many lehenga shades available in the market. If you don’t want to try a new one for your wedding day, take the leap on some other of your pre-wedding functions instead.
Additionally, be sure to try on the new color in multiple lightings though, specifically the one you’d wear it on. For example, if it’s for a mehendi function, see if it looks as appealing in the natural lighting and opposite for the sangeet night.
#3 Be ‘You’:
Buying a wedding dress is more of an emotional choice, than a practical one. And you should feel like the best version of yourself in your wedding attire. No matter what decision you’re taking throughout the process – sorting Pinterest boards, guiding the sales manager to suggest something suiting your style, or choosing a niche designer store to visit, stay true to the fashion style you lean towards, always, on your big day as well.
In the end, it’s your special day, the one you’ve been fantasizing about since a little girl, so above all, stick to your gut and go with the flow.
Step Five: Nail The Styling
After saying ‘I do’ to your lehenga, it’s time to ace the fitting just right. From the length of the lehenga to the lehenga blouse design – everything needs to be settled before you give it for fittings.
This can be tricky – because as with the lehenga, the jewellery options are endless. We’d advise you to pick out the jewellery after your lehenga design is finalized, and not the other way around. Opt for vintage, timeless, and heritage pieces if you possess any. That’s what Silvy Mehta did; her spectacular haath phools are from the family heirloom.
If you want to go all-in with the jewellery, a sexy blouse with the plunging neckline would pair well, and the other way around if minimal is your game.
As for matha patti or maang tikka debate, try them on. We have seen both go with the same face shape. So don’t fall for the trap – oh! matha patti won’t look good on me because someone said it only goes with a square face. You’d have to try different styles to figure out what suits you for yourself. Probably, a matha patti with a thin chain will look charming. So, try it on!
Tiny, nonetheless important, details:
Many details go into bringing your dream bridal look to fruition. It’s time to figure them out. Things like bridal nail art, wedding day perfume, and even the shade of red lipstick you’ll wear make a difference. And all deserve some thinking now.
Dupattas can completely change your lehenga look. So, choose wisely. Most brides wear a double dupatta on their wedding day, But you’re set on a single dupatta drape, go ahead and rock it. In a double dupatta draping, the lighter one will go over the head while the heavier one over the shoulders. For those pondering on which lehenga dupatta draping style to opt for, check out our blog linked to the same expression.
To summarise, the road to finding out your perfect lehenga goes something like this: sort out the inspiration, plan how you wish to shop (lehenga stores, exhibitions, a particular city, etc.), make your store visit count by having a set vision in mind and in the final decision, listen to your gut and make yourself a priority. Lastly, figure out the nitty-gritty of the outfit like dupatta draping, jewellery, tailoring specifications, etc. We hope this guide made your bridal journey easier. Keep visiting our blog to read more practical advice and bookmark inspiration that aligns with your bridal style and preferences.