Essential Bridal Jewelry for Indian Weddings
By Hemant Jain
There are different cultural expectations for brides across the world in terms of fashion and dressing, but all cultures emphasize the beauty of the bride above all else. She is expected to be the best dressed; the one in the most resplendent clothing and jewelry, the one who stands out above everyone else. In Indian culture this idea is termed the ‘sola shringar’ or sixteen adornments. These are the sixteen dressing, jewelry and styling secrets that distinguish a bride from all the other women and which every bride has to wear as part of her bridal get-up. It includes such things as the ‘shadi ka joda’ or bridal outfit (be it a saree, lehenga choli or salwar kameez) as well as make-up elements like kajal, lipstick, bindi, alta (henna tattoo for the feet) and mehendi (intricate henna tattoo for the hands and arms). Most of the other elements are bridal jewelry pieces and this is no surprise considering Indian weddings are all about the bling. An Indian wedding is not the time to go simple and this rule applies to no one more than the bride herself. These are some of the essential pieces you would find in traditional bridal jewelry sets:
This is a very important type of Indian bridal jewellery that is worn across the country. It is essentially a forehead ornament which is attached to the hair and ends just below the hairline. There are many regional and cultural variations of this type of hair and fore-head ornamentation.
The earrings worn as part of Indian bridal jewelry tend to be large and ornate. Popular traditional variations include the Polki earrings, made with uncut diamonds, and ear cuffs that extend up till the hairline.
Nose-rings or Nath
These are different from our usual idea of nose-rings, being both heavier and richer looking and in the style of a large hoop rather than a small stud. More often than not, they are made using pearls and gold with a thin chain connecting to the hair or ear ornaments.
Indian bridal jewelry usually consists of multiple necklaces and pendants, made of gold, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones and crystals. Kundan and Thewa bridal jewelry sets often have large, multi-layered necklaces with intricate filigree designs.
This is a large gold bracelet worn around the upper arms.
This is a circlet of gold, studded with small crystals or stones, which is worn around the waist. It is typically worn with a saree or lehenga choli rather than a salwar kameez.
One of the most important pieces of Indian bridal jewelry is the ‘chura’ which are a set of red, white and gold bangles worn almost all the way till the elbows.
Often, instead of heavy rings, Indian women wear the panja as part of their bridal jewelry. This combines a thin bracelet with rings through thin connecting chains across the hand.
Bejeweled silver anklets, connected to pretty toe-rings, are also an important part of Indian bridal jewelry.
Utsav Fashion, a leading online store, offers a wide range of Indian bridal jewellery, Bridal lehenga choli and other accessories. The site has a user-friendly interface, where you can make online purchases of ethnic apparel and offer speedy delivery across many countries the globe over.
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