Hello there Desi Brides!
So today on the blog I’m talking about how I found my wedding lehenga.
I know all of us fantasise and dream about how we will look on the wedding day ever since we have been little girls and of course I was no different.
Although I had a month long India trip planned last year before the wedding I started looking for a wedding lehenga in the UK well in advance. The reason I was looking in the UK was because given the customer service horror stories I’ve heard about in India I thought it would be less stressful to find “the one” here and I was losing weight for the wedding so I figured that adjusting the wedding lehenga here would be much easier.
To be fair I didn’t look at that many wedding lehenga’s here. I went to a few bridal shows and I was really unimpressed with the range that UK designers and fashion houses were displaying. It really was the same old same old and I couldn’t find anything unique. I knew I definitely didn’t want to be the red lehenga bride. Don’t get me wrong I think some brides look stunning in a red lehenga but it just wasn’t me. I believe that your wedding lehenga should be a extension and representation of you.
I did also go to see Ekta Solanki in London and was really impressed with her collection as it was creative and original but so many of my friends kept saying to me that I will find a huge variety in India and that I should hold out.
So I did. First up I went to Punjab and If you have read my previous blog posts about my trip then you know I was pretty unimpressed. It was all really chamki chamki same old red stuff which totally wasn’t me.
Before we even flew out to India we had planned a 4 night Delhi trip in the middle of our shopping trip and I had done all my research properly and me and my cousin had a list of about 20 shops I was going to hit up. This was perfect for us as it gave us a week to browse round Punjab to see what it could offer. I had done all my research properly and me and my cousin had a list of about 20 shops I was going to hit up – this is so so important because you need to know where your going and when your going so please don’t arrive in Delhi blindly without not knowing where your going!
We took the Shatabdi express to Delhi from Phagwara and we were there in 4 hours! We stayed at a 4 star hotel on the outskirts which had been recommended by the lovely Ravita Pannu who also stayed there. It was super affordable and we had a huge suite as there was four of us. It had two bathrooms so it really was perfect!
The first day we took a trip to Ogaan and the South Extension. I could instantly see that the style, embroidery colours were different in Delhi. Ogaan had some beautiful items but we wanted to take a proper look around before committing to anything. On our first day we took a trip to the famous Frontier Raas. Although they had some seriously stunning outfits I wanted to keep looking around. Its so true what they say you know once you see “the one”
On the second day we tried to get a metro to Chandni Chowk – one piece of advice the metro is pure chaos and I don’t think its suited for mum’s and aunty’s etc so we decided to hire a private car. Luckily my aunty was with me so she knew a lot of people in Delhi so she rang her friend and within a hour we had our private car which was so much easier!
Second day we got dropped off at Chandni Chowk. WOW what can I say – this place is pure chaos (in a good way of course) it was so packed and busy that we had to hold hands all the way through the crowds. The selection of shops were great here and I saw some lovely pieces but something deep inside said to me – keep looking.
So I did. We then went to a beautiful boutique that was on my hit list – it was tucked away in a quiet back alley and as soon as I walked in I was WOWED. There was loud music playing, stunning brides trying on their outfits and traditional antique bells hanging from the ceilings.
We sat down and I told them what I wanted and please no red I said. So the staff bought out about 20 outfits. Me and my cousin were peering through their back stock room and I could see something coral and pink – I told them to bring it out.
As soon as I saw it – I knew it was the one! I absolutely adored the colour – coral (whoop something different) and it was the perfect blend of unique embroidery with pearls and traditional embroidery and it was quite heavy. I tried it on and I knew it – YES YES YES I said!
Here it is…
My mum of course had a opinion, she said that I should turn the colour to pink as you could customise it but I was like hell no because then it would loose its originality. We both compromised so I got two chunni’s created – one was the hot pink and the other was a dip dye of two colours. I also two blouses created – one was the original one with the lehenga and one I thought would go perfectly and it was none other than a gold sequin blouse (surprise).
The price came in at around £1600 which I was pretty impressed with and I definitely think that was good value compared to the lehenga here in the UK which normally range from £2000 upwards.
The main thing on my mind was could they create it perfectly for my height and I had to really think about my heel height as well because the outfit needed to be right for the Gurdwara ceremony in the morning when I would be bare foot and also for the reception. But I wasn’t disappointed with the boutique, they did an absolute fantastic job creating it from scratch to my measurements – I was over the moon and there were no delays!
The only thing I noticed was when I got back to the UK was that the chunni was longer than the standard usual size which is apparently the trend in Delhi so I did have a panic attack about this but luckily we found a tailor in my home town who could adjust it – and they did perfectly!
The moral of the story is – don’t settle for anything less other than the one.
Images by Salshan and Asiana Couture
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