I’m interested in different cultures and what each cultural ritual signifies. Even though I believe in a simple wedding without much fuss and time wasted in different activities such as is common in the culture around me with the wedding day being preceded with a kitchen party, a bridal shower, a send-off and you add on to the list as necessary; I’ve always been interested in the Indian bridal ceremony and decided that for our series of Mrembo Maridadi I should look into the cultural rituals of an Indian bride.
Traditionally one of the most important ritual of an Indian wedding is the adornment of the bride with 16 decorations known as Solah shringar which includes both jewellery and non-jewellery items such as perfume, the bridal sari and mehndi. These are used to decorate the bride from head to toe so that she ends up looking like a princess. The brides jewellery are mainly made of precious metals such as gold or silver and complementary gems.
- The Shringar of the bride normally starts with the Bride wearing a red colored wedding sari. A variation may include bright bridal colors like maroon, gold, magenta or green and comprises of sari, lehenga and salwar kurta.
- The Brides hair is then styled and adorned with flowers and a hair accessory called Maangtika is worn on the central parting of the hair.
- The eyes are highlighted with Kajal or kohl.
- The Bindi is put on the bride’s forehead and decorated with red and white dots around it and along the eyebrows.
- Traditionally a Nose Ring made of gold with pearls or other precious gems and is worn on the left nostril and is supported by a gold chain, which extends just behind left ear.
- Ear rings adorn the ears of the bride. Since the ear rings worn by bride are quite heavy they are normally supported by a gold chain passing over the crown of the head.
- Necklaces of different length are also worn by the bride however a special necklace, the Mangalsutra is tied by the groom during the wedding rituals.
- Baajuband or armlets are worn on the upper arms of the bride over the sari blouse.
- Mehendi is another significant shringar of the bride which is applied on the bride’s hands and feet in a special pre-wedding ritual in India.
- The Bride wears bangles or bracelets made of gold, glass or other metals depending upon the custom.
- A bride wears eight rings in both her hands, which are attached with a central flower or medallion that covers the upper part of the hand called hathphulor.
- Kamarband is a beautifully designed gold or silver belt is worn around the waist of the bride studded mostly with beautiful gems. The belt not just enhances the waist area but also helps in holding the Sari or Dress in place.
- Silver anklets are worn on the ankles of the bride and toes are adorned with toe rings made of silver.
- Itar or fragrance is applied on to the bride to keep her fresh and smelling good.
- Sindoor is applied on the central parting of the hair during the wedding ceremony.
Adapt their look:
Traditionally the makeup of the Indian bride is fairly natural and kept on earth-tones with reds, bronze, coppers and golds probably because she is generously adorned in jewelery, simple makeup helps to compliment her overall attire. While researching different images I noticed that now-a-days the Indian bride may have makeup that matches her out fit. What has remained consistent though is that the eyes are the center of attention and are defined in jet-black kohl.
To create the look above:
The eyes: I used a pink-red eye shadow on the eyelids because the color flatters her the most and complemented with a green which also help to complement her out fit and earrings. Because she has fairly small eyes, I applied black eyeliner to the top of the eyelid and the outer corners of the lower eyelid and extended it outwards towards the temple to elongate them and create an almond shape. To open them up I applied a gold shadow to the inner 3/4 of the lower eyelid. Finished off with elongating black mascara.
The eye brows: filled in with a dark brown pencil following her natural contour to emphasize them so that they would not be over powered with the red and white decorations and at the same time avoid the tattooed eyebrow look that is often the result of filling in the brows with a very dark pencil such as black.
The face: I used a makeup base in a peachy tone followed by a foundation that closely matched her natural skin tone and added a cream highlighter between her eyebrows on her forehead, under her eyes and half way across the apples of her cheeks and on her chin to give her that central glow. And finished off with a very subtle pink-brown cream blush on the apples of the cheeks to give the sheer flush.
The lips: A pink shade that was very similar to her inner lip color followed with a matching gloss.
What do you think, have we inspired you to try an Indian bride theme?