For most people a wedding is the celebration of a man and woman joining together in holy matrimony. That is, unless you happen to be a Delhiite or more specifically a good ‘Dilli Ki Aunty’, in which case a wedding is the event of a lifetime! The success of the wedding is measured, not by the long happy married life that the bride and groom share, but by the amount of money that their parents shell out to prove their worth – which is primarily done through decorations and clothing.
Wedding dresses are much regionalized and each state and a district within have its own specialty when it comes to the dressing style. From the Coorgi half-saris to the expensively embroidered clothing of the Lucknowis, India has its own flavour of clothing in each place. The Bride and the Bridegroom start their wedding shopping at least 2 months in advance so as to get the perfect choice and of course, fit. Tailors are still preferred to ready-made clothing even today. To capitalize on this market, special “Wedding Malls” have opened up in every major city which acts as a one-stop station for all kinds of dresses. In today’s contemporary weddings, one finds regional attires only on the main marriage day; while rest of the days see designer wedding dresses fit attires. Special “Marriage Collections” are all out there to exploit the market – not only for the bride and the groom, but also for the attenders.
It is an affair so extravagant that guests are probably more conscious about their dressing and find marriages a platform to showboat their complex dressing sense. And hence, the entire wedding ground is transformed into a set straight out of the movies. One can see miles of fabric flowing across the entire area (all 3 acres of it), and the lights lending the whole place a fantastical air. But what really makes these weddings the shiniest, glitziest, sparkling affairs of the season is not the decor but the dresses donned by the guests. A good ‘Dilli ki Aunty’ never disappoints when it comes to the art of dressing up for a wedding.
Wedding season is very stressful for the tailors in Delhi, because every ‘Aunty’ worth her salt is out to get the trendiest wedding attire of the season. Size and age is never a barrier, what is in vogue must be worn by one and all. So what if the elegant Anarkali is meant for the thin and tall, our rotund ‘Aunties’ are never going to be left behind. While the slim look elegant in their yards of flowy fabric, the aunties do their best to look like miniature circus tents. They even like accentuating the air of festivity by choosing bright clashing colours. Their Kurtas are covered in Swarovski, and rhinestones. Their blouses are barely there pieces of fabric that stay on by sheer force of will. The sarees are made of the sheerest of fabrics, and mind you most weddings happen during peak winter! Imagine battling freezing temperatures draped in nothing more than 9 yards of the thinnest chiffon known to mankind.