A beautiful bride walks down the aisle in an elaborate wardrobe, a waterfall of warm gold cascades down her body, sparkling in the sun. Her hair clasp, earrings, nose ring, necklaces, bangles, bracelets, and belt all look elaborate, elegant, enchanting. This is the image that may have drawn you to Indian wedding jewelry. India is a vast and fabulous country and much inspiration can be drawn from the wide breadth of designs and traditions that they have. The many religious and cultural expressions across the country are varied and spiritually significant. Here we will focus on an overview of the styles you may see and traditional and modern Indian weddings.
Gold in Indian Weddings
Gold is the foundation of Indian wedding jewelry; especially high-quality rose and yellow gold typically above 18 karats. The warmth of the gold is an important part of the balance color pallet, especially as so many different gold pieces may be used to finish a bridal outfit. If you want to be traditional then think of the gold not only as items of jewelry but also as an investment, make sure it is good quality, and don’t be afraid to layer it.
Indian Wedding Rings
Simple bands, jewel-encrusted statement pieces, delicate tracing arrangements which span more than one finger. Indian wedding style gives you license to decorate your hands to whatever degree you wish, worn alone or in combination rings can lend elegance, grace, and personality to your fingers.
Bracelets and bangles
Multiple golden bracelets worn on the same wrist are a hallmark of Indian fashion. When they move against each other they reflect a gentle sparkle that makes them, and you, even more, vibrant and charming.
A vanki is a golden bracelet worn on the upper arm. Typically, it will have elegantly curved bands which grip the arm and a more elaborate setting at the top. The setting may hold jewels, pearls or a pattern worked in gold. A vanki accentuates the movement of your arm and when carefully matched with rings and bracelets gives your every gesture an elegant, dancer-like sweep.
A vaddanam is a golden belt used to secure a saree. They divide your ensemble and create a natural counterpoint to the flow of the fabric. As such they accentuate the fluidity of your movements, heighten your poise and posture.
A haram is a large and very elaborate golden necklace often inlaid with pearls or precious stones. Some or made of linked golden segments but they can also have thinner chains. But they all have a large medallion-sized drop pendant often covered in complex geometric patterns.
Anklets are important parts of an Indian bridal outfit. Worn with the toe rings, they sometimes signify that a woman is married.
Jhumkas and other Earrings
Elaborate and beautifully detailed, jhumkas are mobile earrings typically made of a hoop of gold, then a cascading series of golden orbs which glint and undulate with the movements of your head.
The Maang Tikka is a beautiful piece of jewelry centered on the bride’s forehead. This is another significant symbol in Indian culture of a married woman. They often come as part of a set with the hairpiece and earrings.
In a departure from the traditions of longer overlapping necklaces, gold chokers are growing in popularity. They allow for a striking note of simplicity and may coordinate with a vaddanam. A choker is also the perfect way to display a cluster of jewels, pearls or coral.
Another beautiful element of Indian Wedding Jewelry is the hair piece, which often matches the Maanga Tikka and earrings.
This is a really exciting new trend. Traditional Indian wedding jewelry was also an investment, and as such the jewels would very often be worn once and then go into a safe. But now designers are making pieces which can be worn again and in different combinations, vaddanams which can become harams, vanki that can be necklaces, the possibilities are exciting.