How To Bring Out The Beauty In An Indian Bride
One of the most magnificent things about an Indian wedding is surely the bride. If you have ever attended an Indian wedding, you would definitely be in a Wow! Moment. She is the most beautiful part of the ceremony because as you’ll notice, she’s always covered in the most gorgeous dress as well as the jewellery items, from head to toe, literally.
There is a ritual known as ‘Solah Shringaar’ in which the bride is embellished with 16 items of jewellery on her whole body, which makes her look like an angel. These 16 jewellery items are fixed, however sometimes in different regions of India, more items may also include in them.
Pre-Ritual Process Of Solah Shringar
The solah shringaar is a ritual of 16 steps, in which an Indian bride is adorned with different jewellery items to completely cover her with beauty. This ritual starts with the oiling and washing of the hair; and then the hair is styled into a traditional makeover, usually a long braid or a bun. The hair is further decorated with different hair accessories as well as flowers.
This is followed by applying a mixture of sandal powder, oil, gram flour, and turmeric on the bride’s face, arms and legs to enhance the bride’s complexion. This is further followed by a ceremonial bath. Once this pre-ritual process is completed, then begins the actual adornment of the bride.
The Ritual Of Solah Shringaar For An Indian Bride
The beginning of the decoration of the bride happens with the ornaments as follows:
The bindi is a red dot on the forehead and is considered a symbol for married women. This is also a symbol of social status in many Indian cultures.
Also known as Kumkum, Sindoor is applied between the centre hairline of a woman by her husband as a symbol of marriage, as well as the validity of the true marriage as per the traditions.
The maang tikka gold is another gorgeous ornament that is worn around the forehead of the bride. It is believed that maang tikka gives the bride enough willpower and strength to handle her new life in her new home.
Kajal is believed to keep the evil off of the person wearing it. This is also believed to keep eyes clean and cool, thereby helping strengthen the eyes and improve vision.
Naath Or Nose Ornament
Girls wear Naath or nose rings on the day of their wedding to pay respect to goddess Parvati who is the goddess of fertility, love, marriage and beauty. A married woman is also believed to wear the naath till the time she is married.
Haar Or Necklace
The necklace which a woman wears on her wedding day is a jewellery item she is expected to keep for the rest of her life. This signifies the value of the seven rounds ‘pheras’ and the love between her and her husband.
Karn Phool Or Earrings
Karn Phool or Kaan Phool or Earrings is the jewellery item that the bride wears as her bridal jewellery set to enhance her beauty. These could be chand balis, hoops, studs or mostly jhumkas.
This is usually performed a night before the wedding. This is considered a symbol for wishing the bride prosperous and healthy life through this new journey she’s about to take.
Choodiyan Or Bangles
The red bangles are worn by the bride to strengthen the bond between her and her husband. The chooda or bangle is to be worn for at least 40 days after the wedding. These are mostly made of glass, however metallic like gold or silver are also used occasionally.
The Haath Phool is a symbol of a woman’s new life journey which she’s about to embark on and is also considered one of the most important ornaments worn by her. It is an auspicious jewellery item linked to power, social status and good health of both, husband and wife.
Kamarbandh Or Waist Band
The Kamar bandh or waistband is a chain worn around the waist of a woman. This is usually made of gold and studded with different ornaments and sometimes gemstones. This is considered a protective ornament that protects the woman against the evil eye and provides the energy of positivity.
Payal Or Anklets
The bride or Dulhan Payal designs in silver are most commonly used on ankles due to their health benefits. The gold is mostly avoided below the waist as it is considered an auspicious metal of gods. It is considered a symbol of the goddess Lakshmi walking in, upon the entry into the woman’s new home.
Bichhua Or Toe Ring
These are worn on the second toe of the foot and are considered to help women to keep themselves healthy. Wearing them on the third toe is also believed to reduce the pain and discomfort during the periods. Traditionally, married women are supposed to wear these toe rings throughout their life after the marriage.
Itar Or Fragrance
The perfume is applied to the bride-to-be once she is completely ready. This is applied to make her smell good as well as keep her fresh during the long ceremonial processes during the wedding.
Hair is one of the most important parts of a person because it’s the first thing that comes into our purview when we meet anyone. That’s why the bride is adorned with different pins, barrettes, and flowers to make her look most attractive and elegant.
Shaadi Ka Jora Or Bridal Dress
The bridal dress is no doubt the most important part of a woman’s wedding. The dress is pre-decided before the wedding as per the bride-to-be’s choice. Traditionally, the dress is elaborately designed and is red in colour. The dress is also decided as per the type of wedding jewellery the woman prefers to wear on her special day.
Once this ritual is complete, the bride is ready to produce in front of the groom to proceed to the rest of the ceremony of marriage.