Changes in wedding trends over time: A brief take by clothing and jewellery dealers

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Changes in wedding trends over time: A brief take by clothing and jewellery dealers

There have been various changes in wedding trends since time immemorial. We spoke to a few designers and shopkeepers dealing with wedding couture and traced down the changes from the 1960s till date.

While it is hard for anyone of us to recount the time since when weddings have had an important place in our lives, it surely has and it reflects well. With weddings come endless functions and the urge to appear exquisite in these events. But having said that, what has changed, over the years, is a concise and detailed focus on the wedding attire and the changes in wedding trends as the wedding boutiques and the shops' owners mentioned while speaking to Local Samosa. 


Source Image used for representation purposes only.

Handloom Emporium, a wedding store chain based in Jaipur, has been dealing with bridal sarees since 1967 and said that trends have changed with time ever since they observed and started doing the business. "Back in the 1960s, people used to prefer Banasrasi Silk or typical South Indian Silk sarees, mostly in red, pink, and mustard colours. One Banarasi saree was compulsory for the designers to make it for a bride," Vikas Bhatia, the present store co-owner, said. In Banarasi sarees, he adds, "Border-pallu, Jal, and sari with a mix of Zari and silk used to work. Along with that, he highlighted that the typical South Indian sarees like Kanjeevaram and Pochampally used to work at that time.

Another trend in the bridal couture used to be the preference for the set of either 11, 21, or 31 sets of sarees, the owner said. “People would prefer taking one saree from each state. For example, brides would take one Kashmiri Silk or a shawl, Patanka chola from Gujarat, Bandhej or Bandhani-worked saree from Rajasthan,” he said, adding that they would choose sarees from all those geographical locations where silk sarees were made. The trend remained till the inception of the 1990s. During this time, as per him, people would spend Rs. 800 to 3,000 for wedding sarees.

Also Read: Three wedding markets in Chandigarh that meet the required shopping essentials!

The preference took a turn in the 1980s-1990s, Bhatia said, and the trend for silk sarees flourished like never before. “People were swayed by the charm of Silk sarees in pastel colours like light brown, coffee, copper, and long-sleeve blouses as those were being worn by the Hindi film actresses like Rakhi, Rekha, and many others. Many were also inspired by the style of sarees worn by singers like Lata Mangeshkar and Usha Uthup,” he said, memorizing that the trend remained the same till the 2000s, after which the “modern colours and designs” in the same traditional sarees started arriving in the markets. He also mentioned that people would willingly buy sarees of Rs 5,000 to 8,000.

Post that period, as he stated, embroidered sarees flourished in the north and east India. It was the same period when fabrics like Chiffons, Georgette, Crepe, and Silk sarees embraced embroidery. “The demand for the Crepe, Georgette, and Chiffon sarees, along with the Bandhani sarees from Rajasthan, massively increased in this period for the next 15 years, and the trend for Silk sarees went down in comparison,” he said.

Another noticeable change that also arrived in the 2000s, Bhatia continued, was the fondness for lehengas, skirts, and even jeans and tops for weddings. As per him, this was the same time when the twinning concept also started working in weddings. “Brides and grooms began wearing clothes of the same colours at their weddings.

As a cycle-tyre rotates, it did for the clothing trends for the weddings post-2015, Bhatia said while talking about the current trends. “The preferences for the sarees in Silk, Banarasis, South Indian, Tussar, Assam silk, Muga silk, is back in today’s picture among the young generation exactly like it was between the 1960s to 1990s even if the production of the same is much lower than before. Silk sarees have even become more expensive,” he said. What he also highlighted is how designers and manufacturers have also started making “mixed-Silk sarees.”

Talking about his own brand, he said that he has started experimenting with the Ikkat, a dyeing technique on the sarees. “We have weaved it on the borders of the Kanjeevearam sarees, too,” he said while also mentioning that he has been experimenting with mixing Resham and Zari in the sarees. Apart from that, what is also working is the Kolam Silk sarees and the colours like pink, off-white, and shades of grey among the younger generation. As per him, the rate of pure Silk has increased to Rs. 10,000 as the starting price goes above Rs. 1 lakh. On a different note, Charvi Bhatia, his niece, who manages the orders for Handloom Emporium through social media, mentioned that instead of the bundles of 11, 21, or 31, now, brides only prefer to buy a set of 5-6 sarees.

The lehenga-love that never faded

Just like sarees, the trends and preferences have also changed for lehengas over time, Puneet Madhogaria, the young-generation owner of Ambika Fashion, said. The 50-year-old brand from Kolkata has been observing the changes in the preferences of brides for a long time and commenting on the same, Puneet said, "Nowadays, they (brides) focus more on the 'brands' and 'designers' to get their wedding lehengas."


Puneet Madhogaria (right) and his 'lehenga collection' on a ramp show.

While 'lehengas' have been a growing market, Puneet mentioned that the trend has shifted from the traditional and heavy lehengas to that subtle work and light colours. "Often, the brides who come to our store check the weight of the lehenga before buying one," he said, adding that even if they don't much understand the designs and embroidery work, they certainly focus on the overall appearance.

As mentioned by Puneet, one of the catchiest ranges for lehengas is between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh for the lehengas in his store. "There are brides who also focus more on a particular budget range for lehengas which goes for more than 1 lakh in the current time," he said, adding that the trend has also been to make the looks "Instagram-worthy." Mentioning that Zardozi-work lehengas have been working in the present time, Puneet also highlighted the need to revive Indian traditional clothing, not only for weddings but also for daily usage.

Also Read: 7 Best wedding venues in Ahmedabad for your grand occasion

Another 50-year-old brand from Mumbai named Queen Emporium also deals with sarees and suits, apart from lehengas, and believes that people have become cost-conscious while purchasing for weddings. "People, nowadays, are less aware of the hand embroidery and the quality," Vivek Motla, the store owner, said, adding that people prefer more contemporary designs than traditional ones.

However, Motla has observed that the buying capacity of the people — concerning expenditure — of wedding clothes has decreased at the current time, but the number of quantities has increased. "The budget has decreased, but at the same time, with the introduction of multiple functions on the wedding, the quantity of clothes has increased," he said.

The groom's section

Not only is the bridal clothing going through a change, but also that of the grooms' and the owner of GAVINS, a 26-year-old brand from Hyderabad dealing with grooms' couture, went into detailing while talking about the same. "In the 1990s, grooms preferred sherwanis, suits, and embroidered prints. Later, the choices included short kurtas, pajamas, and black and blue blazers," Ritesh Jain, the young owner of the brand, said.


The owners of Gravine's

Jain continued speaking about the changes and mentioned that many barriers concerning grooms' clothing had been broken with time. "The inception of dupattas and the pastel colours for the closet of grooms is a new and revolutionary phenomenon," he said. He said about the current trends, "Quirky Chikankari, Zardozi, Brocade work, and layered clothing is preferred in the colours like pastel shades for day events while wine, bottle green, black and navy for night functions."

Mr. Jain, as per his experiences in dealing with customers, also mentions that trends depend on the communities respectively. "Muslim grooms prefer heavy work, long sherwanis while Hindus go for layered sherwanis with mandatory dupattas," he said, adding the desire for intricate-designed sandals over mojaris and leather shoes over pointed and fabric shoes are standard.

Moving toward Sustainability and affordability

Another thing that can be termed "common" among youngsters is how they are upholding the concept of sustainability. With the introduction of thrift stores and the usage of second-hand clothes, the generation can be seen moving towards conserving the environment, even in the smallest bit possible. Such is the reason why bridal stores like 3M, which offers wedding outfits on rent, have been making a profitable business since 2019. 

The owner of the store, based in Mumbai highlighted that the major motto of their business is to help brides save money while also providing them with the best designs. "We trace down the trendy designs through Instagram and create clothes on our own, apart from purchasing it from other stores but brides mostly like the designed created by us," Kiran Bhanushali said adding that brides usually prefer rented clothes for other functions like Haldi, Mehendi, etc. and still prefer new for the wedding day.

Also Read: Wedding planners in Chennai to check out for your big day!

3M, which offers lehengas and other Indo-Western dresses, has observed that it is the bridesmaids who opt for rented clothes more as it cuts down the cost for them. "We give lehengas for around Rs 4-5 K while other Indo-Western for Rs 3 to 2.5 K," he added.

Imitation jewellery in demand

Along with the rented clothes, even imitation jewellery is in demand over gold or diamond for the last few years. Aditya Rampuriya, the owner of Adros Creations, an imitation jewellery brand lays down a few reasons for the same. He says, "Since the price of gold has shot up, it has become a necessity to opt for alternative options." Adding to it he also said that many prefer imitation over safety issues and owing to the demand and trends on social media.

Talking about the preferences of people, Rampuriya mentioned that in some cultures, people prefer imitation for also the wedding day but in some, they use it for other wedding functions. Irrespective of those, he said, the budget of people has decreased by 20-30% now, as compared to the pre-pandemic era. "People still pay around 60-70 K for imitation jewellery for weddings but that is surely less than what they used to spend before," Rampuriya said.

Having said that, there is no doubt that weddings are back in their true colours in India and that is much more likely to revive all the sectors involved in the industry slowly. Meanwhile, it would be delightful to encounter much more such trends related to the D-day of people. 

Also Read: These people made the wedding of Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani a grand one!

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