A Bride’s Vision by Sumona Seth
They say some girls start to dream about their wedding from around the age of 13 years old. Funny to say but I may have started even younger! What can I say… I’m either a hopeless romantic or I started watching Bollywood movies way too early in life (probably the latter :). I can still vividly remember cutting out pictures from Star Dust magazine (a popular Bollywood entertainment magazine) of my favorite Indian outfits and jewelry that celebrities would wear at the time. I particularly loved all the “modern” North Indian (according to Bangali standards at least) wedding outfits that I saw in Bollywood movies dating all the way back to those like ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ and “Hum Aapke Hain Koun.” Most of the movies revolved around Punjabi culture, which consisted of beautiful lehengas, sparkly salwar kameezes and classy gowns. Throughout the years though, as fashion evolved, so did my vision for the perfect wedding look. But one thing never changed, which was my desire to wear a lehenga! Now, I’m Bangali as some of you know and traditionally Bangali brides wear a shade of red Benarasi sari, mukut (crown made of Indian cork), alopna art on the forehead and solid 24 karat gold jewelry. That was NOT the look I wanted! And no disrespect, it’s not like I didn’t admire the traditional Bangali fashion – I do – but my heart was committed to the lehenga, which by the way, is essentially a crop top and long skirt with embedded kundan (traditional Indian gemstone jewelry).
So fast-forward to a little over 3 years ago when I finally met my soul mate, Binny. After he proposed, I pretty much immediately started to bring my vision into reality. Before I even began to tell my mother about wanting to shop in India for my wedding lehenga, she beat me to it and told me about her dream to see me as a traditional Bangali bou (Bangali bride). After hearing that, it wasn’t easy to change my vision entirely but I realized this moment held more sentimental value to my Ma. And it would be awesome to dress in our traditional cultural garb as me and Binny became one in unity. So I’m really happy now that I look back at how my Bengali look came together.
We created two looks for this recreational shoot since I couldn’t make up my mind on which look I really wanted to re-create. I always thought of traditional looks of red hues and gold embroidery casting all over the lehenga with big chunky kundan jewelry. However, with time I grew a great liking to the soft pastel colors with effortless waves in the hair and a fierce smokey eye with a nude lip combo. I also felt the new age modern bride was the perfect mix of traditional wear paired with contemporary colors, styles and modern-day beauty trends.
And of course, I needed a counterpart so my hubby was happy to participate as the groom. What you’ll experience visually is my chance to take you on a design, fashion and beauty journey through my vision of a traditional and modern-day bridal look. Of course, I set up the shoot with some amazing artists that are veterans in the wedding industry.
I hope you enjoy the journey!