The wedding day is one of the most important days of a girl’s life. For this day the bridal dress is chosen very carefully. In Keralite society one will come across three major religions – Hindu, Muslim and the Christian. Just like the marriage rituals differ from one religion to another, so also the bridal dress and her preparation for the wedding day differ. But be it a Christian wedding, Hindu wedding or Muslim wedding ceremony, the bride is treated as a center of attraction and her family gives every effort to make her look the prettiest lady of the day.
Christian Bridal Dress
In Kerala, the dress worn by the bride of a Christian marriage is slightly different from the color and pattern of the bridal dress worn by girls in Hindu and Muslim weddings. Compared to the bright colored sari that is traditionally worn in marriages of other religious communities in Kerala, the Christian brides wear a sari of white color. Her bridal dress also includes a white veil, which adds to the elegant look of the dress. Since the color white symbolizes purity brides of Christian families choose to wear this color on the auspicious day of her life. Keralite brides of Christian families also wear bridal gowns on their wedding day. These gowns are generally of a single color and usually either white or ivory is selected for the wedding occasion.
Hindu Bridal Dress
As the wedding day is a very special occasion, every effort is made to make the auspicious event a memorable one. The bride is made to look at her best in her bright new wedding dress and ornaments. Generally, in a Hindu marriage in Kerala the bride is made to wear a bright colored sari. Most of the brides in Keralite homes prefer wearing Kanchepurum sari on their wedding day as this sari is considered to be the finest sari available in this state. Besides Kanchepurum saris, Keralite girls also wear silk, crepe and georgette saris on their wedding ceremony. Bridal dress of a Hindu girl is heavily decorated generally with beautiful and finest handiworks of zari, zardosi, embroidery, mirror work, cut work, sequence, pearl work, kasab, patchwork and sometimes kundan. These fine decorations add special effects to the bridal dress and makes it wearer look elegant and classy.
Muslim Bridal Dress
In Kerala, it is customary for the bride of a Muslim family to choose bright color for the dress that is to be worn by her on the wedding day. Usually in Muslim wedding in Kerala, a bride prefers wearing silk sari with stunningly bright shades. In the traditional Muslim marriages, brides used to wear lehnga. In many of the Keralite household, this custom is still observed and the bride is made to wear the traditional dress on her wedding day. The bridal dress consists of a bright colored lehnga, which is also accompanied by a headdress. The combination of lehnga and the headdress enhances the gorgeousness of the bridal dress. Often the dupatta or the headdress is decorated with fine golden lace tassels, which are stitched to its ends.