While, pretty much, everyone is clad in bewitching dresses at wedding ceremonies, what distinguishes the bride from others and puts her in the limelight, is her resplendent accessories. Adorned with stunning jewellery pieces from head to toe, a bride looks so ravishing that her beauty casts a spell on the guests and her to-be-groom.
Across the country, jewellery is considered a status symbol and in different local cultures, wedding jewelry is passed on generation after generation to the new bride as a heritage. Over the past few years, Indian wedding jewellery has grabbed attention across the globe. People who are not familiar with the Indian customs are very fascinated to see the Indian brides laden with spectacular jewellery pieces. The essential bridal jewellery pieces that add glam and style to the bride are:
a) Hair Jewellery
The uptown brides sometimes wear a golden tiara to sport a pretty princess look. However, it’s not an essential piece of jewellery. The popular pieces that embellish the bride’s head are:
●Shringar Patti - Placed along the hairline from ear to ear, shringar patti has a circular decorative brooch in the middle, which hangs on the forehead.
●Maang Tika - A golden pendant of varying shapes and sizes, maang tika can be defined as a shorter version of shringaar patti. The pendant hangs just below the hairline in the middle of the forehead with a string hooked at the back of her head.
b) Bridal Set
The bridal attire is incomplete without the bridal set, which is bought as per the look and color of the wedding dress. The bridal set consists of:
●Necklace - A bridal necklace comes in an abundant variety, ranging from downright simple stones with pendant to outright heavy and scintillating ones. It usually matches with the dress or is in contrast with it.
●Earrings - Matched with the necklace, earrings range from sleek and short to dangling ones.
●Nose Ring - Referred to as “nath,” the ring is yet another part of bridal jewellery. However, wearing this is not mandatory in many parts of the country. The nath has the same design as that of the necklace and earrings and is often studded with matching stones. It has an attached chain, which is hooked in the bride’s hair, just above her left ear. Some brides opt to wear a simple stud instead of a heavy nose ring.
c) Hand Adornments
Right from the fingers and straight up to the upper arms, Indian brides are covered with jewellery like:
●Bajuband - It’s an armlet, which is usually worn on only one arm. However, some brides choose to wear it on both their arms.
●Bangles - These are of different kinds, namely chudi, chuda and kangan. While chudis are made of glass and worn for good omen, chudas are made of ivory and worn for prosperity. On the other hand, kangans are made of gold and worn just to enhance the look.
●Hathphool - A golden bracelet attached with 3 or 4 finger rings through golden chains, hathphool is an amazing embellishment for the bride’s wrist, fingers as well as the back of her hands. Wearing this is not mandatory in many parts of the country.
●Finger Rings - The brides who don’t flaunt hathphool, go with rings instead. Other than the engagement ring, a bride wears two or more gold or diamond rings in other fingers.
d) Feet Adornments
Although the bride’s feet aren’t visible through most of the ceremony because of the length of the lehenga, she still wears a couple of jewellery pieces, which are absolutely compulsory. These include:
●Bichhua - Usually made of silver, a bichhua or toe ring is an essential part of the Indian bridal jewelry. This piece of jewellery is believed to bring happiness and fortune in a married woman’s life, therefore, mandatory.
●Payal or Pajeb - Finished with meenakari, kundan or beads, anklets are essential part of bridal jewellery.
Each and every piece of jewellery worn by the bride has a special significance. Not only do they glam up her looks, but are also believed to bring good luck and fortune as she embarks upon a new journey in life.