There are countless types of Indian brides, from Punjabi to Kashmiri to Tamilian. Here are the most iconic Indian Bollywood bridal dresses ever!
Indian culture is so diverse and Indian weddings – well, they’re different in each part of the country! You’ll see all sorts of different wedding rituals, decorations, music and especially the dresses of brides and grooms. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend Indian weddings in all the states, but I’ve always been fascinated with the different types of Indian brides there are. And apparently so has Bollywood, because Indian movies have shown it all. Plus Bollywood loves weddings. As do we all, in fact!
Anyway, so here I made a list of all the best and most iconic Indian Bollywood bridal dresses ever – from the Bengali bride to Tamil bride, from a Catholic bride to the Punjabi bride – it’s all here! Let’s take a look:
Types of Indian Bollywood Bridal Dresses
The Bengali Bride: Aishwarya Rai in Devdas
Most of Aishwarya Rai’s looks from Devdas are pretty iconic – the one in a Bengali white and red saree, the one with the lamp, et al. But here’s her iconic bridal look. Judging by the Bengali weddings I’ve been to, the brides are even more decked up, with more face makeup above the eyebrows, on the chin, and a gold headpiece and wear a garland during the wedding. Nose-rings are also common.
The Gujrati Bride: Aishwarya Rai in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Aishwarya Rai looks like a demure Gujrati bride here, but her character in the movie was actually brash and rebellious! Anyhow, the Gujrati brides are similar to most Hindu brides in their dresses and makeup. I love her Bollywood bridal makeup here!
The Rajasthani Bride: Aishwarya Rai in Jodhaa Akbar
(We are continuing with Aishwarya Rai’s bridal looks.) Her Rajput bride look in Jodhaa Akbar is one of the most iconic and also one of my favorites in Bollywood. Rajput brides wear heavy gold and kundan jewelry, including headpieces, necklaces, rings, bangles, earrings, anklets, bracelets and armlets, and a veil which is traditionally barely sheer. And huge nose-rings and bindis.
The Tamil Bride: Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express
I moved to Chennai only recently but haven’t yet visited any wedding here. Although I try to take a sneak peek into their fascinating weddings whenever there’s one happening near my place. Because they’re quite different from Punjabi weddings. Deepika Padukone’s look here is gorgeous. South and East Indian brides wear silk sarees on their weddings, as opposed to North and some central Indian brides who wear lehengas.
The Punjabi Bride: Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
This movie came when the gold lehenga was very trendy, and took over the traditional red bridal lehenga. However, looking back at this look of Kajol, I think it lacks the beautiful contrast that a traditional red and gold dress gives. So ya, it’s not one of my favorites!
The Punjabi Bride: Kajol in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
Kajol played another Punjabi bride in the blockbuster DDLJ, with a similar dress, but a much more iconic look! Again, not one of my favorites, fashion-wise, especially her peplum-ish top is kind of a buzz-kill.
Yaaaah, that’s the bride who thought it’s a good idea to run after a moving train to catch the hand of her lover, instead of just, you know, getting into whichever compartment was the closest to her.
The Catholic Bride: Katrina Kaif in Namaste London
Katrina Kaif’s christian bride look in Namaste London wasn’t technically an Indian bridal fashion look, but it’s gorgeous nonetheless. One of my favorites from Bollywood. She wears a sweetheart-neckline strapless dress with super-cute curly hair.
Plus, I loved her makeup which was a mix of glossy purple and pinks, with the theme of a happy bride. It was an altogether different matter that she played a runaway bride in the movie and is in tears here:
The Catholic Bride: Aishwarya Rai in Bride and Prejudice
Technically it’s not a Hindi movie, and technically this bridal look only happened in a dream – but nonetheless, let’s just see Aishwarya’s beautiful gown and makeup:
The Hindu Bride: Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!
The Hindu bride has evolved since this movie, in the sense that the nose-rings became small and then big again, the headpieces became more delicate and the makeup became simpler. So Madhuri Dixit’s look here sort of depicts the early 90’s bride!
The Hindu Bride: Kareena Kapoor in 3 Idiots
Here’s a modern blended with traditional look of the Hindu bride. Love the semi-corset-like belt in the dress and the extensive jewelry here!
The Kashmiri Bride: Nargis Fakhri in Rockstar
I love this gorgeous look from Rockstar, especially the color of Nargis Fakhri’s dress and the headpiece. And the natural makeup. She played a Kashmiri muslim bride.
The Punjabi Muslim Bride: Preity Zinta in Veer Zaara
Preity Zinta’s bridal look from Veer Zara is a beautiful one. Traditionally the brides wear red but this look is beautiful nonetheless.
The Catholic Bride: Parveen Babi in Amar Akbar Anthony
Here’s yet another Caholic bridal look from a 70s movie. Again in tears!
The Marathi Bride: Priyanka Chopra in Kaminey
Marathi brides traditionally wear more natural-looking makeup than Punjabi brides and I also love their headpieces that have things hanging from the sides! So cute! Also, check out Priyanka’s jewelry here:
The Punjabi Bride: Rani Mukerji in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Here’s Rani Mukerji from Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna – the quintessential Punjabi bride – in her red bridal lehenga with green borders and gold sequin and bead embroidery. Punjabi brides wear lots of red and white bangles and gold thread bracelets that have metallic umbrella-thingies hanging from them.
The Sikh Bride: Sonakshi Sinha in Son of Sardaar
As far as the vibrance goes – Sikhs do it best at their weddings. Punjabi Sikh brides wear salwaar kameez in bright colors like pink, red, orange etc. And also check out: happy dancing instead of tears! How cool!
So, did you like these Indian Bollywood bridal dresses? Which bridal look is your favorite? Comment below, lemme know! Muaah XOXO 🙂
Shilpa Ahuja the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion. Other than defining the direction of the magazine, she also writes about fashion & beauty trend forecasts, industry analysis, and opinions.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]