With their love story sewn into the bridal dress, and the bride’s jewellery designed by the groom himself, this edgy fashion designer bride and traditional groom show us the meaning of adding that personal touch and creating beautiful memories for your wedding day.
In the Bride’s Words: Mehendi
Those who know me, know that I’m not very conventional in my ways and so a traditional Indian wedding wasn’t something I had ever envisioned.
Having an epic bachelorette, a simple court wedding, followed by the most insane wedding celebration is something I would do. However, when Vanraj, who is quite the traditionalist said he wanted the works – mehendi, sangeet, wedding and reception, I surprisingly didn’t fight it. I guess I was ecstatic to start my life with him and celebrate it in as many ways as possible.
My kind of Indian fashion is a little different, edgy and maybe even weird compared to the usual norms of the market. When I told my family I was going to make all my own clothes under my brand Koecsh, they weren’t surprised, but at the same time they urged me to reconsider.
Knowing the kind of control freak I am, they would rather have me relax and get spa treatments instead of taking on that burden. However, it was something I felt strongly about and I started conceptualising my own clothes.
With my mehendi, sangeet and reception outfits, it was simple. I imagined the colours and concepts and got right to sampling and work. When it came down to the phera ensemble I was sure only of two things:
1) Vanraj wanted us to be in white and gold
2) It had to be a traditional outfit (*queue freak out*) – as all these things weren’t me at all!
There are so many amazing designers in Bombay who make beautiful clothes; and from morning to evening, from town to Juhu, we went to almost every designer shop we could find. I remember walking into certain stores and losing my breath when I saw some of the pieces. There were such exquisite designs and beautiful embroidery, but every time I came out of the trial room I knew that I hadn’t found the perfect one.
Two months after doing one too many rounds, against the advice of many people, I took the call to make my own lehenga.
The Inspiration behind the Lehenga
One evening, while watching an episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I saw Adrian Maloof’s framed wedding dress and decided I wanted to frame my wedding lehenga. In order to make it into a special piece of art I decided to embroider my entire lehenga with our love story.
There is pattern in the middle of the lehenga which looks like a chevron, which is actually a repeat of our names written in zari thread. Each kali has a frame which depicts milestone moments from our life, so as you go around the lehenga from left to right, you can see our entire story unfold.
The bottom hem of the lehenga and the border of the dupattas is embroidered with jumping dolphins (our story began as we did a protest in India against the captivity of cetaceans to support Ric O’ Barry’s Dolphin Project).
After studying and understanding traditional materials and embroidery techniques with my amazing group of Koecshers, I started creating my lehenga one kali at a time. First, the entire embroidery was hand drawn. Then, our names were hand sewn with beautiful zari, hidden into the embroidery of the fabric, forming a delicate optical illusion.
I completed my look with some beautiful jadau jewelry that Vanraj designed for me, and it felt so perfect to be wearing both of our designs on our special day.
My favourite part was all the detailing that was in the lehenga. From afar it looked like stunning zari and embroidery work, but the closer you went to it, the more our cherished memories unraveled.
The best part was that at the end of the day, I managed to make my lehenga beautiful and traditional, but at the same time it was exactly as edgy, unconventional and firmly Koecsh as I wanted to be.
Photographer | The House of Pixels
Venue | The Leela Palace, Udaipur
Wedding Planner | MEW
Bridal Dress | Koecsh (Designed by Bride)
Bridal Shoes | Giuseppe Zanoti
Makeup | Namrata Soni
Groom’s Attire | Badasaab
Catering | The Leela Palace, Udaipur (In house catering)