Bridal finery at Chandni Chowk

Wedding is undoubtedly the most important event in one's lifetime and is thus celebrated with great enthusiasm. Every girl dreams of looking her best and beautiful on her special day. The Indian wedding is multi-day affair, involving numerous ceremonies, so one must have sufficient clothes for the various ceremonies and events in the run-up to the wedding day.

As the trends change, people demand new styles of wedding outfits and the markets in the city rise up to the occassion. One such market is the Chandni Chowk Market, famous for its ‘designer’ stores choc-a-block with eager shoppers all through the year. The market is a medley of shops, shoppers, pull-carts, vendors and cycle rickshaws jostling for space and blocking your way. 

Enter Chandni Chowk  and ask directions for stores specialising in wedding fineries and you will be guided by people to the relevant street. It is known as Nai Sarak and a gateway to a whole new world! The entire lane is replete with stores selling wedding lehengas, sarees and fancy suits.

A dalal directed Metrolife to a nearby shop saying “Ma,am here you can
get all wedding clothes.”

We entered through the narrow lane and climbed up the stairs to first floor where the shop was shimmering with multi-coloured sarees and red lehengas on mannequins. Here the shopkeepers are smart and quick. They started asking about the kind of dresses we’re looking for and giving a brief idea of what they have.

A few people who shopped for their wedding outfits from these shops shared their experiences with Metrolife. “Though you have no interest to check out the clothes but the shopkeepers will surely ask your interests and start their display session. All this can be done only if you have sufficient time and you mustn’t select your dress from the first shop,” says Vatsala Pant, who recently got married.

Marriages in India are mostly seasonal and brides choose their clothes according to comfort and budget. “We have sarees ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1,00,00 and lehengas starting from Rs 3,000,” says Ramesh Chand Kapoor, 66, shopkeeper at Kapoor Silk & Sarees Ltd. He adds “In summer they prefer thin fabric and in winter people prefer velvet materials, and some use semi-silk fabric.”

Kapoor explains about the new trend of wearing ‘black’ and ‘white’ for weddings. “In olden days people used to believe in the concept of good and evil. But today’s generation follows fashion and wears all kinds of dresses for wedding ceremonies.”

The market offers a wide variety of clothes for wedding, including the heavy bead and rhinestone- work saree, zardosi lehengas and sarees, Dabka saree of Bhagalpur. “The shops in Chandni Chowk fulfil the need for every occasion like phere, dahej and for relatives which they require for marriage,” says Suresh Chand Jain, owner of Jagdish Sarees.

The shopkeepers showcase their designs and, if required, willingly customise the designs according to the buyer’s need within a month’s time. Once the dress is selected it is sent for ‘polish and finishing’ which includes stitching the saree’s or lehenga’s fall, fixing stings for puffing the lehengas etc.

So much about the dress for the bride. Walk a little inside the street to Kenari Bazaar, another narrow lane in Chandni Chowk and you can find a variety of kundan jewellery– beautiful neck pieces, maang tikka and more and all this would cost around Rs 2,500. You can even find bridal chunni and chuda which the bride wears on the day of marriage and for next few months. There are tassels for lehengas, easily available in the same lane. Nearby textile shops  provide traditional, ethnic and digital-design prints and fabrics for the wedding trousseau.

If you wish to wrap up your shopping spree at Chandni Chowk, the return gifts for family members along with fancy envelopes and wedding cards can also be purchased from the buzzing-with-activity Chawri Bazaar. Though shopping at Chandni Chowk seems easy but one must always be careful of fraudulent activities like unnecessary overpricing.

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