Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Early on, we decided that a trip to India to shop for the wedding was just not going to happen. We figured cost of trip/time off work would easily trump the markup--ridiculous as it is--on what we'd buy here. Plus it's been established that when I have more than several things to choose from, I become paralyzed (I stand by my statement that I would gladly plan anyone ELSE's wedding so I could do all the fun creative stuff but not have to make any decisions--or pay for it).

So we made several trips to Devon Avenue, or "Little India" or the "Desi Corridor."

All I knew was that I wanted everyone to wear Indian clothes. Hey, my family is Christian, so I wasn't going to be tied to Jon and get to walk around a fire or other Hindu* stuff everyone assumes you'd have if you're marrying an Indian. So I had to get the Indian in wherever I could get away with it. Which was apparently in the clothing, but only for the girls. Ah, compromise.

My mom and I had been to Devon several times looking for my own outfit, and we quickly realized that getting six of the same sari--the most universally flattering of all outfits, in my opinion--was going to be really difficult. I had been combing the online shops, and every real-life shop kept saying they'd order for us, but I didn't feel comfortable ordering something I hadn't gotten to see in person. You just never know what you're going to get when you find something on the Internet, right?

We decided to get *complementary* saris in the same color family. I'd seen it done and it was awesome. But finding six individual pieces that went together without looking disjointed was a near-impossible task. We started with one that had thick gold stripes of flowers, but the next one wasn't nearly as blingy. So then who would get which one? I could smell the disaster coming a mile away.

One place we kept going (and making the shop guys dig out everything in any sort of blue-green color time and time again, two of which we ended up buying for the backdrop), finally had enough with us. They knew my mom and I as soon as we walked in after a few months. On our third trip, when I was in the dressing room trying stuff on, cc and pp started talking to the girl our age behind the counter. She pulled out some bright pink saris with peach borders that had been special-ordered and just arrived from India. We were sold in about five minutes.

Granted, it was pretty hastily wrapped (there was hardly anything hanging off the back), but you get the idea. The detailing goes really well with my wedding dress, to boot.

A sari has three parts: the blouse, the petticoat (skirt you wear underneath and tuck it into) and the actual sari, which can be six or nine yards. People wear them all sorts of ways, too. The blouse and petticoat are handy in case of a wardrobe malfunction, which is always a possibility (and quite possibly may have occurred,) when there is alcohol at an event. We were going for the pinned-over-the-left shoulder look with the end hanging down the back.

We decided that because there were going to be girls and boys on both my side and Jon's, it might be nice to differentiate by color. So I went with a royal blue that I thought would go well with the lighter hair and bring out the blue eyes in Jon's sisters, and a "peacock" not-green/not-teal that went really well with the girls on my team. Because I was feeling so productive, and we were getting a deal, I also picked up all the petticoats and the jewelry for the girls, which included necklace, earrings, bracelets and a maangtika (a jewel that hangs from your hair onto your forehead). I made some really sophisticated drawings to share with the girls who couldn't make it out to Devon.

I know, I have mad drawing skills.

Each sari came with a little extra on the end, from which the tailor** makes the perfectly matching blouse. All of the girls got to choose their own blouse styles, of which there are OH SO MANY. This drawing doesn't even come close to the books the tailor had to choose from.

I also sent them a video on how to wear a sari so they knew what they were up against. Then I followed that up with a promise that a whole team of Aunties would be present to help them.

I know you just scrolled through to look at the pictures [insert TLDR here], which is fine. Here's what you really wanted to see anyway. Photos are cropped to protect the innocent, but it really is a shame, because we had the most beautiful bridesmaids I've ever seen. Keep in mind that I'm only going off the few photos so generously shared with us, so I don't have all the angles.

 Team Cadiz, minus the captain.

 Team Jon, including the captain. 

 Team Jon from the back.  

Trust me, these people looked AMAZING. I know I'm biased, but everyone keeps telling me. And five out of five doctors agreed; that's better odds than toothpaste.

*Hindu is the religion, and Hindi is the language. You can speak the latter without being the former. Or vice versa.
** By the way, our tailor, Dilip Uncle (not my real uncle), was great--for no extra, he found this great georgette fabric for the long-sleeved blouse that not only matched perfectly, it was light enough that she wasn't going to be hot. At least I hope she wasn't hot. 


Madelyn said...

I look ginormous next to my sisters. Good color choices though.

cadiz12 said...

you all look awesome. you are on crack.

Syar said...

I saw your photos on Facebook (#humblebrag) and all the colours were amazing. I really like the teal from Team Cadiz but the blue from Team Jon is something else! Also "sari--the most universally flattering of all outfits" - highly agree. We have this stretch in Kuala Lumpur full of fabric stores and there's one particularly huge one filled to the brim with sari material. I was considering getting some to make a baju kurung or kebaya (Malay traditional outfit) with but it is definitely a dream of mine to also own a sari (dream colour combo [for now]: forest green and gold). For Deepavali one year, my sister's friend's family set upon her and wrapped her in one and I was soooo jealous.

omar said...

"You just never know what you're going to get when you find something on the Internet, right?"


cadiz12 said...

syar, you should get one! i'm sure you'd look gorgeous. and i think there's a youtube video in that post that could help you out.

omar, i was wondering if anyone was going to catch that. of course it'd be you. :)