I just got back from a 4-day break amidst the emerald hills of a small town in Kerala. Our college friend was getting married in her hometown in Kerala. It was a typical jhatt mangni patt byaah kinda scene which had us booking our tickets and leaving for the airport in less than a week. We were excited by the thought of our friend’s wedding which we were waiting for eagerly since the time she announced that she felt ready to get married and settle down. And the idea of going to Kerala was the icing on the cake.
But first I want to share with you the outfits that I wore for the wedding events because I got a lot of compliments for them. And I am pleased to bits because I put the whole outfit together in a matter of 2 days before I left. But most importantly in a great budget.
Post pregnancy and motherhood I shudder at opportunities where I have to wear traditional Indian clothes. Due to bodily changes, none of the old blouses fit me anymore and I have not gone saree shopping in years. I am not even sure if the few sarees I own are in trend today. And when it comes to Salwar kameez’s I am not very proud to say that I don’t have a single set which can be worthy of wearing to a slightly festive occasion.
Amidst all this, the rain Gods decided to be over-generous in Mumbai and I had little or no time to shop for a new outfit. I was going to have to make do with what I had and rely on online shopping. To top it my phone stopped working in the week that I was to leave for Kerala and I was feeling very helpless without the connectedness of technology in my hands. (Little did I know what was coming!)
So it literally came to the last 2 days before catching the plane that I put together my outfit for the wedding events. So I needed 3 outfits for 3 events – Sangeet/ Mehendi, the wedding ceremony and the welcome party for the newlyweds.
Our flight eventually got delayed and we didn’t make it for the Sangeet. So I have no pics to share from this event, but I went with a simple cotton kurta/ dress, sleeveless for the Mehendi function.
The wedding was a traditional Hindu Malayali wedding and I was sure I wanted to wear my Kasavu saree for this event. A Kasavu saree is the typical white or off-white saree with gold borders. It is considered the traditional wear and women wear it for most of the festivals and holy occasions in the year. My brother had bought me a Kasavu saree many years ago when he had gone to Kerala for a friend’s wedding. I never had an opportunity to wear this saree until now that is. How perfect!
But the blouse was an issue. No tailor in the right frame of mind would be willing to stitch a blouse for me in 1 day flat. Heck, in the new suburb that I had shifted into I didn’t even know where I could find a tailor. So getting a tailor-made one was out of the question. Thank God I had a brainwave to check out ready-made blouses from an exclusive collection of women Indian wear online at Shoppers Stop.
I got this blouse from Soch for Rs. 1700. It does seem expensive for a blouse. However, I am sure I can pair it with many other sarees – cotton or silk ones for other festive occasions. Seems like a good investment then.
The family of the to-be-weds were really impressed that a set of friends of the bride travelled all the way to Kerala for her wedding. Even more so they were incredibly pleased to see us all don the traditional attire of their culture. The ladies of the house offered to dress us up for the occasion. And that was a mighty relief because I cannot drape a saree by myself.
The next day was the time for salkaram – a celebration to welcome the newlyweds back to her maternal home. The event is marked with meeting the bride, asking her lots of uncomfortable questions about her first night in the husband’s home and then feasting on amazing biryani and pradhanam (a sweet kheer made with lentils & jaggery.) For this event, I went with a simple salwar kameez but with a modern twist. This green kurta from Biba has a flared dress which is worn under the kurta. I paired this with big eye-catching fashion earrings which depict Krishna and Radha.
The best part about this dress was that I got it in the monsoon sale for around Rs. 1300. “A steal,” said my friends who were travelling with me for the wedding. The dress was simple enough to be comfortable, yet dressy enough to be worn for the celebration. I also plan to wear the flared dress on its own as a separate dress. It looks perfect as a summery day dress.
I am happy with my outfits for the traditional Malayali wedding. And also really happy that I got some great pics against the lush green backdrop of Kerala. Wearing a saree has been so hassle free and fun that I have sworn to wear it more often now. Have you ever worn the traditional Kasavu saree? Its really a beauty isn’t it?