This Bride Wore Nearly a Week's Worth of Gowns — and You'll Remember Them All
There's nothing easy about planning a wedding, especially an Indian wedding, where the happy occasion can last up to five days. The perfect example? When my older sister, Shefali, got married to the man of her dreams, Bhavesh. The wedding took place in Dubai in November 2015 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which has views of the iconic Burj Al Arab in the background.
The theme of the wedding was Once Upon a Time, pretty fitting since it was our family tradition to go to Disney World at least once a year, and she was marrying her Prince Charming. Read on to see each of the seven amazing outfits that truly made this a fairy-tale wedding.
Day 1: Mehndi
As per Hindu customs, the mehndi ceremony is when the bride's hands and feet are decorated with henna. It's a fun tradition where the groom's name is hidden in the intricate henna designs, which he later has to find. For her first outfit, Shefali wore a navy hand-embroidered churidar.
Day 2: Puja
The morning started out with the puja, which are prayers that take place before the wedding ceremony. Shefali wore a colorful floral-print churidar featuring gold sequin work.
Day 2: Sangeet
Later that evening for the sangeet (where we dance and give embarrassing speeches about the happy couple), Shefali changed into a custom Pallavi Jaikishan red lehenga, which is hand-embroidered with gold and silver threads.
Day 2: Sangeet Outfit Change
Then, Bollywood singer KK took the stage, and Shefali had her Cinderella moment in her third outfit of the day: a strapless Oscar de la Renta gown. There was even a carriage covered in flowers in the lobby for guests to take photos in.
Day 3: The Wedding
The wedding ceremony was held at the beach during sunset with the picturesque Burj Al Arab serving as the perfect backdrop to the couple's fairy-tale ending. Shefali wore a one-of-a-kind Pallavi Jaikishan legehna that took months to create. The orange ensemble was woven with gold threads and crystals and featured flower motifs. The night ended with singer Mohammed Irfan serenading Shefali and Bhavesh during their first dance as a married couple.
Day 4: Reception
At the reception, Shefali, my mother, my grandmother, and myself all wore custom Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla creations. Shefali's electric blue lengha featured peacocks, flowers, and Swarovski crystals.
At the end of the night, Bollywood composers Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy sang their greatest hits and even got the groom to belt out a couple of songs.
Day 5: The Welcome Dinner
After all of the wedding festivities came to an end, the last and final event was the welcome dinner. Family and friends joined our family for a dinner on the beach, where Shefali wore an elegant red sari with silver embroidery.