Dressed in a beautiful yellow saree with a golden border, hair tied in a bun and decorated with pearl ornaments and gajra, she is a gorgeous Maharashtrian bride.
Apart from the attractive sunshine yellow of the saree, what sets her apart are the traditional ornaments that she dons. Maharashtrians mostly prefer blending in pearl jewellery along with gold, which has several references in Marathi literature and poetry as well. Here are the typical adornments of a traditional Maharashtrian bride.
There are two more pearl lines that drop from either side of the forehead to the shoulders, beautifully framing the face. The mundavalya are tied after the bride is ready to walk to the mandap. This literally means that she is ready to get married.
This is an absolute must for a Maharashtrian bride. It is a choker with 3-4 pearl lines that sit firmly onto it. The off-white pearls are accompanied by a few coloured pearls just to add to the beauty of the neckpiece. This essentially comes with a resham string that holds it and can be adjusted at the back of the neck to tighten or loosen it.
As the name suggests, this ornament is originally from the city of Kolhapur in Maharashtra. This necklace is suggestive of the woman’s marital status and is gifted by the groom’s family. It consists of gold beads (Jav mani), gold elements of leaves, petals etc., and a round pendant with a red stone in the centre, woven in a gold wire.
Traditionally, this necklace included 21 separate design elements, of which 10 are a reflection of Lord Vishnu’s avatars, 8 are auspicious patterns or ashtamangal, and two are ruby and emeralds.
It has glass bangles in green, a symbol of fertility, new life and creativity. It is customary to wear these in odd numbers, and in different numbers in both hands. Solid gold bangles called patlya and carved gold kadas called tode are worn along with the green glass bangles.
The bride wears the chooda amidst much celebration after the mehendi. The patlya and tode, often gifted by the groom’s family, depict the financial status of the family.
Vaaki or armlet is an essential for the Maharashtrian bride. Ideally worn one on each arm, many brides these days wear just one vaaki. A traditional design is in flat, solid gold with precious stones in the centre.
Image: Robin Saini Photography
This traditional nosepiece has pearls woven in a typical Paisley shape, and has a white stone in the centre. The more extravagant families are known to have a diamond for this white stone.
A nath comes in different styles, depending on the part of Maharashtra the bride belongs to. A brahmani nath is the most popular design, and is studded with basra moti and emeralds.
It literally means mangal (holy) and sutra (thread). The black beads string end with two golden cups, each standing for the parents’ and the in-laws’ home. It literally means that the bride’s new home and her parents’ home are tied together in a delicate thread.
Image: Anshum M Photography
The bride ties her hair into a neat, round bun (ambada) and embellishes it with traditional hair jewels called khopa or bejewelled pins, followed by jasmine gajras.
Image: Robin Saini Photography
Jodvi or tow-rings, always in silver, are gifted by the mother-in-law and signify the bride’s entry in the new household. These are a must for every Maharashtrian bride.
Every community and region in India has a different story to narrate. These were the absolute essentials for a traditional Maharashtrian bride.
The Uppada Silk
Uppada silk comes from a quaint little town in Andhra Pradesh. The motifs are usually floral, big flowers and their stems interwoven all over the saree is the signature style of this weave. A traditional silk Uppada starts off around 2500 INR and can go up to 80000 INR or more. Seen below is a Maharashtrian bride draped in a traditional Uppada saree.
The Evergreen Kanchi/Kanjeevaram
Kanchi pattu or Kanjeevaram needs no introduction whatsoever.
Pick a traditional white kanchi pattu saree, and make it your own with draping style and jewellery, much like the gorgeous bride in the image below.
The Royal Kota Silk
The Kota sarees are lightweight and the unique chequered weave sets them apart. The price range for a Kota saree is between a few hundreds to a few thousands.
A saree like the one in the image below would be perfect for kelvan.
Banaras Silk – The Ever Popular Choice
The Banarasi saree, much like the Kanjeevaram, needs no introduction or brief.
The sakar pudi need not be an occasion you have to dress down. A Banarasi saree could just be the answer. Traditional yet fun.
A touch of pink like the one in the image, to match the natural flush on your cheeks.
The ‘In Vogue’ Paithani Silk
Paithani sarees are differentiated mainly by weaving style, motif designs, and borders. Adding a Paithani saree to the trousseau could cost between 5000 INR to 50000 INR. Take a look at this beautiful and vibrant orange Paithani.
The black Paithani below could be the perfect pick for the reception.
Mix And Match
Who says you have to choose? You can have the best of both by attaching a Paithani border to a Banarasi saree like in the picture.