This is my favourite element of the whole ensemble, since the moment it is placed on her head, it turns the girl into the bride. I guess one could say it is akin to the veil in a white dress ensemble. Yes, yes, I am a bit of a traditionalist. While some brides may opt out altogether, a quick perusal of any Real Weddings feature on any number of blogs will show that by and large, brides will wear a dupatta for at least the religious portion of their weddings.
As always colour schemes are usually limited only by what your imagination can come up with. You may possibly be able to specify the amount of embroidery, depending on how closely you are working with a designer as opposed to a retailer. Fabric options may be limited, because you have to keep in mind that certain styles of embroidery are not possible on all fabrics.
Wearing the Dupatta
This is where a lot of brides have trouble deciding, becuase they want to look unique, and wear it in a way that is comfortable, but also suited to their dupatta choice. You will most likely have to consider four factors when deciding on the setting of your dupatta:
Your Jewellery: If you are wearing a tikka, jhumar or matta pathi, your dupatta will have to sit far back enough on your head to allow them to be properly displayed. Your dupatta will have to be made of lighter fabric, possibly have a smaller border so that it can be placed securely further back on your head.
Your Hairstyle: If you opt for a tighter updo, you will be able to pull of a heavy dupatta or a wider border, because your hair will hold up under the weight. The higher the updo and hence the dupatta, the more regal the look. The hairstyle might not look so great on it's own, however, since it'll probably be very tight and pulled back, with no part.
If, on the other hand, you are planning on having more natural curls, a soft part, or a lighter updo such as a french knot, you may want to consider wearing a chiffon or silk tulle, since any heavy material or wide border will not hold up. This type of dupatta will also be easier to remove, if you want to show of your hair or wear your dupatta on your shoulder for a reception.
Don't forget to take your dupatta with you for the hair consult.
Your Dupatta's Border: A wide border on your dupatta will have to sit more securely on your head, closer to your forhead. A lighter border can easily hang from a few securely placed pins near your ears and the widest part of the back of your head. If you have additional elements, such as beads, or kiran (tinsel-like fringe) around the edge, you're gonna want to decide if you want them hanging around your face, or not. Some brides find it flattering, others may be uncomfortable with it. If you choose a laser cut border with lot of curves or shapes around the edge, you may not be able to wear it close to your hairline at all.
Your Own Face Structure: Some faces suit a look that covers the whole hairline, other brides may find that a wispy hairstyle is more romantic. Practice in front of a mirror before deciding what works for you.
How to Pin The Dupatta
Ask the hairstylist or makeup artists who will be preparing you on your wedding day, what tools they use to set the dupatta. A few basic suggestions are:
- hatpins or stickpins with pearl heads, which you can easily pain with nail polish to match your dupatta's colour
- bobby pins in a neutral tone of gold, bronze or silver (no black because it shows up in pictures and looks ugly
- french bobby pins which are just wide-toothed bobby pins, they will come in handy to push down into your hair
- french safety pins, or saree pins. safety pins without the loop, which might cause a snag
- some brides I've known have sewn in a veil comb to the edge of their dupatta
- I've also known some girls to use a pin to attach the dupatta to a bangle.
For more useful tips, click on the "pulled-together bride" label in the sidebar for other posts I've written on dupatta-pinning.
Over the next couple of days, I'll write a few more posts containing images of brides in dupatta to share more ideas!