Why you should consider a Benarasi lehenga for your wedding
“Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together,” Mark Twain once said. The iconic land is also the birthplace of the centuries-old thriving weave, Benarasi. Over the years, the brocade has seen resurgence thanks to enthusiastic, daring weavers who have interpreted and immortalised it for the 21st century woman. Though they are carrying the perennial favourite motifs like marigold, lotus and shikaargah on their looms, artisans have also merrily meandered through the trends with new-age colours and silhouettes. One such silhouette that has found favour among brides is the Benarasi lehenga. Stately and statement-making, it is sure to make an impact without the supplementary assistance of any other frills. From what shades to choose for which events to the Bollywood celebrities who have endorsed these lehengas on several occasions, we have put together a definitive guide on how to add a Benarasi lehenga to your wedding trousseau.
Why you need to wear a Benarasi lehenga for your wedding
Sagrika Rai of Warp N Weft that the Benarasi weave is an heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation. Bharathy Harish, founder, Madhurya Creations further explains the significance of the motifs used in Benarasi weaves, which are relevant to marriages. “The flowers represent blossoming, elephants are synonymous to something that cannot be defeated, mangos are allegorical to wisdom and so on,” Harish points out.
“Colours play an important role because they are personal and subjective to the wearer. But of course, certain shades warrant different wedding occasions. For the engagement, I recommend refraining from strong shades and instead choosing feminine, delicate colours such as peaches, pinks, lemons, apple greens and powder blues,” says Rai. “Mehandi, being a vibrant and boisterous [affair], a bride’s outfit should be a colour riot. Lean on happy, bright shades such as oranges and hot pinks. For cocktails, opt for an outfit in [darker shades like] midnight blue, violet, plum or teal.” Harish also recommends her colour choices. “A Benarasi lehenga in yellow is a cheerful choice for the haldi. For a traditional wedding ceremony, I suggest brides to pick a red Benarasi creation—it’s auspicious and apt. Shades of maroon or a rani pink make great choices too. A sheer gold tissue number is timeless too,” she says.
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Karisma Kapoor make a case for Benarasi lehengas
In the last few years, Bollywood’s biggest trendsetters have looked towards this rich fabric on several occasions, from events to their own weddings. Celebrity brides Sagarika Ghatge and Soha Ali Khan wore Benarasi lehengas for their respective big days. An ivory and gold Sabyasachi creation won Ghatge’s vote for her wedding reception, while Khan picked a pink and gold number for her wedding day.
Benarasi lehengas have found favour among the celebrities for other festive and formal events as well. Alia Bhatt wore a green brocade number by Manish Malhotra for a Diwali bash, Kiara Advani picked a bright pink option by the couturier with an off-shoulder blouse for a wedding she attended, and Karisma Kapoor turned up the romanticism with a pastel pink lehenga by Rahul Mishra for an event.
If you prefer an unconventional option, look towards Benarasi lehengas in black. Both Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Natasha Poonawalla have already tried this—the latter picked a black lehenga with a heavily embellished border, and styled it with ornate jewellery and a beautiful white dupatta.
Scroll ahead for out edit of Benarasi lehengas that you can consider for your wedding celebrations.