Hey, I wanted to update.
I had a beautiful dull gold lehenga skirt that I’d asked my parents to buy a silvery top for while they were in India to repurpose as my engagement ceremony dress. Of course, they did not bring me back anything claiming that the stores there will not sell you a corset top separately. I’m not saying this to slam them because everyone agreed that they did an amazing job on my wedding and reception and sangeet dress and they honestly were slammed with so much to do in India regarding my wedding that I think this just slipped their minds. Anyway, my SO has been increasingly irritable that I have nothing to wear to our party in uh, 5 days, and told me to go to Edison to buy a dress for next week yesterday.
I went with my SIL to Oak Tree Road and we went through Sahil, Aishwarya and Shagun, where I finally bought a beautiful lehenga for my reception.
Sahil: very expensive, designer, almost an American boutique style experience. As I understand it from my SIL, Sahil is a well known designer boutique even in Mumbai. Be prepared to pay a markup BUT…they had some of the EXACT outfits that are on my Pinterest inspiration page. They are good esp. if you want to wear something bolder-they had a nice corset top but my tats showed and my SIL looked worried so I did not buy the corset top that would have matched with my original lehenga skirt, which is what I’d originally asked my parents to do. Though I’m not going to lie, I’m totally going to buy it for myself in India from the Mumbai Sahil.
Aishwarya: more tacky, glitzy traditional Indian lehenga/salwar shop. But if you hunt you will find some gems and the sales ladies are really eager to help. I mean, if you want sequins, this is where you need to head. However, they had the most examples of a style I was really interested in, lachaa, but the execution on the pieces combined with the price you pay in the US just left me a little concerned that I didn’t want to hesitate on something that would be costing me hundreds of dollars. Example-they had one really nice one…but I was just a LITTLE iffy on the color.
Shagun: ended up buying here. They were a middle ground between the high flying Sahil & Sheetal type stores and the more down home Aishwarya environments in terms of style and fashions. They had a super nice lachaa style with a bandeau top but it would have been a little too revealing for my SO’s family to deal with so I demurred. I ended up going with a very fitted lehenga with a mermaid style skirt and top that is off the shoulders with a lovely lowish neckline that also gave me belly button coverage (my abs are not my strong suit…I am like a soft size 5 with a belleh). As soon as I put on the lehenga I new it was The One. It has a white top and turquoise bottom and I have a TON of jewelry that will match it at my parents’ house AND the perfect matching shoes. It was flattering and hugged my curves like an Oscar dress or something.
*You can bargain the price no matter what it says on the tag. I did not know this so THANK GOD my SO insisted on my SIL accompanying me. It also helps that my SIL is Gujarati and can speak to all the sales ladies in their native language.
*I’m going to put it out there so people do not come back mortified. They will look you up and down and comment on your body and whether or not something will fit you. I mean crap, I am not what I would consider overweight and they would just flat out said “yes, 95% of our dresses will fit her but she IS in the upper range of the sizes we keep in stock so for some of the more revealing ones we will be having to add fabric panels.” I wear between a size 4 to 6 across different brands, STFU with your fabric panels. In one store I put the lehenga skirt OVER my jeans and the sales lady started screeching that I was stretching out her precious raw silk, jesus christ (Sahil).
My SO’s cousin is getting married 2 weeks after our engagement party and I will be seeing his wife soon. She did all her shopping in Edison so I’ll follow up with some recs from her for Bees needing to do desi bridal shopping in NYC/NJ.
I know my parents are going to yell and pout that I bought this dress but honestly I have had to do nothing for my own wedding and it feels distant and not real to me. This was (is) the only bridal experience I have had thus far and it was nice. I love my SIL so having a girl’s day out with her was super fun.