While destination weddings are easily the most awaited events on one’s festive calendar, planning your wardrobe for one can often pose as a dilemma. Are your outfits apt for the theme and location? Should you pack an SOS option? What fabrics and silhouettes should you be looking at? “No one wants to carry kilos of clothes when travelling for weddings. Light and fuss-free pieces should be your go-tos,” advises Mumbai-based celebrity and wedding stylist Ami Patel, who helped recent brides Priyanka Chopra and Isha Ambani put together their wedding looks. “I always suggest investing in coordinated sets, and destination weddings are the perfect time to break them up to mix and match,” she adds. Ahead, Patel shares her best tips to help you plan your wardrobe for the next destination wedding on your calendar.
Say yes to florals
Florals continue to be a favourite this season. “Feminine, flirty and floral is a vibe that always works. Play with blooms depending on the season. Rahul Mishra’s floral embroideries are beautiful,” says Patel. She also cites Alia Bhatt’s pink floral Anushree Reddy set, featuring a ruffled blouse and skirt, as the ideal inspiration for your best friend’s wedding. “Neon colours are a guaranteed way to stand out. I’m partial to pops of lime and neon yellow this season. For Priyanka’s mehandi, we went with a bold yellow lehenga with strips of neon—it was such a fun and colourful look.”
Pack easy-to-wear ethnic silhouettes, and style them well
A lehenga set is a classic, no matter the destination. Patel recommends switching up the dupatta to give it a modern update. “Wear a skinny scarf instead or play with the drape of your dupatta and casually loop it around your arms,” she says. “As for the lehenga, it’s a more toned-down skirt today—lightweight and easy to move in. I’d say opt for one with a cropped ankle length this season.”
The blouse is your one-way ticket to update the skirt. Patel’s top picks include sequinned bralettes, ruffles and tonal embroideries. “Corsets add vintage drama, whether worn with a lehenga or sari. Bare backs are in as well. Experiment with cross backs and tie-up detailing.”
Jackets are a separate that Patel says will instantly elevate your look. Her vote goes to open jackets by Saaksha & Kinni and embellished numbers from Jade by Monica & Karishma. Wear them with a crop top and shorts for a pre-wedding sundowner or with a skirt and blouse for the sangeet.
Patel touts the concept sari as the most comfortable pick for an out-of-town wedding. “Drapes like skirt and palazzo saris are must-haves today. I love what Nupur Kanoi is doing with her drapes; they are great for pre-wedding parties,” says Patel. “Also, do away with those borders on your saris–it’s such a dated look! Picchika does lovely painterly floral saris, and we recently styled Alia in one.”
Take the destination into account
Patel suggests allowing the mood and weather of the location to dictate your wardrobe. “If a palace wedding is your backdrop, choose bold colours that will stand out against a sandy structure,” she says. The key is avoid anything too gimmicky. Choose modern silhouettes and skip the head-to-toe embroidery. “So instead of a blouse with heavy embroidery on the front, go for embroidered motifs on a sheer back,” Patel explains. Flowy and fluid ought to be your keywords for a beach wedding. “Floaty fabrics are great for pheras by the sea. A kalidar jacket with a long trail or a ruffled set are your most Instagram-friendly options,” she recommends.
Layer your accessories
Destination weddings, particularly those overseas, are the perfect time to bring out your costume and semi-precious jewellery. “Layer pieces by brands like Suhani Pittie and Amrapali to add a twist to your looks. Play with lengths—wear a traditional choker layered with edgy chains. Or add chunky anklets to your dhoti pants and cropped lehengas. Sangeeta Boochra’s does some really statement silver jewellery and I love FlowerChild by Shaheen Abbas’ modern jhumiks.” Patel also suggests not restricting it to just Indian brands, but bringing out your buys from international brands too. Logo earrings with a contemporary kurta set? Why not! A leather belt to cinch your sari? Yes, of course.