How to Choose Indian Wedding Jewelry, From Brides to Guests
Choosing what jewelry to wear to an Indian wedding is an important task, as each piece is beautifully unique and has cultural significance attached. From layered bangles to bejeweled anklets, there's Indian wedding jewelry to match every personality and subculture. Not to mention, the endless jewelry combinations, from forehead jewelry to nose rings, make this an exciting to-do for anyone attending a South Asian wedding.
Below, we're spotlighting the different types of Indian jewelry sets worn at weddings, as well as the reasons why they're such an important part of the nuptials. We also tapped Rumela Sen, Lead Editor at WeddingWire India, to walk you through everything you need to know about picking out Indian bridal jewelry for your big day. Plus, a few of our favorite sets and pieces are available to shop right now.
In this article:
Traditional Indian Wedding Jewelry Accessories
The custom of wearing maang tikka, or forehead jewelry, is prevalent among South Asian brides. Traditionally, the maang tikka is centered on the bride's forehead along the hairline. This is because the area is believed to house the sixth chakra, commonly referred to as the "third eye," and is believed to promote spiritual, emotional, and physical connection when a couple comes together for marriage.
A nath, or nose ring, has been a piece worn by Indian brides for centuries. It is often worn to pay reverence to the goddess Pavarty, the Hindu goddess of marriage. Naths come in different sizes and shapes, such as pins, hoops and studs, and often match the rest of the bride's jewelry. While it can be worn on either nostril, the nath is commonly worn on the left side in particular because it is believed that piercing the left side of the nose will help promote fertility and relieve pain during pregnancy.
Popular in Northern India, the mangalsutra, which translates to "sacred thread," is a necklace made up of a gold chain with black beads that is said to help protect from the evil eye. During the wedding ceremony, the groom will tie the mangalsutra around his Hindu bride's neck, symbolizing the couple's unity. While this is a more modern tradition, it is considered an important piece of the Indian wedding jewelry set.
Bangles are more than just a beautiful accessory; they also signify a newly married woman and promote good fortune. However, the colors and materials of the bangles differ depending on the region. For instance, in Punjabi families, brides wear red and white bangles, also known as churas. In southern regions, on the other hand, it is common to wear gold and green-colored glass bangles, as green represents fertility.
In Hindu culture, it is believed that the hands and feet are constantly emitting energy. Brides often wear payals, or anklets, on their wedding days to bring positive energy and good health. They are heavily embellished for the purpose of being loud enough to signify a woman's arrival. Payals are also most commonly made of silver, as gold is believed to be the metal of the gods and therefore sacred.
Finally, we have toe rings, or bicchiya. The bicchiya is worn in pairs on the second toe of both feet and, similar to payals, is made of silver to protect the sanctity of gold. It is worn as a symbol of marriage and is said to provide acupressure benefits, because it is believed that the nerve on the second toe is connected directly to the uterus.
Indian Wedding Jewelry for Wedding Party & Guests
Guests are encouraged to go full glam when attending Indian weddings, and that means through jewelry. Put away your dainty necklaces, because vibrant and colorful gold jewelry is always encouraged. Options for wedding guests include headpieces, bangles, earrings and ornate hair jewelry. It's important to note that it's common for Indian brides to wear red or pink to their wedding ceremonies, so steer clear of those hues when picking out your statement jewelry. The most important thing to remember is to always be respectful of the culture and values when dressing up.
How Much Does Indian Bridal Jewelry Cost?
Indian wedding jewelry sets can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $1,000. How much you spend on Indian bridal jewelry depends on your budget and how many pieces you are looking to incorporate into your look.
How and Where to Buy Indian Wedding Jewelry
There are a plethora of online retailers that sell beautiful, handcrafted Indian wedding jewelry for brides. One of our favorite places to explore Indian wedding jewelry options is through Etsy. Not only is it a chance to support small business, but there's a treasure trove of unique handmade options that will look gorgeous on your wedding day, from eight-piece jewelry sets to payals and toe rings, there's something that will fit every style.
Dazzling Indian Bridal Jewelry Sets You Can Buy Now
1. CaratLane Tania Diamond Mangalsutra
Looking for the perfect mangalsutra that you can wear for your wedding ceremony and beyond? Check out this beautiful piece from CaratLane. Set in 14-karat yellow gold with natural diamonds, this traditional necklace is effortlessly elegant.
2. Anita Dongre Bitika Bangle
The biktika bangle from Anita Dongre is perfect for Indian weddings. The stunning statement piece is made with gold-plated silver and is adorned with luminous crystals that are extravagant and beautiful in every way.
3. zohraArts Fine Kundan Nose Ring
If you are looking for a stunning, budget-friendly nath for your wedding day, we've got you covered. This affordable gold-plated nose ring exudes luxury thanks to the pearl and crystal embellishments.
4. DivineJewelsByMK Complete Bridal Jewelry Set
Nothing says serious glamour quite like this stunning Indian bridal jewelry set, which comes with a choker, necklace, earrings, ring, maang tikka and jhumer headpiece. All pieces are gold-plated and adorned with vibrant green, red and white beads. You're sure to treasure this set forever.
5. Anita Dongre Faridah Maang Tikka
This opulent maang tikka from Anita Dongre will add a glamorous touch to your Indian bridal look. The traditional headpiece features a crescent-shaped moon design with blooming floral motifs all around a chic gold-plated setting to round off the look.
6. TheRivaaz Silver Payal
Want to add the perfect finishing touch to your lehenga or sari? Dazzling silver payals, like this set from Etsy, are a go-to style for Indian brides. From the timeless design to the eye-catching cubic zirconia stones, we're seriously in love—and you will be too.