Ancient Greeks and Romans wore bracelets to signify power and authority! But...
When it comes to Indian weddings, bangles are as important to Indian brides as a wedding band is to Christian brides; they represent good luck and fortune for the newlywed couple, and adorn the bride’s wrists in vibrant color.
However, the bangles worn by Indian brides vary from region to region, so in this blog, we’re going to take a look at the 7 main types of bangles worn by Indian women on their wedding days. Let’s take a look!
Why do Indian brides wear bangles?
Jewelry is an incredibly important aspect in any traditional Indian wedding, and bangles in particular play a significant role in the bride’s attire. Indian brides are expected to wear bangles to display that they are ‘auspicious’, and to promote luck, health, and happiness for her and her new husband.
Bangles are such an integral part of an Indian wedding ceremony that many guests would even frown upon a bangle-less bride, considering her inauspicious. (In Indian culture, to be seen as inauspicious is to be seen as ill-fated or unlucky.)
What bangles do Indian women wear during their weddings?
While the tradition of bangle-wearing is deeply rooted in Indian and South Asian culture, it’s important to note that different Indian regions are associated with different wedding bangles. While some are made with glass, others are made with gold; while some are red and green, others are ivory.
7 types of bangles worn by Indian brides
In traditional Bengali weddings, you can expect to see the bride wearing both red and white bangles. The white bangles are made with conch shells (these bangles are also referred to as ‘Shakha,’) while the red bangles (also referred to as Pola) are made with vibrant red corals.
Bengali brides must be careful not to break these delicate bracelets during her first year of marriage; some consider that doing so represents bad luck and ill-fated omens for the marriage.
At Kodavathi weddings, you can expect to see the bride with a clasping gold bangle around her wrist; these are often adorned with gorgeous rubies, and can either be double, single, or triple banded. While they can be worn alone, most Kodavathi brides wear these bracelets alongside glass or colorful metal bangles.
Punjabi & Sikh
For Punjabi and Sikh weddings, it is tradition for the bride’s uncle (on her mother’s side of the family) to give the bride-to-be a set of red and gold choodas, which were traditionally made with ivory. Nowadays, most choodas are made with plastic, although they are often jazzed up with diamonds, jewels, and gemstones for the wedding day.
Rajputi brides are renowned for their unique wedding bracelets, which are actually worn on the upper arms and known as bajubands. Baju Bands are often adorned with gemstones, and are typically paired with traditional red and white choodas and bangdis on the bride’s wedding day.
Gujarati brides are expected to wear red and white choodas on their wedding day, representing good luck for the newlyweds. This fiery red color is said to represent the couple’s connection and bond, and the brides are expected to wear the choodas for a year and a half after the wedding ceremony.
Maharashtrian brides traditionally wear green bangles, representing luck and fertility. It is common for Maharashtrian brides to wear these green bracelets alongside ivory or metal bangles; the combination of both colors represents a balance between past and future, and these are often paired with patlis (traditional gold bangles) and worn in odd numbers on each wrist.
In the southern Malayali region, most brides will wear exclusively gold on their wedding day, mixing a combination of thin and thicker kada bangles. These bangles usually come with traditional designs on the surface, and represent wealth and prosperity for the newlywed couple.
Picking wedding bangles
If you’re going to be picking wedding bangles for your upcoming wedding ceremony, you can take these regional differences into account when making your choice, or you can take a different approach and choose bangles that best represent your unique style.
When it comes to picking gold bangles, 22 karat gold bangles are one of the most popular choices for Indian brides; they’re more durable than 24 karat bangles, while still providing the coveted yellow-gold color synonymous with pure gold.