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In Conversation With Anju Pathak

Ranjani Saigal
02/17/2011

'Bridal outfits cost significant amount of money. The look of the outfit can be totally ruined if it is draped in the wrong way,' says Anju Pathak of Bridal Beauty who claims there is at least a 140 ways of draping a saree.  Bridal Beauty is one stop shop for all bridal beauty needs including hair, makeup, professional styling and mehendi needs. For more information check out http://www.bridalbeautybyanju.com/. She talked to Lokvani about her work and offered a lot of tips that can be very helpful as you plan a wedding.

What motivated you to start Bridal Beauty?

I have always had an interest in Indian sarees, styling and fashion.  For years I had been helping friends and family with their saree styling during weddings and events.  In recent years, my daughter  encouraged me to take my hobby and passion to a more professional level.  I started with a focus on saree draping. Later I went to beauty school to get certified as a beautician. Now Bridal Beauty offers a one stop shop for all beauty needs.

You tell us that you use at least 100 ways of wearing sarees. How did you learn how to do this?

As you know, each region of India has its own way of wearing the saree.  Many of the saree styles I know are based on these regional styles and my own personal variation of these styles.  I guess you can call it my own unique creations!  The sari is such a versatile garment for the South Asian bride.  It can be wrapped, draped and arranged in over 100 different ways – letting each bride create her own unique look and style.

Why would you recommend professional styling for brides?

Whether you choose to wear a saree, lehenga or salwaar kameez, there are dozens of unique ways to style your dress and accessorize.  Professional styling has a lot to do with the fabric, design, and of course, your personality.  Not only can professional styling make sure you look gorgeous from head to toe, but it will also help make sure all your pins and pleats stay intact throughout the day.

Beauty arrangements for a wedding are key to its success.  Could you give some tips for success?

Beauty should never be a last minute arrangement. Ideally one should at looking at hair, makeup and saree styling as a joint package. It would be good to have the concepts understood prior to shopping for outfits. Some outfits even though are very beautiful may not suit every person.  The beauty of the entire outfit can only truly be gauged if you take all aspects of beauty into consideration.  Once a bridal outfit is chosen the grooms outfit can be purchased so it coordinates beautifully.

Do brides and grooms need to coordinate their outfits? How can go about doing that?

This is very important. Once the bride chooses her outfit, designers can use that design and colors to create an appropriate creation for the groom.  If the entire team coordinates their outfits the whole wedding looks like a beautifully choreographed and costumed dance. Bridesmaids should have matching outfits. Parents may also choose clothes that compliments the bridal-wear so that the pictures look beautiful. The colors can be used to also chose the decorations in the hall.

When do you begin contact with the clients?

I usually recommend that brides contact me a few months before their wedding day.  This way we have time to take a look at her saree or dress, and do a trial to figure out exactly what type of "look" the bride wants for her big day.  I always recommend a trial.  This way both the bride and I can be on the same page in terms of what she wants her style to be.

What are recent trends in wedding trousseau?

Bright colors, pure fabrics and classic elegance never goes out of style.  Stylish blouses are also very trendy: corset, halter, bustier, tube top, thin straps etc.   The right blouse can really make a huge difference with your sari style and look.

When it comes to jewelry plain gold is often used at the traditional ceremony which often happens in the morning. For evening wear colored stones and diamonds are very popular.

Do you have suggestions for where brides should shop?

It really depends on the brides personal style.  Stores both in the US and India can be a great choice depending on your style, budget and how much time you have available for shopping.  Nowadays places like Oaktree Mall in New Jerseys have shops with in-house designers and the prices are very reasonable.

Any tips for inter-cultural weddings?

Hiring a stylist is key at inter-cultural weddings. Often the non-Indian side wants to wear Indian clothes bit does not know. Also for non-Indian wedding teams  there are many things they are not aware of. There was recent wedding where the bridesmaids did not realize that though the wedding outfits were purchased they needed to bring their own jewelry. I had do creative things to cover up the lack of jewelry.  A complete dress rehearsal may help iron out difficulties.

Any final comments for our readers?

A wedding is the most beautiful memory to treasure for the rest of your life. The more you plan, the less worrisome it can be. Outsourcing different aspects of the wedding especially bridal styling will remove a lot of worries. In my view a stylist is a friend and philosopher who can help the bride and the parents free from stress to enjoy the most important event of their life.

Thank you for your time.

Thank you.



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