Selecting and Wearing Banarasi Saree for Wedding

Saree Designs

Banarasi Saree for Wedding

It is said in India that if the bride has enough Benarasis in her trousseau, she will rule like a ‘Rajrani’ in her new home or become the ‘queen of her home’. The fabric that was befitting for royalty-the fabric that was touted as one of the finest weaves from India, taken back by travelers who came here especially to trade for its exquisite looks-the Benarasi is indeed the most haloed of Indian sarees. One of the brightest beacons the huge pantheon of Indian weaves.

Its glorious history some say, dates back to the Rigveda and the mention of its beauty in the Buddhist texts, easily puts its date to not less than two and a half millennium. It was however with the influx of Persian influences that created a huge difference in the designs, motifs and the overall utilization of the weaves.

In India, a bride is ceremonially sent off in a Benarasi saree to her new home-the significance of that being –she carries the blessings from the holiest of cities,  and apart from the city of sages being the USP, it has a value tag that very few can compete with. The very fact that the zari in pure Benarasi is made of pure silver and gold, gives it a price tag that is impossible to afford for many ordinary folk. And so the heavier the meena work-the larger the tag and the greater the status of the bride’s parental home and so it is the weight of the saree that would suggest a great deal more! 

So how should you go about choosing a Benarasi for your wedding?

Firstly, here are some authenticity pointers to help you choose a genuine Benarasi:

  • There should be at least 5600 thread wires in a genuine piece-how would you count that? The denser the weave of the zari pattern, more the count.
  • Even when being sold in shops real zari Benarasi will be darker in places-which of course is not a defect but the real silver’s reaction to air which causes the darkening. All one needs is to get the saree polished.
  • Of course the ultimate test is always through the fire purity test-if the little piece of fabric you are testing burns up quickly like meted plastic and smells similarly plasticky-it isn’t silk-silk will smell like human flesh burning. So beware of getting fooled!

Tips on Choosing the Most Flattering of Benarsi Sarees:

  • Paler complexion should automatically indicate lighter tones of yellows, pinks, peaches- and mauves if you dare-as times have changed, so have the choices in bridal wear and red is no longer the accepted norm. More and more brides are wearing gold on gold, grey and gold and so on-much thanks to Sabyasachi Mukherjee who has helped expand this horizon of colour palettes for the bride who opt for Benarasi.Banarasi Saree for Wedding

The same goes for sarees that you need for day time events, and in this case again, green like the one above in Kora  and pinks will look amazingly pretty.

  • For events that happen in the evening, switch to a green silk meenakari and see the same magic of green in an emerald shade this time. This saree with its contrasting pink border in rich zari and resham, will look great on all dusky or olive skinned brides.2
  • For those with a slightly warmer brown , reds, deep purples, hues of orange and coral looks perfect- as you can see in the next picture, the coral red saree has been very effectively combined with an off white zardozi blouse to give the brightness of the colour some kind of a relief. This also throws into relief the beauty of the jewelry as well.
  • Here is an important tip when you choose to wear a Kora Organza-never should you wear a blouse that contrasts with the base colour of the saree, as it takes away from the natural gorgeousness of the gold weave-in fact a contrast blouse should only be tried with heavy silks and not with lighter Jamdanis and kora organza Benarasis. This tip comes again from Sabyasachi who has dressed many of his clients in Benarasis.Banarasi Saree for Wedding
  • The saree below is creation of Gaurang showcasing the perfect jamdani Benarasi and how zari and resham have been combined to such perfection-a bride with a dusky complexion will simply look scintillating in this.Banarasi Saree for Wedding
  • Also for women who are taller, it would be great to wear a saree that has larger motifs as in the case of the saree above, while the shorter brides could opt for bootas and the small meenakari sarees with tiny paisleys.Banarasi Saree for Wedding
  • You can see the marked difference in design below being large paisleys –just right for the taller bride.Banarasi Saree for Wedding

Here is another gorgeous colour with large bootas for girls with paler complexion. It’s a day time saree too and would look best with a koti waistcoat kind of blouse that will help flaunt its gold richness.Banarasi Saree for Wedding

Here is also a tip that will make your figure look outstanding in a saree as heavy as a Benarasi.

Go for a flared petticoat. Especially girls who have pear shaped bodies need to go a little fitted towards their waist and let the petticoat flare out from the knees, the more flare at the base, the more the top looks tinier. This rule apples as much to sarees that you will be draping rather tightly and not loose for the wedding, the pleats will then fall more gracefully around your feet rather than sticking to the front due to the weight of the saree.

The types of Benarasis that a bride could opt for:

The Tanchoi almost tops the list as it has a deep gold base that is perfect for weddings.Banarasi Saree for Wedding

The Jamdani that is inspired by Persian weaves and wholly responsible for its renaissance in the present time has been the usage of the same motifs in cotton-the jamdani thus is seen as much in the tissue Benarasis as in silks and look royal and very regal-an option worth trying is to have bootis all over the saree with a jamdani pallu.Banarasi Saree for Wedding

The Jangla saree would be the one that will have intricate gold or zari work all over with tiny detailing.Banarasi Saree for Wedding

This is a meenakari bootis saree which is most popular in blue but here’s one for the more modern bride who dares to wear black and orange for occasions other than the wedding day. Banarasi Saree for Wedding

The lightweight Cutwork Kora Benarasi is ideal for summer weddings and feel wonderful on any body type- in fact a bride can opt for gold and ivory with a great deal of kundan jewelry for a reception or pre wedding occasions and team it up with a tanchoi drape over one shoulder n gold or mustard. 

Banarasi Saree for Wedding

Banarasi Saree for Wedding

Remember another critical aspect about the saree you choose-the lighter the saree the shiner it will be-so go for  a heavy Benarasi with an antique border, and go easy on the jewelry and makeup, and see how wonderfully balanced your bridal will turn out!Banarasi Saree for Wedding