By now, I’m sure you’ve seen a formal outfit from design powerhouse Papa Don’t Preach. After the label took over the 2021 Hollywood Diwali celebrations, brides all over the planet have been donning her festive, colorful designs, all with their trademark, larger than life embroidery, colors, and silhouettes.
You read that, right? Brides all over the planet. Y’all are all wearing the same thing! Look, I’m not one to peddle the “who wore it best” trope, but it’s hard to avoid when everyone from Paris Hilton and Peloton instructors are doing TikToks in what was supposed to be your mehndi outfit.
If this has you considering stretching your wings to survey the whimsical bridal wear landscape, I fully support that. You should! There are so many South Asian designers creating vibrant, maximalist outfits that are perfect for a bride. I’m here to tell you who they are, what they’ve designed, and where you can find them.
If vibrant maximalism in arresting colors is what you crave, Aisha Rao’s designs will satisfy you in all the right ways. Her combinations of pattern, embroidery, and color in each outfit are carefree and luxurious. And the best part is that her line is good for the planet; every outfit is created from fabric waste.
Bridalwear options start at $1,500 and can go up to $5,000.
House of Raina | in-store only, Vancouver
Now this is a designer that you don’t want to sleep on. Siddhartha Bansal’s 8-year old, Delhi-based label is about one thing: JOY. And boy does he make you feel it in every lehenga, suit, and even his collection of Western wear. Inspired by the post-Vietnam War era in America (gotta love a fellow historophile), Bansal transforms psychedelic art into must-have fashion.
Bridalwear options start at $1,000 and can go up to $2,100.
Nitara Dhanraj Label
There’s not a lot of information on Nitara Dhanraj Label, but from what I’ve been able to gather this design house has been a favorite of South Asian actresses and influencers since at least 2018. And after you catch a glimpse at the designs, it’s easy to see why. Bright colors, shimmering embroidery, and affordable prices makes this a worthy Papa Don’t Preach alternative.
Bridalwear options start from the mid $600’s and can go up to $2,000.
Wearing a WeaverStory bridal lehenga is meaningful not only because they promote of traditional handwoven techniques (hence the name), but also because they’re taking the designs from the hands responsible for these creations and bringing them straight to market—no middleman corporate bigwigs involved. And their Banarasi lehengas are simply *chef’s kiss.*
Bridalwear options start at $900 and can go up to $2,000.
Warp N' Weft
Considered a textile institution rather than a design label, Warp N’ Weft is also doing the important work of elevating traditional handloom techniques and the artisans behind them. The designs, however, are anything but traditional. From inventive color combinations to bustier lehenga tops, Warp N’ Weft is a perfect marriage (couldn’t resist) between old and new.
Bridalwear options start at $1,300 and can go up to $4,000.
Keerthi Kadire’s most recent collection is a celebration of everything happy, playful, and floral. With both small and large floral motifs, prints, and embroidery, every design is ripe for the picking for your outdoor spring wedding.
Bridalwear options start at $700 and can go up to $2,400.
At the top of a lengthy list of things to love about Aneesh Agarwal? There’s so many lehengas to choose from! From mixed colors to monochromatic outfits, oversized foil to tiny detailed embroidery, there’s a design to match any bride and every wedding event.
Bridalwear options start at $1,000 and can go up to $3,300.
Sahil Kochar’s designs look like something you’d see on a Hollywood red carpet—breathtaking designs that are unlike anything you’ve seen from other South Asian designers. But that avant garde design comes with a cost. It’s the most expensive designer on our list with prices that are comparable to Papa Don’t Preach.
Bridalwear options start at $1,000 and can go up to $5,500.
Content strategist and UX writer who’s been researching and writing about weddings for 5 years. Addicted to Netflix, dirty martinis, and naps.
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