Wedding Shopping in Pune 71


Our Indian wedding is just over a month away, it is getting scarily close now. Last weekend it was time for us to go to Pune to do our wedding shopping!! We traveled for 14 hours, overnight by sleeper coach (I will have to talk about that experience another time) and arrived on Friday morning to start what was supposed to be fun but I predicted would be stressful.

Pune is much busier than Nagpur, the traffic is thicker and there is not a cow to be seen (it took me about 30 minutes to really start missing seeing cows wandering around).

We are having a Marathi wedding, and a Marathi bride usually wears a green, pink or mango saree during the wedding ceremony. Sarees are so elegant and feminine but I have always admired North Indian brides who normally wear lehengas (heavily embroidered skirt with a blouse) on their big day. I really wanted to wear one so decided to have a lehenga for the reception and stick to the Marathi style and wear a saree our wedding ceremony. Thankfully, with so many outfit changes during an Indian wedding, I can wear both!

My gosh, the lehengas we saw were beautiful. I loved them so much but they didn’t love me. I had a slight problem, I am 5ft 8 and those skirts were unfortunately not made with my height in mind. The sales woman assured me that they can be altered, I was suspicious to whether that was actually true. How could they make it longer?

Shopping for clothes in India is a very different experience compared to shopping in England. You sit or stand there whilst the salesperson shows you what they think you may like, I find this really frustration, I just want to look through the piles myself. I sat there shaking my head for a long time whilst the saleswoman went around the shop finding different designs. The pile of rejects grew and grew. After seeing around forty lehengas and being able to pick out tiny details I didn’t like, the saleswoman brought out ‘the one’. The exact colour, shape and design I had been holding in my mind (I had even made drawings of what I wanted, months ago).

Just like the other ones I had put against me, it was too short. The saleswoman assured me for a second time that they could make it longer. This is one great thing about shopping in India, you can get everything made to measure, I was still curious to see how they would make the skirt longer though! So, we left the lehenga at the store to be altered and continued with our wedding shopping.

beautiful lehengas | bridal lehenga | indian bridal

Lehenga reject pile (even though they are gorgeous!)

Next stop, sarees. Saree shops are very comfortable, you sit down and relax on a cushioned floor as someone shows you yards of beautifully made fabric. The walls of the stores are stacked high with thousands of sarees (again felt a little frustrated I couldn’t go and rummage around myself but I guess it keeps the sarees from being damaged or even stolen!).

The first shop we went to had some beautiful sarees but the salesmen were very pushy and rude. I really liked one of the sarees from that shop but there was a design on the boarder I didn’t like so much, I mentioned it to my husband and one of the salesmen quickly snapped across ‘you will find that on all sarees‘. I frowned at him and said ‘no, not all sarees have the same boarders, I do know that much’. I simply refuse to buy anything from a shop that will hire salespeople who are rude or pushy, so we left. 

We sat in several saree shops after that but I got all three of my bridal sarees in a single shop (after visiting it twice). I highly recommend this shop (Peshwai Creations) to any brides-to-be. This is where I fell in love with Paithani sarees.

Paithani sarees are hand woven silk sarees characterised by beautiful peacock designs on the pallu (loose end of the saree), using very fine silk they are considered to be one of the richest sarees in Maharashtra.  The variety and mixture of colours were mind-blowing, I had never thought a piece of fabric could be so beautiful.  The salesman opened up those sarees by throwing them in front of him, as if he was putting a sheet on a bed, it was actually spectacular to see.

The craftsmanship gone into these sarees is exquisite. I chose a pink, purple and mango coloured Paithani for the wedding ceremony and I am completely in love with it, I cannot stop looking at it.The silk is so shining and the colours are so unusual.  I have even had several dreams about it, one where I had to save it from a shipwreck and another where part of my soul was impregnated into it (is that healthy?).

A couple hours later I chose a yellow and green silk saree for the pooja (prayer) before the wedding ceremony, it is said to be auspicious to wear a yellow saree during your wedding, usually I would run a mile from yellow clothing but this saree was beautiful and it is a tradition… so I was convinced. The next day, on returning to the shop, I chose a pink and orange silk saree for my mehendi celebration (a woman only event where we get painted with henna).

Saree shops are very comfortable, you sit down and relax on a cushioned floor as someone shows you yards of beautifully made fabric. The walls of the stores are stacked high with thousands of sarees (again felt a little frustrated I couldn't go and rummage around myself but I guess it keeps the sarees from being damaged or even stolen!).

When we returned to the shop to pick up my lehenga they had indeed lengthened it, they had done it by added a red band around the top which looked out of place as it was a slightly different shade of red than the skirt itself,  I was assured it would be covered by thodhni  (material that is tucked into the skirt and put over the right shoulder).  Also, it still didn’t feel long enough to me and I am ashamed to say I had a little bit of a bridezilla moment in the dressing room when the saleswoman manhandled me, furiously pulling the skirt downwards so it looked longer. I guess I am not used to people being so overly helpful or people pulling me around. I decided I will just have to wear flat shoes and it will look fine. I was quite stressed and tired at this point because of all the saree shops we had been sitting in.

When we got back to my husband’s aunts house in Pune, I cried. Although I had managed to find a lehenga and sarees more beautiful than I even could imagine, I felt sad. I had always imagined I would have been picking out my wedding dress with my mum. It’s just one of those once in a lifetime mother-daughter occasions. I really wish my mum could have been there, I am so glad I will be seeing her soon.

Two shops I recommend for wedding shopping in Pune:

  • VAMA

Silk Sarees, Embroidered Sarees, Costume Jewelry and Ghagra Cholis.

Hotel Sarja Lane, Near Croma, Aundh, Aundh, Laxmi Rd, Sanewadi, Aundh, Pune, Maharashtra 411007

  • Peshwai Creations

Banarasi Sarees, Paithani Sarees, Designer Sarees, Bandhani Sarees

717, Laxmi Chandra Complex, Ground Floor, Sadashiv Peth, Kumthekar Road, Pune 411030


About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


71 thoughts on “Wedding Shopping in Pune

  • Gopal Sekhar

    Thank for the post, look like I am the first to write, do now you selected dress , so are you nervous, O what is next tp towards the wedding.

  • The Vanilla Housewife

    Brought back memories of my wedding preparation! 🙂
    I feel the same about rude sales people! I just walk out right away. What ever they have, I’m sure I will find somewhere else, or maybe not but I wont put up with rudeness. Good luck on the preparation and make sure you enjoy it!

  • Cyn

    Ready made lehengas are always a bit of a problem, what most North Indian bride do is buy them in dress material form and then take it to a good tailor to have the skirt and choli stitched as per their wanted style. I remember being told in one of the big shop in Bangalore not to go for a ready made as a wedding lehenga for that reason, and they did stock far more of them in loose fabric than they did in the off the rack section. I am 5’8 too so I guess I would have had the same problem you had should I have gone for that option. If you aren’t very happy with the different fabric, you can try to find beads and thread that match the embroidery and have a tailor do some work on it to mask the extension, the stole part might conceal it, but you can be guaranteed it will stay out and hide the strip of fabric nicely the whole day long.

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Hi Cyn,

      I hope you are well!!

      Yes, I tried it on again today and I have dropped some weight during the past week (been sick, not specifically dieting) and the skirt falls more onto my hips and so the length is looking good.

      I think down here in MH there wouldn’t be as many places who would stick a lehenga from fabric (well I didn’t come across any, there probably are a few), though that would have been ideal!

      I just cannot wait to wear ittt!!!

      I hope you are well!! Take care x

      • Cyn

        Bought mine in Bangalore, where it is not traditional for brides to wear lehengas, but you need to stick to big stores to find them, or know a crafty tailor who can point you in the right direction for fabric as one of my friend managed to do trying to cut the cost of hers down, her option however takes more time to pull. Mine was ready in the matter of a week as the store also gave me the name of a reputable tailor to turn to to get my lehenga stitched.

  • Hidden Passions

    Such fun.. Hey just enjoy the moments ..:) I can understand how it feels for you being away from your parents and siblings.. oh well.. they are coming soon.. in btn – have you shopped any indian attires for your parents as well?

  • Nicola

    Wow, how exciting!!! The wedding feels really tangible now that you have described the outfits for the different elements – the mehendi, the pooja, the actually ceremony and the reception. It feels like we, your readers, are all virtual guests via cyberspace! It’s wonderful following your story, it really is.

    Lots of love and blessings to you and your husband.

    Nicola xx

  • stockdalewolfe

    Oh, Lauren, how exciting this all is!! I look so forward to your posts, more than the many others I follow because your blog is so life-affirming, being about love, intriguing, being an intercultural union, and interesting, because of my love of India and the Indian people. You never let us down. I felt like I was along with you on your shopping trip. I look forward to hearing about the train ride, too, as I have had some adventures on a train ride to my grandfather’s tiny mountain town in Sicily of the nature of the disruption of your prayers in the temple (and I was with a man but not wearing a wedding ring)!!! That made me fair game.

    But the materials look gorgeous– as gorgeous as I am sure you will look in them, extensions or no. I would be so uncomfortable having people waiting on me and pressuring me to buy– I hate it even when it happens in New York and they don’t lavish all that much attention on you here. That is what is so good about your blog, too. You don’t whitewash things. It is not all peaches and cream. You tell us the reality. And that is so rich and interesting. It sounds like you made good choices and had an adventure, if bittersweet because your Mom wasn’t there. Thanks for sharing so much of your great adventures with your readers.

    Hugs, Ellen

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Dear Ellen,

      It really is soooo exciting!! THANK YOU sooo much for your kind words!!! Oh gosh, sorry about your experiences, sadly these things happen all over the world :(.

      Thank you so much again Ellen, I hope you are well! 1 month until the wedding!!! 😀 Lots of love x

  • saira777

    this makes me feel so excited for you from just reading this! the sarees look beautiful, I remember the first time I wore one – posture is everything, slouching in a saree is not very becoming!

  • Dasi

    I LOVE sari shopping in India! I’ve only ever shopped in Vrindavan and one time in Bangalore. I’m so jealous. I’m sure you will be gorgeous despite the not quite long enough lehenga. 🙂

  • Melissa

    Lauren,

    I just love the colors you have picked for all of your outfits, just lovely! Wow, such beautiful colors in these amazing silk sarees. You will be just fine when your wedding day arrives, all the celebrations, and being with both of your families. Push all the bad experiences away and think about the loving man you will be marrying! Keep us posted on all these wonderful events! We will all be thinking of both of you. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Melissa

  • Jocelyn Eikenburg

    Your wedding outfits look just stunning! It’s fun to have more than one, isn’t it? For my wedding in China, I had three different dresses, including two that were more of a Chinese style.

    Can’t wait to see you wearing these dresses!

  • Ajit Joshi

    Most Maharashtrians from Pune, Mumbai would have shopped at Peshwai. Anyway you should have taken a train called Maharashtra Express from Nagpur to Pune this is a train were life goes in slow motion !

  • Ajit Joshi

    Also the mango saree is to be gifted by maternal uncle. Please ask any bro or cousin of your mother to sponsor it . God gives lot of blessing to the uncle who gifts the mango saree to his niece for wedding

  • madhmama

    Lovely pics & colors! You must be sooooo excited!
    Saree shopping in India is one of my favorite things to do…the way you sit and point and they are presented to you is fantastic.
    I also have the same problem, even some sarees are short on me so I always have to open them and check! I am 5 foot 10 inches height.
    P.S. Tall girls rock 😉

  • Magdalena Rogulska-Pai

    Wow amazing! Can’t wait for your wedding photos! I have only seen south Indian weddings 🙁 . I’m sure you will look stunning. Do you plan European wedding for your side of family too?? 🙂

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Thank you so much, Magdalena!!
      I have only been to a Rajastani wedding, mine will be my first Marathi wedding haha!!

      We would like to have a church wedding in a small town in England (the church I was christened in) at some point! I am not sure when we will be able to get round to that. That will be our 4th wedding if we get the chance.

      Did you do a service in Poland? x

  • loveinistanbul

    Lauren, I am so super jealous of you! There is nothing as beautiful or elegant as a saree, and to be wearing one to get married must be a dream come true. Western-style wedding dresses, no matter how exquisite, just cannot compete (in my humble). Can’t wait to see the pictures! xx

  • Shikha

    loved reading this.. Its a biggest task to find your dream wedding outfit.. I am glad you did.. Don’t worry for sure if draped properly red additional band will be covered.. All the best

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Thank you so much, Shikha!! Yes, I am optimistic that draping will solve the problem, I keep prancing around in the skirt and everytime I do, the band is less noticeable and I love it more!
      I hope you are well, thank you for stopping by!
      Lauren x

  • Martin

    Oh, the wedding is still to come? I’m only just reading through your blog now! Or are you doing two wedding? That’s what my wife and I did; primarily for her parents, though I think she was quite pleased to get two sarees!

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Hi Martin,

      We have had a temple marriage and our civil marriage. Our third one will be the big Indian wedding (three in all!). We may even have one back in England (so that would be four.. eaak).

      It is always great to have sarees! I have four sarees and a lehenga for the third marriage alone!! I still cannot quite believe it. I hope you are well

      Lauren

  • The Voice of a Soul

    I absolutely loved reading this post! And even though I have no idea who you are (I somehow stumbled upon your post) I am so happy and exited for you haha and your wedding day. God bless you. I’m Indian myself, but living in Europe.. Reading your post brings back so many lovely and heartwarming memories. I pray that India will shower your soul with its splendid and mesmerising colors. May your journey be blessed and filled with lots of love, light, blessings and beautiful heartwarming moments…
    Much, much love to you dearest one!
    Shaidi

  • snigdha

    Hi. Lauren! Jaldi(quickly:)) get married yaar. I mean the big indian wedding. I ‘m more interested in ur wedding than u may be urself. ha..haa. bcoz ..I’m dying to see the photos. And rememeber write a 100000-words post. describing everything with great many photoes. Short cut will not do. If u do so i’ll come there to Nagpur personally to quarrel with u. Luv u pal.:)

  • Anastasia

    One of my friends said ones that she would get married to an Indian just for the sake of doing wedding saree and lehenga shopping 😉 Every time I look at sarees I feel overwhelmed by the amount of unique designs and their creators imagination for colors combination. Most sarees are real pieces of art.

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Oh wow, haha.

      She could surely have an Indian wedding without marrying an Indian.. I have seen white couples online doing such things!

      Indian fashion is really out of this world!!

      I hope you are well

      Take care

      Lauren xxx

  • Ramkumar

    Hello,
    I’m reading your blog not in any order but random posts. But I can understand the essence. Glad you found your dream wedding dresses. Have you ever been to South India? If not I welcome you. You may also try the Kancheepuram silk saree’s. I don’t know much about saree’s. But last week I visited a saree shop to buy wedding sarees for my sister’s wedding and I was amazed to find incredible designs. Some are unbelievably costly. One such silk saree with mind blowing designs with golden threads and real gems costs 8 lakhs rupees. You may buy one such saree for your first wedding anniversary.
    BTW why don’t you go for a day job? You will certainly get a good job in nearby hospitals or in medical research institutes. You can also try for lecturer. A job will surely help you to adopt the new culture and customs and will also make you feel more comfortable, living in your new home town. It will also help you to learn the regional language.

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Thank you so much for reading!!
      I have not been to South India yet, I am eager to go!

      8 lakh ruppees for one saree!!!!!! That is insane, I bet it was beautiful but we could never afford such a saree- also, I would be too nervous to wear it!

      I can not legally have a day job until I get my PIO card, next year. I am looking for some community volunteer work though. Once I get my PIO card I am going to do another masters degree, this time in philosophy.

      Thank you so much for your lovely message.
      Take care
      Lauren

  • Yelena (Khinkali & Momo)

    I would love to wear a lehenga as well! I’m 5’9” though, and can definitely see how this can be an issue in Nepal. I initially dreamed about wearing a white (or rather off-white or ivory) gown for a reception, but I highly doubt the guests will understand. Wearing a saree during a ceremony and a lehenga during a reception sounds like a good idea.

  • Chaitali Shah

    Hey Lauren,
    I read a couple of your blog posts and I feel immensely proud of you..to being able to devote so much to the person you love and his family :)..If you need a friend in Pune, I am here!

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