Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wedding Shopping Destinations in New Delhi

What’s the update? Hmmm…well, nothing substantial, to be ridiculously honest with you. But as I write that, I realize something and I say to myself, wait! You haven’t really given any updates regarding what you’ve done so far! Yeah, unless you consider the website addresses! Which, I hope, help some people out there. If not then, well, hey, I tried. :)

Since I have two weddings in the pipeline, I have twice as much planning to do! :) The first one’s in Glasgow, Scotland in June. Pretty much all set for that one. :) Got a lovely wedding gown made. I’d’ve gone with the traditional all-white gown, but I know I can’t carry off something like that. I’d kill to be able to, but can I, is the biggie here. Unfortunately, the answer is no! So me went ahead and got meself a nice lavender coloured wedding gown made.

Venue’s booked, as are the tickets. Just gotta plan our Edinburg trip from there. Any suggestions? Would appreciate insights!

Hmmm…now, the bigger ordeal is the Indian wedding! :) You see, I smile a lot when I talk of wedding preparations cuz that’s the one thing that keeps me from going all out insane!

April. Very eventful month for more reasons than one. But we shan’t dwell into the other reasons. Let’s stick to the wedding-related reasons. :) So yeah, went to Delhi (a.k.a New Delhi) for my wedding shopping. Now for those of you out there who don’t know what a task it is to shop for an Indian wedding, lemme give you a quick hint: there are 5-6 events from the bride’s and groom’s side, sometimes independent of each other, making it 10-12 events in total! That makes it those many outfits to shop for and needless to say, jewellery. Living in X country and planning your own wedding in Y country doesn’t quite work too well. Logistically, it’s a catastrophe!

And shopping, while some have a natural itch for it, is something I do not particularly enjoy, especially when it happens to be forced shopping. If I’m strolling in a shopping mall (since that’s all there is to do in this part of the world), and like something that I think I wouldn’t mind owning, I pick it up. Do I enjoy that? Sure, immensely! But not when I’m forced to go into shops and asked to like something. That’s a whole different ball game!

Delhi fell into category 2. Which is something that I wasn’t quite looking forward to, especially since I had just under a week to finish up everything, from beginning to end. That by any standards is an insanely short span of time. Most bride-to-be’s spend more over 6 months picking out items of clothing or jewellery and going over every tiny detail. Well, not this bride-to-be! This one went through everything rather quickly.

And got everything done, at that! :) Not only did I end up surprising myself but everyone I’ve spoken to ever since. Yup, got my clothing finalized and sorted in less than a week, and actually managed to pick out costumes that I like. :) No forceful-liking of things for the sake of it.

Keeping myself in check and not getting carried away with self glory here, lemme move on and give you a few pointers about where to shop, which shops to go to, and where not to look at all. Needless to say, these are all my thoughts and you might have a different choice. This is just to give you a heads up on where I found the best items and where I was utterly disappointed. :)

  1. Chandni Chowk (CC for convenience, shall we?)

    This is everyone’s absolutely favourite…dun matter where you’re from, where you’ve been or what you’re looking for, you’ve definitely heard of Chandi Chowk.

    And for good reason, I might add. There isn’t anything that you won’t find here. There are hundreds of shops in little gulleys around CC with shopkeepers and agents running around foreigners and desis alike, urging them to come to their shop to look at the best there is.

    “Andar aakar dekh lo…aur bhi variety hai. Arre, nahin chahiye toh mat lena, dekhne paise thori na lunga aapse, bhejnji!” Translation: Come on in and take a look at the wide variety we have. Oh, even if you don’t want to buy anything, come and take a look, not like I’m going to charge you for seeing, sister!

    That’s how you’re coaxed into entering a shop and then you get lost! :) There’s so much variety (nope, he wasn’t lying about that!) that you’ll honestly forget what you’d gone there to look for!

    Guys at the shop will dig out suits/sarees/lehengas…whatever you want, however you want, in whichever colour you want. While they’re at it, they’ll scream from one corner to another, asking someone to pass on “that Ritu Kumar lehenga” or the “latest Sabyashachi piece” that they have. They’ll do their own bit of advertising telling you which piece was on the cover of Femina magazine two months ago. And sure enough, it’s the same piece. A ridiculously fantastic copy, that is. :) But who’ll know the difference? Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi?

    The men that work at these shops don’t shy away from draping the saress around themselves and literally posing in front of you in a model-like fashion, so you have an objective look at the piece you might be interested in. It’s all a little overwhelming, if you ask me…but it’s worth it all!

    Having said that, I didn’t like a thing in CC. We spent our entire time in one shop. The man attending to us did his level best to sell us each and everything that we saw, but I just couldn’t get myself to buy a single piece that he showed us. Yes, they were essentially big designer copies, but they were just…I dunno…they weren’t what I was looking for.

    Most of them were too loud, or too plain, or too ordinary. I liked the pattern of one lehenga, but didn’t like the colour; loved the cut of the other one, but couldn’t stand the fist-sized stones on it! Of course, each and every one of them lehengas could be remade and redesigned to exactly what I wanted, I was told, but I couldn’t take that big a risk.

    But I’d like to say that CC has the best variety of everything that there is out there. It’s got the widest price range as well. If you’re looking at a lehenga for Rs. 15,000, you’ll get great pieces. Even a few Ritu Kumar (whom they call “ambi Kumar” these days, cuz she works so much with the “ambika” desing) and Sabyasachi fakes. The prices of lehengas go up to Rs. 100,000 or even more, depending on the piece, and I’m guessing the general outlook of the customer as well.

    My suggestion: if you’re looking at something extremely exquisite and ‘designer’, then stay away from CC. You’ll only end up being exhausted beyond belief, your eyes will refuse to recognize the difference between orange and red after having seen 50-55 lehengas, and you’ll end up being cranky and frustrated at not having found what you want.

    That’s if you’re looking at something ‘different’. If not, then I suggest, go for it. There’s a world of choice at CC.

    I did, however, end up picking up a few sarees from the shop, I suppose since I was just too exhausted to walk out without anything. Those were genuinely nice pieces. In addition, I picked up my choora and kaleere from CC.

  2. Haus Khas Village/Market

    Now this place was interesting. There was a bit of confusion as to where exactly I went. I can’t be sure which out of the two I went to!!! But it was the one which has all these shops for suits/sarees and lehengas. Duh, right? :)

    This is where I met up with my fiancé and his family for the first time since having arrived in Delhi. And it was an awesome place to shop, to be honest! Since it was one of first few days in Delhi, we didn’t end up buying anything from here, but my suggestion is, go right ahead and check it out.

    It’s a little pricy, to be honest, but the stuff that some of the shops have are to-die-for. Awesome exclusive, designer, one-only pieces. It was here that I saw a goooooooorgeous all-gold lehenga. I know how it sounds, but trust me, it was one of those you-had-to-see-it-to-believe-it.

    I was on the verge of picking up a few suits from here, but then decided against it, for the simple reason that it was too early on to buy anything. I could always come back here if I didn’t anything anywhere else.

  3. Shahpurjat

    If that’s how you spell it! This is where some of the biggest designers have their shops (away from the limelight so they can put their creative thinking caps and work on those drop-dead gorgeous pieces).

    I went around here while waiting to meet with my fiancé’s cousins (who’s a designer himself). The shops were quite nice, but I guess they were having one of them dry-spells where I didn’t like much of what I saw. Yes, I am extremely picky. And I know it was I who was having the ‘spell’ and not the shops. :P

    Definitely worth a visit. Take a look around, and hopefully you’ll find something here that tickles your fancy.

  4. The Great India Place, NOIDA (TGIP)

    This is a huge-ass mall adjacent to the age old Sector 18 market in NOIDA. I call it Nyugati. For those of you who’ve been to Budapest, Hungary, you’ll remember a shopping complex called Nyugati (I think it’s bus number 29 that goes there…not sure! But the underground metro sure takes you there! Blue, I think) that’s huuuuuuuuuuuge and one could get lost in there.

    Since TGIP was the first of it’s kind in terms of big malls, that’s what I decided to call it. Anyhow, getting back to the point, it’s a huge mall with a lot of shops. My one and only reason to walk in here was to check out the Ritu Kumar (RK) outlet.

    There was one particular lehenga in a print advertisement that had me drooling over it. And this was months ago. I knew it’d be ridiculously over priced at the outlet itself, but I just had to go check it out and see if it up front for myself.

    As I walked into the store, I saw a larger-than-life poster of the same print ad I’d seen. It was covering the top left corner of the shop. And there it was! My lehenga. So I walked up to the sales lady and asked her if she had the lehenga there in the showroom for me to see. And as luck would have it, nope, there wasn’t. She checked with the other stores, and found out after 10 minutes that there was exactly one piece left of that model. In Kolkata. And for it to be shipped to Delhi, it would take at least 2 weeks. Yeah, like I had that kinda time. So I asked her for her suggestion, and she asked me to go check out the bridal RK outlet somewhere in West Delhi.

    Meanwhile, I did a quick round up of the shop and to my utter shock and dismay, didn’t find anything that I liked.

    I went around the mall and found some other shops that I thought were absolutely amazing! There was one called Meena Bazaar which I believe has outlets in some other places as well. They have a nice collection of things. Unfortunately, they don’t keep wedding lehengas, but I’d suggest check out their suits and saree collection.

    Another shop on the ground floor was…Sanskaar…? Sanskriti? Sanskrit? Not sure to be honest! But there were two shops, one was this Sanskrit/Sanskriti shop and another was diagonally opposite this one. Must check out. Good stuff.

  5. Archana Shopping Complex

    Hmmm…there was one and only one reason for me to have gone here: Ritu Kumar. There are two RK outlets here, one’s casual and the other one is exclusively for wedding attire. I spent exactly 3 minutes in the bridal store.

    But I suggest you go check it out. I personally couldn’t find anything, but I’m sure they’ll have fresh stock and new designs. I suppose I missed out on the best pieces. :(

  6. Karol Baugh/Bagh (KB)

    Now we’re talking!

    This is T -1 day. I have no time left and not only am I breaking out into a nervous sweat, but my family was hyper ventilating! I had no leave to spare and in my head I was already planning a weekend trip to Delhi, hoping I’d find something then.

    Now, here’s the thing…we hadn’t gone to Karol Baugh all these days because my mother-in-law to be had just flown in the night before. And she’d asked me to look around elsewhere first and she’d take us all to KB to a shop that they’d been going to for years now. And they’d shopped for my two sister-in-laws’ weddings here.

    To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d find anything, since I hadn’t found anything this whole time. But I had a ray of hope, since I’ve seen my in-laws’ choice in clothes and they kinda knew mine. If they were recommending this place, and swearing by it, there had to be some substance in it.

    Reluctantly, we walked into the shop they’d sung praises of: Gyans. Or Gyans Fashion, as it’s also known as. It’s on Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh, and they have another branch in GK – I, N Block Market.

    It took me 20-30 minutes to pick out 10-odd suits/lehengas/lachas that I looked at and simply drooled over! I kid you not! My in-laws to be were already there, waiting for me, as was the lady who’s always assisted them. She will not, under any circumstance, let you buy what she thinks you absolutely shouldn’t. She’s a gem. Only gives you her honest opinion, which is something one doesn’t come by easily these days.

    So yeah, I looked around, tried on all the clothes – sits, lehengas (not bridal) and lachas that I’d picked out. I had a lot of help in picking out the final pieces. There was an army there, helping me out! My mom, my mamiji (aunty), my mother-in-law to be, my two sisters-in-law to be and my fiancé. And of course, Reena, the lady who was assisting us.

    Finally, I picked out outfits for each of the ceremonies and with everyone’s help I picked out different colours, designs and styles for each of the million events!

    Unfortunately, I didn’t particularly like any of the wedding lehengas on display there. I tried out a few of them, but nothing that I saw and said, yes, that’s the one! Unlike what had happened with the other dresses. So, we picked up everything for all the other events, and walked out extremely happy and content with having completed 62.5% of the shopping.

    Yes, the rest, and the major chunk was the wedding lehenga. Which, Reena told my mother-in-law later, was something she would’ve found and dug out for me if I had another 2 days with me. :( I so wish I’d had those two days. Alas! Things had to be finalized now now now! So we went to the next shop that my in-laws had shopped at once: Anarkali.

    Also in KB, a few gulleys from Gyans. And after having spent good 3-4 hours there, I found what I looking for!


So that’s how I ended up finishing my wedding shopping in under a week and managed to get absolutely everything!

Of course, the only thing remaining is the jewellery, but that we’ll take care of right before the wedding. That won’t take too long at all. Hopefully! :)


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Mind Without Fear said...

I am done with CC and Ritus, looking forward to the remaining.Immense help, thanks! :)

silv3rglee said...

Glad to be of help! =)

kalazone silkmill said...

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