Inspiration: Reception Lengha

So. After weeks of procrastinating, I have finally decided to do something about my reception lengha. I’ve already got my ceremony lengha (phew), but outfit #2 is still required.

Often, the ceremony outfit is more traditional in style. Usually, brides steer away from trendier looks with the aims of being respectful and humble. Brides tend to show their personalities and take a little more risk with their reception outfits. And that’s definitely what I’m aiming to do. 🙂

I have an appointment with Gaurav at CTC West this Sunday. I first met him atBridalicious (a great workshop for brides at the Park Hyatt in April), though my wedding planner recommended CTC West to me when I started my outfit search. CTC West offers ready to wear and made to measure clothing, but they seem to specialize in custom design, a very attractive option as I am quite….selective (aka picky) and I have not been moved by any reception-esque lenghas I’ve seen. Although the customization process is pretty sweet, it can get pricey and it’s a big risk: my design and measurements are taken in Toronto and sent to India where the garment is made. I won’t see the actual product until a couple months later–all I’ll have are maybe a couple sample pictures and sketches. Kinda risky, but the outcome is worth it!

Gaurav was super friendly, open-minded, and professional (and it doesn’t hurt that he was pretty easy on the eyes), and so I’m excited about working with him!!

I’ve been perusing websites and Indian fashion shows, and I have a pretty good idea of what I want. It’s not set in stone, though. I want feedback about my ideas and am open to  suggestions that CTC West has based on their knowledge.

So here are my inspirations….


glamorous, sexy, elegant, comfortable, unique, proportional (to my figure)


Purple, fuschia, and bling. Yes, bling is a colour! Purple and fuschia are flattering on my skin tone. And I’ll never say no to a little bling! Purple and fuschia are not common (if ever) colour combinations in western wear, but us Indians love to combine bold colours together. Purple and fuschia are quite close on the colour wheel, so they might not match, but they do go together!

All images from


I’m see-sawing between a one-shoulder strap vs. a short blouse with cap sleeves. Pretty pics:

One-shoulder looks:

Love the combo of the sweetheartish neckline and one strap. (L: image from; R: Emilio Sosa design, image from

Short blouse designs:

J likes the pink lengha on the left. Love the necklines on all, but I would nix the sleeves on the pink and turquoise tops. (Clockwise L-R: Saahil design from SouthAsian Bride magazine [online version]; Bipasha Basu in a Neeta Lulla design from; another Saahil design from SouthAsian Bride)

Lengha shape:

For a tutorial on lengha construction, check out this excellent post by Asiya on Aaina Bridal.  Asiya has a wonderful blog that discusses bridal ideas and trends in an informative, visually stunning, and concise way. I’m looking forward to her future posts on different embroidery styles!

So, for the lengha, I’m definitely thinking mermaid style. I want something flowy, not too stiff, and not too poofy. Minimal crinoline is preferred.

If you can look passed their wack poses, these models are wearing gorgeously cut and flattering lenghas. They are fitted, yet have enough flow at the bottom without over the top poof. (Designs by Shennai Couture. Images from SouthAsian Bride Magazine [online version]).


I’m loving the combination of silk with velvet pieces worked into the embroidery (examples are in the Shennai designs above); velvet would fit perfectly in my fall wedding. Colours appear bolder and richer in velvet, creating an elegant and dramatic appeal, with a subtle allusion to royalty.

(Side note: When I’m talking about velvet, I’m talking quality velvet, not crushed velvet a la cheap 80s video chick…e.g.:

This is not what I mean when I talk about velvet. (Image from

Anyway, back to materials. Velvet is super trendy right now, so optimal to incorporate into the reception lengha. Silk is light, flows nicely, and is not as stiff or heavy as georgette or brocade. I look nasty in brocade anyway. It washes me out and looks too old on me.

It’ll be interesting to see what we come up with!! I’ll keep y’all updated! AND, if you have any suggestions/ideas/feedback, please let me know!




2 thoughts on “Inspiration: Reception Lengha

  1. Hey LBB!

    So I am too contemplating getting my reception lengha custom made! I was going to send pictures to someone in India to custom make and it be ready by the time I get there. However, I found it too risky as I wanted to be able to sit down with my tailor and discuss my outfit in detail.

    Whats strange is that all the pictures you have put up are exactly the same pictures I have saved! While my colours are a little different, I think we’re going for a very similar style! I wanted to ask though, how much more is it to get it custom made with CTC West? And since this post, whats your experience been like with CTC West? I would love to know how the process is going for you as I am seriously considering a custom made outfit but am nervous about the price! Any tips/advise would be a great help 🙂

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