Wedding Wardrobe: Anushka Hajela

19 Aug

Anushka was getting married. You know – Anushka! The blogger babe behind BombayBubble? Yes, the fashion blog. Her wedding had me excited even before she had shared a single image from her big day.

Why? Because, silly, when a fashion blogger gets married, music plays on cue and us wedding bloggers are the only ones who can hear it.

Anushka debuted a first peek into her March wedding recently on Instagram, and I almost unhinged my jaw at the sight of her wedding gown.

1 White wedding gown Mumbai designer Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe

It was a breath-taking white wedding dress.

But how did a girl from Mumbai end up in a white wedding dress all the way over in the UK? And who made that stunning gown?

I got in touch with Anushka some time back, and she was incredibly generous in sharing every single detail from her wedding. Here is her Wedding Wardrobe story.

I had always dreamed of getting married in a beautiful white dress. Blame those God-damn Disney movies and Hollywood films! Then in 2011, I saw Olivia Wilde make her way down the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards in this stunning outfit, and I instantly knew. I imagined the gown in different colours - white and gold - and bingo! My wedding dress was decided.

I got (seriously!) lucky, because I eventually found myself a British husband. James & I met in Mumbai and fell in love pretty quickly. While our love story has an unconventional beginning (we met on Tinder!) the rest is typical of what you’ll hear from most married couples these days - a lot of late night texting, endless date nights, with a dash of long-distance.

James is from the UK, and I went there to visit him and his family last year. He popped the question on this trip, and of course, I had to say yes. We decided on a wedding date in 2015, and so my saga of planning a long-distance wedding began. Since neither of us is religious, it didn’t really matter whether I got married in a lehenga or a gown. Eventually, we chose to have a court marriage in Manchester where I was more than happy to put on…a white wedding dress!

Now, the big question was – who was going to make it for me?

Obviously, I wasn’t going to just walk into a Marchesa store and tell them “I’m getting married! Would you be a darling and make this for me in white and gold, and while you’re at it – add some sleeves to the dress too?” Well, I would have, if I could have afforded it! :)

So, I did what every Indian girl does. I asked my mom to find out about Mumbai designers who create wedding gowns, from her Catholic friends. I was unsure who to go to because I had never seen a white gown for a wedding in India that I had actually liked. We went ahead and spoke to a few people, but nothing seemed to be working out.

Then one sunny morning in Mumbai, I met Michelle Rodrigues at her store in Bandra – and suddenly, I’d found the person who would design this distinctive dress for me. Michelle. It had to be Michelle. Her professionalism and process was just right for the bridezilla in me!

She had a cool rock chic style I identified with. One look at my dress’ reference picture, and she understood it was different from what brides generally ask for. I had a nervous look on my face, and she assured me her team enjoyed new challenges and that they had even worked on a wedding dress with LED lights(!) once, so this was a lot simpler. Her can-do attitude and enthusiasm sealed the deal for me.

Michelle’s Process

Work began on my gown. Michelle understood that the dress is a massive deal and that brides like to be in control. She sketched the dress out for me, with the lace sleeves I wanted to add, and the look started to come together in my mind. But I was still a little nervous because with sequins, it can go either way – beautiful, or tacky! Michelle was very patient. She took me along and even helped me choose the sequins myself. Impressive, right? She came up with different combinations of sequins and beads till I found the exact shade I was satisfied with. My mom and I helped select the fabrics as well. The inner layers of the gown were made out of Satin, and the top layers were tulle/net. The rest was just sequins. Which made the dress heavy, but it was still comfortable. It wasn’t tight, and I could easily breathe, eat and dance in it!

To get the amazing fit, Michelle’s process was impeccable. My first fitting was with a sample mulmul piece - which is just the basic framework of the dress. It was fitted to my body while her team took notes. I went in for around 8-9 fittings in the 2 month period it took to make my dress, and it was easily the most fun part of the wedding planning process for me.

While my dress was under construction, I planned the rest of the look. I bought heels and flats (practical!) on a Dubai vacation I went on prior to my wedding, and the bag I eventually carried was a gold purse that belonged to James’ mom. It added to the “something borrowed” part of the tradition, so I was more than happy to carry it!

Once my gown was done, the wedding was still 3 months away. And I needed to carry that big dress all the way to the UK! Thankfully, Michelle was quite experienced with international brides - she told me which kind of box to buy and where to find it.

And her team was nice enough to pack the dress up for me in my box. They did such a great job, it wasn’t crushed AT ALL when I took it out in the UK! And they had even sent a garment bag along with it in case I decided to hang it up.

The Wedding Day

6 March, 2015. I woke up at 6 am, thanks to my phone beeping constantly with all the messages I was receiving from friends & family back in India. They seemed to have suddenly forgotten that India & UK have a 5+ hour time difference! Ah, well.

I had checked into the Great John St. Hotel in Manchester with my mother the night before, and I was going to get dressed in our hotel room. James sent me a text wishing me a happy wedding day, and I snuck into a closet to write a love letter to him before the chaos of the wedding began.

Getting Ready Bride | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe

Getting Ready White wedding gown Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe

Getting Ready shots of the bride | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe

My makeup artist arrived early, and before I knew it – I was dressed up and ready to get married. I stepped out into the room, my hair and makeup done, my dress on, and everyone in the room gasped.

It was my very own magical movie moment.

There were tears and hugs all around, and I felt like a princess!

Getting Ready Hair & Makeup done | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe Getting Ready Bride putting on her shoes golden heels for white wedding gown | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe

We all walked out onto the streets of Manchester, and hailed a cab in front of the hotel. I squeezed myself and my massive, sparkly wedding dress into the cab, and took a ride that lasted all of 5 minutes to the Registry Office.

When I walked into the room, I heard “Here Comes The Bride” play and everyone turned to look, including the smiling, happy face of my husband-to-be. James whispered “You look really nice!” to me and I looked up to spot what appeared to be tears in his eyes! A few moments later, we were Mr. & Mrs. Moore. The best day of my life was just about half-way done, and it was already turning out to be nothing short of the perfect wedding day.

Wedding Ceremony at Registry 2 Walking down the aisle first look | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe Wedding Ceremony at Registry 3 exchanging rings | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe Wedding Ceremony at Registry 4 newly married | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe

Bride and groom potrait in Manchester 1 | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe

The celebrations continued well into the night, and there was a moment in between all the chaos when James & I had a chance to dance together. The man of my dreams twirled me around in my dream wedding dress, and I realized I have never felt happier, more beautiful, more in love or more alive in my life.

Many hours later, we finally checked into our hotel room for the night, and the first thing I did was take off the dress and slip into a pair of comfortable pyjamas. My arms had begun to ache with all the dress lifting I had done that day, with the photo shoot on the streets of Manchester and all the dancing and celebrating. But after just 10 minutes of taking my dress off, I couldn’t wait to put it on again! It was truly my dream wedding dress, and I already missed feeling like a princess in it.

As for James & I? We spent the rest of the night chomping down ham & cheese sandwiches, and ripping open…all our wedding presents :)

Bridal Portrait White & Gold Wedding Gown Picture | Anushka Hajela Wedding Wardrobe

 Images Courtesy: Everthine Photo

Anushka’s Glam Team: Makeup Artist Michel (MAC in Manchester) | Hairstylist Carl Gambrell (UK) | Dress Michelle Rodrigues (Mumbai)

All about the dress: Made by Michelle Rodrigues who has a store at Nelnom Apartments on Veronica Road, Bandra, Mumbai. Please call +91-7710990757 to book an appointment before visiting. The price of the dress was approximately INR 60,000.

Find more stories of Anushka’s wedding day on her blog - Part 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Does Anushka’s dress make you want to get married in a white wedding gown too?

You can see all other Wedding Wardrobe posts here. If you’re a newlywed who wants to share details of her wedding outfits on this blog, send in pictures of yourself in those outfits to [email protected] with “Wedding Wardrobe” in the subject line.

3 Responses to “Wedding Wardrobe: Anushka Hajela”

  1. januarycusp August 22, 2022 at 12:11 am #

    Oh my God, oh my God- awwwwwwie! This was super duper beautiful! Absolutely loved her dress & the entire story~ Kudos, Shinjini for sharing this story <3


  2. Kayennat August 27, 2022 at 9:43 am #

    I had my civil wedding done in a white gown :D because it’s just wrong if it’s not in a white gown! (I do live in the UK, and you get brides desi brides doing it in lehengas and it looks so wrong……) Anushka looks gorgeous, best wishes to her for the future. Welcome to England girl! Hope you’ve brought your umbrella because it rains here practically everyday,,,,,, LOL


  3. Shatakshi August 31, 2022 at 5:43 pm #

    Loved every bit of the story! Congrats Anushka :D
    I am so glad the designer made you do 8-9 fittings- gown making is tedious and fittings are very important.


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