Is It Realistic to Repurpose Your Wedding Lehenga(s)?



I’ve read several blog posts and articles in fashion magazines that talk about repurposing a bride’s wedding lehenga(s) into another outfit or pillowcases or picture frames etc. It’s one of those things you hear about but never meet or hear about someone who’s actually done it.

In my experience this sounds great but executing on it is actually pretty hard.

Perhaps for people living in India, Sri Lanka, or Pakistan this is feasible. But for those living in the USA, Canada, and other countries it’s time, cost, and logistically prohibitive.

I grew up in Southern California where there is a large South Asian population and even there it’s hard to find a tailor to do this. My friends are ALWAYS looking for a good seamstress to simply alter their Indian outfits, much less custom make something entirely new.

All of the clothing stores on Pioneer in Artesia, California have their own seamstresses that they work with for alterations on purchases from their stores. They don’t allow anyone to just walk in and ask their tailors to alter outside items.

Photo: Aaron Eye Photography

In general,

  • It’s hard to find someone good
  • Once you do find someone it’s very time consuming
  • The costs add up quickly and you might as well just buy a new outfit/pillowcases

I found a seamstress to custom make a simple salwar kameez once but she did a pretty bad job so I wouldn’t recommend her. I had to go back to her 3-4 times for fittings which I found time consuming. In the end I’m glad I tried the bespoke option but my conclusion was it’s better to just buy something already made and get it altered.

Granted it’d be easier to alter your heavy dupatta but you don’t need just a dupatta, you need a whole outfit to go with it.

And I don’t know about you, but mine was so heavy that even if I got mine cut smaller it would look odd to pair with everyday clothes, or even meeting friends for dinner, as it’s so blingy.

{It’s Hard, So Why Repurpose Your Lehenga?}

You kind of have to throw practicality out of the window and focus on the sentimentality of repurposing ones wedding lehenga(s). To be hold onto them and use them for a long time after the wedding is nice. So the time and effort invested is justified by that vs. practicality.

{Lug Your Lehenga To India?}

Someone suggested to me that I bring my lehenga with me on my next trip to India and get stuff made out of it there. Yeah, I suppose this is an option but each of my lehengas weighed at least 20lbs. each. That’s all I’d have allowance for in my luggage. Not to mention that the last thing I want to do when I go to India is chase after tailors to make pillow cases.

{Reusing Not Repurposing}

The only times I’ve heard of people “repurposing” their wedding outfits, weren’t repurposing but re-usage. For example when they have a baby and taking newborn photos with the dupatta draped around the baby. Or my sister who is saving her lehenga for her daughter.

Another woman I met, had her one year anniversary party and re-wore her lehenga at that.

{Take Aways}

I think this is one of those things that sounds nice in theory but is actually quite difficult to execute on. So many people have this thought and then realize how difficult it is and the wedding lehengas end up in storage at your parents’ house. And then people save them for their daughters or holding off to do something with it “someday”.

Have you or someone you know successfully repurposed their wedding lehengas? Please comment!

I hope this article has been helpful to you. It’s something we hear about every once in a while but never met anyone who’s actually done it. If it has, please let me know in the comments; and you might like to follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles to help make  planning an Indian wedding just a little bit easier.

Samta Varia Founder & CEO ShaadiShop: Indian Wedding Venues



“We’re so glad we joined ShaadiShop to market this hotel to the South Asian community in the Orange County area. Every wedding we close from their leads returns more than 3x our investment. Moreover, they pre-qualify leads and educate consumers creating a much better sales cycle for our catering team. Venues looking to reach this market, join ShaadiShop!”


Ryan Hurd
Catering Sales Manager
Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove

“We just booked a full Indian wedding through ShaadiShop at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. In addition to the business, we appreciate the exposure ShaadiShop creates about our venue, as the couple didn’t know about our resort until ShaadiShop told them about us. Additionally, we appreciate the pre-qualification work that ShaadiShop does to match couples and venues that are a good fit for each other. We had all the info needed to conduct the initial meeting. What a great service for venues to market to the South Asian community!”

Angie Florence
Catering Sales Manager
Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort

“Cannot say enough good things about the service from Samta and ShaadiShop who helped us research venues for our wedding this year. We wanted a non-hotel venue, and to get married within 6 months. ShaadiShop immediately found us venues, contacted them and educated us about all the things we needed to think about while selecting a venue. They put all the info together in a fabulous, super impressive, spreadsheet that helped us compare venues – seriously amazing and such a great help. Working with them made the whole stressful process MUCH easier and I can’t believe it was all free! ShaadiShop’s website is fantastic and such a great service for South Asians – so glad I found them!”

Anjli Shah, Bride

“Shaadishop helped me not only find venues but also understand how they work, the fees, and tips that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Definitely a need service in the desi community. And best of all, it was free!!”

Hinna Shaikh, Bride

Cover image: Greycard Photography