Sabyasachi Sarees and Lehenga Prices for USA Brides in USD
Updated: May 16
If you're one of the monthly readers of this blog, the name Sabyasachi Mukherjee has probably started coming into your radar as wedding time approaches. Everybody wants to know prices both for curiosity and practicality of having a Sabyasachi wedding.
So how much does a Sabyasachi lehenga cost? The average range in dollars is $7500 to $25,000 with most brides spending between $9,000 to $12,000. Bollywood wedding outfits are listed around $20,000-$25,000.
The Sabyasachi lehenga price will vary widely due to where you live, how many trips to India you'll make, the styles you choose and the amount of embroidery you select. They're so many important factors that I'll explain here.
Archana Akhil Kumar is probably the most
famous of the Sabya models these days.
Who is Sabyasachi?
In a nutshell, he's the most exclusive Indian bridal fashion designer in the world.
A majority of Indian or South Asian brides will debate on buying their bridal outfit from him, and many have to weight the pros and cons of spending so much money on something they're going to wear for 4 hours.
How long does a lehenga or a Sabyasachi sherwani take to make?
You do about two fittings, and it will require two trips to India as they'll be 2 months apart. It's about 4 months end to end, sometimes quicker.
Is a Sabya really worth the cost?
If you can EASILY afford it, yes.
If you can barely afford it, no. Use that money on things that will bring more value to you and your guests. Also, you'll likely be in a position to get an outfit for a fraction of the price and NOBODY would know the difference. If your heart is set on it though, feel free. We get it. It's your wedding and don't compromise.
If you can't afford it, don't do it, and spend your budget on better food and fun things for your guests. Neither my wife nor my brothers went Sabya, and although we have plenty of family who did and looked amazing, nobody regretted anything.
Factors that Affect Sabyasachi Lehenga Cost
Your 1-2 trips to India
Fabric (e.g. the velvet couture style)
Amount of hand work and embroidery as evident from the photos below.
Time of the year and how busy they say they are
Where you live and if you're buying from a distributor or the showroom
Accessories needed ($800 extra for the shawl and people just blindly add it in not realizing how much they just spent)
Shipping costs and Taxes and Jewelry
Why Wear Sabysachi for your Wedding?
Because bridal attire has names like Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and for Indians...yes, Sabyasachi. Jimmy Choo of India anyone?
How Did Sabyasachi get so Famous?
Nobody is having a better career at the moment than Sabyasachi.
Arguably the Louis Vuitton or Chanel of India's bridal wedding attire, "Sabya" has become the gold standard for Indian wedding fashion. Add to that the time he had Kim Kardhashian wear his lehengas, Bollywood A-listers and billionaires constantly sporting his outfits, it's easy to see that he's at the top of his game.
When you walk into the Sabyasachi shop in Mumbai, you will get humbled real fast. If you're not serious or try to bargain, ain't nobody got time fo dat.
The look on Indian American brides faces when they fly across the world and pop into his shop, don't even get offered a coffee and then see a $20,000 lehenga....priceless.
Happened to me and I'm only now laughing/crying about it.
Walking into the showroom in Mumbai will clearly make this obvious.
What's it Like in the Sabyasachi Mumbai Showroom?
You will see brides from all over the world, America, the UK, Canada, Singapore and of course India and any other country in town.
You will see staff of men and women catering to individual shoppers. The staff speaks well and is super polished.
They also won't bargain at all.
You will also see people get caught up in the moment, only to realize they spent $900 on a scarf they were going to wear once and then keep in a suitcase for the rest of their life.
I recently walked into the store in Mumbai and I can tell you WOW, they have an outfit for literally anything. Of the ten different bridal outfits I saw..the Sabyasachi lehenga cost for 2019 ranged from:
Those are actual November 2019 costs of bridal lehengas and sarees. You will find simpler outfits there also for like 1.5 to 2L but you'll feel underwhelmed. Feel free to walk into the stores and double check.
Add another $3000 in two trips across the world to finalize your designs. Maybe more if your hubbie/mom/cousins goes with you.
READ NEXT: BEST INDIAN WEDDING DRESSES 2020
Example cost ranges for a Sabyasachi Lehenga in America.
As of 2020, the average price for a traditional or slightly modern Sabyasachi BRIDAL Lehenga is about $12,000 USD, with the bridal range going from $5000 to $25,000. Don't forget to add $4000 in flights.
Delhi Sabyasachi prices seem to be around the same.
How much was the Priyanka Chopra Sabyasachi Lehenga for her Nick Jonas wedding?
It was $26,000 USD although we don't know exact sources or confirmations, or how much she paid for it (could have been free to market).
How Much was the Deepika Padukone Sabyasachi lehenga?
13,000 USD was the cost of her red lehenga for her Sindhi wedding.
1. What are the Sabyasachi Alternatives?
On a side note, here are the other three other big fancy Indian bridal designers I keep hearing all the gals talk about.
Note, they're also not cheap.
Manish Malhotra - More Elegant
Gaurav Gupta - More of Both
Honrable Mention: Shantanu & Nikhil - More military style.
2. Better Ways to Spend Your Money
I'm all about spending money on things you appreciate and enjoy, so if Sabya does that for you, please do.
However, here are other options you could spend on with the $5000 minimum you'll save by getting something custom made or from an alternate designer:
Taking a honey or friennymoon post your wedding
Hiring and flying your favorite live band from across the world to your wedding
Having two after parties until 3 or 4am at your Sangeet or Reception
Having a live Benihana sushi and lobster counter a your wedding
Giving each guest group of guests a free pair of AirPods
I mean, you get the idea.
3. Can't I just make something similar?
He has redefined trends and tradition so I assume the market speaks for itself of why his brand is worth it.
People don't just buy a lehenga, they buy the memories, the feel of wearing it, the pride, the status, whatever it may be.
They also don't let you take photos in their shops because they know the Indian way of "getting inspired" will lead to plagarism, but a quick peak at each website or Instagram will help you zone in on the Indian bridal look you want to go for.
In fact they're popular instagram channels dedicated to finding copies of their dresses from other smaller boutique designers.
But yes of course, with any fashion, you can get "inspired" and do what you want. Brides from all cultures do this daily and it's simply the cost of doing business in fashion. But it won't be THAT much cheaper.
LONG STORY SHORT, and in CONCLUSION
Indian fashion has come a long way, and if you can afford a $14,000 dress and/or your family is insisting you wear it, by all means please do.
It's your wedding day and you deserve to feel like a princess.
But if money is tight or you're not sure, the beauty of Indian outfits is by nature they're so intricate that you can really do 90% of the leg work with a custom tailor and nobody will know the difference.
Plus you'll get something truly your own. (e.g. Most Sabyasachi designs will pop up on various brides on all the other websites, as he only releases 10-20 designs each year).
I guess the real question is...based on all the other Indian weddings you've been to in your life...have you ever looked at a bride and thought....WOW, that's too simple? They should have gone Sabya? Probably not right?
It's really hard with the intricacy and patterns of Indian bridal wear, and I don't think your one day should be analyzed so hard. Wear what feels good and you and what you'll carry like a queen, and go with that!
Disclaimer: I checked with all the women in my life before publishing this article and they agree with the points.
And for those who picked up their Sabyasachi outfit, I'm with you there too.
But like with anything, car, house, vacation or otherwise, make sure you're covered (pun, get it) and confident about your finances, otherwise whatever you spend will just be stress that will get in the way of your beautiful day.
All the best!
Feel free to use some of that non Sabya savings and give us a shout for your DJ and Lighting requirements in your Indian-American wedding in Los Angeles, Hawaii, or beyond.
Ajay Manaktala is an Indian American expert who travels the world planning South Asian and Bollywood events, and also DJs/MCs a large percentage of them. He is a recognized expert on Quora under Indian weddings. Having seen brides go bananas on Indian weddings, he knows about the Sabya dilemma. His goal was to explain the different Sabya price tiers and your extra costs that will add another 20-35% of your bill.
If you enjoyed this post please do drop a comment!
Updated November 2019
Oh and by the way, neither of those outfits were Sabya in the picture above. Did it make a difference? If it did, then yes, go Sabya! If it didn't, remember everybody looks gorgeous on their wedding day!