There's a reason why Chandni Chowk is a name synonymous to wedding shopping in Delhi. Nestled in the heart of Delhi and boasting of its old-world charm, this market is the one-stop-shop for all things weddings. Right from bridal and grooms wear to jewellery, mehndi favours, unique dupattas, raw fabric, kaleeras and so much more–Chandni Chowk is the place to score it all. And yes, how can we miss out the almost identical but pocket-friendly Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi lehengas for which the brides come swarming to the lehenga stores in Chandni Chowk.
It goes without saying that it is the mecca for wedding shopping. But this doesn't change the fact that it is also a tricky shopping place. The market is so confusing, congested and overcrowded that it will give you sweating stress if you dare to go without any preparation. So, to make sure you have a smooth experience of wedding shopping in Chandni Chowk, here I enlist some important knows & hows along with some shopping tricks that will save you from being looted!
Firstly, be mentally prepared for the narrow and bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk. Sure Chandni Chowk is a wedding shopping haven but it is a congested and on over-crowded market nestled with gazillions of stores. If you have never visited Chandni Chowk before, seeing these squeaky tiny lanes might come as a dreadful shock. Hence it is important to be already aware of it.
As soon as you enter the market, some random agents or 'dalaals' will try to guide you or lure you to visit specific stores. Beware of them as they will misguide you and take you the shops they get commissions from.
Chandni Chowk is a difficult place to navigate and you will definitely need some help from the locals. But the trick here is to ask the directions of the lane name and not the store's name. Otherwise, you might be guided to the wrong store of a similar/same name. There are a lot of fake stores with the name of some popular stores, so you need to be aware of that! If you have a certain list of stores which you want to visit, simply get in touch with them over the phone for directions, they will send someone who will take you to their store. It is the best way to reach any store without getting lost or being misguided by any dalaal.
While you walk the streets of Chandni Chowk, the salesmen will walk you into their stores throughout. So, you gotta constantly deal with someone trying to convince you to enter their store. There is no harm in visiting such stores if you are on an exploring spree. However, if you have specific stores in mind, then listening to these salesmen will waste your precious time.
Make the best of your bargaining skills. Chandni Chowk is a place where bargaining actually works.
A lot of high-end bridal wear stores in Chandni Chowk only attend customers as per the booked appointments. So, if stores like Asiana Couture are on your list, it is mandatory to book an appointment beforehand.
Some quick tips to swear by:
Ask for a 'heavy lehenga' and not a 'bridal' one. Cuz, as soon as you mention that you are purchasing your wedding lehenga, the prices simply double up.
- Most of the stores take customisation requests. So if you like an outfit but don't like the colour or the work on it–you can get it all changed and have it according to your own taste.
- You will similar lehengas in a lot of stores and each one will be selling it at a different price. So, do not hesitate to explore or to make multiple visits to Chandni Chowk if you want to fetch the best deal.
- To avoid facing the parking hassles, travel via cabs or metro.
- If possible, take along someone who is a pro-Chandni Chowk shopper (all of us have someone in our relatives or friends) or at least has basic know-how of the market!
- And lastly, beware of the pickpocketers!