Have you ever wondered how you’re going to fasten a 15 lb. dupatta to your head for your Indian wedding ceremony?

The ornate, heavy, intricately decorated chunni is beautiful to look at in a lehngha showroom, but when the rubber hits the road (or the silk hits the hair), you might start to second-guess your choice of outfit.

No worries, bride-to-be! Here’s the secret:


Now, for the mechanics:

Step 1: Gather a boatload of safety pins. You probably have an eccentric aunt that hoards them. Find her.

Step 2: Buy a new pack of bobby pins. Be smart about this: If you have black hair, you can use black bobby pins. If you have brown hair, buy the brown bobby pins. Don’t buy brown bobby pins if you have black hair, and don’t even THINK about buying the gold ones that are meant for blonde hair.

Step 3: Find the middle of the edge of your dupatta that you want to frame your face, and mark it with a safety pin. Fasten the pin so only a small amount of the metal is showing on the pretty side of the chunni, and so all of the workings of the safety pin (the clasp, the little circle part at the end that acts as a spring) are on the underside of the chunni.

Step 4: Style your hair in a big ol’ bun. Put it on top of your head, at or above the crown of your head in the back. This is the physical structure that will support the weight of your dupatta.

Step 5: Bend your bobby pins. The ridged side (with the zig zags) should face your head, and the flat side should face the sky. You’re going to want to bend the bobby pins slightly, with the ridged side facing in, so the pin has a bit of an arc to it. This will help the bobby pins sit flush with your head.

Step 6: Start pinning. Add a few more safety pins to the dupatta on either side of the first one you inserted, all along the edge of the dupatta that you will have framing your face.

Step 7: Keep pinning. This time, use the bobby pins to fasten the safety pins on the dupatta to your face. The bobby pins will capture the part of the safety pin that is on the underside of the chunni, and you won’t see bobby pins on the outside of the dupatta. You’re going to want to use a lot of bobby pins to hold those safety pins in place, so the dupatta doesn’t raise off your head so much that you see this complicated infrastructure in your precious wedding photos.

Step 8: Reinforce. You remember that big bun you created for support? Stick some bobby pins through your dupatta and into the bun. And by “some” I mean maybe a lot of them.

Pro tips:

If you have gold decorations on your chunni, buy gold safety pins. If you have silver decorations on your chunni, buy silver safety pins. You see where I’m going with this? If the safety pins are the same color as the work in your dupatta, you’re less likely to notice them in this process.

Silver or gold bobby pins would be a good pick for any place where you’re likely to see the pins – like in Step 8.

How To Kit: