As monumental as weddings are in most societies, Indian nuptials are on another level entirely. If you're fortunate enough to be invited to an Indian wedding, you're in for a real treat. The festivities last for days, and the guest list is far larger than at a typical Western wedding.
You may be wondering what to wear to a traditional Indian or multicultural fusion wedding if you have been invited. Choosing an outfit for an Indian wedding is a significant but should not be stressful undertaking. Weddings in India are renowned for its lavishness, tradition, and celebration of love. For one day, as a special visitor, you'll be able to live like a local (or three).
When planning an attire for an Indian wedding, guests should devote special attention to colour. Wedding coordinators suggest that an Indian wedding is a reason to decorate with vibrant, happy colours, no matter the time of year or where the ceremony is being held. We love pastels during the day and rich jewel tones in the evening.
Since Indian weddings are joyous occasions, vivid colours are welcome, with a few exceptions based on cultural norms. Brides traditionally wear red, it is suggested that guests are encouraged to wear any colour other than black. Wearing this shade to an Indian wedding would be a huge faux pas guests not follow suit.
Shoppers are advised to brush up on their knowledge of Indian fashion lingo before venturing out. Women typically wear sarees and lehengas. A lehenga is a traditional Indian dress ensemble consisting of a fitted blouse and a flared, knee-length skirt. A saree is a long garment often made of silk and worn as a dress or skirt. A long coat-like top called a sherwani is recommended for men to wear.
The wearing of traditional garb is not always expected, though. Guests should check the invitation or the wedding website for any special dress code requirements, but casual attire is also welcome. Experts who frequently hosts traditional and fusion Indian weddings, has observed that you can see a lot of women, especially at fusion weddings, wearing a pantsuit or something that is very comfortable or flowy and may not be the traditional dress.
Consequently, if you received an invitation to an Indian wedding and are unsure of what to dress, allow us to assist you.
Table of Contents
Plan Events and Ceremonies
The wedding ceremony is just one part of the larger celebration that typically spans two or three days at an Indian wedding. Friends and family of Indian descent will certainly observe the religious rites of their Sikh, Hindu, or Muslim ancestors at the very least.
What to wear to an Indian wedding: traditional Indian garments are one choice for the ceremony. Typically, a saree, an elaborately draped cloth garment worn by women in India, ranging in colour from the shoulders to the ankles, serves this purpose. During a religious ceremony, it is customary to use the extra fabric to cover one's head. As a rule, men at weddings wear long-sleeved tunics with slacks. Clothes for both sexes are available in a dizzying array of bright, highly saturated colours, patterns, and prints. A local Indian (or Pakistani or Nepalese) bazaar or market will likely also sell apparel if you reside in an area with a sizable Indian-American community. Don't bother the bride or groom about their wedding outfit! You can put your faith in us, and they are probably too busy with other inquiries to help you with this one.
Choose Bright Colours
Wear something colourful and bold, whether you're going for a western look or a more traditional Indian one. Some hues should be avoided at all costs. These include black and white, as these colours are often associated with funerals in Indian culture. In addition, red is typically reserved for brides, so it's advisable to stay away from it if you're a woman.
Wear Colour and Cover Your Head
While white is commonly linked with innocence and new beginnings in the West, in South Asia it is more commonly connected with death. Furthermore, it's inappropriate to wear white to a wedding. The colour black is often considered to be unlucky in Hindu rites. However, visitors are welcome to wear just about any other shade in the rainbow.
If the wedding is going to be a Sikh or Hindu one, guests of both sexes should remember to bring a head covering. If you don't have a scarf handy, saree-clad ladies can utilise whatever cloth they have on hand. If the men wish to cover their heads throughout the ceremony, they should bring a handkerchief. You should also be prepared to remove your shoes before entering a place of worship if that is where the ceremony will take place.
Everyone Should Cover Up
If you're not opting for Indian clothes, make sure your Western clothes cover about the same amount of skin as traditional Indian wedding attire (shoulders, legs, and sometimes all of the arms). Clothing that reveals too much skin, skimps on modesty, or clings to the body is inappropriate for an Indian wedding. Gentlemen should wear long shirts and pants.
It's vital to dress conservatively, especially when attending religious services.
The degree of formality of the dress code can be suggested by the type of ceremony. Women and men are encouraged to attend a Sikh ceremony with their heads covered. Women can wear either a saree or a pant suit to a traditional Hindu event. Since you're in a celebratory mood and hoping to feel at ease, the reception usually relaxes its standards a little bit. Because of the relaxed atmosphere, guests should focus on feeling at ease.
Struggling to find your perfect gown? Check out our extensive list of Wedding Dress Shops in Melbourne.
Wear Something Comfortable
If you're attending an Indian wedding, keep in mind that the festivities will go much longer than at a typical Western wedding, and that you'll be expected to eat and drink a lot. If you want to be able to relax and take pleasure in the full wedding festivities, you might want to avoid wearing something too constricting.
This is crucial if you happen to be travelling with the groom. You will have to get up and dance during the Baraat, as the groom's relatives and friends will be dancing in a procession to the bride's. Wedding guests at Sikh ceremonies typically sit cross-legged on the floor, so it's important to wear comfortable clothing that won't restrict your movement or expose too much skin.
If this is your first Indian wedding, you may be shocked at how long the ceremony itself is, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing that you won't be itching to change out of afterwards. As guests at Indian weddings sometimes change into fancier garb for the reception, you may want to consider wearing something more understated during the ceremony.
Fantastic jewellery and other accessories are common sights during Indian weddings. Accessories like bangles, necklaces, and earrings will help you blend in with the crowd.
The last action is to finish the look with a complementary accessory (or two). In particular, bracelets are an important method to accessorise your outfit. We have a huge collection of bracelets that we wear with almost every outfit. When selecting jewellery, it is suggested that visitors opt for an item that can be worn with a variety of different ensembles and so gets more wear out of it.
You should wear your finest jewellery and other body ornaments to an Indian wedding, even if you don't wear traditional Indian clothing. Women may choose to wear a bindi, an elaborate sticker, on their forehead as a form of self-expression. Tejel Patel, owner of Ambiance by Tejel in Santa Clara, California, has spoken out about the misconception that wearing a bindi may cause offence to other Indians.
Extravagantly, you should accessorise with gold bangles, headpieces, vivid purses, and brilliant jewellery.
Where to Buy Indian Wedding Attire?
Local boutiques are frequently the most convenient places to shop for classic bridal wear. On the other hand, the Internet is a great place to look for motivation.
It is suggested that the visitors go to several local boutiques to test on some clothes before making any final purchases. Look for Indian clothing, jewellery, and accessories like bindis in a "Little India" section of any major city. There are a lot of stores to choose from on the internet.
What Not to Wear to an Indian Wedding?
Wearing skintight or exposing clothing is generally frowned upon. Because Indian weddings are grand celebrations, guests are expected to dress to the nines. Many traditional Indian celebrations forbid the wearing of specific colours because they are deemed unlucky. In the following sections, we explain in detail what is inappropriate attire for an Indian wedding.
Colors to Avoid at an Indian Wedding
According to Hindu custom, some colours should be avoided at important events like weddings. But the best part is that there is no nationwide standard for which colours are off-limits. In some regions of India, namely the north, the colour white is connected with death and grief. If you attend a wedding in Kerala or Karnataka, though, you will notice that the bride is almost always dressed in white. So, if you are certain that the wedding will adhere to the aforementioned traditions, you are free to don a white ensemble. Stay away from it if you aren't prepared. Colors like off-white and beige with gold accents are perfect if you want to highlight your preference for muted tones on your big day.
White is the most inauspicious colour for an Indian wedding, but black is also frowned upon for similar reasons. If you want to avoid seeming boring, you should avoid wearing black, even if it is a basic colour that many ladies enjoy because of its sensual appeal. Aside from the unwanted attention it draws, you'll also stand out in a crowd full of people wearing bright, cheerful colours. We recommend avoiding black since the goal is to blend in with the crowd while standing out with your personal flair.
At light of the cultural significance attached to certain hues in Indian weddings, we can only think of two colors—black and white—that are inappropriate attire. We also recommend avoiding red, but not as much as the other colours we listed. Red is a classic hue for bridesmaid dresses, so it's probable that the big day will have a lot of the hue. On her wedding day, it's best to give her some time to shine in the spotlight. So, when picking out your outfit for the wedding, we advise going with a different hue.
At the end, it is important for visitors to take part in local celebrations. The locals are thrilled when visitors from other cultures show their appreciation for Indian traditions by dressing in traditional garb. Older women will go out of their way to help you with simple tasks like tying a sari or mending a shirt. Make sure you can eat and dance comfortably in whatever you decide to wear. Indeed, this is the hallmark of traditional Indian marriages.
Dressing for an Indian wedding is a big deal, but it shouldn't be stressful. Saris and lehengas are common attire for women. Since the bride customarily dons a bright red dress, the guests should feel free to wear any shade of the rainbow except for black. Traditional clothing is not always expected to be worn. An Indian wedding is more than simply the wedding ceremony; the celebration lasts for two or three days.
Both men's and women's clothing come in an overwhelming variety of vivid, highly saturated colours, patterns, and prints. As much as possible, stay away from these colours. Attending an Indian wedding requires clothing that covers as much skin as traditional Indian clothing. Explicit or otherwise immodest clothing is not appropriate. Women can wear a saree or a pant suit, while gentlemen should wear long shirts and pants.
Dress up your outfit with flashy jewellery, colourful handbags, and gilded bangles. Traditional bridal clothing is sometimes easiest to find at local boutiques. What follows is a detailed explanation of the kind of things that are not proper to wear to an Indian wedding. Hindu tradition dictates that certain colours not be worn at ceremonies like weddings. White is associated with mourning and death in many parts of India, particularly the country's northern provinces. Only black and white are considered unacceptable colours for guests to wear to an Indian wedding.
FAQs About Indian Weddings
The reception is where the couple's families will throw a lavish reception party to finally let loose. Part of the celebration includes speeches and loved ones singing, dancing and performing routines for the couple. Following this, a huge sit-down dinner and a dance party will take place.
It's mostly split between the couple and their parents, 50/50. Sometimes, however, if one side is insisting on more guests or extra fanfare, then those costs are adjusted.
A typical Indian wedding timeline stretches about three days. The Hindu wedding ceremony, which takes place on the third day, usually lasts between one-and-a-half to two hours and is then followed by the reception. The whole day clocks around 16 hours.
Ceremonies in Hinduism. While there are many festival-related rituals in Hinduism, vivaah (wedding) is the most extensive personal ritual an adult Hindu undertakes in his or her life. Typical Hindu families spend significant effort and financial resources to prepare and celebrate weddings.
Every wedding guest is usually invited, and it involves an introduction of the couple's families, mingling, a meal and dances or other performances. On the third day, the main ceremony, cocktail hour and reception take place. You may be invited to the last day of the events, or to any part of the three-day celebration.
- If you're fortunate enough to be invited to an Indian wedding, you're in for a real treat.
- You may be wondering what to wear to a traditional Indian or multicultural fusion wedding if you have been invited.
- Weddings in India are renowned for its lavishness, tradition, and celebration of love.
- What to wear to an Indian wedding: traditional Indian garments are one choice for the ceremony.
- If you're not opting for Indian clothes, make sure your Western clothes cover about the same amount of skin as traditional Indian wedding attire (shoulders, legs, and sometimes all of the arms).
- The degree of formality of the dress code can be suggested by the type of ceremony.
- In particular, bracelets are an important method to accessorise your outfit.
- You should wear your finest jewellery and other body ornaments to an Indian wedding, even if you don't wear traditional Indian clothing.
- Look for Indian clothing, jewellery, and accessories like bindis in a "Little India" section of any major city.
- Wearing skin tight or exposing clothing is generally frowned upon.
- In the following sections, we explain in detail what is inappropriate attire for an Indian wedding.
- So, if you are certain that the wedding will adhere to the aforementioned traditions, you are free to don a white ensemble.
- Stay away from it if you aren't prepared.
- So, when picking out your outfit for the wedding, we advise going with a different hue.
- At the end, it is important for visitors to take part in local celebrations.