What to Wear to an Indian Wedding
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How to Dress as a Guest to an Indian Wedding
Indian weddings are some of the most beautiful sights, and always a ton of fun. In this case you should always be considerate of culture, avoid anything that would come off as cultural appropriation.
Generally, they love sharing their culture and having others learn and participate in it with them. Just be sure when you are looking for items to wear that they are the correct thing, and even more points if you find things actually made by people who are part of the culture.
What to Expect at an Indian Wedding
Knowing whether the wedding is North or South Indian will make a difference, so if you are not sure please ask so you can be prepared. The couple may choose to do the traditional wedding plan, or create a fusion of what works best for them.
Every couple is different, but overall here are some things you can expect at an Indian wedding.
One big thing about Indian weddings is that they are more than one day long. Some can go up to sixteen day, but usually you are looking at 4 days or less. The next thing to know is that you should wear colors, bright and pigmented colors. You should avoid red because that is generally the color brides wear.
The more jewelry the better! You should expect a very luxurious ceremony, and for everyone to look amazing. There will be tons of food, and lots of games. If you’re a westerner, or just have never experienced an Indian wedding, then you are in for a complete surprise.
It is usually a huge culture shock, and it will really make you appreciate their culture; you are going to experience something you will never forget.
What to Wear for Different Ceremonies
Traditionally, the wedding will last for about three days. This is specific to Hindu ceremonies (will not be the same for other cultures). The first day is the Ganesha Pooja which takes place at their home with close family and friends. For this a casual outfit is more acceptable.
Then the second day is the Mehendi ceremony; which is when everyone is involved for an evening of celebrating and usually the bride gets her henna. This again is a more casual event when comfort is prioritized. The third day morning will be the wedding ceremony and then jumps into the reception in the evening.
This event will be where you want to wear your more formal attire. Overall, you should plan to bring three outfits, and dress for comfort because there will be a lot of dancing.
Indian Wedding Guest Attire
As a guest you have a couple options on what to wear. You should consider if the wedding is being held in India because then you should go to the traditional route and get one of the following (women): Lehenga, Saree, or Salwar Kameez. Then men can look into: Krishna Mehta Kurta or Sherwani.
However, if you prefer to go less traditional then long colorful dresses and colorful suits are also great choices. If you’ve got colors, and maybe some embroidered designs then you’ll be good.
You can also go for a pant suit, and for any of these you can incorporate accessories like sashes. Main thing to remember is that they will be more than happy if you choose to wear their traditional garments, and so helpful if you have problems wrapping or tying them. Plus, when else will you get the chance to participate in this tradition; you should go all out.
What should a man wear to an indian wedding?
Men have a few options on what they can wear. Of course, if you prefer the suit look then you absolutely can wear that. There is no pressure to wear the traditional garment if you’re just not comfortable with that. Just be sure if you choose a suit that you get a colorful one; don’t show up in black.
The Krishna Mehta kurta is one of the traditional options men can choose from. They are a tunic type top that is worn over pants. You can find many different colors and designs for this look. If you want you can pair it over a pair of slacks you already have, and you’ll be able to save some money.
You can also look for the Sherwani. This is similar to the other but has a little longer of a collar, and opens at the waist. Usually has buttons, and would be similar to a suit jacket. If you are between not knowing what to get, definitely consider these.
What to wear to an indian wedding for women?
For women, you absolutely can wear a dress, and as long as it is colorful then you’ll be good. If you can find one that is Indian inspired with embroidering or something that would look good with a sash then you definitely can make it work.
For a more traditional look you can go for a Lehenga. This is a thor piece set with a crop top, long A-line skirt, and a scarf. This is really popular because of how good it looks on most body types, and generally one of the easier outfits to figure out.
The Saree is one of the most well known styles for indian weddings. It is also a crop top, but the rest of it is one long piece of fabric that gets folded into the bottoms and draped over your shoulder. It is a great choice if you are unsure, but please if you get this be sure that you know someone who can teach you how to wrap it, or be prepared to watch a bunch of youtube videos. If you can, get the Saree pre-stitched into a skirt so you won’t have to worry about folding a pinning, or it falling out. It is not the traditional way to do it, but doing it the traditional way is an art for, so if you want an easier way then you can do that.
You also have a Salwar Kameez, which would be considered a more casual option. It is a long top or kurti and a loose pair of pants. Generally, a good thing to bring along with one of the other options because you can wear it to any of the smaller events and it’s comfortable.
Where to Shop for Indian Wedding Guest Attire
You will be surprised how many places you can find traditional Indian wedding attire. You should definitely start at a store where you can see the options, and find out your sizing. Your city may have a good shop that specifies in this attire. If you can then you absolutely should support the community and culture of what you are buying. However, given the world’s circumstances you can also shop online. Online may be the best option for you, and that’s okay too.
Unique and Colorful Choices
ASOS has a very good variety for people who are looking for colorful, but still a little more western. They have great suits, and colorful dresses. They also won’t break your bank. They are a great place to check out if you want to see what you can do without going fully traditional.
Something for Everyone
Amazon, maybe not so surprisingly, has a great variety on Indian formal attire. They have everything so it should not be a surprise. You can see the reviews, and get a good idea of the quality. Plus if you want to order from a seller that is from india then Amazon has tons of options. They’ve got the best return policy if you aren’t sure on sizing, or if you just want to try out a few options.
Etsy will give you some of the most beautiful options. These are usually handmade, and a lot of work goes into making these beautiful. The shipping may take a little longer than Amazon, but they are definitely more authentic. You should always look at Etsy if you want something handmade.
Indian weddings are something everyone should experience at least once. Their culture is beautiful, and it shows through their ceremonies. You should always ask the couple ahead of time about what should be expected. If you are invited to participate in a multiple day wedding then be prepared with more than one outfit. They are going to be more than happy that you decided to embrace their culture, and they will probably offer you so much help with your wraps and folds if you look like you need fixing. Remember all weddings can be different, and these outfit tips are generally for a north Indian wedding, but some may be the same for South Indian. You are about to make some amazing memories, and hopefully you now feel more prepared to do it.
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