If you’ve never been to an Indian wedding, you’re in for an incredible experience. It’s a riot of colors, fun and traditions! You can even involve yourself by dressing up for the event accordingly. Here’s a quick guide to help you dress appropriately for these fun celebrations!
General Guidelines for Indian Wedding Fashion
Whether you’re Indian or not, the bride and groom will appreciate your efforts to wear traditional Indian garb, though Western attire can also be appropriate. Either way, follow these general guidelines:
- Wear bright colors, glitter and flowing fabrics.
- Dress conservatively, covering your shoulders, legs, and arms.
- Dress comfortably, and feel free to choose several outfits, since there are numerous ceremonies and opportunities for costume changes between them.
Sangeet is essentially a pre-party with lots of dancing and music, so choose attire that allows you to kick your heels up on the dance floor. Wear comfortable shoes. If you’ll be performing onstage, consider bright colors or glitz that will help you stand out.
Largely a ladies’ event, Mehndi is a ceremony where the bride and select guests get henna designs drawn on their skin. At this event, the ladies tend to bring their most creative attire, so don’t hold back. Bright, bold colors with flowing skirts (called lehengas) are all the rage.
The Big Event
The main event of Indian weddings is usually held outdoors, so lightweight fabrics in light or pastel colors are always a good idea.
While not a traditional Indian wedding ceremony, this event is formal. That, of course, means dressing to the nines. Shimmer, glitter and intricate patterns are popular, as are silvers and golds with pops of bright colors. Ladies should choose gowns that are long and flowing, and accessorize with plenty of bling, while men should choose deep shades of maroon, blue, or red for their formal suit, sherwani, or waistcoat.
What Not to Wear to an Indian Wedding
While Indian weddings are fun affairs, you don’t want to offend any of the guests or the wedding party, so here’s what not to wear:
- White or black, since these are associated with death in Indian culture
- Outfits that show cleavage or are skin-tight. Exposing your midriff is okay since many traditional Indian outfits have this feature.