What To Wear To An Indian WeddingThis entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Have you just received a wedding invite from your Indian friend and are wondering what to wear?

We all know that vibrant ceremonies make Indian Weddings very beautiful and distinct. The ceremonies and rituals are like a treasure trove of memorable experiences and being dressed appropriately doubles the fun.

Trust us, the energy behind the union of two families in an Indian Wedding is to watch out for! Indians believe that the wedding is not just between the groom and the bride, but is also about joining of two families and celebrating their togetherness.

Read on to learn more about the various ceremonies in an Indian Wedding and dressing suggestions for each!

Your Guide As A Guest At An Indian Wedding

Mehendi, indian wedding ceremony

#The Mehendi

One of the first ceremonies of an Indian Wedding Mehendi, marks the onset of the wedding celebrations. Mehendi or Henna is essentially a fragrant paste churned out from henna leaves, which is coned and put onto a bride’s hands and feet in the form of intricate yet beautiful designs. It is known to cool and relieve the stress of the nerves. Friends and family are obviously part of the ceremony and they also get designs made on their palms to join the celebrations. Usually, it is accompanied with informal dance on celebratory jingles and lots of laughter.

The Indian bride usually wears an airy, free flowing simple skirt (traditionally known as lehenga) with a complementing top which is comfortable, as she cannot move until her mehendi dries up completely leaving beautiful designs on her skin in saffron colour. Friends and family can enjoy the occasion by adorning light & comfortable garments and the men can carry a semi casual or even a traditional look.

Mehendi styles

#Mehendi Styling Tips:

Outfit: Indian Traditional: Salwar Suit; Alternative: Palazzo pants with a long top/ Floral Dress

Footwear: Flats or minimal height wedges/heels

Jewelry: Light

Tip: Imagine wearing a dress that requires you to manage it constantly with your hands, and now imagine, those hands having mehendi on them! Keeping that in mind, remember to keep your hands free for the mehendi ceremony.

Your apparel and footwear should also allow enough flexibility to break into a dance at any time. Avoid wearing full sleeves else you might have to roll up your sleeves while getting mehendi!

#Cocktail and Sangeet

Cocktail & Sangeet, indian wedding

The musical night, known as Sangeet, takes place a night before the big day. It is the night of celebration where the bride & groom come together along with their family and friends to dance to funky Bollywood numbers. A drink or two is enjoyed to loosen up, relax the nerves and raise a toast to new beginnings. Interestingly enough, close friends and family actually practice their dances for weeks before the Sangeet night and are usually perfectly synchronised on the big night!

The Indian bride swings beautifully and twirls with happiness in an indo-western gown and the groom too matches her steps in a tuxedo or a light Chinese collared Sherwani or suit. Join the celebration with comfort and class, as this night is all about letting your hair down!

Sangeet styling tips, indian wedding

#Sangeet & Cocktail Styling Tips:

Outfit: Traditional: Party Sari with a Halter top; Substitute: Elegant Evening Gown

Footwear: Party Shoes

Jewelry: Light Party

Tip: Party with poise! Your apparel, in sync with your twist and turns, should give your moves a picture perfect performance!

Wedding & reception, indian wedding

Wedding & Reception

An Indian Wedding day is bright, beautiful, and spell-binding. It takes up a few good hours but the fun is unlimited! You should be prepared since there are no short-cuts when it comes to traditional rituals, ceremonies, r even styling. The wedding day means being at your traditional best.

The garland exchange usually marks the onset of the wedding ceremony. The couples proceed by paying their respects to the gods and take sacred vows by encircling the fire 7 times along with the chanting by the priest. Essentially, these are 7 promises which the groom and bride make to each other, each having a spiritual meaning. The wedding concludes by taking the blessing from the elders in the family. Indian Wedding ceremonies take few hours, but give you an experience that have mixed emotions of happiness, joy, tears & excitement.

The bride and groom embrace tradition and pay respect to the rituals and it shows in their outfits. The bride usually wears a wedding trousseau or a wedding sari in red or shades of red. The groom looks stunning in his traditional Sherwani, looking no less than a king going to receive his bride. It is a sight of a lifetime seeing a couple being tied in holy matrimony in an Indian Wedding.

It is best to stick to an outfit that will work in a traditional ceremony.

In case you are invited to the Reception, which is essentially a dinner party post the wedding, you can wear a light formal party outfit.

Wedding garb for guests, indian wedding

#Wedding & Reception Styling Tips:

Outfit: Traditional: Lehenga / Saree; Substitute: Full length dress

Footwear: Heels

Jewelry: Traditional, usually gold

Tip: Your apparel should compliment the Indian wedding atmosphere, which will make you feel the true essence of the rituals. Also, ideally, you should not be wearing black or white to the traditional ceremonies as they are considered inauspicious. Your footwear can be high on style, but make sure you can slip your feet out with ease, as a lot of rituals demand you to sit bare feet.

Make the Indian Wedding experience a truly memorable time to be cherished!

Looking for a great way to help finance your honeymoon? Consider setting up a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Enjoy your iIndian wedding experience


About 7Vachan

7Vachan is a wedding services aggregator who brings all Indian wedding service providers together on an online platform. The vendors that you can find on the website include wedding photographers, five-star venues, wedding destinations packages, makeup & hair experts and mehendi artists. The user can actually search, shortlist and select the required vendor based on their requirements.

The added benefit is the savings the customer can make on the platform since 7Vachan has pre-negotiated best deals with all the vendors. Visit www.7Vachan.com or follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/7Vachan/).

About Anoop Padalkar

Anoop Padalkar, one of the best Indian Wedding photographers, has an eye to create the perfect picture, especially during Indian weddings. He has captured numerous couples saying their vows and understands how precious these memories are. He believes in letting his work speak for himself. He travels frequently to all parts of the world, including the US and UK, to cover weddings. In case you’d like to get in touch with him, please mail us on info@7vachan.com.



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  • Sam says:

    Great post on what to wear to an Indian wedding. The selection of clothing is spot on & looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  • bigbindi says:

    Indian wedding is all about great food and stunning outfits and of course photos ! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  • Sarah says:

    Thanks for your post. I am invited to an Indian wedding celebration soon, so I’m kind of excited and want to prepare the best way I can 🙂
    You mention that I will probably be required to have bare feet for some of the rituals. Does this also apply to me, although I am non-Indian and only a guest? And does it mean that I will have to remove my socks as well, or just the shoes?
    I’ll be grateful for your answer,

    • Hi Sarah!

      Every wedding is different, so it would be best to ask the bride or groom about this. Traditionally all guests are barefoot, but it will depend on what the happy couple is okay with.

      We hope that helps!

      • Sarah says:

        Thank you for your answer. I wrote the bride a message now, but she just replied “yes, bare feet for the rituals”. She’s probably too busy preparing everything.
        So does this usually mean that shoes AND socks will have to be removed?
        And why is it that bare feet are so important for those rituals?
        best wishes, Sarah

        • Hi Sarah,

          Yes, shoes and socks would have to be removed. It is a part of their culture and typically is seen as a sign of respect to the deities. Here is a link to a site that goes more in depth about it: http://academyofancientreflexology.com/barefoot-in-india/

          • Sarah says:

            Ok, thanks. I didn’t know that. But it’s definitely good to know this beforehand.
            My daughter who is also invited won’t be too happy about the part with bare feet. She is a little shy when it comes to being barefoot. But I guess in that case she will have no choice but to remove her shoes and socks for her friend’s wedding ceremony, right?

          • Hi Sarah,

            Indian wedding is the most fun event to go to as it’s filled with a lot colors, food, glamor and fun!! And clothing plays a major role in any of the Indian wedding. So if you are looking to get some fun Indian Ethnic Wear then https://www.GetEthnic.com is the best place as they would make sketches for you for free. Have fun at the wedding!!

            Cheers 🙂

  • Kevin King says:

    Excellent post. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I love reading your article.I want to thank you for this informative post. Keep posting and keep sharing like this.

  • Garb lehenga says:

    Lovely outfit of Wedding Thanks for share

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