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
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 Styling Tips:
Outfit: Indian Traditional: Salwar Suit; Alternative: Palazzo pants with a long top/ Floral Dress
Footwear: Flats or minimal height wedges/heels
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
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 & 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
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 & Reception Styling Tips:
Outfit: Traditional: Lehenga / Saree; Substitute: Full length dress
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!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.