Indian Wedding 101

By November 26, 2016 Blog

Invited to an Indian wedding?

Let us help you know what to wear to the various events at an Indian wedding. Bottom line is, go for it!
You will regret showing up to an Indian wedding in purely western clothes. At least get creative and do an East-West mixture.

Below are the different events at an Indian wedding, and what to wear to them

Engagement ceremony

Women-What to wear

The engagement ceremony is generally a more a stylish but understated affair. There won’t be dancing, so you can have more options with your outfit choice. You just don’t want to outdo the bride or groom.

A slimmer lehenga or a simple flowing gown is a good option for an engagement ceremony, Engagement ceremony garments are fairly open to interpretation so wearing something that makes a good first impression as next time you will see them is at the wedding.

You can always enhance your simpler lehenga or gown with statement accessories bangles or bracelets, earrings and a necklace to create a look. Don’t forget a matching bag.

In other words, a more contemporary style is fine for the engagement ceremony.

Men-What to wear

Male guests can wear semi formal to dressy kurtas with churidhaar or patiala pants to the engagement. You can accessorize the kurta with a colorful stole in a contrast color. Sherwanis would be a bit formal for most engagement ceremonies, but again, it depends on the couple.

 

 

Haldi ceremony

Women-What to wear

Haldi is a messy ceremony and the turmeric paste tends to spread, so wearing something that is easy to clean or is a color that will hide a mustard color paste.

The close female friends may wear bright colored anarkalis or go for simple suits in equally flamboyant tones. More subtle jewelry would be appropriate with them outfits. No need for heels to this event. Flats would be appropriate here..

Men-What to wear

As a guest, you are probably not going to be part of the ceremony, but you might get some of the turmeric paste put on your face. Simple but elegant traditional clothes are appropriate for this event. Something in the gold or yellow family of colors will ensure you don’t ruin your outfit. Stripes or lighter colors are appropriate for the Haldi ceremony.

Sangeet ceremony

Women-What to wear

The sangeet is filled with music, singing and dancing! Wear something that you can move in. Sarees, and flowing lehengas will look good while you’re dancing. This is a dressy affair but flats are fine, whatever you are comfortable dancing in. You could choose an anarkali, but it would be good to get a dressier version for this occasion.

Men-What to wear

Shorter Nehru jackets and trousers are excellent for the sangeet, so you can dance! If you aren’t the greatest dancer, you can still look the part in your princely outfit!

Adding an Indian style cravat or scarf around the collar of your jacket can really make the entire look pop.

Mehendi ceremony

Women-What to wear

The mehendi ceremony will involve lots of sitting while the henna is applied. It is therefore essential for mehendi outfits to be lightweight, and comfortable. It is also a good idea to choose an outfit with the type of mehendi design that you want in mind because you will of course what great photos to look back on!

We recommend wearing flowy anarkalis or line suits in bright colours to match the joyous occasion, paired with light-weight jewellery and accessories such as a Maang tikka, earrings, a cuff and a polti bag. Flats and mojris are the ideal footwear if you’re looking for maximum comfort!

What not to wear

Heavily embroidered outfits, long sleeves and capes are all best avoided because they will interfere with the application of the mehendi design.

Men-What to wear

You will be awfully glad for another low-key event more centred on the ladies especially if it follows a raucous night of dancing and debauchery at the Sangeet. However that doesn’t mean you can just roll out of bed and attend a Mehendi ceremony.

Short or long linen kurtas with salwaars or printed cotton kurtas with churidhars work great for the minimal yet stylish look required at the Mehendi ceremony.

A kerchief in the side pocket or interesting buttons on the kurta can really elevate the entire look.

What not to wear

Formal shirts and trousers that will make you look too boring and dated.

Baraat ceremony

Women-What to wear

A lot of people are going to be there, so you will notice that people do dress up, but it is a comfortable kind of dressing up to accommodate the dancing and movement. A change of outfit after the baraat is over is usually planned for given that you are likely to be sweating after all the dancing.

A Lehenga or a relaxed top and bottom combination are usually preferred options. Since dancing is involved, select styling that both accentuates your moves and is well fitted. Feel free to experiment with bright colours or a style that is vibrant in look. Cuts can be conservative as you are likely to be dancing amongst family and friends of all age groups.

What not to wear

Avoid tightly fitted clothing that might restrict movement. Cuts that are too flattering or revealing could also be avoided because of the presence of family members of all age groups. Outfits that have a lot of flowing parts or loose ends (if these cannot be pinned in or tucked in) are also best avoided.

 

Men-What to wear

The Baraat is one of the highlights of the weddings, especially on the day of the wedding. If you are on the groom’s invitation list, then be prepared for a lot of dancing. If you are from the bride’s side , then you are likely to have a quieter ceremony, but you  might be dragged into the dancing celebration!

People do dress up, but this will be dancing clothes. You may need a second outfit here if you are prone to sweating.

Men can wear a Kurta that is vibrant in colour. You may need a turban that is bright in color matching your kurta!  Dancing shoes are a must!   Sherwanis are not usually worn at  a baraat.

 

 

Wedding ceremony

Women-What to wear

The wedding ceremony is where you go all out!

It is important to wear something that  honors the couple, so we would recommend a dressy anarkali, lehenga or saree.

Embellish yourself with as much jewelry as you can pull off. A fancy choker or necklace set with earrings and bangles will work , and don’t forget an evening purse. There is also the option for a mang tikka, or the full headpiece called Maata Patti

 

Men-What to wear

After the craziness of the baraat it’s time to cool down and be respectful for the wedding ceremony, so remember to always wear clothes in keeping with the religions and customs of both families.

Sherwanis are a great choice. Any formal Nehru jackets which is shorter cut can also work.  Get appropriate pants and shoes to compliment the outfit.

  

Reception ceremony

 

Women-What to wear to reception

The reception is dressy, but since there is dancing you will want to be able to be relaxed and move easily.

Dress for the occasion in a floor length gown . Often people wear western attire to this event.

 

Men-What to wear

 

Again, this is formal but in a more western comfortable way.  Often a tux is worn or if the couple specifies otherwise, you will be informed.