By Parul Singh Last Updated:
So, you have just received an invitation to be a part of an Indian wedding celebration. Well, the best thing about Indian weddings is that they are full of several rituals, colourful traditions, music and dance. Clearly, you are bound to have a gala time. Unlike other guests (who are busy discussing the wedding preparations), you are probably wondering about how to make yourself be a part of all these celebations just like one of them?
Since, this may be your first invitation to an Indian wedding, you do not need to worry. We have listed some basic things from attire to food, which you might find helpful to fit in with ease. This way you can enjoy the whole celebration without hesitation.
We understand that weather and lack of knowledge may often jeopardise the situation for you while picking up a traditional outfit. Embracing a new ethnicity for the day can be quite fun. So, you can ask for help from either your host or a common Indian friend; and trust us, they will be more than willing to help you. When it comes to women, most of them go in for embellished sarees, lehanga cholis or stylish suits. So you can pick and choose an attire according to your comfort. Try not wearing an overly-embroidered or heavily-embellished lehenga, as they are mainly a pick for the bride and her bridesmaids. You can go for light-weight clothing and pair it with cool jewellery.
Most men usually opt for fomal suit or tuxedo, kurta-pyajama or informal bandhgala sherwanis. So, if you are a guy reading this, then try picking out a bright colour-block outfit for the wedding and match it up with mojris or even leather footwear.
For pre- or post- wedding functions, one can opt for formal wear, like bow-tie suit, jeans with shirt and Nehru jackets (for men) and evening gowns or dresses (for women), as many Indian guests these days, love to flaunt a bit off-traditional look during these functions. But, try to avoid wearing plunging necklines, short skirts, sheer dress or thigh-slit dresses. They are inappropriate for such occasions. You definitely do not want to hog the limelight for all the wrong reasons!
Jewellery is one of the essential assets for most of the Indian weddings. They not only enhance one’s look, but even complement the attire. However, you have the liberty to forgo jewellery, and nobody would actually mind. But, if you decide to go with wearing jewellery on the wedding day, do check whether or not you are allergic to the material used. As you would not want to sit with an itchy skin throughout the ceremony. You need not go for originals, instead pick out light-weight flea market finds. A piece of advice, do not go pairing funky jewellery with formal wear.
Some Indian weddings prefer vegetarian spread on such an auspicious day, so if you are a hardcore non-vegetarian then kindly do not make your perturbed expressions more visible. However, some marriages do offer their guests non-vegetarian delicacies on their menu, like chicken, mutton, fish and so on, but do not expect beef or pork as they are considered unholy in almost all Indian communities. So, rather than going around and asking the hosts for your favourite meat, just take small servings of whichever dish you want and thank the party. Also, try keeping a limit to your cocktails else you might end up creating a scene, embarrassing your invitees.
If you are wearing a one piece dress or a normal kurti without a dupatta, then do carry a scarf or stole with it. In some weddings, such as Sikh or temple weddings, women and men are expected to sit with their heads covered, so you will need to cover yours as well, as a basic courtesy. Men can carry white handkerchief to cover their head. Though head coverings are provided in some temples, it is better to carry your own.
Also, do remove your shoes before entering the temple or the mandap. These are sacred places, and entering such places with shoes will offend the people around you. So, just be careful. However, you can wear socks or stockings and move around in these premises without any problem.
Also Read: Sacred Rituals of a Sikh Wedding
Most Indian wedding functions happen outdoors, so you might as well be spending a lot of time under the open sky. Do not forget to carry a mosquito repellent cream (for night events), sunscreens (for day events), and shawls and sweaters (for winter weddings). Also, always keep anti-allergic ointments and medicines with you; you never know when you might need them.
You might also want to keep some cotton handy, as Indian band (orchestra) ahead of the baraat (guest procession) might make your ears uncomfortable.
At last, bless the couple, shower them with gifts, dance to the desi tunes, and enjoy the whole experience. Keep in mind these basic pointers to make your stay a memorable affair for you and your hosts as well.
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