Invited for an Indian Wedding? Everything You Need to Know About Dressing Styles

Indian weddings are lavish affairs that last for a minimum of three days. If a friend or acquaintance has just invited you to one of these events, you’ll want to choose Indian traditional outfits to match the ambiance. Don’t be surprised if the bride or groom inviting you isn’t someone really close to you. According to Indian customs, everyone the family knows is invited. So, you may want to be prepared for a guest list that goes anywhere upward of 500 people which is surprising considering that most American weddings have just around 150 invitees. As for the estimated cost, $65,000 per wedding is the done thing just as this feature on Fortune magazine describes. Ready to plan your wardrobe with some beautiful ethnic wear for a lavish gala? Here’s a quick overview of what you should choose.

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Indian Couture Looks Great on Every Body Structure

If you’re concerned about being able to carry off Indian attire, know that whatever may be the style you choose, traditional clothes look perfect on every body structure. In fact, like the expert designers of Indian Clothes at Lashkaara reveal, the flowing silhouettes of kurta-pajamas, sherwanis, and churidar-kurtas can conceal all the imperfections you may have. For instance, conceal a slight paunch with a flowing kurta tunic that reaches your knees. Do you have broad shoulders with a well-worked out body? You could choose a sleeveless jacket with a V-neck thrown over the classic kurta-pajama. Pick a richer tone for the jacket like a dark forest green, maroon, or black brocade to create a contrast against the off-white attire you’ll wear with it.

Indian Weddings Are All About Vibrant Colors

Unlike American weddings where the men show up in variations of regular blues, blacks, greys, and browns, Indian weddings allow you to explore your colorful side – and, get away with it. Here’s one event where you can sport a gold sherwani with embroidery, gold buttons, and the works, and not look like you don’t belong. The groom will likely have on brighter colors complete with a head-dress or turban and a matching stole in fabrics like silk, satin, and velvet. So, go ahead and feel like a part of a prince’s entourage by investing in a similar outfit. You’ll blend in perfectly with the décor that is most likely going to be a riot of exciting colors just as the folks on Vogue magazine explain.

Find Out About Cultural Restrictions on the Colors, Though

Consider checking with the friend inviting you and ask about the colors you can wear. That’s because many Hindu communities have restrictions about the appropriate colors. For instance, white is a sign of mourning, so you might want to wear pastels instead. Black is typically acceptable in most Indian cultures, but there may be specific families that would prefer it if you didn’t wear the color. Wondering why this is a problem worth exploring carefully? India has more than 30 different cultures and wedding rituals. For instance, you could be attending nuptials in the style of Punjab, South Indian, Tamilian, Gujrati, Goan, Rajasthani, Marwari, or Maharashtrian. And, that’s only the start of the list.

Come Prepared for Lots of Music and Dancing

The actual nuptials and the events leading up to the main Indian wedding are sure to have lots of music and dancing. Chances are that you’ll be invited for a Sangeet that is a flamboyant celebration of the new matrimonial bond. In addition to performances by the groom’s and bride’s families, everyone is invited to the dance floor in the end. You won’t have to be especially good at traditional dance forms – just following the rhythm will be perfect. But, you’ll need an outfit that lets you move comfortably. And, Indian clothes do just that. Whether you choose a pajama, dhoti, or salwar with the kurta, you’ll find that it has a loose fit so you can show off your best moves. Check out this article on Brides for more information about how that works.

Wearing Jewelry for an Indian Wedding is Perfectly Acceptable

What is your idea of jewelry as an American? You’ve probably never thought beyond a smart, stylish watch in gold. Or, you may have experimented with a pocket watch gifted by your grandfather for a retro look. But, if you’re attending an Indian wedding, wearing gold studded pieces with faux gems is the norm. You can choose accessories like brooches for the left chest pocket. The more elaborate sherwanis can also carry two brooches on either side connected with long chains of gold or rows of pearls. A stone-studded bracelet actually works for a royal feel. And, go ahead and borrow your girlfriend’s pearls. The longer the string the better. Martha Stewart has a good handle on Indian weddings. Take a look at what she has to say.

Let’s Talk About Shoes

When you’re looking for the perfect shoes to match your attire for an Indian wedding, know that you can choose fancy juttis embroidered with golden thread and embellished with gems. Of course, the shoes won’t be as flashy as the bride and groom’s, but they’ll have enough bling to make a statement. The exciting part is that you’ll blend perfectly with the rest of the guests.

What If You Would Like to Wear Regular Western Wear

If you think you’ll be more comfortable in a suit, go ahead and wear just that. The versatility of Indian weddings allows you to choose whatever attire in which you’ll look great. Go ahead and choose a smartly-tailored three-piece suit complete with a tie and smart leather shoes. Expect to see many Indian and Westerners also following the same dress code. The important thing here is for you to have fun, lots of it. You can always try an Indian costume for the next wedding you’ll attend. Given that lots of traditional nuptials are held in the US each year, you could be attending another of these sometime soon.

Indian weddings are glorious, colorful events that combine exciting festivities, vibrant costumes, and amazing food. Attend one and you’ll never forget the experience!