So, you’ve received an invitation to a friend or relative’s Indian wedding ceremony. Let us go ahead and answer your first question: What to wear to an Indian wedding as a guest? While there will probably be some dress code cues on the invitation, you should have a general idea of traditions and customs when it comes to guest attire at Indian weddings.
Make sure you know what to wear to an Indian wedding as a guest!
Prepare for multiple ceremonies and events.
Indian weddings generally are comprised of many events that take place over the course of two or three days — and the wedding ceremony (or ceremonies) is only one component. At a minimum, your Indian-American friends or relatives will probably have a traditional Indian ceremony that represents the faith of their family back home, likely Sikh, Hindu or Muslim. In addition, lots of couples who grew up in the States will want to also have an Americanized ceremony that will look and feel pretty familiar. Be sure to have attire for at least these two ceremonies.
Consider classic Indian garb.
For the traditional ceremony, one option for what to wear to an Indian wedding as a guest is traditional Indian clothes. For women, that’s usually a colorful saree, which is an elaborately tied drape of fabric that normally covers from the shoulders to the ankles. Extra fabric is normally left free and can be used to cover your head during the religious ceremony. Men’s wedding attire is normally a long-sleeved tunic and pants. Both men and women’s clothes come in dazzling, highly saturated colors with lots of patterns and prints. If you live in an area with a large Indian-American population, try a local Indian (or Pakistani or Nepalese) bazaar or market, which will likely also sell clothing. Whatever you do, don’t nag the bride or the groom about attire! Trust us, they’re swamped with other questions, so try to navigate this part on your own.