A Quick Guide to Indian Wedding Guest Attire for Women
The question we get time and time again is “What should I wear to an Indian wedding if I’m not Indian?” so what better way to get everyone ready for the 2024 Indian wedding season than with a quick guide?
As the excitement of celebrating love and truly embracing South Asian culture fills the air, choosing outfits for the various wedding events can be stressful for some, especially for guests attending Indian weddings for the first time. The stylists in our showroom are always so excited to help first-time Indian wedding guests choose their outfits, either in-person or virtually. We’ve listed some important tips below to get you started though!
Choosing what Indian clothing style to wear to each event is mostly about personal preference and style, but we’ve listed a few of the most common silhouettes you can choose from and what’s unique about each one.
LEHENGAS: These are (obviously) our favorite for so many reasons, but one of the most important is how versatile they are! From casual and fun to sophisticated and regal, there are so many different ways to style and play around with the different elements of a lehenga to make your look unique and true to your style. We curated a collection of versatile lehengas that you can wear to the Indian wedding you're attending, and then repurpose the crop top with some high-waisted jeans for a night out with friends, or pair the floral satin skirt with a casual top on your next tropical vacation! With intricate embroidery and vibrant colors, this silhouette is perfect for almost any Indian wedding event.
ANARKALIS: The most common Indian dress, this type of flowing and graceful dress is a traditional silhouette that can be done in a more modern way if you choose. These are also called Indian gowns sometimes, because they can go all the way to floor, similar to a Western style gown. These Indian dresses are great for the more formal events like the wedding ceremony or the reception.
SAREES/SARIS: Timeless and elegant, sarees come in a myriad of fabrics and designs, and are the most traditional option for any Indian wedding guest. Tying these is an art, so if you’ve never worn one before, make sure you have someone there to help you!
When it comes to colors, almost any color is appropriate for any of the events, with a few exceptions. But, there are certain colors guests tend to gravitate towards when they’re attending Indian weddings.
BOLD AND BRIGHT: Radiant reds, bright fuchsias and yellows are all colors we love seeing at the pre-wedding events like the haldi, sangeet or the mehendi. These colors are fun and full of joy so they’re perfect for getting the couple ready to tie the knot. Vibrant greens, bright purples and rich shades of blue are also great options for the sangeet or mehendi nights, but can also be perfect for the wedding ceremony or reception.
PASTELS: A go-to for the wedding day, soft pink is a quintessential color for an Indian outfit as a wedding guest. Peach, mint or sage green, and lavender are also really popular choices for a modern and chic look for the fashion-forward guest.
JEWEL TONES: deep reds, emerald green, sapphire blue and more, jewel tones are the perfect colors for the reception or sangeet. These traditional Indian colors are not only rich and vibrant, but can stand alone with minimal embroidery or beading if you choose the right color!
WHITE AND BLACK: Traditionally, these two colors are a no-no for any event other than the reception, but in modern Indian weddings, most people don’t care anymore so it’s always best to check in with the couple getting married about any colors that they would like you to avoid.
RED: This is also usually a color people tend to stay away for guest attire for the wedding ceremony only, as this is the traditional color reserved for the couple getting married! However, modern colors for bride and groom attire are far from red, so you can also check in with the couple getting married to see if you can wear this color for the wedding ceremony. Red can usually always be worn to the pre-wedding events or the reception though!
Selecting the Perfect Outfit As An Indian Wedding Guest
Consider the Season: Lighter fabrics like satin and cotton are an obvious choice for those summer weddings, with ceremonies outdoors in the sun. Warmer fabrics like velvet or jacquard are more common options for winter weddings during the cold months so that you don’t have to layer up too much. Some guests will opt for bright colors in warmer months and deep, rich tones for winter celebrations too. However, we always say Indian fashion is seasonless and with some good accessorizing and styling, you can honestly wear any color, any time of the year.
Respect Cultural Norms: Be mindful of cultural and religious considerations when selecting your attire, ensuring you are both stylish and respectful. For example, during Sikh wedding ceremonies, you’ll need to cover your head with a chunni/dupatta so it’s important to incorporate that into your outfit. Any ceremony that’s within a place of worship (mandir, gurdwara, etc.) will always be a little more conservative also, so try not to show too much skin for those events.
Accessorize Thoughtfully: Elevate your look with carefully chosen accessories, such as statement jewelry and embellished clutches. Make sure you still feel like you though, because if you over-accessorize and don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, it’ll definitely show!
Last but not least…
Some couples will choose to send a “moodboard” to their guests, which we absolutely love! These are really helpful for guests as they try and understand what’s appropriate for each event and we always ask our customers to see this so we can help them choose accordingly. We also truly appreciate and love when brides and grooms share our website with their guests to shop for Indian outfits for the big celebration! You can book an appointment with us and we’d love to help you find the perfect Indian dress as a wedding guest!
As you prepare to attend the joyous union of two souls, make sure your attire reflects the festive spirit of the occasion but is also unique to you! Whether you choose the traditional charm of a saree or the modern allure of a lehenga, the key is to make sure you feel like you when you’re wearing them. May your outfit be as memorable as the wedding itself, creating lasting memories of a day filled with love, laughter, and timeless traditions!