Invited to an Indian Wedding? It’s definitely an experience you will not forget. Usually Indian weddings span several days and consists of multiple events. Lot of events means lots of fun, and lots of outfits! Yes, it can get very confusing on what to wear to an Indian wedding! So check out our guide below so you know exactly what to wear.
First off, take a look at your invitation and see to which events you are invited. The type of wedding events thrown by the bride/groom often depends on which part of India they are from. For example, if you are invited to a Gujarati Indian wedding (meaning the bride or groom is from the state of Gujarat in India), they will likely host a mehendi party, a garba (a traditional dance party), the wedding, and a reception. With that said, not all guests are invited to each event, so do take a look at the invite to see for which events you need to get outfitted.
Below is a quick breakdown of typical events held at Indian weddings and what you should be wearing. We know it can get costly finding clothing for each event, but do checkout Didi’s Wardrobe for new and gently used saris, lehengas and more. You will likely be able to dress for multiple events and not break your bank account. Our prices are heavily discounted as they are pre-owned clothes that are new or barely worn, so you get the benefit of a beautiful like-new outfit at an even better price.
If you are wondering if it is appropriate to wear traditional Indian clothing if you are non-Indian, the answer is YES! Indians love when their wedding guests (no matter where they hail from) wear saris, lehengas, salwars and kurta pajamas. Don’t be embarrassed – enjoy it as it’s so much fun dressing up in Indian clothing!
Below is a quick guide of what to wear to the individual events of an Indian wedding.
Mehendi Party – also known as Henna Night:
The bride and all of her friends and family will be getting henna painted on their hands. The night will be focused on lots of food, music and socializing.
For the mehendi night, find something colorful! We would suggest wearing a Salwar Kameez, Churidar or Anarkali. They are all a variation of a shirt, pants and a scarf that you can wrap around your neck. You will find lots of options under Didi’s Wardrobe Salwar Kameez section.
We would suggest avoiding something light in color as you might end up staining your outfit with henna if you accidentally bump into someone. Darker colors may work better for this event.
Sangeet - also known as Music Night:
Depending on the culture, there may be a Sangeet party. A Sangeet is filled with music, lots of food, dance performances and dancing. We would suggest wearing an Anarkali or Lehenga. An anarkali is a long dress with pants and a scarf, and a lehenga is a long skirt with a cropped blouse and scarf. Both of these options are fun to dance in, which makes this fun, festive night all the more enjoyable! You will find lots of options under Didi’s Wardrobe Salwar Kameez and Lehenga sections.
Any color will work for this event. Don’t forget to spruce up your outfit with some fun jewelry!
Garba – also known as the Traditional Indian Dance Night:
A garba is typically hosted by Indians from the state of Gujarat. Here you will be kicking off your shoes and dancing barefoot. You need to wear something with a flowing skirt, such as a chuniya choli. This will consist of a blouse, a flowing skirt and a dupatta that wraps around your body. Don’t forget to make sure the skirt is at ankle length so you don’t trip when dancing! If you find an outfit you like that has a skirt that is too long, you can always get it hemmed up to a no-shoe length. You will find amazing chuniya cholis at Didi’s Wardrobe under Lehengas / Ghagra Cholis.
Definitely wear something colorful! It’s all about color at a garba! Here you can wear some heavy, fun Indian costume jewelry!
Typically most people will wear a sari to an Indian wedding. Pick a colorful sari – something pink, purple, blue, green….sarees come in every imaginable color so pick your favorite! The two colors we would suggest being careful with at a wedding are white and black. White is actually the color that Indians wear to funerals, so we suggest avoiding anything purely white. Also, the bride will be in a white and red sari or lehenga, so save those colors for the bride. Also, black is not generally accepted during the wedding. You can save that for the reception if you really want to wear something black.
Enjoy the day watching the groom come on a horse and his whole side of the family and friends dancing around the horse as they approach the entrance to the venue. It’s a ton of fun, so if you’re on the groom’s side, make sure you have comfortable shoes to dance in.
And the final event that brings it all together – the reception! There will be lots of drinks, food, speeches and dancing. We would recommend a sari, lehenga choli or an anarkali for the reception. If you are not comfortable wearing a sari, we would recommend attempting that for the wedding as you won’t be moving much during the daytime activities. During the reception you will likely be dancing so a lehenga or anarkali may be easier to show off your moves!
There are so many lehenga choli or anarkali options to choose from. At the reception, you can wear any color you choose. Many people opt for black at this event if they had a great sari they were looking forward to wearing.
Still more questions? Wondering what a male should wear to all of the events above?
Typically at a mehendi and sangeet men wear nice pants and a button down shirt. At the garba, they like to wear a kurta pajama that has some maneuvering room to dance. At the wedding, men also like to wear a kurta pajama or sherwani to fit in with all of the traditional activities of the day. And finally at the reception, most men will typically wear a suit.
If you still have more questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help you find the perfect wardrobe for your upcoming Indian wedding!