What to Wear to an Indian Wedding, Guide for Western Men/Women

What to Wear to an Indian Wedding: Guide for Western Men and Women

Wedding is the most important moment in any person’s life. Every country and community has its own wedding styles and rituals. Indians too have their own. In case an Indian friend invites you to his or her wedding, you should have a clear idea as to what to wear. There are certain colors that you should never wear at Indian weddings. We shall now list out the types of clothes you should wear and such weddings. We shall consider both women as well as men.

The Basics: Tips For Women

  • You may call it the basics. However, these are very important points to remember. You should never wear white or black color at Indian weddings. In Hinduism religion, white is associated with widowhood. At the same time, black is an inauspicious color. You should never do something to hurt the sentiments of the host.
  • An Indian wedding is the place for you to display the gaudiest of colors. Any color other than black or white would do.
  • Never wear revealing clothes or tight fitting clothes to an Indian wedding. As far as possible, wear traditional Indian clothes.
  • You can have a great time with jewels at Indian weddings.
  • In case you are attending a Muslim or a Sikh wedding, you should make it a point to cover your head with a scarf. This is a matter of respect.

The Basics: Tips For Men

  • There is an exception. Men can wear white but still black is taboo.
  • Men should not wear jeans and T-shirts. They should stick to formal attire only.

The Great Indian Wedding:

Indian weddings have many rituals attached to it. Each ritual has a special significance. People wear different dresses for each ritual.


  1. Haldi ceremony:

On this ritual, they paint the bride and the groom with turmeric. Women usually wear the Salwar kameez and men can wear jeans and T-shirts here. A kurta and pajama would look more appropriate.

  1. Mehndi ceremony:

This is a ceremony exclusively for women. Men may participate sometimes. A simple Indian outfit would be the best dress for this ceremony. You may even wear a jeans and a top.

  1. Sangeet Party:

This is a traditional song and dance party. This type of functions is more common in Gujarat, where the women and men dance to the tunes of “Garba.”  Women can wear a lehenga cholis or even a Salwar kameez. Men can wear a kurta and pajama. In case of Catholic weddings, you can wear suits. You should wear Indian clothes in this ceremony or else you would not be able to dance properly.

  1. Wedding ceremony:

This is the main wedding ceremony. Men can wear designer kurtas and pajamas. They can wear the traditional kurtas and dhotis too. Women look resplendent in this ceremony. They usually come bedecked with jewels. They can wear saris or even designer Churidar and kurtis. People usually wear silk during this ceremony. Women should avoid wearing short skirts or with low necklines. You can wear a lot of bangles, glass, as well as gold.

In case of Christian weddings, you can wear the Westernized dresses. Men can wear suits and women can wear their white gowns. However, in Muslim and Sikh weddings, women should cover their heads invariably with their scarves or the dupatta.

In the Hindu weddings, women usually wear resplendent Kanjeevaram or Banarasi silk saris. These are heavy-duty saris with a lot of silk zari work. This is a colorful affair and you can see a riot of colors except black.

  1. Wedding reception:

This function is usually in the evenings of the wedding day. On this occasion, the bride and groom invite their office friends to partake in the feast that follows. You can wear formal dress and suits too. However, a traditional kurta pajama is still the preferred dress among the men.

Women can wear Saris, Salwar kameez or even Westernized outfits as long as they conform to Indian traditions. In short, you should not reveal much of your skin in the India weddings.

Indian weddings are the place to have a blast. You can enjoy the company of like minded people and partake in discussions in any topic under the sun.

In the Southern part of India, the wedding reception is on the day prior to that of marriage. In the marriage function, women invariably wear saris and men wear the traditional dhotis and kurtas. You can see jewelry of every kind here. You can try your hand at the traditional activities they conduct. It would be a once in a lifetime experience for you.

Last but not the least; you can have many sweets at Indian weddings. You should be ready to eat such a huge variety of sweets and be able to digest them.