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What to Wear To An Indian Wedding

So you’ve been invited to an Indian wedding, and you have no idea what to wear!
Perhaps you’ve never been to an Indian wedding and/or, the culture is one that you’re still learning about.
In this post, we are going to provide guidelines on what to wear, for each type of event! Additionally, we assume that you don’t go to Indian wedding events all the time, so we will try and keep things cost-conscious.
Since there are many ethnic, religious, and cultural variations, we are going to focus on the types of events that are generally applicable across many South Asian communities.

Pre-wedding events

Examples of pre-wedding events include events like the Jaago, Maiyan, Mehndi, Gaye Holud, etc. You may be attending some or none of these events.
For women, the salwar kameez may be your best bet. The salwar kameez is pretty versatile, usually easy to find, easy to wear/put on, and even cheaper to purchase. As a result, it’s essentially a “staple” for many South Asian women. Yes, you could go with something like a sharara, but it may not offer as much of the same benefits as a sharara.
For men, generally speaking, slacks or chinos, and a button up can suffice. The only exception to this would be unless the man is a part of the groom’s party, in which case he should ask the groom!
Salwar Simple

Wedding Ceremony

The Wedding Ceremony (e.g. Vivaah Sanskar, Anand Karaj, Nikah, etc.)
The wedding ceremony may or may not happen in a religious setting. For the examples below, let’s assume they do.
For women, we recommend a salwar kameez, for the exact same reasons we suggested it for pre-wedding events. One added benefit of the shalwar kameez in this context is general comfort. If you’re attending a wedding ceremony, you may be sitting or standing for long periods of time, so the comfort of the outfit will be a nice added bonus. Additionally, we recommend wearing it with a dupatta/chunni (a traditional North Indian shawl). It’ll be super useful in case you end up in a setting that requires you to cover your head (e.g. a Sikh temple, a Mosque, etc.).
Salwar with Dupatta

For men, a button up and slacks can suffice. If you’re feeling extra snazzy as a man, you can throw on a coat. We don’t recommend it, though, as it may be uncomfortable to be wearing that much formal gear in a setting where you may be sitting or standing for long periods of time.

Wedding Receptions

Now is your time to dress to impress.
For women, you can consider wearing a lehnga. The lehnga may be a little pricier, a little less comfortable, and a little complicated to put on, in comparison to the Salwar Kameez. However, you will look that much more amazing for your friend or family’s event. Shopping for a lehnga may be a little more complex due to all the variety, so feel free to ask a friend or someone in this group for advice.

For men, wear a suit. That’s all. Seriously.

Hopefully the piece above provided you with the guidance you need. If it didn’t give you enough information to make a decision, we hope it at least pointed you in the right direction.
Have more questions? Scroll down and let us know in the comments!
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