What should a guest wear to a South Asian wedding?  

If you’ve been invited to an Indian or any South Asian wedding, you’re in for a real treat. The festivities are bigger, brighter and blingier than the typical wedding, and they usually go on for days on end.

Don’t be intimidated when it comes to expressing your style via Indian attire. If there’s one thing South Asians are known for, it’s their hospitality. So, although we live in an era of policing on social media, let us assure you. If you’ve been invited to a South Asian wedding, you’d be welcomed with open arms if you chose to dress in Indian attire. Embracing the culture as part of their celebrations is something that is encouraged. So, dress up, wear all the jewels, eat the food and get on that dance floor.

What colours should I avoid?

For a South Asian wedding, colour is king. However, we do put a great deal of significance behind our choices of colour. What colours are better suited for different events? Which shades are seen as unlucky? And which shades are associated with death? It’s important to know what’s what, in the great big colour wheel of choice.

The general rule with colours is to stay away from black and white and try to avoid red. All other colours are welcomed. Black is often associated with being unlucky, white is associated with death and the bride generally wears red. That being said, white may also be a bridal colour if the event is Western themed so it’s best to steer clear for multiple reasons. Still, if you really want to wear these colours you can check with the host as it often depends on the individual family. The colours yellow and green are often reserved for the pre-wedding events such as the mehndi and haldi ceremonies. Nevertheless, it is absolutely fine to wear them on the main wedding events too.

What are the different types of outfits I can wear?

There are many different options when it comes to planning your attire at the wedding. From saree’s to lehengas the choices are all extremely dreamy and can get overwhelming fast. All of the options come in a variety of styles. Some can be more conservative than others. It depends on what look you’re going for.

So, let’s break down some of the most popular items of clothing at a South Asian wedding:

A saree is a female garment that generally consists of a long piece of fabric that wraps around the body from shoulders to feet, with some fabric left free.

A lehenga is a three-piece garment made up of a blouse (known as a choli), a scarf (known as a dupatta), and a skirt.

Very similar to a gown, an anarkali is a long dress, often floor length. A sharara is an outfit that consists of a pair of flared trousers and a top.

Men normally wear either a kurta set or a sherwani at weddings. A sherwani is a long-sleeved outer coat, worn with trousers and a kurta suit is a long-sleeved top traditionally made of cotton or silk. This is also worn with trousers. Both the outer coat and the kurta top typically fall either just above or somewhere below the knees of the wearer.

How modestly should I dress?

As there are many religions from South Asia, what you wear will depend on the cultural and religious context of the ceremony.

The general rule is, if it takes place in a temple or a mosque, you should cover your head, legs and arms. You should also be prepared to remove your shoes too. If it doesn’t take place in a holy site but it’s still a holy ceremony the same rules apply in terms of covering. Most South Asian weddings will have a religious aspect to it. It’s always safer to ask the host what the expectations are of this.

Pre-wedding events like the sangeet, mehndi and haldi events don’t usually have a religious aspect and they’re more relaxed in terms of modesty.

Is it possible to look too fancy?

Absolutely not. It is very common that South Asian wedding guests will dress to the nines. The more sparkle, the bigger the heels, and the more you dress up the better.

How can I look fab without spending too much?

If you know you’re not regularly invited to South Asian weddings, it may be smart to borrow an outfit from someone you know or lease one. Both are extremely eco-friendly options and it’ll mean you can spend the extra cash on a present for the bride and groom instead. Browse our collection of outfits that you can lease. All you have to do is choose your outfit and let us take care of the rest. We’ll ship it to your door, you simply send it back when you’re done with it, and we take care of the dry cleaning.

Struggling to decide what to wear and need some advice? Feel free to contact our team as we’d love to help you get ready for the event.


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