We all know that an Indian wedding isn’t like most, but that is what makes them so beautiful and a celebration that everyone wants to experience. But why do they last so long?! Well, this long lasting affair is down to the many rituals carried out, all having their own significance and importance.
These festivities will surely be extravagant and lavish as Indians love to splash out on celebrations. I can confidently say that you have not truly celebrated until you have experienced it the Indian way.
So what ceremonies are there in an Indian wedding and what does one wear to these? Each Indian community has their own unique ceremonies, but here are those shared by most:
The wedding celebrations usually start with this event where family and friends gather together and close members perform dances for the happy couple. This is followed by dinner, more music and dancing. It is a fun event which is enjoyed by all.
Style tips: Taking part in the dances? Then you should wear something vibrant and pretty but easy to wear, such as a light anarkali. But if you are a close friend or relative and want to wear something heavier you can easily change after the dances into an anarkali, lehenga or saree. If you aren’t close to the couple then a simple and colourful anarkali will be perfect . You will be dancing a lot, so wear something flowy!
This pre-wedding ritual is organised by the bride’s family, attended by women who are friends and family. It is an event where the bride has a change to spend quality time with the girls. Everyone celebrates by dancing, laughing and getting mehendi, also known as henna, applied on their hands and/or feet. Mehendi is beautiful, as it signifies love and affection.
Style tips: You should wear something bright and colourful, but light since you will be sitting uncomfortably when getting mehendi applied – an anarkali or salwar would be appropriate. Be warned that you might get mehendi on your outfit since it takes a while to dry, so perhaps you shouldn’t wear your favourite attire!
This is another messy but fun ceremony which is a cleansing and purifying ceremony performed before the wedding day. A detoxifying (mostly turmeric based) paste is applied on the face, hands and feet of the bride and groom. This will bring a glow to the skin which is supposed to create more attraction between the couple.
Style tips: Similarly to the mehendi ceremony, wear something bright and light, but not precious to you – as you will be applying this paste on the bride and if they’re feeling mischevious, they may put some back on you too! A simple anarkali or salwar will be a good choice.
The big day has finally arrived and consists of many symbolic rituals performed throughout the day, starting with the bride’s family welcoming the groom and his family and eventually ending with the performance of the marriage ceremony.
Style tips: A rich and heavy saree or lehenga is the most common outfit to wear at an Indian Wedding and apart from black, any colour can be worn. Just make sure you dress to impress and accessorize as there will be hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people attending and lots of photos being taken!
This is a celebration which like most other cultures involves lots of eating, drinking and dancing. It is usually organized by the groom’s family to celebrate the arrival of the beautiful bride into their family.
Style tips: A long ravishing gown, stunning saree or chic anarkali will be the right choice for this occasion and you can finally wear elegant black!
The beauty and romance of an Indian wedding is like no other. Embrace these grand festivities by dressing extravagantly and most importantly enjoying!