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Indian Wedding guest guide: What to wear when invited to an Indian wedding


"Atithi devo bhavah" - translated, that means - 'A guest is akin to the gods', as goes the Vedic saying. And a guest to an Indian wedding ? Well if you are a first timer - and the Chopra-Jonas nuptial celebration is not enough to give you an idea of what all a guest to Indian weddings may expect, you have to experience it firsthand to know the heavy duty revelry, the lavish spread and the truly heart warming reception of guests at typical Indian weddings.

There is a caveat however. Like any other thing we Indians do, a wedding celebration is a passionate affair - a no holds barred excuse to celebrate life itself and naturally this OTT emotion reflects in our wedding ensembles as well.

No wonder then that for anybody invited to and Indian wedding, picking the right outfit is crucial. How you dress may even be seen as a reflection of your own sentiment toward the occasion and guests may well spend a sleepless night or two mulling over what to wear to the event. And if you happen to be a non Indian it can be quite difficult to decide how to dress appropriately as a guest to match the tone of the ceremony.

However with plenty of Indian Ethnic Apparel options for the benefit of Indian Americans, a wedding guest Indian or otherwise, should find it fairly easy to pick a suitable Indian Ethnic outfit to participate in the festivities of their Indian American friends. A quick line-up of our tips will help you put together just the right ensemble in a jiffy !



Subtle soiree: A monochrome saree in a resplendent fabric like Silk and minimal embellishments is your best bet if you are not a part of the immediate family or social circle of the bride or groom. If you are not familiar with saree drapes, pick a pre-stitched saree with a minimal vibe. Add a pair of statement earrings and you are ready to go.

Ethereal Ethnic: Of course you may want to go all out and as a close work associate or friend of the would be couple and choose a typical Indian silk saree or lehenga in bold red and blue, especially if you are expected to participate more closely in the celebrations, the ceremonies and for more than just a few hours.

Fusion frenzy: A fusion outfit in pastels like an appliqué skirt with a western style collared top can be an easy choice, especially for a non Indian guest, since it is as easy to wear as a skirt and top, without a dupatta. Add dangling earrings or  multi strand necklace and you are good to go !


Sparkling star: If you are not looking to add a bunch of Indian style jewelry to your shopping cart, just for one Indian wedding invitation, but also don't want to compromise on the festive spirit here is a tip. Pick a sequined saree, lehenga or a palazzo and kurta set with zaree embroidery to add bling to your ensemble without emptying your pocket.



Elegant ensemble: Although a lot of Indian weddings are colorful and the apparel of choice is mostly vibrantly shaded, a pastel silk saree or lace saree with a metallic blouse will make sure you stand out without splurging on an expensive outfit just for one night.

Indian culture is varied and even for Indians of different communities sometimes it can be hard to remember the general do's and don't of being a good guest. While it is great to bring the right gift to the would be couple, keeping a few things in mind would help you enjoy the event more smoothly and without causing yourself any awkwardness :

  • Though a lot of Indian brides don't wear the traditional red anymore for their wedding day, if you  decide to go with red shades for your outfit, make sure to style it in a more contemporary trend to avoid competing with the bride inadvertently. You may also pick bold colors without any doubts.

  • Carry a scarf or stole to cover your head if the wedding venue is a place of worship.

  • Avoid low cut, tight or revealing outfits especially to a place of worship to make sure you can mix easily with all age groups without worrying about offending any sentiments.

  • Try to pick footwear you can easily slip on and off, so in case you have to remove it, you can avoid the hassle of strapping or lacing your shoes.
  • If you are not sure about any of the rules that need to be observed at the ceremonies ask politely as to what would be the appropriate thing to do. Guests are akin to gods and it is wonderful to have guests who are gracious. You can even ask about the appropriate attire before hand in case it is not clearly mentioned on the invite.


Now just sit back and take a pick. In no time you will be able to make an ideal choice. It gets only easier from this point because you have Pure Elegance to pick the outfit  of your choice. The right outfit will have you dancing away to the tune of an Indian wedding band in a lovely Indian ethnic outfit.

Images courtesy: Pintrest.

Article By : Bhavna R