What to Wear to an Indian Wedding

You’ve just been invited to an Indian Wedding! Now, what are you going to wear?? Deciding what to wear may seem like a daunting task.  Not to worry, just follow these easy steps:

STEP ONE:  Indian weddings are multi-day events.  Which event have you’ve been invited to?

  1. Mehndi

 In this ceremony, the bride will be getting her hands and feet temporarily tattooed with intricate henna designs. While the bride is getting this done, guests usually hang out, eat and dance. Guests are also  encouraged to get their hands hennaed with a small  design. 

Dress code:  If the bride has indicated a theme on the invitation, we recommend you follow that first of course.  In the absence of a theme, don’t be afraid to wear a bright and colourful outfit.  Be sure that it’s something that you’re comfortable in and that’s well pinned so you’re not finding yourself making constant wardrobe adjustments with your not-so-dry hennaed hands.  Avoid light colours for this same reason. 

  1. Haldi

In this North Indian tradition, guests take turns applying turmeric paste to the bride and grooms body. It’s believed turmeric has holy properties that ward off evil and sickness.  Turmeric’s yellow color is also believed to be a very auspicious color in Indian culture. 

Dress code:  Same as Mehndi above and be careful not to get any paste on your clothes since a turmeric stain is almost impossible to get off.

  1. Sangeet

 This is a fun party where family and friends serenade   the bride and groom with song and dance   performances, and at the end of the night everybody   goes on the stage for a big dance party.                 

Dress code:  This event is full of cheer so forget about looking sophisticated and chic, and instead go for lively and fun.  You’ll also be dancing all night so make sure you’re comfortable in your outfit (and shoe) choice.

  1. Ceremony (Wedding Garland exchange and Saptapadi, Seven Vows)


The bride and groom will be dressed in their most intricate clothing, with the groom in a formal sherwani and the bride usually in a red lehenga.  During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom exchange fresh flower garlands and gifts.

Dress code:  You’re encouraged to dress formally and respectfully for this event, so avoid anything too tight  or revealing.  The only color you should avoid is red, since the bride may choose to wear this traditional colour.  If the ceremony is in a temple, you will be asked to go barefoot so make sure the skirt isn’t too long without shoes and make sure you bring a headscarf or dupatta to cover your hair.

  1. Reception

This is most like a Western wedding reception where the bride and groom are dressed to the nines and it's a night filled with speeches, first dances, entertainment and so on.

Dress code:  This is a good time to bring out your more embellished outfits, otherwise you will pale in comparison to others.  Feel free to wear traditional Indian clothing or a Western formal dress.








STEP TWO:  What are some of my Indian outfit options?

  • Lehenga – a 3-piece attire consisting of a crop top, and a long skirt and a scarf
  • Anarkali - a 3-piece attire consisting of a long top, leggings/pants and a scarf
  • Saree – a 3-piece set consisting of a crop top, petticoat skirt worn underneath, and a long piece of fabric to be wrapped around your waist and draped over shoulders
  • Salwar Kameez – a 2-piece set consisting of a long top worn over a pair of pants

If it's your first time, we recommend you try a Lehenga. It’s much easier to wear than a Saree (even when pre-stitched) and less casual than the Salwar Kameez.  You may be wondering; does that mean I need to show my stomach?  Only if you want to.  Normally the crop blouse shows a little bit of midriff but you can choose to hike up the skirt and also add coverage with the draping of the scarf (dupatta).  Also, don’t worry about looking too much with either your outfit or jewellery choice – you probably will fit right in even when you think you’re too much!

We at MeeraMeera and offer great rental options for all such occasions and are here to help you for your next event!