Have you recently been invited to an Indian wedding?
Indian weddings are a unique experience that can be a lot of fun. While they have some similarities with Western weddings, there are also many differences. Before you attend an Indian wedding, it’s important to know what to expect.
Check out this guide to learn the top things to know about attending an Indian wedding.
1. Wear the Right Attire
First things first, you need to make sure you wear the right attire to an Indian wedding.
For female wedding guests, you should either wear a traditional lehenga or sari. Male wedding guests should wear a sherwani. You can buy these traditional wedding outfits from places like Nihal Fashions.
If you don’t have time to buy a new outfit, just make sure you wear something modest. Also, you should avoid wearing the colors red, white, and black. White and black have negative connotations in Indian culture, and red is typically the color the bride wears.
2. Prepare for the Long Haul
While a wedding that goes all night may be considered long by Western standards, in Indian culture, weddings typically last three days. That’s right, three days.
The first day typically involves the Ganesha Pooja. This is a traditional Hindu festival that involves revering the god Ganesha. It usually takes place at home, but don’t expect to be invited unless you’re very close friends with the bride or groom.
The second day involves the mehndi ceremony, also known as the sangeet. This is where the bride and guests adorn their hands and feet with henna tattoos. This is usually followed by dance performances and dinner.
The final day is when the actual wedding ceremony happens. This takes place in the morning and then is followed by a reception and dance party that lasts all night.
3. Come With an Empty Stomach
When attending an Indian wedding, prepare to loosen your drawstrings.
During the three-day period, there are a number of cocktail and appetizer hours, dinner buffets, and dessert stations. While you should pace yourself with all of this delicious food, make sure to accept what you can eat. This is because accepting food is considered a sign of approval of the wedding and that you’re wishing the couple well.
The great news is that Indian food is quite delicious, so you should have no problem scarfing it down.
4. Forgo the Gift
While you can typically rely on a gift registry for an American wedding, Indian weddings operate a little differently.
Typically, Indian couples don’t request boxed gifts. Instead, gift certificates or cash are traditionally given. Odd numbers ending in one are considered good luck in Indian culture, so consider this when writing out a check.
5. Bring Your Dance Shoes
Just like Western weddings, Indian weddings also involve receptions.
However, Indian receptions are about more than just dancing and speeches. There’s also usually singing, skits, and dance performances. Following the entertainment, a huge dinner buffet is served and the dancing begins.
The dancing usually goes into the wee hours of the morning, so make sure to bring a comfortable pair of dance shoes.
6. Get Ready for a Grand Entrance
To make an entrance into the ceremony, the groom typically rides in on a horse or elephant. Additionally, the ceremony is attended by hundreds and hundreds of people, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
But, all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the show! And now that you have these tips in mind, you’re ready to attend an Indian wedding!