Indian weddings are incredible. The colors, the festival, the rituals, its an event unlike any other. But there are a few things you need to know before attending a Hindu, Muslim or Sikh traditional ceremony for the first time.
How To Dress
If you are going to the actual religious ceremony, it is proper to wear a sari or Indian attire. Although the couple will likely not make you wear one, nor will you be ridiculed, its only respectful to do so. One this is for certain though, however you dress, it should be modest (you could be required to sit on the floor!)
At the reception, you can go crazy- wear the brightest colors and most incredible jewellery you could imagine. It doesn’t matter for this one, everyone is having fun and dancing anyways! Just make sure you don’t wear black or white. White is worn for funerals and black signifies a grieving process, weddings are in place to celebrate the union of two people who love each other- dress appropriately and never outshine the bride!
Bring a Scarf
If the wedding is in a temple, you will likely be required to cover your head and/or bare arms/shoulders. Men usually have a head cover provided to them but women should bring their own.
You’ll likely be asked to remove your shoes. At most places having nylons on is OK, but just a fair warning… it isn’t at every temple. Sometimes you need to have bare feet.
Check before you get clicking during a ceremony. Mostly it should be fine, but during some of the rituals, particularly in a Hindu ceremony, even the official photographer may be barred in order to avoid distracting with the flash of the camera.
There is nothing out of the ordinary about the proper etiquette for gifts. If there is no specific gift requested, money is great.
At most Indian weddings, you will be served vegetarian. Don’t be surprised if they serve non-vegetarian food, as the Indian culture modernizes, we are seeing more couple opt for non-traditional Indian cuisine.
Men, Don’t Kiss or Dance with the Bride
Seems like an obvious one right? But this is especially important at an Indian wedding. The bride, even the most relaxed ones, will want to remain demure on their wedding day. Its best to assume this and avoid confrontation.
Have fun! You will never be at a wedding with more color and culture. Its just an incredible experience ☺