Invited to an Indian wedding but don’t know what to expect, how to dress, or what to gift? Well, to put your curiosity at bay, we have enlisted some basic Indian wedding etiquette that will help you sail smooth through the ceremonies and enjoy the traditional experience at the same time.
Image credit: Yogita
What to Wear to an Indian Wedding Ceremony?
There are usually no strict dress codes. While the traditional Indian attire is a saree, salwar kameez, or lehenga for women, and sherwani, formal suits, or dhoti and kurta for men, dressing up modestly is what matters the most. Don’t be afraid to wear bold colors. In fact, brighter the better! It will help you fit in with the Indian guests who will be dressed in vibrant colors and eye-catching jewelry. Just make sure to avoid solid black and white dresses as these are considered inauspicious in India.
Remove Your Shoes
A place of religious importance might require you to remove your shoes and keep them at a designated place. The best strategy would be to look at the feet of the people around you, if you find yourself to be the only one wearing shoes, you are probably standing in a sanctified area. Note: while some areas may require you to be barefooted, wearing stocks or stocking is perfectly acceptable.
Food at Indian Weddings
Rightly said by the knot wedding blog that Indian food is all spicy and all vegetarian are common misconceptions. In reality, it all depends on which part of the country couple’s families belong to. Same goes with alcohol. Depending on the religious beliefs it may or may not be served. As a guest, make sure to take part in the wedding feast as it symbolizes guests’ approval of the wedding and their best wishes for the couple.
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Wedding gifts in India can range from gold jewelry, expensive watches, accessories, to household appliances. If you are unsure about the couple’s choice, cash tucked into an artistic envelope is the safest bet as money remains the most popular gift at Indian weddings. Be sure to gift amounts ending with the number one as is signifies luck. Alternatively, you can pick envelopes from gift shops with coins as decoration.
Indian weddings are usually lavish and last for about 3 to 7 seven days. But, the most important ritual of the long ceremony takes place next to Agni-the holy fire. The couple takes seven steps around the fire and recites the vows, bringing the ceremony to an end. Each vow is a commitment they make to each other having strong mythological roots. While as a guest, not much is expected of you during the ceremony; it’s good to know information before attending an Indian wedding.
Overall, stay calm and don’t worry too much about offending anyone’s sentiments. Almost everyone will understand that you are not aware about the traditions. So relax, follow the tips, and enjoy the colorful experience of being a part of an Indian wedding!