Invited to an Indian Wedding and unsure of what to wear, what to eat, and how to prepare? Our wedding expert has got you covered, mama!
India is a blend of various cultures and traditions where different states have their own set of customs. An Indian wedding is nothing short of a festival with a lot of music, food, energy and colours. While each region has different wedding rituals and celebrations, they have do have three things in common: the weddings are lengthy, there are numerous, joyous ceremonies, and it is all about the family.
If you’ve been invited to an Indian wedding – whether in Singapore, India, or elsewhere – and are unsure of the proper etiquette, check out these quick tips from our wedding expert, including everything from what to wear, to proper gift etiquette and whether or not you can expect to find a cocktail hour. Get ready to have fun, mamas!
Indians have big families and even larger guest lists for weddings. Expect a minimum of 300 guests at a wedding reception as family, relatives, distant relatives, friends and colleagues will be invited.
Shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, blue, green and gold will be seen in plenty at Indian Weddings. Lavish décor is done up in vibrant colors complimented by delicious food and lively ambience.
Don’t know what to wear to an Indian wedding? Go for a Saree. Why? Because a saree is the most versatile piece of clothing that can be draped in numerous styles.
You can attend one of the Indian Bazaars or exhibits to buy an Indian outfit for the wedding, or visit a few local specialist shops including Nalli on Buffalo Road, Jinder’s on Selegie Road, or Stylemart on Selegie Road. If you’ll be traveling to India for the wedding, however, hold off on purchasing your outfit as you’ll find a much wider selection (at much lower prices) in India!
Got an embellished piece of jewellery that you don’t usually wear? It’s time to take it out and flaunt it as Indians love jewellery. Be it gold, silver, diamonds or gemstones, an Indian wedding is the best place to flaunt your bling.
Be ready to burn down the dance floor ‘Bollywood’ style at Indian weddings. An Indian wedding can go on for more than three days, so definitely expect a lot of dancing. Learn some dance steps online and you are good to go.
A typical Hindu wedding ritual takes at least 2 to 3 hours to complete, so do prioritise your time for the entire day. Also, wedding ceremonies tend to start late so be prepared to spare more time. During the wedding ceremony it is okay for guests to indulge in food and socialise with others.
‘Athithi Devo Bhav’ – A mantra where a guest is treated like God in any Indian household. Hence saying ‘No’ to the food at these weddings is considered rude and an insult to the hosts. Food arrangement will be usually buffet style, so indulge and get your taste buds rolling.
Don’t be astonished if the wedding is totally alcohol-free, especially the main wedding ceremony. Alcohol might be served during the reception or Sangeet party, but is generally avoided for the customary wedding nuptials. This has gradually changed over the years but still be prepared for it.
Unless there’s a gift registry, it’s better to gift cash to the bride and groom. Cash will always be useful, and according to Indian customs it is considered a form of blessing. Do make sure that whatever the denomination of cash, it should end with 1 (for example: $21, $51, $101 and so on).
Dance to the music beats, eat to your heart’s content and just let your spirit be free. That’s what the Indian Wedding is all about!
Lead image, dancing image and saree image all sourced via Pinterest. Crowd image sourced via Shaadi Shop. Gifting policy image sourced via Anthropology of Money.