What to Wear to an Indian Wedding as a Non-Indian Guest

Indian wedding festivities merge a variety of traditions and rituals. The specific ceremonies greatly depend on the cultural or religious backdrop. For example, the rituals you'll find in a Gujarati wedding are not the same as those in a Telugu wedding. Still, there are many traditions that are commonly found in weddings across different cultures. Are you curious What to Wear to an Indian Wedding if Indian customs are new to you? There's no need to worry if this is your first introduction to these customs. We've got you covered and will guide you through them.

The Indian wedding is a package of glamorous and intimate ceremonies. There is Haldi night, Mehndi night, a big Wedding, and a Reception. But not everyone has a similar taste or ideas about their wedding. So, the functions may vary depending on the person. But the ceremonies are the same. 

The wedding invitation will guide you on which of the ceremonies you are invited to. So, you can prepare yourself for the functions. In this article, we will discuss what to wear to a wedding. So, if you are looking for a guide to Indian weddings. Then the article is for you. 

What to Wear to an Indian Wedding as a Non-Indian Guest

India has around 29 states and each state has a distinct culture. Just like a Christian wedding, Indian weddings also vary depending on the culture. If your girl is traditional, she will go for all the ceremonies. The ceremonies include a Haldi Night, Mehendi, the wedding, and the reception. Below we will discuss each.

What to Wear to an Indian Wedding as a Non-Indian Guest on a Haldi Night?

Haldi night is a night for the party. There will be dance battles and spicy Indian snacks all over the ceremony. Some may also call the Haldi night a family talent show. If the Haldi night is combined, you will witness dance battles between the bride and groom’s party. If not then there will be only the talent show. But both are super fun in their ways.

For the Haldi night, try to find traditional wear. It can be a saree, salwar kameez, or lehenga, or whatever you think will suit the night. Ask for the bride’s help. Some of the bride’s cousins may also help by lending a traditional outfit. So, it is ok if they take their help with it. We call this a cultural exchange. 

There is no Indian wedding with one dress party. You need to pack at least 4-5 dresses, preferably traditional wear. And if not suits and long gowns. Go for the bling and pop of colors in the dresses. 

What is a Color Party?

The color party is on the morning of the Mehendi or Haldi. Maybe on a separate day. I think this is the only day you can go a bit casual. All you need is a white dress or shirt. You throw colors at each other and water. 

It is a holy version of the wedding. There may be dances and color fights and lots and lots of photography with lots and lots of food.

What to Wear to an Indian Wedding as a Non-Indian Guest on The Mehndi Night?

Mehndi night takes place two or three days before the wedding. Because the bride wants the Mehendi to be as bright as possible. There is a saying ‘ The brighter the color turns out, the deeper the love is.’ So, they don’t want to get married in a washed-out Mehendi.

The night is full of color. So go for a bright-colored traditional dress or suit. But better if you ask the bride what the dress code is. There will be a color theme for the night. If there is none, you can have fun with the colors. If there is, follow the code. But make sure to be on your best get up. Because there is no casual thing in an Indian wedding

What What to Wear to an Indian Wedding as a Wedding?

If the wedding is in a temple then you should wear a conservative dress.  There will be a lot of rituals and gossip monger aunties. So, opting for traditional wear is a good choice. Again ask the bride what type of clothing you should choose. 

If she is busy then ask the cousins. Indians are helpful, especially to the non-Indian ones.  They may also take you to the wedding shopping along with them. But prepare to splurge while buying for the ceremonies. Because if you go for traditional wear, there will be a couple of dresses to stack. 

If buying new clothes is not an option for you, you can always wear a suit. The wedding is a formal event at the end of the day. So you will be good to go with your suit. But in this case, choose a bright color. Never wear a black dress or suit. It is ominous to many people. And you don’t want to cast a bad eye on the newly married couple.  

What to Wear to the Reception?

The reception is like any other reception. If the wedding is a destination wedding, then you can have fun with the gowns. But if it is not, then go for a glamorous wedding gown. There is nothing simple in the dictionary of the Indian ceremony. You will be amazed at all the glam and photographers you may withstand. 

All you need to remember is to wear bright-colored clothing. And avoid wearing red, white and black. White and black is the colors of mourning, and red is the bride’s color. You don’t want to snatch the bride’s moment by wearing red. Indian weddings are noted to be bright. So, wearing a colorful outfit is only right. 

And if you think you may overdress in a ceremony then you are wrong. Because in terms of sarees and lehengas, you can easily be under-dressed than overdressed. So go for the bling and bright colors. And add jewelry to glam up. 


Weddings are fun. Indian weddings may be big, but they are very intimate. So you can ask the bride or groom’s help to choose the attire. But if they are unavailable, the cousins will offer your help too. Because if you are invited, they don’t want you to be left out. So, you can rely on their help.

Hundreds of people are invited on a blessed day. So, don't get scared of the number of people you will see.  Just have fun along with the festivities. And enjoy the cultural exchange. 

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