Western guests attending an Asian wedding can sometimes be a bit apprehensive over what to wear.While you want to fit in and embrace the traditions and culture of the bride and groom, you also don’t want to come across like you’re trying too hard or being culturally insensitive.
It’s also likely that you’ve got little to no experience of purchasing and wearing Asian clothing, so it’s easy to feel a little out of your depth, so here are a couple of tips.
Are There Strict Rules?
Ultimately, it comes down to the wishes of the couple getting married, but on the whole, there aren’t hard and fast rules about how you should dress. A spokesperson from Sonas Haute Couture said: “If you’re more comfortable just wearing the sort of thing you would wear to any other wedding, then that’s fine, but if you want to get a bit more involved and embrace more traditional dress, then, on the whole, you’ll be more than welcome to. Do check with the couple first though.”
Styles of Clothing
Churidars are tight-fitting trousers which gather at the ankle and can be worn by both men and women. Women often pair them with an Anarkali dress, a long dress which flares at the waist or a shorter tunic-like dress and they’re a very popular, comfortable and practical style.
One of the most well-known styles of Indian clothing is the saree, which is a long piece of fabric which is pleated around the waist and draped over the shoulder and worn with a cropped top.They come in many different colours, with different embroidered patterns and fabrics used too.Sarees can be difficult to put on if you’ve never worn one before, so it might be best to ask the bride or another member of the wedding party to help you out if you’re unsure and there are plenty of online tutorials too, such as this one.
A lehenga (or lehnga) is a long pleated skirt with embroidery, which comes in different styles.They’re usually worn with a matching choli (the type of crop top worn with sarees) or a blouse.Unlike with a saree though, instead of pleating and draping the garment, you simply wrap and tuck.Of course, you can also choose to just wear Western clothing if you wish, or you could also try a mixture of the two.
One of the best things about Asian weddings is that they’re so colourful, so you can be really bold with your colour choices. One thing to bear in mind though is that you should probably avoid red because it’s quite likely that the bride will be wearing this colour!
In addition, black usually isn’t acceptable for Sikh or Hindu weddings, although it is for Muslim weddings, but why not embrace the occasion and go for something a little more adventurous anyway?For more information on what to expect from an Indian wedding, check out this blog post from The Knot.