Attending an Indian Wedding
By the time you reach adulthood, you’ve probably been invited to your fair share of weddings. You may be married yourself.
Yet, there’s a good chance that you’ve never been a guest at an Indian wedding.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the ceremony and the various customs, dances, food and attire associated with traditional Hindu wedding ceremonies and celebrations.
To help you have a more enjoyable experience as a first-time Indian wedding guest, we’ve compiled a list of a few things you should consider before attending this special event.
Unlike Western wedding services, Indian weddings are a bit less reserved when it comes to attire. Instead of dark suits and muted dresses, Indian wedding ceremonies require guests to dress in more colorful attire.
In some instances, the couple requests that guests dress in more traditional Indian wedding attire. This information is typically indicated on the wedding invitation. If that is the case, you’ll need to purchase an appropriate outfit for the occasion.
For women, the most appropriate wedding attire is a saree or a lehenga choli.
Typically made of silk, a saree is one long piece of flowing fabric that wraps around the entire body like a robe. One end of the garment rests on the shoulder while the opposite end is tied at the waist.
A lehenga choli is closer in style to Western wedding attire. It’s made of three separate pieces: an ankle-length skirt (lehenga), a cropped blouse (choli), and a scarf (dupatta).
For traditional attire, men can opt for a sherwani. This knee-length coat is often collarless and buttons the entire length of the garment.
If the wedding doesn’t require traditional attire, the choices are similar to that of a traditional West wedding. For women, a pantsuit or conservative dress is on point while men can choose a business suit in a bright or bold color.
Whatever you do, avoid wearing red, white or black outfits to an Indian wedding. Red is associated with the bride, while black and white are often associated with signs of mourning. To avoid offending the wedding party and other guests, opt for any other festive colors.
Practice Your Dance Moves
If you’re more inclined to stay seated at your table or casually mingle with other guests, you’ll want to change your tune at an Indian wedding.
In contrast to Western weddings, Indian weddings are highly participatory.
Tables are for feasting and resting between fun. During the rest of the special event, you and other guests will dance, sing and participate in various customs to bless the happy couple.
Even if you’re not familiar with the various dance moves or customs, other guests are often eager to help. They’ll teach you the right steps and invite you to join the festivities.
If you want to practice your moves in advance, there are lots of great tutorials on YouTube!
Familiarize Yourself with Indian Fare
In addition to lots of dancing and participation, Indian wedding celebrations are also an opportunity for guests to feast!
From the start of the ceremony, guests are served various appetizers. Don’t refuse to try the various treats as they’re passed around. The wedding ceremony is quite long and you’ll want to make sure you have a full stomach.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, an impressive main course is served. If you’re a fan of Indian fare, most of the dishes served may be familiar to you. On the other hand, if you’ve never tried Indian cuisine before, you may want to visit a local restaurant and sample some of the traditional dishes.
Depending on the region of India where the couple’s families hail from, the cuisine may be a combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes or vegetarian-only meals.
Also, be aware that alcoholic beverages are typically not served at most Indian weddings. For less traditional weddings, alcohol may be available during dinner. However, alcohol is never served during the ceremony.
Give An Appropriate Gift
While most Western wedding guests give a gift listed on the couple’s registry, this is not the case for Indian weddings.
Guests traditionally offer money as a gift to the couple. As they are just starting their lives together, these monetary gifts help them along the way.
One very important thing to note: your monetary gift must be in an amount that ends in one (ex. $501). Why? Because the number one is a blessing for the couple to have a happy and prosperous future together.
An Experienced Indian Wedding Venue
We hope that the information above proves quite helpful to you. Since being an Indian wedding guest is quite an honor, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to experience this event to its fullest.
If you have a friend or family member who is searching for a venue to host their wedding ceremony and reception, mention that PineCrest Country Club is an ideal location for their event.
Our event coordinators have a deep understanding of the Hindu wedding experience. They work with the couple to customize the menu and make necessary adjustments to our settings to ensure that the ceremony proceeds smoothly.
If you would like to speak with us about hosting your event in one of our available rental spaces, please contact our event coordinators today!