Lehengas, sarees, gowns – so many choices for Indian wedding dresses! Here’s the ULTIMATE guide on what to wear to an Indian wedding!
Hey gorgeous! Indian weddings can be so beautiful and colorful! And what makes them more fun is the wedding fashion and food! Whether it’s your own wedding or that of someone who’s close to you, there are so many options. It can get really overwhelming to figure out whether your dress will make you underdressed, overdressed or just right for the wedding.
That’s why I’ve come up with this simple guide on how to dress for an Indian wedding. I’ll be writing for everyone from the bride to the wedding guests. I have split this guide into three parts:
#1 Indian Wedding Dresses for Brides: Here, I’ll talk about what to wear to an Indian wedding if it’s your own wedding. Different parts of India have different traditions, and I’ll go over the basics.
#2 Indian Wedding Dresses for Family & Close Friends: For close friends and family of the bride and groom, it’s important to dress right to show exactly how “close” they are! So let your fashion speak for your relationship to the bride and groom!
#3 Indian Wedding Dresses for Guests: From colleagues to neighbors to exes, every guest has their own role in the wedding party – and their own appropriate dress. In this section I’ll be talking about Indian and Indo-western dress options for the guests.
Whether it’s your brother’s wedding or your ex-boyfriend’s – we got you covered! So, are you ready for the ULTIMATE guide to Indian wedding fashion?
#1 Indian Wedding Dresses for Brides
What to Wear to Your Own Wedding
Depending on which part of India you’re from or getting married in, the bridal dress can vary from sareesto lehengas to salwaar kameez. Lehenga choli is the most popular option, and shades of red are considered auspicious for brides in most parts of India.
I’ve already written an in-depth article about Top Wedding Lehenga Designs for 2016 and Latest Designer Bridal Lehenga trends. Plus, I’ve even written an article about Indian Wedding Decorations Theme Ideas According to Lehenga Colors in which I’ve mentioned the 4 latest wedding lehenga colors and matched your groom’s outfit and wedding decor with it! Here are some examples:
#2 Indian Wedding Dresses for Family
What to Wear to Your Brother’s Wedding: Gown or Lehenga
I know from experience that a brother’s wedding is one of the happiest experiences of an Indian girl’s life! So wear a heavy gown or lehenga. Saree is another great option.
If you’re newly married, wear something heavier and in red, wine or pink. But combine it with a contrasting color like gold or white so that your dress doesn’t clash with the bride’s. If you’re single or married for many years, wear a bright color, or something that contrasts red so as to stand out in all your wedding pictures with the bride! Pastels like lavender, powder blue and peach are good options. For brights, try mauve, grape or turquoise. Below: Shyamal & Bhumika
What to Wear to Your Sister’s Wedding: Lehenga
Go for something heavy, but traditional and feminine because possibly you’re the hostess! Go for a heavy or rich fabric like silk, velvet or embroidered organza or tulle, in a color of the season. For 2016, go for wine, gold, coral or fuchsia. Below: Shyamal & Bhumika and Manish Malhotra
What to Wear to Your Brother-in-Law or Sister-in-Law’s Wedding: Gown
To your brother-in-law’s (devar’s) or sister-in-law’s wedding, you wanna wear something heavy. Unless you wanna use some of your wedding trosseau’s sarees, wear a gorgeous designer Indian gown. It can be flashy or plain, depending on your personal preference. Below: Shyamal & Bhumika and Manish Malhotra
What to Wear to Your Son’s Wedding: Silk Saree
Choose a heavy saree for the baraat – in a bright color but avoid flashy rhinestones or stuff and wear something traditional but rich-looking like a Banarasi saree. Saffron, gold, crimson, eggplant and sapphire blue are some of the opulent color options.
What to Wear to Your Daughter’s Wedding: Saree or Lehenga
You’re probably the hostess, so you want to look great, but be comfortable, too. Wear something heavy but in a color that contrasts your daughter’s bridal dress – like shades of gold, blue or green. This will make her stand out when you’re walking her down the aisle or getting family pictures clicked with the couple.
What to Wear to Your Cousin’s Wedding: Lehenga or Gown
Depending on how close you are, choose a heavy or lightweight dress, but it should still be heavy enough for you to look like family. Choose feminine pastel colors like peach or lavender. If you’re bored of the traditional options, go for an Indo-western suit or a unique pre-draped concept saree. Below: Shyamal & Bhumika and Divya Reddy
What to Wear to Your Nephew or Niece’s Wedding: Saree
You wanna wear a saree, but not as heavy as the bride and groom’s moms’ sarees! Therefore, choose something with threadwork or embroidery in a color that suits you best! Avoid dull colors for good pictures!
#3 Indian Wedding Dresses for Friends and Wedding Guests
What to Wear to Your Best Friend’s Wedding: Gown
BFFs and sisters walk the Indian brides down the aisle. Hence, make it known that you’re closer to her than the rest of her friends. So choose a heavy, flattering gown that contrasts the bride’s wedding dress. Go for pastels like sky blue or brights like pink, depending on what suits you! A pastel-colored lehenga or saree with threadwork or light embellishments are good options, too.
What to Wear to Your Friend’s Wedding: Skirt or Gown
Wear a floor-length skirt with an embroidered top, or a not-so-flashy gown. Chiffon or organza saree is also a good option. Colors to try are deep hues like black, peacock blue or pastels like peach, lilac. Below: Nikhil Thampi and Gaurav Gupta
What to Wear to Your Neighbor or Acquaintance’s Wedding: Saree
Instead of a heavy or embroidered saree, wear a designer saree that is plain, but with just a heavy blouse, or jacket.
What to Wear to Your Colleague’s Wedding: Saree
Wear something formal, like silk, because it’s a formal relationship even if you’re meeting your colleague and her family in a non-office setting. Choose silk saree, preferably styled in an unconventional way like with a chooridar:
What to Wear to Your Ex-Boyfriend’s Wedding: Gown
Do you wanna disappear in the crowd or win the “relationship war”? For your ex’s wedding, it’s either go bold or go home! Try something sexy but not too flashy – like a body-hugging top in a light-pastel color like pale peach. Let him see how happy and not-at-all jealous you are! Muhahaha!
So, did you like these Indian wedding dresses? What was your favorite look? Comment below, lemme know! Muaah!! XOXO!
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email email@example.com.