Dressing Up for a Hindu Wedding Ceremony

An important part of planning for any wedding ceremony is deciding what to wear and a Hindu wedding ceremony is no different in this matter. However, in case you want to wear a traditional outfit, some thought and planning needs to be undertaken beforehand. Here are a few tips to get you started:

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Hindu wedding ceremonies are grand colourful affairs. Right from the festive decorations to the lights and the setting, everything is bright and colourful. Consequently, when looking for outfits keep your eyes out for bright festive colours. It is important to avoid both black and white as these colours are not considered holy.

Avoid being scantily dressed for a Hindu wedding ceremony. Although backless and strappy blouses are worn by some people, it isn’t recommended if you would like to play it safe. Likewise, low cuts shirts and short outfits are probably not a good idea at a traditional wedding ceremony. If the wedding ceremony is taking place at a temple, do remember to take your shoes off before entering.

For women, there are three kinds of traditional outfits that can be chosen from.

Saree / Sari

This is one of the most stylish and elegant traditional outfits. It is worn with a matching blouse and a petticoat underneath. The method of draping sarees varies from one region to another in India. One of the popular ways of wearing a saree is to wrap it around the waist by tucking it in the petticoat and then draping it over one shoulder. The fabric of sarees ranges from cotton, silk, georgette and so on, with many different types of sarees created in one fabric itself.

Lehenga / Ghagra choli

This is a two-piece garment consisting of a long pleated skirt (lehenga/ghagra) paired with a tight-fitting blouse (choli). Both these garments are richly embroidered or decorated with stones and so on. The lehenga may be made of silk, georgette or other suitable fabrics. The choli is quite short at times, exposing a part of the navel. A matching dupatta (long scarf) placed around the shoulders completes this attire. There may be some regional variations to this traditional outfit, but the basic design remains the same.

Salwar-kameez

This is another two-piece traditional outfit that is very easy to wear. The upper garment is a long tunic called kameez. It is available in different fabrics (cotton, silk, khadi and so on) and the lower garment consists of loose fitting pants (salwar) tied with a drawstring at the waist. Sometimes the lower garment may even be tightly fitting, forming pleats at the bottom. This is called a churidar. This outfit is also worn with a dupatta (long scarf) placed around the shoulders.

Kurtas for Men

For men, kurta sets (often called kurta pajamas in India although it is not a set of pyjamas) are the most common traditional outfit. This consists of two garments and is very close to the salwar kameez in appearance, with long sleeves and a high collar usually. This outfit is very easy to wear and manage with throughout a long festive day. Men may alternately choose to wear a formal suit with a blazer/coat.

Accessories for women

Apart from the clothes, accessories form an important part of dressing up for the wedding. Women can adorn themselves with fancy earrings, necklaces, bangles, anklets and bindis, without any restraint. Fancy heel shoes complete the wedding attire. For men, gold buttons on the kurta and a smart watch on the wrist completes the traditional look.

Last updated on 15 August 2012

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