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There are wedding bells everywhere! And, wait, did you receive an invitation? I can already sense the rush of excitement! Indian weddings are one of the most complex celebrations, with a long list of colourful rites and long social hours. As a wedding guest, the excitement of attending the nuptials as well as the pre and post-wedding activities can instantly brighten you up.

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With exuberant celebrations and the cultural standard of wardrobe ostentation, it’s always a good idea to have a well-planned wardrobe as a wedding guest. Every gathering during an Indian wedding has a specific meaning and varies in terms of ambiance, necessitating varied dress rules. And if you’re intending to attend one or more wedding receptions this season, you’ll need to step up your game!

When we talk about or even think about an Indian wedding, phrases like “extra,” “jolly,” and “on point” come to mind. To match the grandeur and nobility of such an occasion, you must pick clothing that are appropriate for the occasion. When it comes to attending a wedding ceremony as a guest, though, there are a few things to bear in mind. What colour should I wear? How much should you accessorise? What is the limit? As the wedding season draws in close, I am here to  assist you with anything. So here is a  full list of traditional and contemporary clothes to wear as a guest to an Indian wedding, as well as how to accessorise them:

HOW TO DECIDE WHAT TO WEAR? 

Indian weddings are known for their grandeur of functions with the main day being  preceded by multiple pre-wedding functions, each with its own distinct feel and dress code, an extensive wardrobe is required. This will influence your wardrobe selection, and looks can be further narrowed down by theme and season. I’d go for sparkle and glamour in trendy sorbet colours. Gone are the days when you had to wear only traditional Indian attire to every event. Wear your personality, experiment with silhouettes, and mix and match pieces to create a unique look. The current trend in Indian clothing is to recycle existing items from your closet and combine them with something fresh.

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Because there will be a lot of dancing and drinking, multi-functional and comfy clothes is your best bet. Furthermore, the celebrations can extend several hours. At an Indian wedding, you can never be overdressed, so don’t be afraid to go all out with your outfits, jewellery, and makeup! Most guests wear brightly coloured attire, so choose a color palette that speaks to you.

  1. Saree

When in doubt, wear a Saree. There is no substitute for this quintessentially Indian silhouette. The saree is your ideal pick for intimate lockdown weddings where the dress code calls for a basic yet festive look.

Even a plain saree can look gorgeous with the proper blouse. We recommend shopping for patterned blouses in unique silhouettes such as the halter neck or the princess cut. You can also go for simple sleeveless blouses with unique necklines, or the bralette blouse.  A simple bun with roses and either earrings or a necklace would be the ideal way to accent your saree. You can also accessorise your saree with a belt.

  1. Shararas and Ghagras 

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Shararas and ghararas, which have swept over Bollywood, are a terrific complement to any wedding guest’s outfit. With the new cuts – shorter kurtas and pants that are more flared than ever – they tick all the boxes for elegant and on-trend wedding dress. They are available with and without dupattas and are ideal for today’s sophisticated women.

To complete your outfit, pair your sharara with heels and a simple maangtika, as well as some matching bangles.

  1. Kurta Set 

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Kurta sets have long been staples of our wardrobes, yet they are rarely considered wedding-worthy. However, things are improving in that department as designers use trendy textiles and embroideries to add more banal kurta combinations. We recommend picking contemporary styles, such as straight fit long kurta in fabrics that are soft and flowy rather than stiff and burdensome, for a wedding-appropriate kurta set.

Are you considering wearing a kurta to a small wedding or pre-wedding festivities? Accessorise with maximalist jewellery, a potli bag decorated with beads, and beautiful footwear.

  1. Pre-Draped Sarees

There are new-age interpretations of the saree that eliminate the requirement to wear them the conventional way for saree fans who would prefer not spend time draping one. Consider them saree-gown hybrids that can be worn as a dress and secured with nothing more than a zip. Pre-draped sarees are also available in sets that include both the saree and the blouse, similar to a skirt set.

Because these sarees are usually always elaborately embroidered, keep your makeup and accessories to a minimum. Stick to a no-makeup look, sharp shoes, and a fabulous handbag.

  1. Fuss-free Lehengas 

If you’ve been invited to a modern wedding, use it as an excuse to try on new attire. Instead of choosing traditional lehenga styles, opt for patterns that are edgy while remaining true to the festive mood.

Swap out dupattas for sheer jackets and ordinary blouses for crop tops and one-shoulder styles. The idea is to select lightweight materials with interesting designs. Because Lehangas are so simple, you can dress them up by playing with your hair and makeup, as well as adding bits of accessories here and there.

  1. Anarkalis 
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Invited to a wedding where a kurta set would be too simple and a lehenga would put you in competition with the bride? There’s an Anarkali in the middle. This silhouette is regal enough to elicit a second look without appearing overly so. They look best in lightweight, airy materials like as georgette, net, and tulle.

Just like any other silhouette that looks better on taller people, make an Anarkali work for you by wearing it with heels. Because they are lavishly adorned, combine them with delicate jewellery and fuss-free hair.

  1. Traditional Sarees 

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While other clothing alternatives are fantastic for pre-wedding festivities, pheras are still a typical occurrence in most Indian weddings. Traditional weaves like as Banarasi, patola, Kanjeevaram, or any historical saree option can give your ensemble a rich appeal that is a must-have for weddings.

To complement your heritage sarees, choose traditional temple jewellery or jadau. Maintain a basic makeup appearance with smokey eyes that complement a traditional aesthetic.

  1. Embellished Lehangas 

If you’re a bridesmaid or the bride’s sister and wearing a simple lehenga isn’t an option, explore more decorated versions. Look for costumes that incorporate rich fabrics like silk taffeta and raw silk, as well as embroideries like cut-dana, zardozi, abla, or kashida, which are featured in most bridalwear designers’ collections. Experiment with the blouse’s silhouette and neckline. Off-the-shoulder blouses or blouses with plunging necklines are a fun way to dress up classic lehengas.

Accessorize with Kundan and Polki jewellery for a trendy yet classic bridesmaid style.

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The societal custom is to enter a wedding location decked up in a plethora of jewels. On such occasions, us Indians enjoy showcasing rich metals and gems, thus attending an Indian wedding is like entering a treasure island. A safe bet would be to choose your jewellery based on your relationship to the couple tying the knot. The more intimate the relationship, the heavier the jewellery!

However, with a shift toward subtle dressing and wardrobe experiments outside of the wedding legacy, you can now play low with the accessories, especially as a wedding guest. So don’t be concerned if you don’t own a big gold necklace or a glittering diamond set. As long as you know how to slay your look, there’s nothing holding you back! 

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Raghvi Arora

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