By Nidhi Jain
The typical Indian wedding is traditionally much more than just a wedding; there’s music, dancing, henna application, games, and of course, a great deal of feasting.
Typically, the Indian wedding is a crazy roller coaster of different events spread over a few days, including a number of pre-wedding rituals and fun that set the tone for the actual grand wedding.
Even in the more modest weddings, it is natural to see a large assortment of outfits ranging from the very traditional to haute couture straight off the international fashion ramps.
Some fashion tips that will help you to stand out even in this riot of colors and styles on each of the days:
The Haldi Ceremony
The haldi ceremony represents the wedding kick-off with both the bride and the groom getting ritualistically smeared in their homes with a paste of turmeric, oil, sandalwood, and water. Traditionally meant to symbolize a purification of the bodies of the couple, the modern-day event is all about good-natured fun and frolic with relatives and friends taking turns to liberally smear the groom and the bride.
Being a casual event, there is no particular dress code; however, whites are generally avoided as there is a likelihood of the dress getting stained with haldi. Blacks at an India wedding are considered inauspicious so you can choose anything and everything in-between!
The most-favored colors are yellows and oranges or similar earthy tones that tend to go very well with the colorful ceremony. Guys can look very chic by donning a short casual kurta for men made of cotton or linen teamed with jeans or churidars if they want to go the traditional way.
The Mehendi Ceremony
This ceremony is the ritualistic application of henna in very ornate and beautiful designs on the hands and palms of the bride. Ladies of the household, as well as all guests, also join in to have henna applied to the background of folk songs being sung with gusto and much merriment and dancing.
Since the mehendi ceremony is a fun affair that can last for many hours, it is very important for you to be dressed in attire that is comfortable. Wearing short-sleeved kurtis and loose pants is advisable as otherwise; you will end up with henna staining your clothes.
Just like the haldi ceremony, you should avoid white or very light colors and opt for colors that go well with the dark tones of the mehendi. Remember, you may have to sit on the floor cross-legged for long during the application process so choose bottoms that have a relaxed fit.
The Sangeet Ceremony
Once upon a time, the sangeet ceremony was very low key with only the ladies of the bride’s and groom’s houses taking part, however, nowadays, it is usually a joint affair that is really elaborate with family members of both the sides performing dances and role plays choreographed by professionals, usually to the tunes of popular Hindi film songs.
It is also quite common to see dancing troupes put on shows for the enjoyment of the audience. Since, irrespective of your age and inclination, you will have no option but to take to the stage to dance, it is better that you wear outfits that will not have your tripping.
Traditional Indian ethnic-wear like lehengas, churidar-kurtas, anarkalis, and sarees are common, while the young may show off the latest in western wear.
Often a cocktail party is arranged as a sequel to the sangeet ceremony to encourage the guests to mingle. Typically, there will be elaborate cocktails and dinner spreads. In case, the cocktail party is held separately, it gives the guests an opportunity to wear outfits that are not traditional Indian attire.
Most use the occasion to flaunt their wardrobes of cocktail dresses, gowns, and western dresses in an effort to project their cosmopolitan backgrounds.
The elaborate nature of traditional India weddings provides ample opportunity for you to dress up in your very best on a number of occasions even before the actual wedding.
An appreciation of what each of the ceremonies entails will give you the cues of what to wear so as to make the best impact.
Author bio: Nidhi Jain is a young and upcoming fashion designer who has recently made waves at a number of fashion events in the country. Nidhi first shot into the limelight with her linen kurta for men, which was much appreciated by top Bollywood actors.