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Can I Wear White to an Indian Wedding?

Are you thrilled to receive an invitation to your friends’ Indian wedding ceremony but remain unsure about what to wear? The question often arises, what do you wear to these ceremonies? Can you wear white to an Indian wedding? 

indian wedding attire

We are here to help you get a view of the traditions and customs of Punjabi, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim weddings. You can refer to our tips and tricks to being respectful of Indian culture. We will assist you in adhering to a dress code that will allow you to fit in with the crowd. 

Is It Okay to Wear a White Dress To an Indian Wedding? 

In many cultures, including Western society, the color white symbolizes purity. In many Western cultures, the bride wears white, and other guests are supposed to avoid wearing the color.

At an Indian wedding, however, the bride does not traditionally wear white. Hence, many people wonder: Can I wear white to an Indian wedding? The answer is still no – you should not wear white to a traditional Indian wedding.

In Indian and other South Asian cultures, the color white remains associated with funerals. Wearing white to an Indian wedding would ruffle feathers. 

Always remember to dress up modestly. Whether you decide to wear an authentic Indian outfit or Western clothing, make sure to cover your legs, arms, and shoulders. Women should avoid wearing mini dresses, revealing clothing, and tight-fit outfits. Men can opt between a long-sleeve shirt and trousers or a classic suit. 

When To Avoid Wearing White To a Traditional Indian Wedding

Can you wear white to an Indian wedding? Wearing white, the color of mourning, in the Hindu tradition represents an act of disrespect. It is considered inauspicious for ceremonies at a wedding.

Rainbow colors and prints will do the trick. You can choose to wear green to signify happiness, peace, and life, or yellow, which represents joy and warmth, which will extend similar vibes onto the newlyweds. You can wear a dress with some white, as long as there are other colors and it’s not a purely white dress.

We would suggest that you avoid wearing a white, red, or black outfit to an Indian wedding and choose a more vibrant, colorful dress that would suit the occasion. Avoid wearing a dress that comes out as too casual, or jeans and tee-shirts.

You will have a number of ceremonies to attend, and each of them has its own dress code. From the engagement ceremony to the Haldi, Mehendi, and Sangeet ceremony, all the way to the actual wedding and reception, you will have to pick your clothing accordingly.

Women can wear a colorful sari, a lehenga consisting of a crop top and a full-length skirt, a two-piece outfit, or a sharara, consisting of a kurta, and wide-leg pants. Men can try on a long-sleeved kurta or a sherwani with comfortable pants. 

Other Factors To Consider

Wearing red could cause concern because it represents the traditional color for Indian wedding dresses. To show respect to the bride, women must avoid wearing red as well. Black, on the other hand, remains an unfavorable color for Hindu ceremonies.

For a Sikh or Hindu wedding, make sure to carry a cloth that covers your head. Women can use their saree and drape the fabric over their heads. Alternatively, you can wear a scarf or a dupatta.

Men can place a handkerchief over their heads through the ceremony. If the ceremony takes place indoors, remember to take off your shoes before entering the house of worship.

Final Thoughts

Can you wear white to an Indian wedding? We suggest that you make the most of your friends’ Indian wedding ceremony by skipping white altogether. You can choose from shades of beige and ivory if you still feel the need to wear white. 

The traditions and customs of Punjabi, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim weddings do not differ much. However, respect for Indian culture and your loved ones will go a long way. Take the opportunity to try something new, like a saree or a sherwani with vibrant and rainbow colors, and enjoy the Indian culture.

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