Best Attire and Jewelry for North Indian Wedding

Invited to a Traditional North Indian Wedding? Find Out Exactly What To Wear As a Guest

Your excitement will always scale-up once you get an Indian wedding invite. Indian weddings are known for their extravagance, tradition and celebration of love. As a guest, you’ll get to immerse yourself in the culture for a day (or a week). To match the grandness and royalty of such an event you need to find outfits that are perfect for the occasion. Choosing the right attire is necessary if you wish to blend in with the crowd and enjoy the festivities to the fullest. We have put together silhouettes and styles tips from the top fashion experts to help you choose from the traditional and contemporary dresses to wear to an Indian wedding as a guest.

What to Wear to Different Ceremonies?

Various functions held around the North Indian weddings are quite varied. Typically, traditional North Indian weddings last for three to five days. Although, all the ceremonies may not be on consecutive days and may spread over a week or so.

The first day includes a Ganesh Pooja, a Hindu ceremony that takes place at home with close family and friends. The second day is for the Sangeet (or Mehendi ceremony), where the bride and groom are joined by their loved ones for an evening dancing and partying. During this ceremony the bride has henna tattoos designed on her hands and feet. On the third day, the Ring ceremony is held and it can be one or two days prior to the actual wedding day. On the morning of the wedding day, Haldi ceremony is performed. The wedding ceremony takes place in the evening on the fourth day, and is followed by a reception on the last day and is generally organized in the evening.

It is advisable to wear outfits that are appropriate for the occasion. From strictly traditional ensembles to eccentric designer wear, your outfit selection should depend on the function and its socially acceptable dress code.

Ganesh Puja/Tilak

Ganesh Puja

The wedding rituals begin with a Ganesh Puja or Tilak ceremony.  Your attire for this semi-formal occasion should be simple and comfortable. The religious rituals usually involve a bonfire so better stick to cotton fabrics and loose-fitted garments. Avoid long sleeves and heavy dupattas, though. Tunics and long Kurtis (ethnic dresses) are perfect if you don’t prefer elaborate silhouettes. Else a cotton Punjabi suit or a printed palazzo set will work equally well.

Mehendi Ceremony/Sangeet


Sangeet function at North Indian weddings is all about food, fun, family and friends. Sangeet is about making merry. Women sing and dance to wedding songs in this ritual. Usually, the Sangeet is accompanied by Mehendi ceremony at the bride’s place. You can match the ambiance with traditional suits and colorful lehenga cholis. Pink and pastels are popular color palettes for the Mehendi, but you can indulge in any vibrant color. Although a traditional lehenga, floor-length Anarkali or an embroidered or sequined saree will work well, you can deviate a bit with a contemporary outfit.

Ring Ceremony / Sagan Function

ring ceremony and sagan function

The ring ceremony is usually devoid of religious rituals. It is more like an evening ball where the bride turns up in a fairy-tale designer gown. This is closely attuned to western culture and thus may not be very traditional. You can follow suit with an elegant indo-western gown in flattering fabrics like satin, georgette, and silk or contemporize your silk saree with a designer blouse and diamond earrings.

Haldi Ceremony

haldi ceremony

The Haldi ceremony is a ritual holy bath also known as pithi ceremony, which is one of the pre-wedding ceremonies in North India. Turmeric (haldi), oil and water are applied to both the bride and groom by married women on the morning of the wedding. A comfortable printed saree, semi-formal palazzo suit or a skirt and crop top set are great options for the Haldi ceremony. Opting for outfits in shades of yellow is a good idea for two reasons- they subdue the messy appearance of turmeric stains and yellow has almost become the official color code for the Haldi ceremony.

Wedding Ceremony

wedding ceremony

Seven circles – seven vows – the North Indian wedding ceremony is a beautiful moment to witness. It staunchly involves a series of pious rituals and the dress code, therefore, is purely traditional wear. Women get decked up heavy silk sareeswedding sarees, lehenga cholis with shimmery ostentation and lots of jewelry. Richly ornamented Sharara/Gharara suits and Anarkali suits also go well with the occasion. As far as possible, you must avoid western silhouettes and look for Indian outfits that have modest details.

Reception Party

reception party

The reception is a formal post-wedding party where relatives, friends, and associates walk up to a decorated stage and bless the newly-married couple. For such a massive crowd, you may have to step-up your look and indulge in heavy wedding wear. The reception usually doesn’t have a dress code unless specified by the host. So, you can choose from traditional or Indo-western attire. Whichever outfit you pick, make sure it has a good amount of glitter or dazzle. Sequined heavy sarees and pastel color heavy net lehengas look great for a reception party.

Don’t Be Afraid toAaccessorize.

The social norm is that you must enter a wedding venue wearing lots of jewelry. Indians love flaunting precious metals and diamonds on such days. While planning your wardrobe, choose your jewelry depending on how closely related you are with the couple tying the knot. Closer the relation, heavier the jewelry! But with time ladies have started switching over to lower-priced accessories so if you do not possess a heavy gold necklace or a sparkling diamond set, there’s nothing to worry about. Cubic Zirconia jewelry is the best and most affordable alternative to the glittering diamonds.

Choosing the right footwear is important if you’re fashion-conscious. It’s good to stock up on embroidered juttis and stone-studded heels for such occasions.

No matter what you choose to wear, make sure you can enjoy the food and dance the night away. This is what North Indian weddings are known for.”

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