From the pictures I saw of a colleague's wedding in India, attire is very colorful, and for sure the bride wore different outfits at each "part". I would look for one or two short, colorful summery dresses, maybe one slightly more dressy for the evening function, but perhaps @dg64 or @mantram can weigh in. I would love an excuse to try wearing a sari, but I understand they can be pretty expensive.
I would just candidly ask whoever is my "connection" to the invitation: bride? groom? mother of the bride? No one expects you to know what's customary already. Or just show up festively and respectfully dressed (ie, not too uncovered, just in case it matters). Everyone will be looking at the bride, anyway.
Do you know what religion the couple belongs to? Customs vary substantially.
In any case, be prepared to take off your shoes.
The baraat is when the groom is welcomed by the bride's family, and then the wedding ceremony itself would conducted by a Hindu priest. You will need 2 outfits, assuming you will be going home after the morning ceremony and returning in the evening.
It is appropriate to wear bright colors and silk for the morning portion of the event. Red is very auspicious, so anything in that color family is good. A dress would be fine, as long as it is not overly revealing as the morning includes the religious ceremony. Also, I do not recommend all white or black for the morning.
At night - do what you wish. It's to celebrate the couple, so just wear your favorite dress. Again silk is good. A black or off-white dress would be fine too. Just dress it up with a silk scarf (think paisley). You will be surrounded by silk and lots of gold jewelry, so break out what you have. You cannot be overdressed. Enjoy!
@Klinker - wilkanoid mentioned a Baraat, so you can tell it's a Hindu wedding. The shoes can stay on in the evening for sure - I can't imagine going barefoot at cocktail hour. And even in the morning I'd guess shoes are fine, as the ceremony is taking place in a hotel and not a temple.
@jasper -I'm happy to lend you a sari or other Indian outfit anytime. I very rarely have the occasion to wear traditional clothing.
The couple is Jain, which looks to be very similar to Hindu. She is a former co-worker of my husband.
If any of you are inclined to proxy shop for me, links to websites with free shipping and returns would be appreciated. My opinion is that I look best in dresses which hit a few inches above my knee, but I am open to suggestions. I absolutely cannot wear heels, or anything that doesn't have at least a strap across the foot. Bad genes, bad feet. No open toed shoes .
PS. How do you edit the title of a thread?
You wil be required to remove your shoes.
You can wear what you would normally wear to any formal wedding. I would avoid a dress that is too revealing.
I married into an Indian family and I always just wore what I wanted to. My go to dresses usually were solid color sleeveless, and just above the knee--and I loved wearing an intricate colorful scarf purchased (or borrowed) that went with the color of my dress.
Wear what makes you comfortable.
You're not in the wedding party so you do not need to change your atire.
I disagree about having to remove shoes. They shouldn't have to remove their shoes unless the guest is joining the couple up on the mandap (the platform where the ceremony takes place) there is no need to remove your shoes. An if the ceremony is at a temple, it most likely wont be in the temple proper, most likely an adjoining hall for wedding parties.
Why has no one suggested she watch that Seinfeld episode?
No real useful advice, but I just have to say I think this is so COOL! I would love to attend an occasion like this! I hope you can post some photos when it's done.
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