Attending an Indian wedding provides guests with a first-hand view of long-standing cultural traditions, religious symbolism, and traditional foods. Traditional Indian weddings consist of multiple ceremonies before, during, and after the marriage takes place as well.
If you’ve been invited to an Indian wedding, understand that the celebration might take place at varying hours than you may be used to. Here is a look at what else to expect when attending an Indian wedding.
What to Expect When Attending an Indian Wedding
There are a few things you should expect when attending an Indian wedding, including:
Modest and Colorful Attire
While there is no specific dress code for Indian weddings, there are some cultural preferences to be aware of. In Indian culture, the colors black and white are both used to signify mourning and are typically worn for funerals. Instead, bright colors are generally worn, including reds, blues, golds, and tangerine tones.
The bride generally wears red to a traditional Indian wedding, so it is important for female guests to avoid choosing an outfit that is red. Male guests can liven up a suit commonly worn in Western culture by wearing it with a brightly-colored button-up top in place of the standard white one. Don’t forget that jewelry is another important facet, and guests are encouraged to wear their brightest pieces for the occasion.
Indian weddings tend to be lavish affairs with guest lists that include hundreds of people. Indian wedding ceremonies often occur over the course of several days and can include pre-ceremony activities such as the application of henna for females the day before the wedding day and plenty of dancing and dining throughout the affair.
Commonly, the night before the wedding is the Sangeet, which is an event to welcome guests who have arrived for the nuptials to gather for a night of music and dancing. The following day, the wedding ceremony is held, including religious rituals. After the wedding ceremony has taken place, a reception is held.
It is important for invited guests to make sure they understand the portions of the ceremony they’ve been invited to attend, and that the festivities are likely to last for many hours.
Money Is the Preferred Gift
The Indian wedding tradition, as it pertains to gifts, generally calls for the giving of money to the new couple as they start their lives together. The amount of money the guests choose to give to the couple depends on how well they know the couple. If the guest is a relative of the bride or groom, a slightly higher amount is generally given.
Expect Hours of Dancing and Eating
Dancing and sharing food are both major components of an Indian wedding. During the Sangeet, there is generally a Bollywood-style performance by family members, dining and drinking, and a henna artist available to design the hands of the female guests for the occasion. A gift is not required for the Sangeet, as the gifts are typically given at the wedding ceremony.
After the wedding takes place, it is standard for there to be a reception, which features even more dancing and dining. There is often an array of traditional foods served at an Indian wedding and guests are encouraged to try to approach these new types of food with an open mind. One of the most important ways to show respect to the couple and to honor their marriage is to participate fully in the activities they’ve been invited to attend.
If You’re Planning an Indian Wedding in New Jersey, Windows on the Water Can Help
If you’ve been invited to an Indian wedding, you’re in for a treat, as these are some of the most vibrant, lively celebrations around. If you’re planning an Indian wedding in New Jersey, Windows on the Water can help you make it a celebration that you and your guests will always remember. We not only provide a gorgeous venue with a high capacity for your ceremony and reception, but we also take care of many of the details involved in planning your celebration, all lovingly prepared with the assistance of our professional event planners.