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Indian weddings are always colourful and exciting ceremonies, especially if you’ve never been to one before.

However, as a Western guest attending your first ever Indian wedding, it can be tricky to know what to wear, with lots of customs and traditions to follow, so we’ve put together this quick guide.

Dress Code

Firstly, it’s important to remember that what you should or shouldn’t wear is really up to the couple who are getting married.

While they might want to strictly enforce a dress code on the wedding, chances are they’ll probably be a bit more relaxed about it and allow you wear whatever you want, although it is nice to make the effort and try to embrace their traditions.

Generally speaking, you’d be expected to wear a traditional sari, which is a drape that is wrapped around the waist and shoulder, exposing the midriff, although other options include lehengas and Anarkali suits.

However, if you do want to just stick with Western attire that you’re more used to, just be sure not to bare your shoulder or wear anything that’s too low cut or revealing.

Bear in mind that there might be more specific dress code rules if the wedding is taking place in a temple or other holy building, such as maybe having to cover your head too.

For more information on what Western guests should wear to Indian weddings, check out this post from Fuzzable.

Colours

Colour is obviously a major aspect of any Indian wedding, so feel free to embrace this and experiment with bold colours.

This being said, there are a couple of rules that you should be aware of. Firstly, stay away from red as this is usually what the bride will be wearing.

And secondly, you’ll probably also want to avoid black or white as these are seen as colours for mourning and are often worn at funerals.

Comfort

If you’ve never been to an Indian wedding before, you might be surprised when you realise just how long the ceremonies can be.

According to Sonas Haute Couture, who provide Indian bridal wear: “Indian weddings can be long, drawn-out affairs, so with this in mind, you need to make sure that while you’re dressing to impress, you need to take comfort into account too, so maybe avoid anything that’s too tight.

“One thing that you might not have to worry too much about though are your shoes, as these are often removed if the ceremony is in a religious building.”

Jewellery

Jewellery is another important part of Indian weddings, so you’ll want to remember to pay special attention to it.

You should aim to choose one standout piece to wear around your neck with matching earrings and maybe consider adding some bangles too, as these are popular at Indian weddings.

If you’ve no idea on where to begin with Indian bridal jewellery, head to Glimour for some inspiration and check out their collection.

Whatever you choose to wear, attending your first Indian wedding is always an incredible experience, which we’re sure you’ll remember for a long time to come!