If you’re going to be attending a Hindu, Muslim or Sikh traditional wedding for the first time, it’s normal to not know what how it is going to be and what is expected out of you.
There are a number of various rituals and ceremonies it could be pretty confusing. That’s why we’ve picked up the most popular questions asked related to an Indian wedding and answered them for you! Read on to get the Indian wedding etiquette right:
1. What time should I be there?
It’s advisable to reach the venue at the time mentioned on the wedding invite. Whether you’re attending the wedding, reception or any other function, missing the main ceremony is considered rude.
2. What to wear?
If you’re going to be attending the actual wedding ceremony, we suggest sticking to the dress code provided by the hosts. In case they haven’t told you, you could always confirm that while RSVPing to the invite.
Though it’s not necessary to adorn a sari or an Indian outfit, it’s best to avoid any plunging necklines or short dresses/skirts to the wedding. There are chances that you may be required to sit cross-legged on the floor and it could get difficult if you’re wearing shorts or tight clothes.
Image source: Sabyasachi
3. Which colours to avoid?
Weddings are festive and full of celebrations, and bright colours are always welcome! Avoid wearing an all-white or black attire as white is worn at funerals and black symbolizes mourning.
4. Is a scarf/dupatta necessary?
In several Indian weddings like a traditional Sikh wedding or Hindu wedding in a temple, you are required to cover your head. Thus, we recommend carrying a scarf or dupatta.
5. Should you be removing shoes?
Most religious places require you to remove your shoes before you enter the sanctified area. Also, know that some religious places allow you to keep on your socks while some don’t.
Image source: Pinterest
6. Do I need to sit for the whole ceremony?
Indian wedding rituals could go on for quite some hours. But, what’s important here is that you maintain decorum. Try not to indulge in long, loud conversations with the other guests.
7. What is Prasad and how to eat it?
If you’re attending a Sikh wedding, you’ll be given something called ‘Karah Prashad’ or blessed food. It is made up of wheat flour, sugar and ghee (clarified butter). You must receive it in cupped hands or in your right hand and eaten by transferring it to your left hand and eating it from your right.
Some Hindu weddings also give a prasad that must be had in a similar pattern.
8. What gifts to buy?
In case the couple has signed up for a wedding registry, it’s best to stick to that and get them one of those items. Many Indian couples also mention what they want on their wedding invites, do remember to check that as well.
If they haven’t mentioned either, you can give a gift in cash. Usually, the Indians do so in a fancy envelope. Remember, numbers ending with numerical one (501, 1001, etc.) are considered lucky and auspicious.
Image source: Pinterest
We hope we could answer most of your Indian wedding etiquette questions. Please feel free to share your views in the comments section.