A complete Guide on HOW TO Dress for Indian Weddings

Indian weddings are all about the glitz and glam and I don’t think I know any girl who doesn’t enjoy weddings. We all love the dress up, the dance, the catch up and all the fun. Of course totally ignoring the aunties and their ‘who is next’ question.

Indian weddings means three functions at least, means you got to put together three looks at least. Three totally different looks obviously. Might be real easy for a few & major respect for the girls who don’t stress at the thought. Me? I am a planning freak and if you are remotely like me you know exactly what I go through. I am definitely not the last-minute kind of person, it stresses me out even more.

Whether you are the bride or a bridesmaid there are certain things to keep in mind while planning wedding looks, so they all look different and apt for the occassions.

So let’s take Wedding Dressing the organized and planned way & resolve some wedding planning dilemmas.

One thing I’m really proud of doing, which will most importantly help you is: advance planning and shopping.

Generally we get wedding invitations at least three months prior and if it’s a close friend’s wedding you would have a clue about it atleast six months prior. So start your shopping as soon as you get to know OR start saving then. Put aside a little money every month to buy the wedding outfits, jewellery and shoes.

Let’s start by simply dividing the three functions into three categories: fun and playful, glam & graceful for the Mehendi, Sangeet & Wedding/Reception respectively.

Another important thing to keep in mind is what kind of wedding is it and where! If it’s a rather relaxed destination wedding at a beach be dressed accordingly in colours, outfits and the shebang that’s in accordance with the place. Also if it’s a small wedding make sure to not be over the top, and if it’s a royal affair at a palace then get set to sell a kidney and look like a million bucks (just kidding) but yes definitely look the part 🙂

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Mehendi Look: mehendi functions are all about fun, although the bride is being tortured to sit still in one place with henna on her hands and legs. All the girls happily henna-ing their hands, dancing around and getting into the wedding groove with a ton of excitement. So dressing for a Mehendi function should be all about colour, comfort wear and flowy silhouettes. Quirky prints, bright colours are a great idea for the mehendi.

Here is some Mehendi Look Inspo❤️

Sangeet/ Cocktail Look:

Quite honestly I find it extremely confusing what to wear sometimes for a Sangeet. Should I wear a flowy big outfit that looks fabulous while dancing on stage (well I love going up and performing, even if I’m not that great) or go in for something that’s more functional in which I can go absolutely crazy dancing to Bollywood tunes. A major tip I would give for the Sangeet or Cocktail function is to keep it bling for sure. Go for glam makeup: smokey eyes or glitter eyes. Never ever fail! As for the hair, keep it loose down or even half tied up because an updo might not stay as well with all that dancing and madness. Another really important tip, wear comfortable shoes and definitely carry perfume along 😉

Wedding Look:

I have just one word for this look- Elegant. A wedding look should be all about grace and beauty. So let’s keep it simple and elegant. A lot of Indian weddings are day weddings so if you are a guest definitely ditch those bright loud colours for nudes and pastels. Personally whites look absolutely stunning for day weddings. Opt for heavy jewellery or go in for a statement piece that stands out in the outfit. With the pujas and pheras traditional kind of jewellery looks great. Or go statement with blingy juttis or a grand touch of ethnic with a heavy dupatta of traditional embroidery (like the phulkari embroidery from Punjab or Lucknowi chikan work or a beautiful silk from south India) teamed with a rather plain outfit.

Again let’s not keep hard and fast rules here. Maybe you opted for a rather light outfit for the mehendi and wish to go glam for the wedding then go ahead by all means. Just don’t end up looking like an odd one out or outlandish in a real cool outfit whereas the rest of the crowd is dressed rather conservatively. The Bride needs to stand out, remember!!!

Check out these Wedding Look ideas 😀

Reception Look:

Let me be candid and be the first one to tell you that Receptions as a concept should be scrapped. I mean it’s just torture for the newly wed couple. Having said that, I still find the trend right now of weddings followed immediately by receptions sensible. No need for a change in location or another whole new function. If you want to and have the inclination to get all dolled up again then an outfit change, hairstyle tweak and in terms of makeup, change in lip colour and eye-makeup is the way to go.

But if you have an altogether separate reception function, then Go Glam should be the motto for the reception. Opt for contemporary looks or even a gown (if its a more black tie style event) for the same dont be afraid to do a fasion look here as well.

How about these for some Reception Look inspo? 😉

There’s just so much to Wedding Outfits!!! I also have an old blogpost which I can direct you to, if you too dont like wearing sarees the typical style. Click HERE

Jewellery: of-course you can’t buy new jewellery every time for every outfit. Mix and match works best here and ofcourse the mother’s jewellery collection works as a treasure box. But let’s go back to the thumb rule if planning. I am 29 years old, obviously I have friends getting married now and then so it’s a lot of weddings and dress up. Since the past five years in fact I have had a rule (credits to my mother here too) of investing in one or two beautiful pieces of jewellery regardless of a wedding or not (which did invariably happen though) so I could slowly build up my own collection of ethnic jewellery.

I am not talking of pure gold and diamonds I’m talking of semi precious and gold-plated pieces. Curio Cottage and Prerto have been my absolute favs. Then a few travels to Rajasthan has also helped me build up a real good collection of ethnic jewellery.

Bright and quirky accessories are really perfect for weddings too including tassle jewellery. And these options are comparatively inexpensive.

FIND TSC Recommendation in my Story Highlights on my Instagram- @thestylechair

Here’s another thing. We buy some pieces of jewellery that are so grand that we just want to only show them off. And trust me that happens a lot with me since I am such an Accessory Addict. So a couple of times I have had outfits made more so keeping in mind that I would be wearing heavy jewellery.

Style Tip: Now when wearing jewellery here are simple rules by TSC! Go heavy on just one piece of jewellery. If you are using a maang tikka then skip the necklace and go heavy on the earings too and hands. If you are wearing nice big earrings then skip the rest of the shebang. Skip the jazz on the wrist for just a nice big cocktail ring too.

FootwearExcept a cool pair of jutis or kolhapuris for day functions I would quite honestly not invest much in footwear. And for the night looks I would definitely use my heels. So it’s best to have a comfortable and shiney pair of silver heels and gold heels in your wardrobe that you can wear for wedding functions and even dressy night outs.

BagsAgain if you aren’t wearing something really ethnic then a nice gold or silver clutch from your wardrobe works or even a royal colour like emerald-green or royal blue works. Red ofcourse works well too. But if you can buy a clutch or two with Indian work or with quirky colours they add that extra wow factor to the outfit and are definitely really needed. It’s not like you have pockets to keep your things, so!

The only one place I picked up most of my ethnic clutches were from this lovely girl called Malvika at Delhi who send her stuff across India and this mention is absolutely non-sponsored but I genuinely lover her stuff also for being rather inexpensive. Find her on Instagram @loca_chica_clutches_by_malvika

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Hair & Makeup:

Ok this part just comes out to me extremely naturally. It’s the look layout that Sherie’s (my salons) has for weddings.

Simple and natural makeup along with half tied up hair or braids for Mehendi.

Glitter eyes for the Cocktail/ Sangeet Look. Half pinned voluminous hair with Cascading waves looks great while dancing and functional too without falling all over the face.

Prominent Winged liner with a gold toned smokey eye. A current trend I wish to start for brides on their wedding day is a coloured crease with a soft gold smokey eye. I recently did this for my bride and I have to say I am really loving this idea. Hair up definitely adds to the elegance. From a structured updo to a loose set updo or messy updo you can choose any look. But most importantly have it planned according to the bridal jewellery.

A reception is all out glam always and nothing does glam better than big hair and smokey eyes with some heavy mink lashes. Oh the new wife has definitely got heads turning then!

Attaching images of my MUA work from Sheries Salon. FYI if you yet dont know then I have salons in Pune which specialise in Hair, Makeup and Skin and go by the name of Sherie’s Salon. You cant find us on Facebook and Instagrm too as @sheriessalon

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Here’s one of my real Bride. Whom we made to look different for all her wedding functions with the Hair & Makeup being different for all occasions.
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Bling yet elegant Makeup Inspiration for a Sangeet/Cocktail
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Elegant Winged Liner with a rose gold and gold lid. Never fails for day wedding functions
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Glam= Smokey! Simple
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Coloured Crease is a trend I have been raving about for wedding looks. Adds a lovely pop to indian looks.
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Waterfall braids are a beautiful option when you want a braid and yet want to leave your hair down.
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Sharp Ombre Smokey eyes are a great option to have when going glam.

Note: before I end this rather long (hopefully helpful) post I have to say. Don’t go crazy spending, mix and match outfits. Also renting outfits and jewelry is a fabulous option too these days.

For any queries or collaborations mail me on aleena@thestylechair.com

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