Traditional Indian weddings are a fantastic celebration of love and life, expressed primarily through decorations and attire. To stand out or slide into an Indian wedding as a guest, you’ll need to choose what you wear wisely. Shawna Gohel, the editor-in-chief at Maharani Weddings, says that “bright, festive colour is always in style for an Indian wedding no matter what the season or venue.” Remember guests should always avoid wearing red as this is traditionally Indian colours that the bride and groom would wear!
The sherwani is a long, buttoned jacket. It comes to just below the knees and is sometimes worn with tighter fitting trousers called Churidars. If this is an option you elect to go with, then a churidar is an essential piece of the outfit to consider. Sherwanis are often very intricate in their design with elegant embroidery catching the eye. It is very traditional so you will look the part, and it can be dressed up further with the addition of an embroidered scarf to be draped over one shoulder, to give a regal finish.
If you are more inclined to the western side of the Indo Western dress code, then a Jodhpuri outfit might be the way to go. Being closer to a traditional western suit, an outfit like this may be a more comfortable adjustment for you, without sacrificing the respect for the culture. These, as with the Sherwani, can come in a number of materials and styles. They can be intricate or quite simple with a one-colour design. The three-piece set up is usually well-fitted, mimicking the western style of suit, and the colours don’t typically vary too much.
This style can be quite understated, depending on the colours you go for. If the goal is to fit in, then this is an easy choice. Firstly, if price is something of concern then the Kurta Pyjama is more often than not a less expensive option than some of the others on this list.
It doesn’t have to be too colourful or have any stand-out designs, but it will allow you to fit in and honour the ceremony’s tradition and fashion nicely. The attire, including the bottoms, are quite loose in this setup, meaning that they can be good for weddings in warmer climates as they are cool and comfortable in nature.
They are also a great option for a pre wedding event such as a sangeet or mehndi night. Again add a slimmer scarf to this style to add some flair or to be Mr Cool wear the Kurta top with your favourite jeans and mawja shoes.
A specific style of Sherwani, the Achkan is a shorter and more flared Sherwani, closer resembling a jacket. It can come in single and double buttoned styles as well as occasionally done asymmetrically to make the most of the flares at the bottom of its shorter design. If you are on the shorter side, this could be a good option as a traditional Sherwani is longer and might be more difficult to find a size that looks good and fits correctly. They are known to be much more fitted and complement a masculine and compact build. Pocket squares are also often a feature on the Achkan.
Printed waistcoat (Nehru jacket with Kurta)
If you like the comfort of the Kurta Pyjama, but want to stand out a little more, then adding a printed waistcoat in the form of a buttoned Nehru jacket is also an option. In terms of the colouring, you can either go for the monochromatic look of the alternate look. Choose a jacket that is a similar colour to your Kurta or a contrasting colour that will complement the look. For cooler weather this look is good with the jacket adding an extra layer, and it can come with a pocket square just like the Achkan.
It can appear more formal and less relaxed than the Kurta by itself as well as come in a number of materials, so which one you prefer will be entirely down to your personal taste. Either way, both Indo Western styles are more than suitable for an Indian wedding ceremony and party.