Dress code help needed for a very swish Hindu wedding please...

(47 Posts)

We are invited to 3 days' of celebrations. I haven't got a clue what to wear to each event. Dh thinks it's naff if I try to wear traditional Indian clothes so I need some ideas of what to wear. Also need some advice on what colours/ things to avoid. I know I shouldn't wear red but otherwise am unsure.
So event 1: an evening of dancing, mehendi and masti at a fancy restaurant in London. ( I've googled masti and can't work out what it is. Anyone know?)
Event 2: the actual wedding ceremony
Event 3: an evening reception at the Royal Opera House.

All our friends who are going are Indian so will be wearing saris etc so aren't much use on the suggestions front.

MrsLettuce Sat 18-May-13 19:00:24

Bright is good. No black, white or red. Personally I'd want to do decent coverage. Someone more helpful will be along sortly, I'm sure!

What's your budget? Height, size, shape, colouring & age?

MrsLettuce Sat 18-May-13 19:01:29

AFAIK masti is fun and mischief

instantfamily Sat 18-May-13 19:05:02

I got outfitted by the bride when I went to one so was wearing a sari. But I would second the coverage. And wear all your most expensive jewellery.

Thanks re masti. Budget is up to £100 for each day. I am 5'4 size 12-14' bad legs so I tend to wear 50's style just below the knee length if I'm wearing a dress. Wondering if trouser suit is the way to go for the wedding? We went to a Sikh wedding a few years ago and we had to sit on the floor. We needed to cover our hair for that one, guess I'd better check if you need to cover hair for Hindu ceremonies. I was totally ill prepared for that wedding. Had too much cleavage on show and kept having to hoik up my top and my scarf kept falling off my head.

Oh I'm 40, have dark hair, am a winter in terms of colours I suit. Have got a lovely raspberry pink 50's style dress from phase 8 I'm wearing to an English wedding this summer. Might be ok for the royal opera house thing unless I'm going to need something full length. Sigh

MrsLettuce Sat 18-May-13 19:13:30

Would the pink 50's dress no be idea for the girly night

MrsLettuce Sat 18-May-13 19:13:50

Or am I wrong in thinking that's all women?

Is men and women but I think there will be bits during the evening where we separate off. Good idea re the Friday though.

MrsLettuce Sat 18-May-13 21:28:24

How about this for the second day?

MrsLettuce Sat 18-May-13 21:33:02
starjules Sat 18-May-13 21:40:58

I went to one and really really wanted to wear a sari so went to our local sari shop and got kitted out. It was fushia pink with silver beads and silver embroidery and I have never ever felt more beautiful. I wore it with some traditional bangles on one arm and a huge diamond cuff on the other and diamond chandelier earrings (obviously both fake) and I had compliments the whole time. There were a lots of us who wore saris and the bride and groom commented that it was great. So not naff at all. HTH

starjules Sat 18-May-13 21:42:07

Sorry should of said I only wore the Sari for the wedding day.

Laquila Sat 18-May-13 21:44:37

In my (admittedly limited) experience of non-Asians at Asian weddings, it seems to be totally acceptable to wear traditional dress.

I went to a Sikh-Hindu wedding a few years back and wore a maxi dress with a little sequinned cardy over it, with gold sandals - would that kind of thing work?

Kittykatzen Sat 18-May-13 21:52:16

If you would like to try Indian dress but can't tie a sari/don't have someone to help you dress then you could try a tunic and trousers - a churidar suit or similar. Bright colours and lots of sparkle required! You can't really be too bling. I'm married into a Hindu family and think it looks lovely when the non-Asian guests dress up; at my own Hindu wedding friends and family wore saris and looked great. At the last (mixed) wedding we went to there were barely any non-Asian outfits there, I wore a churidar suit and it's very easy to wear (drawstring trousers and a tunic so no tricky tying up). Not expensive either. You could try it for one of the days? Otherwise I would say bold colours and keep cleavage to a minimum and not too short.

firesideskirt Sat 18-May-13 21:58:46

Wear traditional dress (even better, borrow from friends) - sorry but your DH is wrong and being quite silly!

VioletGoesVintage Sat 18-May-13 22:03:06

Oh wear a sari, honestly. Or lengha (long skirt, fitted top and dupatta scarf), which you might feel more comfortable in, or salwar kameez. Your DH is wrong when he says you'd look naff. Your friends and their families are likely to really appreciate it if you wear a sari or similar and I bet some of them would be only too happy to help you pick outfits. If you're in London there are tonnes of good places to shop.

If you really really don't want to, then think bright and think bling (which doesn't necessarily mean gold jewellery, though; silver, or silver polished gold is very fashionable right now).

I like the idea of the Indian suit because it will tick all the boxes re modesty, sitting on the floor etc and (importantly) be comfortable so I can eat plenty of the amazing food I know will be on offer. Will work on dh. The inexpensive angle may swing it smile

Sorry, should have said thank you everyone, your ideas are helping me immensely smile

raisah Sun 19-May-13 05:50:57

Dont wear a sari if you have never worn one before and I say that after years of wearing one. You will spend too much time fretting if it stays in place etc. Much safer to wear a tunic suit or lengha or maxi dress. Monsoon do nice ones with fusion prints & embellishments. Try Bombay Looks or CBazaar on line for ideas. Your Raspberry dress is ideal for mehendi as its usually bright colours like green or yellow. Ask the bride/groom if they are having a colour theme, at mine it was green. This mehendi soubds v formal, mine was at home with just close female friends & family. We all had a girly pamper night while I had my wedding henna (mehendi) done.

raisah Sun 19-May-13 05:58:14

Bees online have lovely jewellery.
Try Green street (Indian shops nearest tube Upton Park. Turn left at main tube exit & walk down 10 mins until you see the asian shops or follow all the Asians as they are all going to the same bit!) Tip bargain hard as unfortunately the shop owners will illegally inflate prices because you are not asian.

Nehru Sun 19-May-13 07:52:23

Agree with h. Trad dress bad
Slightly patronising

Nehru Sun 19-May-13 07:53:05

I would do maxi dress
I fear.

VioletGoesVintage Sun 19-May-13 08:17:45

Nope, definitely not patronising. If anything, at least at some weddings, the opposite would be true. Some people, aka one slice of my in-laws, would raise eyebrows at people who didn't wear Asian dress. Not saying they should be pandered to, btw (and I don't always....), just putting it out there!

Maxi dress would be fine but you'd have to keep your shoulders covered and, depending on how traditional the hosts are, maybe your arms too.

redandyellowbits Sun 19-May-13 08:28:04

I agree, you should wear Indian clothes, it is always much appreciated at Indian weddings when guests do this.

Also - you don't have to cover your head at a Hindu wedding.

Don't wear a sari as they can be fiddly, but a suit would be great Ealing Road in Wembley is another great place for Indian clothes shopping (and lunching!).

Nehru Sun 19-May-13 08:41:55

I'm laughing at the thought of op buying Indian clothes.

Ha ha.
We're mates. This is way out of her comfort zone.
Like a bloke in a bra shop.

dizzy77 Sun 19-May-13 08:49:52

Funny I've just had pictures of the Sikh wedding I went to a few years ago flip up on the photo frame. It is huge fun getting dressed up ad also a minefield: a Hindu friend gave me a sari and dressed me in it but when i arrived at the house of the Sikh friend I was going with her mother was very unimpressed with the way it was tied (said it was in the style of my Hindu friend's region) and redressed me!

My inexpert two pence is to agree you can't have too much colour/bling. This includes make up. Think Mac counter veering to drag queen. I prefer a lazy natural look and ended up with purely and gold eyeshadow to match my sari.

If I went again, I would swallow my fear and go, with appropriate support, to an Indian outfitters to get a shalwar kameez(sp?) tunic & trouser suit made - I'm told its similar pricing to a Coast dress.

ScienceRocks Sun 19-May-13 08:57:55

You are very unlikely to have to sit on the floor at a Hindu wedding. Covering heads is usually only mandatory for those involved in the ceremony, so I wouldn't worry about that too much either.

For the evening thing, wear something brightly coloured. A dress is fine.

For the wedding, a lengha is a great idea. Again, bright and colourful is the way to go. Jewellery is a must. Don't wear a trouser suit, you will feel dowdy! Do not wear red, it is considered bad form in the same way that wearing white to a church wedding is. If you don't fancy Indian garb, a bright dress would work. Something very fitted might make you feel self conscious when there, so go for something with a bit of movement.

For the evening reception, you could wear black, as long as you wear some impressive jewellery to go with it. White is the Hindu colour of mourning, not black, so black is fine for evening dos but it needs to be embellished in some way.

Have a great time!

Nehru Sun 19-May-13 09:49:45

my H says : tell her to ask the bride"

why havent we said this?!!

Because I don't know the bride. I've asked the groom's sister in law who told me what she will be wearing rather than what I should wear. All our friends who will be at the wedding live in Kenya too so can't ask them to shop with me.
I know I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb at the Sikh wedding - was the only white woman out of 400 people and the only person not in Indian dress. I think I will actually feel better in clothes that blend in iyswim even if they are different for me.
I've ordered this phase eight dress for the royal opera house thing. If I don't look dumpy and lumpy I think it'll be perfect.

Nehru Sun 19-May-13 10:38:14

Aw!! Baggy. sad

Nehru Sun 19-May-13 10:38:43

The maxi is good IMO

aoife24 Sun 19-May-13 15:13:05

What about a lovely shalwar kameez, much easier to pull off than saris which I think rarely look good on non-indian women. I don't know why, but I think mostly look like hijras when/if we wear them.

aoife24 Sun 19-May-13 15:16:30
HintofBream Sun 19-May-13 15:37:51

aoife, there are some great outfits on your link. Just wish I had an excuse to buy one (or two).

Nehru Sun 19-May-13 17:10:42
SerBrienne Sun 19-May-13 19:16:43

Thanks for all your help so far ladies. More required:
I've bought the phase eight black dress linked below. Am delighted with it so will wear it to the royal opera house do. But what jewellery?
I haven't got any expensive jewellery really ( a few very unbling and understated bits) sooo do I go diamanté and bling up that way and hope that the other guests don't think I'm trying to fake it? Or I'm wondering about pearls with the black? My mum has some beautiful real pearls and I have a lovely Tiffany pearl bracelet. Have no idea if pearls are currently in or out smile

Amrapaali Mon 20-May-13 13:53:11

Wear a churidhar. Its so comfy, like a lovely tunic with leggings. But much, much, MUCH lovelier.Try this one

I would think twice about wearing a sari. If you are not used to it, it can be a nightmare, all the hoicking up, the pleats staying in place. No!! And I say that as someone coming from India grin

Amrapaali Mon 20-May-13 13:54:04

Oops sorry, see that you've already made a purchase. Still, reference for any future weddings smile

ScienceRocks Mon 20-May-13 16:50:56

That dress is lovely. Pearls would also be lovely, but you may feel a bit dowdy if there is a lot of Indian evening wear around you. Why not buy some cheap but blingy jewellery and wear bright shoes and a bright handbag?

amrapali, thnak you, not too late, i think i will look for a churidar for the wedding day ceremony. My sister has a Hindu friend who lives locally so she's going to ask her if she'll come with me to choose one.

sorry paali not pali

MyFunDay Mon 20-May-13 19:23:39

So excited for you and so envious too. grin envy.

That black dress is great for the royal opera do. Don't go with understated jewellery, go for bling. Asian weddings are not known for understated. Everyone will be out in their finest, lots of heavily embroidered silk, chiffons, bright colours, lots of jewellery too. Perhaps you could have a gorgeously embroidered pashmina casually draped around your back and arms?

As for the actual wedding ceremony, I second you wearing a churidar. Maybe a friend could lend you a suitable one? Careful when you go shopping for one as there are a lot out there that are cheap looking and make sure that you get a wedding standard one.

Good luck and enjoy. Any chance you could sneak me in? Haven't been to an Indian wedding in ages.

My mum turned up this morning with a battered cardboard box containing my grandma's rhinestone necklace circa 1956. Is perfect for with the black dress, there are matching earrings too. I'm going to search for a diamanté cuff now.

Nehru Mon 03-Jun-13 19:07:15


Jagsy Mon 03-Jun-13 20:34:04

Hi there op.

Lots of good advice, especially re churidar suit. Check rupali online, decent prices. You will not need to cover head btw. I am Hindu and still find sari a faff so usually wear churidar suits or lengha. Maybe friends can lend you one? Hope you have a fab time, sounds v posh indeed!

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