We have compield an Indian Wedding Guide with advice for everyone involved in the occassion from the bride to the groom, the family of the bride and groom, the bridesmaids and the guests.
For those who have never been to an Indian Wedding before, our What to Expect section will help prepare you for the madness.
For everyone involved in the wedding, if you are unsure of what to wear for the different ceremonies or are just looking for some inspiration then the Indian Wedding Outfits section is for you. Equally, the importance of Indian Wedding Accessories should not be forgotten, so if you want to know what options you have, head on over to our accessories section.
Apart from the accessories the other important aspect that will complete you Indian Wedding look is your hairstyle, which can make a huge difference to the end result, so get some ideas in the Beautiful Indian Bridal Hairstyles section to make sure you choose the right one for for.
What seems fun and exciting from the outset but can then often turn into a rather long-winded ordeal is having too choose a wedding playlist. Don't worry though, we've got you covered with our Indian Wedding Songs You Must Play At Your Wedding post.
Use our Wedding Outfit Generator to get outfit suggestions and styling tips according to your role in the wedding and the ceremony you are attending.
Lastly, if you are right at the beginning of the wedding process our Wedding Planning Guide should help ease some of the stress and give you a good place to start. Happy reading!
It is officially the wedding season in India and what with Indians travelling far and wide and settling in various countries, we are sure that there are many of you who will be attending an Indian wedding for the first time.
Your friends must already have given you a heads up describing it as an extravagant affair with singing, dancing, lots of merriment and not to forget, great food and loads of bling! But all the clichés apart, what exactly is an Indian wedding all about?
It doesn’t hurt to do some research before you attend an Indian wedding. That way, you can at least understand what is happening around you. That is precisely why we put together this Indian wedding guide.
Read up to know what to expect at an Indian wedding and which ceremonies that take place at a wedding.
It is tradition in India for a couple to get formally engaged before their wedding. While in the west, the man proposes to the woman with a ring, in Indian weddings, the engagement is a family affair that brings together both the families. The couple exchanges gold rings in the presence of a priest who would solemnise the ceremony and also formally announce a suitable wedding date to all those present. While the engagement ceremony usually happens at least a couple of months before the wedding, there are also instances when it takes place a day or two prior to the wedding itself, as a mere formality. This is true in cases where the bride and the groom are not available together on a suitable date or when the families want to have all the pre-wedding ceremonies together in one go to save the wedding guests’ time and effort.
Haldi or turmeric is an integral part of Indian rituals since it is a mark of fertility, purity and auspicious beginnings. It is little surprise then that it is used extensively in Indian weddings and also has a whole ceremony dedicated to it. The Haldi ceremony is held in the respective homes of the groom and the bride where the family members slather turmeric paste on their face, hands and feet. The paste brings out the ‘wedding glow’ on the couple’s skin. The haldi ceremony is symbolically meant to be a way for the elders to bless the couple and is also said to ward off evils.
Mehendi or henna tattoo is considered an important part of the ‘solah sringar’ or the sixteen adornments that a bride must have during the wedding. It is said that the deeper the colour of the mehendi after peeling it off, the more the groom’s love is for the bride.
There was a time when the women of the household would grind fresh henna leaves and apply them in round patches on the bride’s hands a day before the wedding - a low-key affair that was held in the bride’s house. However, with changing times and the influence of Bollywood movies on Indian weddings, the mehendi ceremony has skyrocketed in popularity and glamour quotient. It has now become a party of sorts with lots of music, dance and mehendi artists creating elaborate and intricate designs on the hands and feet of the bride, her friends and family. The popularity of the ceremony is so much that today, every bride wants a mehendi ceremony with a special outfit and picture perfect decor that she can show off on social media. If you are attending a mehendi ceremony, be prepared to sit with your hands full of mehendi designs for at least a couple of hours. Don't worry though we guarantee that the end result is worth it!
Since Indian weddings are very ritual centric and quite a hard work for the couple and their immediate families, the pre-wedding ceremonies are tailored in a way that they provide them with opportunities to let their hair down and have some fun. One such event is the sangeet ceremony that takes place usually in tandem with the mehendi ceremony, a night or two before the wedding. Women gather with dhols (Indian drums) and other music instruments and sing songs while the rest of the family and friends dance and be merry. It is more or less like a pre-wedding party full of music, dance and lots of fun. These days, sangeet ceremonies also have pre-rehearsed dance performances by the families of the bride and the groom, thanks to the Bollywood influence.
After all the entertaining ceremonies, it is time for some serious prayers for both the bride and the groom, before the wedding. Both the individuals pray for a smooth transition from their single status to their marital one. These prayers happen separately, usually in their respective homes, surrounded by their family members, before the big fat wedding ceremony begins.
On the D-Day, the bride and the groom proceed to the venue separately. Usually, the bride and her family arrive earlier and prepare to welcome the groom’s family. The Indian wedding kicks off when the groom arrives at the venue on a horse / luxury car / convertible with his friends and family singing and dancing around him. This procession is called the baraat and is a noisy affair complete with professional Indian drummers and players of other music instruments. The baraat is a North Indian tradition but is being followed in many other parts of the country as well, thanks to its fun quotient.
Upon their arrival at the venue, the groom and his family are welcomed by the bride’s family with a tilak or a tikka - an application of holy vermillion and turmeric on their foreheads. After the formal welcome, the groom and his entourage proceed to the venue to start the actual wedding rituals.
In many traditions, the bride and the groom do not get to see each other until the auspicious time or muhurat of the wedding. Until then, they are separated by a curtain that is held up by both the families. Once the time arrives, the curtain is taken off and the bride and the groom exchange garlands. After this, they proceed to sit side by side at the mantap (the canopy) where the remaining rituals take place.
Among the various rituals that are performed during an Indian wedding, the most important is the ‘Kanyadaan’ or the ‘giving away of the bride’. The bride’s father places the daughter’s hand in the groom’s hand and pours holy water over it and requests the son-in-law to take care of his daughter. The groom in turn ties the mangalsutra or the sacred thread/necklace around her neck which ties them together in holy matrimony.
As soon as the bride and the groom are married, they perform circumambulations around the holy fire and make their vows around it. The seven vows are made by invoking Lord Agni (the Fire god) who is considered the witness of the vows. Both the bride and the groom promise to take care of each other, fulfil each other’s needs and support one another in good times and bad. The groom then goes on to apply holy vermillion on the bride’s forehead, accepting her as his better half.
Soon after the pheras, it is usually time for the friends and family to approach them on the mantap, bless them with gifts and pose for photographs. Since the registry system has not really kicked off in India, the gifts are usually in the form of small gadgets or appliances or better still an envelope with cash that the couple can use to set up their new home.
In many regions, it is customary for the bride and groom to participate in some post-wedding games, to build a rapport with each other - a tradition that was relevant when the couple would interact for the first time during the wedding. But with technological advancements and with more and more youngsters breaking away from the old-world arranged marriage system and choosing their own partners, these games merely become a formality that the couple indulges in.
This is the most emotional part of an Indian wedding where after all the merriment and fun, it is time for the bride to officially bid adieu to her home and leave along with her husband's family. If you are the emotional kind, then it will be hard for you to prevent your eyes from welling up at the sight of the bride and her family crying as they say their goodbyes. She then proceeds with her husband and his family to her new home to start a new life of her own.
What we have described here is just an introduction to the various rituals that take place during the big fat Indian wedding. Some of the rituals vary as per the region and the traditions that the families follow but most important proceedings are more or less the same in all parts of the country. If you are going to be attending an Indian wedding for the first time, be prepared to be wowed by a lot of colour, fun and merriment and a celebration of ties like you’ve never seen before!
Now that you're clued up on what to expect at a big fat Indian wedding we will now help you get ready for it no matter whether you are the bride, groom, bridesmaid or guests we have some handy tips for you.
Weddings in India are gala affairs, with a lot of prominence given to what the bride, groom and the other guests wear to the various ceremonies. Guests are always on the lookout for fabulous wedding outfits and interesting pieces of jewellery worn by others so that they can be turned into topics of discussion during the wedding. But what does one wear to an Indian wedding?
There are no rules set in stone about what to wear to an Indian wedding and what not, but it is generally preferred that you turn up in traditional Indian outfits. Furthermore, depending on what role you play at the wedding, the kind of outfit that suits the occasion changes. So to make things easy and give you a clear idea, we have separated our outfit guide by roles in the wedding.
The bride is at the centre of all the attention during a wedding and understandably the most extravagantly dressed as well. Indian wedding outfits for brides tend to be elaborate, often weighing them down - a price that brides have to pay for being in the spotlight. For a south Indian bride, the outfit of choice is usually a Kanjeevaram or an Uppada silk saree with golden zari border, paired with either a matching or contrasting blouse. If you are from the north of India, then you could go in for a Benarasi silk saree or the traditional lehenga choli with a dupatta.
With changing times, Indian wedding fashion has woken up to brides experimenting with colours, styles and silhouettes. So today, you have a south Indian bride teaming up her saree with a choli style blouse, complete with zardosi embroidery. In the same way, there are north Indian brides going in for a lehenga choli made of pure silk with zari embroidery - designs that bring a touch of novelty to their wedding ensemble. Indian wedding outfits for brides that draw influences from myriad styles are a treat to the eyes and hence are in vogue today. We've curated a list of Indian wedding wear for brides here that you can derive inspiration from.
If you are gearing up to go shopping for your wedding, we suggest that you experiment with either the colour or the fabric of your outfit to set yourself apart from other brides. Also, go in for jewellery that is unique and different from the run of the mill designs so that your look will be memorable.
Choices in Indian wedding wear for men are not as varied as the choices among Indian wedding outfits for brides. Nevertheless, menswear designers are slowly expanding their repertoire to create newer designs for the groom to include varied silhouettes and embellishments that makes the prospect of shopping for Indian wedding wear for men exciting.
For men looking at Indian wedding wear for their wedding, we’d suggest you first consult your family as to what your traditional wedding attire is. In some communities, it is mandatory to wear a dhoti while in some others; you can turn up in a sherwani or a kurta. We’d suggest pairing a kurta with dhoti style pants for a look that is comfortable and classy. If you are looking for something more dressier, then go in for a structured sherwani festooned with embroidery and pair it with Jodhpuri pants or a dhoti. Another interesting option is to wear a chic bandhgala with a contrasting pocket square to look suave for the evening festivities. Since you need to set yourself apart from the guests, top your outfit with a rich dupatta that will add a wonderful finishing touch to your Indian wedding outfit. We've put together some chosen pieces of Indian wedding wear for men from our collection here for you.
If you are the mother of the bride or the groom, then you would certainly be spending a lot of time on the stage along with the couple. Naturally, you’ll figure in most photographs which means that it imperative that you dress appropriately for the occasion.
We would recommend you to go in for a dressy saree since there is no Indian wedding wear that is more elegant than a saree for a traditional occasion. Try a designer wedding saree or a pure silk saree with custom embroidery and you are guaranteed to become the most talked about mother of the bride/groom. Wear the saree with your heirloom jewellery and traditional elements like flowers in your hair. For more tips to help you choose the perfect 'Mother of the bride' dresses see here. Otherwise you can even browse our curated collection of outfits for the mother here and take your pick from them.
For the father, we’d recommend that you go in for a sherwani or a kurta-pyjama in an understated colour that will complement the groom’s outfit without overshadowing it. Intricate zari work or pearl embroidery on the kurta are accents to look for when you are out to shop for your outfit. In our exhaustive guide, we give you a lowdown on how to go about choosing an outfit and to make things easier, we have even put together a collection of exquisite outfits that you can choose from.
Your best friend is the bride and you are wondering what to wear to her wedding? Well, worry not for we have just the right piece of advice for you. The cardinal rule to remember when you are the bridesmaid is to dress in a way that your outfit does not steal the bride's thunder during the wedding. That said, it is no excuse to dress sloppily for your best friend’s wedding. In fact, we suggest that you grab the opportunity to unleash your adventurous side and experiment with fusion outfits that will set you apart without taking away any attention from the bride. Think pre-draped sarees, saree gowns or elegant lehengas with minimal embellishments - classy outfits that do justice to your role in the wedding.
To keep the look interesting, pair your outfit with kundan or diamond jewellery to give it a royal touch. If you are a bunch of friends dressing up in similar Indian wedding wear, then we suggest you either match or contrast the bridal outfit so that the colour coordination is evident in the photographs. Find out more about this as well as some more suggestions here.
For the Indian wedding guests, we recommend that you wear traditional Indian outfits to the wedding. Choose the level of bling depending on how ostentatious the wedding ceremony is. We’d think a saree or an anarkali suit is a safe bet for women when dressing up for an Indian wedding.
For the men, we would recommend a kurta with a pyjama or a pair of jeans and an optional Nehru jacket thrown over it. We’ve got more details about how to dress up for an Indian wedding here.
An Indian wedding outfit is incomplete until you dress it up with Indian wedding accessories that bring out its beauty. You could be wearing the most extravagant of wedding lehengas but it will still not quite make an impact unless it is paired with the right kind of accessories that complement it well. So as soon as you finish taking the monumental decision about what you will wear for your wedding, it is time to carefully select Indian wedding accessories that will help you complete the look. So what are the Indian wedding accessories you need to put together a ravishing ensemble?
Before you choose individual pieces of Indian wedding jewellery, make up your mind about what style of jewellery you want to wear. Do you want an all gold look or are you more inclined towards kundan or uncut diamonds? Our guide here has numerous options for you to choose from.
Now that you have picked a style that appeals to you, it is time to hunt for accessories in that style! Let’s get started!
The most integral part of Indian bridal jewellery is a pair of large earrings that beautifully frame and enhance your face. For most Indian brides, the dream pair of earrings for a wedding ceremony are either diamond chandelier earrings or a pair of engraved jhumkas that will elevate the traditional look of the bridal attire. After choosing your dress, you can shop for earrings with studded stones that will complement the dress or go in for plain gold ones that can be matched with just about any outfit. You can find some classic pieces here.
Another option is to pick your necklace first and match the earrings with it for a well-rounded look. For a more elaborate look, you could also choose earrings with an attached chain which most Indian bridal jewellery outlets stock. The chain hooked to the hair ends up cupping the ear like a cuff and enhances the beauty of the earrings.
A necklace is at the heart of every Indian bridal attire - it is the first piece of Indian bridal jewellery that onlookers set their eyes upon. In fact, it is so vital to the entire look that there are many brides who invest in a statement neckpiece and end up getting their bridal outfit designed around it. If you end up working the other way around, then carry your bridal outfit when you are out to choose Indian wedding accessories like necklaces. We are suggesting this because neckpieces in gold and diamond tend to cost a bomb, so it is always better to try it on with your wedding outfit and see what the final ensemble looks like. A wise move would be to pick an entire Indian bridal set comprising of a necklace, earrings and bangles in the same design - that way, you don’t have to spend too much time scouting for matching pieces.
The most versatile of necklaces are those in gold, kundan or diamonds, for they can be paired with just about any outfit. If you are wearing a saree, you would need to wear at least two necklaces - one choker and a longer piece in a cascading design which will elevate the beauty of the saree. For lehengas, a choker that sits above the neckline of the blouse is an apt choice.
Whether you wear bangles on a daily basis or not, you would notice that the moment you wear a saree or a lehenga, something appears amiss if your wrists are bare. Bangles are also vital to the Indian wedding customs, so much that in many communities, they prescribe the colour and the number of bangles that must be a part of the bride’s Indian wedding accessories. If you don’t have to follow any such rules, then the ideal way of putting together a bangle set is to wear your gold bangles interspersed with glass or metal bangles that match the colour of your bridal attire. In fact, if you are shopping for bangles in India, all you need to do is to carry your bridal saree or lehenga to your nearest store and they will readily put together two dozens of bangles to match the saree to the T.
If you want to shop for bangles in precious metals then we would suggest that you invest in bangles that match your necklace or earrings - be it kundan, gold, semi-precious stones or diamonds. That way, you can put together an entire Indian bridal jewellery set with the same theme or design and wear them all together to make a striking statement.
Aside from these, there are other Indian wedding accessories like the nose ring, maang tika and waist bands which are an integral part of the Indian bridal attire. You can find a detailed description of such pieces here. However, one thing to remember is that these pieces are not as versatile, in that they would appear too dressy if you wore them for a festive occasion or to wedding in the family. Since you would probably wear them only to your wedding, our suggestion to you would be to either rent them or to go in for gold-plated versions of these Indian wedding accessories to get the most value for your money.
With all these beautiful and ornate elements in place, your wedding look definitely needs a bag or a clutch that can hold small knick knacks, makeup or those paper napkins that you never seem to find when you need them. Since you need a bag that will match your wedding outfit, we suggest you pick up an Indian wedding bag with embroidery or stone embellishments that will seamlessly blend into your ensemble. Potli style Indian wedding bags are a great choice for women who want something truly traditional. These dainty drawstring bags can in fact be fashioned out of your bridal outfit fabric for it to match the dress perfectly. Or, you could also go in for Indian wedding bags in a contrasting colour to add a new dimension to your look.
For a more contemporary appeal, go in for studded clutches which are turning out to be the Indian wedding bags of choice for most brides these days. And why not, when these beautiful Indian wedding accessories add a chic touch to the ensemble and also elevate your look by a few notches with their brilliant design? Pick a clutch that is big enough to hold your phone and a lipstick together but make sure that it is not one of those oversized Indian wedding bags that can detract from the overall look.
It is every bride’s dream to look like a princess at her wedding. With these Indian wedding accessories in place, you can most certainly look like one and feel like one as well. One occasion where the ‘less is more’ principle does not apply is at your own wedding. So we encourage you to go all out when shopping for Indian wedding accessories and wear beautiful pieces to make your wedding ensemble picture perfect.
And in case you want help in picking up more accessories for your trousseau, we’ve got that covered here as well.
Your wedding day is perhaps the most photographed occasion of your life. It is therefore a given that on this day you need a hairstyle that will beautifully frame your face and make you look picture perfect. Today we are talking about beautiful Indian bridal hairstyles that will help you achieve the perfect bridal look and will sweep everyone off their feet.
The traditional braid is the most basic among the Indian bridal hairstyles. The hair is divided into three or more parts and braided into a long plait that holds the hair neatly in place. It is then secured at the bottom with a band and the braid is adorned with fragrant flowers and beautiful accessories that add to its beauty. A ‘kutchu’ which is a beaded accessory is tied at the bottom of the braid to finish it beautifully and ensure it falls nicely. We suggest choosing this hairdo if you are wearing a saree for your wedding for there is nothing as beautiful as a braid to complement it.
A neat way to do up your hair in a chic style is to wear an updo during your wedding. An updo adds length to your face making it a great option if you have a round face. The updo is a classic hairstyle that will never go out of fashion. The hair is tied up in a beautiful bun which is held in place by a slender braid on either side. The bun can then be decorated with small little beads that will make it one of the easiest yet most striking Indian bridal hairstyles. Pull out a strand of hair or two on each side to add a feminine and playful touch to the hairdo.
For wedding receptions, brides prefer Indian bridal hairstyles that are a tad bit more modern. For the reception, you can ask your stylist to make a chic updo with curls that are slightly shifted towards one side. The other side is decorated with large flowers like orchids which enhance the subtle glamour of the hairstyle. A bouffant in the front is optional but it sure will make your hairdo even more breathtaking.
Wavy hairstyles are styles that you can never go wrong with! Stylists have found a great way to incorporate waves in Indian bridal hairstyles by creating hairdos with half up and half down hair. Half of the hair is held up in a bouffant that adds volume on the forehead while the other half is allowed to tumble down the shoulder in waves. Floral accessories make this updo even more attractive, especially if you are wearing it with a lehenga or an anarkali suit of the same colour.
Gone are the days when Indian bridal hairstyles required brides to tie their hair up without a single hair out of place. Today, brides are experimenting with different looks for their wedding and downdos with curls have emerged as one of the most popular Indian bridal hairstyles. A center partition with a maang tikka with curls on either side is a simple way to ensure that your bridal look is nothing less than perfect on the day of your reception.
Discover even more Indian wedding hairstyles here
Indian weddings are not complete without song and dance. Music is played at the mehendi, baraat and even the post-wedding party. Why, there is even an entire ‘Sangeet ceremony’ that is dedicated to just playing music, dancing and having a good time. What better way to add music to a wedding than the latest Bollywood wedding dance songs that people can dance to? These songs are popular, they are fun and most importantly, people know the dance steps for these songs. So what are the most popular Indian wedding songs that you can play at your wedding? Lets have a look.
Mehendi Lagake Rakhna is an evergreen song that is one of the most popular Indian wedding songs of all time. The song is such a big hit at weddings because it works well for both the ladies and the men. The lyrics are easy to sing along to and the steps are a breeze. You can begin your sangeet songs line-up with this song and be sure that everyone in your wedding party will shake a leg to it.
This popular mehendi song talks about the feelings that a bride goes through in the lead up to her wedding. Indian wedding songs tend to be fast and full of beats, but this song is particularly slow. It packs the punch with its meaningful lyrics that most brides identify with. Play it when you want to give the boys a rest and let the girls take centre stage.
When one saw Ranveer and Anushka dance to this song in the movie Band Baaja Baraat, it immediately became clear that it was one high energy song, perfect for a wedding. Not surprisingly, the song has turned out to be one of the catchiest Bollywood wedding dance songs in recent times that the entire family shakes a leg to. Play it during the sangeet or the after party - the song will be a hit with the both younger and older generations!
One of the earliest Bollywood wedding dance songs, Joote Do Paise Lo is a great number to play when you have a group of dancers each from the bride’s side and the groom’s side. Like most Indian wedding songs, this song is replete with references of the bride, her relatives, the wedding festivities and particularly about the rivalry between the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. Play it and see some sparks fly!
A romantic dance number is a must have at a wedding and what better than Bole Chudiyan to set the mood! With romantic lyrics and foot tapping music, it is one of the most played Indian wedding songs for the bride and the groom to dance to. A bonus is that the song works well for both rehearsed and impromptu dances.
Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor rocked the big screen when they danced to Nagada Baja in Jab We Met. Their performance catapulted the song to fame and it has turned out to be one of the most played Bollywood wedding dance songs of recent times. Despite its Punjabi lyrics, the song has found favour across the country. If you are looking for Indian wedding songs which the youngsters can dance to, then this is the perfect choice for you.
Another nagada song, this time from Ram-Leela featuring the super electric pair that is Deepika and Ranveer Singh. The song has set the imagination of young couples on fire and they now want to exude the same chemistry that the lead pair did in the original song. Bollywood wedding dance songs like these are a great choice for a couple performance that is followed by the entire family congregating together on stage for an encore.
Indian wedding songs have a lot of scope for some light-hearted flirting and songs like ‘Radha on the dance floor’ are a perfect example of that. Play this for the young boys and girls in your wedding party to dance to, especially if they want to perform a rehearsed song with coordinated steps.
As far as Bollywood wedding dance songs go, Galla Goodiyan qualifies to be among the best ones simply by virtue of its super catchy lyrics and enticing music. A good mix of witty Hindi and English lyrics makes this song one of our favourite Indian wedding songs. Play the song if you are looking for an interesting exchange between the boys and girls at your wedding dance party and we guarantee you lots of fun.
For your bridal solo, if you are comfortable performing to a new song with edgy lyrics, then ‘chittiyan kalayiyan’ is perhaps the best choice for you. The song talks about all that the girl wants her boyfriend to buy for her and the places she wants him to take her to. Even though it is not an Indian wedding song in the conventional sense, it makes for an interesting choice if you want to surprise your audience.
This was our roundup of the Bollywood wedding dance songs that we think would be impressive during your wedding. Choose songs that would go down well with your guests and if possible, stay away from songs that have controversial or objectionable lyrics. That way, you can ensure that everyone in your guest list will have lots of fun at your wedding party!
Now that we've covered what to wear, we are going to move onto arguable the most important part: Planning your dream wedding.
Planning an Indian wedding can turn out to be an arduous process, if not done systematically, what with endless checklists to take care of and the numerous tasks to tend to. Since Indian wedding planning is not as organised as that in other countries and in a majority of the cases is done in the absence of a wedding planner, we decided to pitch in to help those planning a wedding.
Given the number of guests and events, it does help to divide the organising efforts into four main categories, namely the guest list, venue, decor and the food. We hope this guide will help you plan your wedding in an organised and hassle-free way. It won’t hurt to make your list as you read through the post.
The first and the foremost thing to do is to prepare a guest list for the wedding. We want you to do this first because all the other factors, namely, the destination, venue and the food will depend on the number of people who will be invited to the wedding. So bring out your notebook and pen (or tablet for the more tech savvy) and make a list of all the guests that you intend to invite to the wedding. If you have a number in mind that you want to limit the guests to, then be ruthless and prune the list by inviting only your nearest and dearest.
There was a time when the default Indian wedding destination would be the place of residence of the bride. Since the bride’s family that traditionally arranged the wedding ceremony, naturally, their place of residence would be the most convenient location to organise an event of that scale. However, with changing times and global influence, it has become fashionable to have a ‘destination wedding’ in exotic locales which are actively being marketed as ‘dream Indian wedding destinations’. Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala are popular Indian wedding destinations for the scenic beauty and the photograph opportunities they offer. Usually held at a five-star property along the sea or in a historical site, these weddings are costly affairs, entailing careful planning and effort.
However, given the popularity of the trend, many hotels offer packages that include the venue, decor, accommodation for the family, a bridal suite, food...the works! You can simply choose your package, sit back and let their planners do their work while you soak in the beauty of the place. Given all this, Indian destination weddings are costly affairs. So our advise would be for you to consider one only if your budget permits you to do so. But all said and done, a destination wedding is a memorable affair that justifies the once in a lifetime spend!
Find out about dressing for a destination wedding here.
But if you want to choose convenience over a picturesque location, then your own city is the perfect choice, both for you and the guests who are invited to the wedding.
After choosing the Indian wedding destination, it is time to zero in on the venue. If you can afford it, then you can even rent a palace in India for the wedding. But since most of us do have a budget to stick to, the best way to choose your Indian wedding venue is to find one according to your guest list. Since Indian weddings easily have over 500 guests in attendance, it becomes important to choose a place that can accommodate all the guests and also provide ample space for the various wedding festivities. Of late, the trend is to have an outdoor wedding with a mantap or a canopy in the centre with tables surrounding it. If you are getting married in the winter which is not very harsh in India, then it makes great sense in picking an outdoor Indian wedding venue. Summers tend to be hot and the monsoon is a complete no-no owing to rains, so during those seasons, look for a wedding hall that can seat all your guests comfortably. If it is the summer, then an air-conditioned hall is almost a necessity in most parts of the country to beat the heat.
If you thought that securing the wedding venue was a tedious affair, you may not love the mind boggling number of options that you will be presented with for the decor. Indian wedding decor has historically comprised of the use of native flowers like marigold, jasmine and roses. But as expected, the exposure to wedding decor around the world has resulted in Indians taking to exotic flowers and lights for their decor. Decor is an important aspect of Indian wedding planning because the right decor can transform any ordinary venue to a fairytale location. Flowers along the entryway, on the tables and around the mantap can be chosen from one of the many options in the decorator’s catalogue as per various themes.
The mantap, where all the wedding proceedings take place will be on the spotlight and can be done up in one of the newer styles with brass pots, silk drapes or even mirror hangings. Aside from this, the Indian wedding decor calls for floral adornments on the walls of the venue and also an elaborate backdrop behind the stage. The options in Indian wedding decor are so many that you can choose clean and simple themes and settle for subtle elements or go all out and unleash a torrent of colours, lights and flowers and change the face of the venue altogether! Find our top ten wedding decor ideas here for inspiration.
If you happen to run into someone after returning from an Indian wedding, then the first question that will be posed to you will be regarding the food at the wedding. Such is the prominence attached to Indian wedding food. It almost overshadows the bride and the groom as the topic of discussion - the number of items on the menu, the taste of the dessert, the unconventional entree is what most people end up speaking about after the wedding.
Therefore unsurprisingly, the wedding food becomes a show of wealth with the family splurging money to ensure a memorable feast. When you are planning the menu, we’d recommend that you have a nice mix of the regular fare and some unconventional items. Today, regular fare has transcended beyond local and Indian wedding food and now includes Italian, Mexican and other continental dishes as well. A couple of deep fried items are a must, as are some decadent desserts. A balanced mix of all these elements, together with some uncommon lip smacking delicacies will ensure that the food at your wedding will be the talk of the town.
With these important aspects taken care of, all that you need to do is to arrange for a purohit or the priest who will solemnise the wedding. Most priests quote a ‘package’ price these days wherein they will even bring in all the items required for the rituals and proceedings. Opting for it is recommended for it will reduce the burden on you significantly. Aside from this, there is the photographer and the band to book and arrange for - ask friends for recommendations.
And just like that, your Indian wedding planning is almost done! We say ‘almost’ because however meticulous you try to be; there will be one small thing that you almost forgot or a last minute contingency that might crop up. In that event, we suggest you take a deep breath and relax, for it is going to be only a minor detail. Look at the big picture and the beautiful wedding ceremony that you have put together and relax, because it will be one of the most memorable days of your life!
Bollywood has always been 'the' source of fashion inspiration for scores of women across the country. Naturally, it does not come as a surprise that even a bride-to-be wants to look like her favourite Bollywood diva on the most important day of her life - her wedding day.
While on-screen Bollywood weddings can be the starting point when you seek Indian wedding inspiration, we reckon that real life celebrity weddings are much more resourceful, given that celebrities pull out all the stops to make their big day picture perfect. So to help you plan your dream wedding, we bring to you some brilliant pictures and inspiration from some of Bollywood’s big fat Indian weddings held recently.
Bollywood weddings by themselves are grand affairs, but when it is a Bachchan wedding, expect nothing less than opulence. Actor Kunal Kapoor married Naina Bachchan, the niece of Amitabh Bachchan in a private ceremony in Seychelles and threw a grand reception in India soon after. The event was held in a plush farm in Delhi and the decor was put together by none other than Rohit Bal himself! Both the bride and the groom wore custom Rohit Bal outfits, with Kunal looking dapper in a velvet sherwani while the bride exuded royal elegance in an elaborate cream and red lehenga-choli that she finished with polki jewellery. The royal and extravagant decor was the highlight of this wedding - something that many decorators have derived Indian wedding inspiration from. We also loved the couple’s choice of understated and elegant outfits to offset the plush surroundings.
Our takeaway from the Bollywood star’s wedding - Choose classic styles if you are in doubt. Red, cream and gold never go out of fashion and look great in wedding ensembles. Don’t hesitate to include ostentatious elements and bling in the decor for after all, your big fat Indian wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event!
When lovebirds Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu got married last year, social media was abuzz with pretty pictures of the glowing bride, the couple and the family. Soha looked resplendent in a gold and orange Sabyasachi lehenga and she finished the look with heirloom royal jewellery. Kunal Khemu looked every bit like royalty in a golden sherwani, paired with rust coloured headgear. What we loved about the Soha-Kunal wedding was that the beautiful belle wore different designers for her mehendi, wedding and reception and posted all her looks online.
We could not take our eyes off her pink Sanjay Garg lehenga that she wore for the reception. We’re sure that it was the source of Indian wedding inspiration for many a bride! We also appreciated the fact that she chose a few statement jewellery pieces to go with each outfit and did not pile them all on together. By Bollywood standards, the event was not the usual big fat Indian wedding and included only the near and dear friends of the couple.
Our takeaway from the Bollywood star’s wedding - If you are going the designer way, then choose different designer outfits rather than sticking to the same one for all occasions - this will prevent monotony and also give you a whole new look during each occasion.
Dia Mirza married filmmaker Sahil Sangha in a big fat Indian wedding ceremony last year. The Bollywood star’s wedding kicked off with a mehendi and sangeet function followed by the nuptials and a reception. The couple released pictures from all four ceremonies to the public, which provided Indian wedding inspiration to many. All four were star studded events that received extensive press coverage.
Dia Mirza wore a striking yellow Chanderi Ritu Kumar anarkali while Sahil chose a red kurta with a matching nehru jacket. For the sangeet, Dia chose one of her favourite designers, Anita Dongre. She looked fetching in the purple lehenga that featured all over gota patti embroidery. For the wedding, it was Ritu Kumar again, in a Mughal style emerald and gold kurta with a farshi pyjama and dupatta, paired with a jhoomer on the forehead. The out and out traditional look is something to draw inspiration from while putting together your wedding outfit. The cherry on the cake was the splendid sighting of Dia’s reception outfit - a stunning peach and gold Shantanu and Nikhil lehenga that Dia wore for her wedding reception. She finished it with statement polki necklace that enhanced her wedding glow. The diva who is ever so well turned out during her public appearances did not disappoint us one bit with her wedding outfit choices.
Our takeaway from the Bollywood star’s wedding - Go the traditional route if you want to make a lasting impression. Dia’s wedding outfit was the talk of the town and has generated a lot of interest in a forgotten style that is replete with charm and elegance.
Shahid Kapoor finally decided to ‘settle down’ and married Mira Rajput in one of the most talked about Bollywood star weddings last year. The creme de la creme of Bollywood attended the big fat Indian wedding that was held in a farmhouse near Delhi followed by a reception at a plush hotel in Mumbai. For the wedding, the beautiful couple chose simple traditional outfits for the rituals and posed later for shutterbugs dressed in their wedding best. Shahid chose an off-white embroidered sherwani while the bride floored us with her pink Anamika Khanna lehenga. The understated colours, the attention to detail and the simplicity of the look altogether sealed the deal for us! Take note of the passa or the jhoomar that Mira wears on her forehead. It is a trend that is coming back in a big way!
For their Mumbai reception, the glowing bride went offbeat again, choosing a blue and white Manish Malhotra outfit. She was elegance and simplicity personified in her crop top and blue embroidered lehenga that she paired with Nirav Modi jewellery. Mira totally stood out in the sea of reds and yellows with her spot on colour choice. The simplicity in her fashion choices is something that continues to impress us, even today! Shahid looked cool as a cucumber in a three-piece suit.
Our takeaway from the Bollywood star’s wedding - Understated colours can work very well. Your Indian wedding outfit does not have to be the same old traditional colour. If your personal style is simple and elegant, then you can find ways to stick to it while making your trousseau choice as well!
Bollywood weddings are a great way to get some Indian wedding inspiration and wedding outfit ideas. While some of these weddings are ostentatious and over the top, there are others that are private and low-key. So whatever the kind of wedding that you are dreaming of, there is always a Bollywood wedding of that kind to look up to and get Indian wedding inspiration from!
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