Traditional Indian Wedding Outfits

Written by sarah thomas
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Traditional Indian Wedding Outfits
A sari is one traditional outfit used in Indian weddings. (sari image by Westa Zikas from Fotolia.com)

Indian weddings typically include a variety of traditions that are different from most Western weddings. While most Western brides wear white dresses, Indian brides generally wear red. Other people involved in the wedding, such as friends and family, wear brightly coloured outfits. The bride is the centre of attention, with the most ornate and intricate wedding outfit.

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Significance

At most traditional Indian weddings, the bride wear an outfit made from red fabric. Culturally, red signifies luck and happiness. When the bride wears red, she is representing the couple's bright and happy future. The bride's outfit is typically adored with a variety of beads, fabrics, threads and patterns to make an elaborate and ornate outfit. The use of special materials and expensive fabrics makes the bride stand out on her wedding day.

Types

There are several types of traditional Indian wedding outfits. The sari is the most common. A sari is a 9- yard-long length of cloth that is wrapped around the body in different ways. It can be moved around to create different patterns, and it may be formed to have a remainder of cloth left trailing, called the pallu. Another traditional wedding outfit is the gaghra choli, which has a short cropped top paired with a skirt that reaches the ankles at least. Trousers may be worn with a shalwar kameez outfit, which includes trousers covered in part by a long tunic style shirt. With the gaghra choli and shalwar kameez, the wearer may also put on a versatile scarf called a dupatta. The dupatta can be worn over the shoulders, over the chest, or wrapped around the head or neck.

Function

The function of Indian wedding outfits is not only to clothe the bride, groom and other participants, but to celebrate and rejoice in the wedding and the couple. Guests to a traditional Indian wedding should wear traditional outfits with bright colours to show their support for the couple and join in wishing the couple good luck and a happy future.

Considerations

Guests to a traditional Indian wedding should not wear certain colours so as not to conflict with the cultural traditions of the wedding. At an Indian wedding, a guest should not wear red. The bride wears red and the guest should not take attention away from the bride. Culturally, wearing all black or all white corresponds with grief, death and mourning, so these colours should not be worn at a wedding. Guests should try to wear traditional Indian outfits, and should avoid tight and promiscuous clothing. Female guests should bring a dupetta or scarf to cover themselves if they will be in a religious building.

Geography

Throughout India, there may be different styles for wedding attire. Traditional Indian weddings that occur in other countries, such as the United States, may also vary in attire from what is worn in India. The final choices for wedding attire rest with the bride and groom.

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