How many Indian outfits do I need for an Indian wedding?
Great question! We get asked this all the time. And we feel a bit awkward because of course we are in the business of renting clothes and we don't want our customers to feel like we are unnecessarily up-selling them. Below is all of the information we give, as we truly see it.
First off, should you even wear Indian clothes to an Indian wedding? The answer is: YES. If the invite says you can optionally wear Indian clothes please do not feel that is for the Indians only. It's for everyone! Indians welcome non-Indians wearing our clothes and don't consider it cultural misappropriation at all. In fact, the food and clothes are a huge part of our wedding experience and want you to be part of it! Plus, the photos will look a lot better.
If you are only going to wear Indian clothing to one event, usually it is the Sangeet (the night before the wedding ceremony) which is the most colorful/traditional of the events.
The second most common event to wear Indian clothes to is the reception. If you are going to wear Indian clothes to it, you should absolutely wear a different outfit than you did for the Sangeet (that's probably obvious but, worth mentioning). So that right there is two outfits for women.
Often the wedding ceremony is attached to the Reception (eg there's just a cocktail hour in between) in which case most of the guests will not change outfits in between so you can wear what you are going to wear to the Reception to the Wedding Ceremony (just make sure you don't wear black if you are doing this!).
IF the Wedding Ceremony is in the AM and the Reception is at night then people will change in between so you have the option to get 3 indian outfits but by no means required. If you are choosing between wearing Indian clothes to the Reception or the Wedding Ceremony but not both...people have very different views on which one to pick. We personally would pick Western clothes to the Wedding Ceremony and Indian clothes for the reception because during the wedding ceremony you will mostly be sitting down as opposed to showing your dress of and enjoying it :)
For Men, all of the above applies with one exception: If you are deciding between wearing Indian clothes only for EITHER the ceremony or the reception for guys we would pick the ceremony. It's quite normal for men to wear a Suit/Tux to the reception and if you are dancing at the Baraat during the wedding ceremony you'll enjoy being in a kurta.
For more information on all of the above, check out our blog post on all of the events of an Indian wedding and what to wear to each. And as always if we can help at all, shoot us an email at [email protected] and we'd love to help you!