Let’s be honest, Indian weddings are overwhelming for everyone involved -- the bride, groom, and all their guests. There are so many events and traditions to keep track of what we’ve forgotten why we do them or what they mean in the first place. Here’s your guide to the events you’ll most often experience at an Indian wedding and the symbolic, philosophical, and spiritual meaning behind them.

The Reception

Finally, they tied the knot! While the bride and groom might be too tired to move, as a guest you can glam up for the final event of the festivities -- the reception. This event is the closest in tradition to an American reception. Cocktail hour usually precedes a night of introductions, dinner, speeches, performances (sometimes) and an open dance floor. Often the new couple will walk from table to table to greet their guests and make sure everyone is having a great night. The reception is a great opportunity to let loose, dance with friends, and celebrate all the love in the room. 

 

What to wear to an Indian wedding reception

The reception is the time to go all out. All colors and styles are acceptable. Keep in mind, while it's common to wear the same dress you wear at the wedding ceremony to receptions for American weddings, this often is not the case for Indian weddings. As a guest, you'll typically want a new outfit for the reception and you can really glam it up for the final event. Here are a few suggestions below.  

From left to right: Suraj Anarkali, Tamarind Lengha, Rangeen Lengha

 

While this is a glimpse into the events and rituals you’ll most often find at an Indian wedding, every region of India has its own traditions so don’t be surprised if you take part in something else not explained here! Even though they can be long and sometimes complicated to follow, Indian weddings go back centuries and are rooted in love.