The What To Wear To MY Wedding Guide Every Bride Needs To Share With Her Wedding Guests!

You know how I’m always saying – we don’t take care of our guests enough? Yes, the same people you’ve already organised hotel rooms, logistics and food for? Yeah, sorry to burst the bubble, but that’s not enough.

You have to do more than just pay for their food, you know. When someone’s a guest at your wedding, it’s your responsibility as a host to make sure you’re giving them the best experience possible. Or at the very least, make it as smooth a journey as possible on the days they’re with you.

This is especially true for friends who fly down from all over the country and the world to attend your wedding. “Outstation guests” is what we call them 🙂

How I Got The Idea

3 years ago, I had a couple of friends flying to Delhi from Mumbai to attend my wedding. Some of them were Catholic, and some thought Delhi wedding = bling bling bling only. I realised they were clueless about what to wear to my North Indian Hindu wedding, and so I quickly made a personalised Little Wedding Fashion Guide for them so they didn’t feel out of place. It included all the different functions, time of day, dress code, what people usually wore on that particular function, the “Bling Factor” and any important things to keep in mind.

The Original: What To Wear To My North Indian Wedding Guide

I had created an MS Excel sheet that I converted to PDF and emailed to friends. Here’s what it looked like:

Your Guide to What To Wear To A North Indian Hindu Wedding

Click to zoom in. In case it’s hard to read, here’s what it says:


Date 26th October, 2012

Time Evening/Night

Function (if any) Mehendi

Dress Code Casual

What people (from our age group) usually wear 

Straight cut or anarkali suits (slightly more formal than daily wear type)

Bling Factor Low

Important Notes

  • Since mehendi is messy, wear something which you wouldn’t mind getting mehendi onto – the color won’t come off clothes easily. Do note that it is pretty rare to get mehendi onto your clothes, unless you are a 3 year old with limited hand-body coordination, or a boy – in which case, why do you have mehendi on your hands?
  • Avoid hand accessories (bangles/bracelets/watches/rings) as you might have to take them off while you’re getting mehendi done and you don’t want to stress over keeping a watch on your belongings.


Date 27th October, 2012

Time During the day

Function (if any) No function

Dress Code Casual

What people (from our age group) usually wear 

Anything comfortable

Bling Factor Very Low

Important Notes (none)

Date 27th October, 2012

Time Evening/Night

Function (if any) Sangeet / Sagan

Dress Code Formal

What people (from our age group) usually wear 

Straight cut or anarkali suits

Bling Factor Medium

Important Notes

  • Since you will be dancing a lot, make sure your footwear is comfortable. Most women still tend to wear heels, blingy heels. If you are one of them, either ensure that your heels are comfy enough to dance in, or carry a pair of fancy flats so that you can change into them once you’ve had enough of the heels. Since the dance party is happening outdoors, it is recommended not to consider dancing bare feet.

  • For your suit, if you have to choose between two colors, choose the brighter one.


Date 28th October, 2012

Time During the day

Function (if any) No function

Dress Code Casual

What people (from our age group) usually wear 

Anything comfortable

Bling Factor Very Low

Important Notes (none)

Date 28th October, 2012

Time Evening/Night

Function (if any) Wedding

Dress Code Very Formal

What people (from our age group) usually wear 

Saris, or very formal suits (usually anarkalis)

Bling Factor Medium to High

Important Notes

  • Ideally, wear a sari. Weather is expected to be pleasant during the evening (since it’s end of October) but there are no guarantees in life – therefore, avoid wearing silk. Definitely think bright colors for this day.

  • Your need to accessorise depends on your preference – just a nice pair of earrings will also do. You can add a necklace if you want to, but that’s totally optional. A lot of girls will be seen minus the neck piece so in case you don’t plan on wearing one, you will have plenty of company. Those who do want to add some bling to the neck, keep it minimal.

  • This will be a long day for everyone, so keep your makeup essentials in a clutch for any touch ups, including tissue papers.

  • Once again, you will probably be in heels so carry a pair of fancy looking flats just in case your feet give up on you on the second night of this heel-wearing nonsense.

As you can see, it was personalised to my own wedding, with my specific preferences and the arrangements I had made.

The Ways in Which I Personalised My What To Wear Guide

  • While a lot of Delhi might be all about the bling, I knew that my own circle of family and friends were more minimalistic with their fashion preferences.
  • I know a lot of people wear Indian clothes during the time in between functions as well, but I didn’t want my friends to bother with buying even more (ethnic wear) outfits just to have something to wear while they ate lunch at my home. So I made sure they knew they should literally wear whatever they’re comfortable in.
  • I had a Hindu wedding in Delhi in late October, when it starts to get chilly in the evenings.

Make Your Own Wedding Fashion Guide!

Option #1

Step 1: Fill in this Excel Sheet: Make Your Own What To Wear To A North Indian Wedding Guide (click on the link to start download)

Step 2: Convert it to PDF (optional)

Step 3: Attach to an email and send it to your friends!

Option #2

Fill in the details, using this format, for each of the functions:



Function (if any):

Dress Code:

What people (from our age group) usually wear:

Bling Factor:

Important Notes:

Two Important Things To Consider When Making Your Own Guide

  • The weather. Should you ask your guests to carry shawls? Or avoid silk because it will be too hot as it’s an outdoor wedding in April?
  • Your culture. A Marwari wedding might see guests dressed very different from a Telegu wedding – tell your friends what kind of clothing all the other guests will be wearing!

The friend I had sent this off to 3 years ago called me recently and said, “Shinjini! That little guide you sent to me before your wedding was such a saviour. It really helped with helping me figure out what to wear, I just wish everyone did this.” She’s attending another North Indian wedding and was expecting a similar guide to be emailed to her by the bride. I had to explain to her that not everyone did this. To which she said, “Well, you know what? Every bride should! I don’t want to call her up one week before her wedding asking for fashion advice, God knows how many times she will have to answer the same questions. But I sure as hell am not calling up that RSVP number on the wedding card either!”

So I figured – why not? Everyone should be doing it! You’re the bride, and you’re the only point of contact most of your friends will have at your wedding. Sure, you’ve given them your brother’s/chacha’s/aunty’s number to coordinate all the logistics, but they’ll never feel comfortable enough to call them up and ask, “Is it appropriate for me to wear a red gown to your Reception?” But they’ll also think 10 times before calling up the bride in the week leading up to her wedding! Do them a huge favour, and make this document and email it to them. You’ll be saving them, and yourself, a whole world of trouble!

It will just take you 10 minutes right now. Ok, 12 minutes if you’re converting to PDF.

PDF Joke

What do you think about making a guide like this for your wedding guests? Especially for friends from other cultures who are flying in for your wedding?

More on Fashion for Wedding Guests:


  1. I am going to suggest this to me cousin! She’s a hindu marrying a catholic boy and I am flying to India for this occassion. Although I have seen some catholic Kerelite weddings I am unsure of what to wear (is royal blue too bright a colour among the sea of white sarees with golden borders kinds thoughts)

    This will help her plethora of friends I bet!


  2. Thank you so much for this helpful guide! Your whole blog is have been very helpful to me who is a Brazilian and will attend a wedding in Delhi in December and I have absolutely no idea what to wear and even were to buy clothes for the wedding. I am in the hope that someone will help me when I get there but I am trying to have an idea of styles that will suit my body type – short and plus size


  3. As an American guest going to a wedding in India, I am so grateful that our bride did this. We still feel clueless, but much less than we would have without the guide.


Pen down your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: