28 Outfits You Can Wear to an Indian Wedding (that are NOT anarkalis!)

16 Dec

A cousin called me up recently, and boy oh boy, was she annoyed. “What’s with these anarkalis, man? That’s all everyone wears all the time. They don’t even suit my body! Only slim and tall women can carry off anarkalis, but that’s all that seems to be available for the entire Indian population to wear. Aren’t there any other options?!”

Oops. Since I love anarkalis, that’s pretty much all I talk about here on the blog. And since I don’t see the “trend” fading away any time soon (or ever?) that’s all I stock up on. My wardrobe has only 3 things to wear to Indian weddings - a dozen anarkalis, handful of straight cut suits, and saris I wear thrice a year. Those lehengas? Yeah, well, I’ll re-use them when my waist size is back to 26. Which might be never…*gazes longingly into the distance remembering my pre-wedding body* *wipes tear off cheek*

3 years back, there weren’t a whole lot of other options available for the Indian girl. But cut to 2015, and the world is your oyster, baby. Capes, shararas, palazzos, crop tops, dhotis, cigarette pants, jackets, high-low kurtas, drapes - the silhouettes are endless! So whatever your shape, size, preference, here’s a definitive guide to ALL the outfits you can possibly wear to weddings (that are NOT anarkalis!)

28 Outfits you can wear to an Indian wedding that are not anarkalis

#1 Capes

The hottest new trend on the block, capes were brought into the spotlight as serious wedding-wear when Shahid Kapoor’s bride, Mira Rajput, wore an Anamika Khanna cape for their Delhi Reception party.

Shahid & Mira what they wore to their Delhi after party Reception | Shahid Kapoor Mira Rajput wedding #ShahidkiShaadi

Rahul Mishra, Jayanti Reddy, Ridhi Mehra and Taniya O’Connor are some of the designers who’ve created lust-worthy capes.

How you can wear this trend to a wedding

Cape with Lehenga

Cape with Dhoti Pant

Long Cape with Churidar

Cape dhoti pants - Prathyusha Garimella - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Cape with Palazzo

Cape palazzos - Ridhi Mehra - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Cape with Gown <3

Cape gown - Deepankshi and Reena - What to wear to an Indian wedding

#2 Dhoti Pants

The dhoti is back in style, and what a comfortable style it is! Sonali Gupta and Ridhima Bhasin are two designers who’ve done a great job with the silhoutte, giving wedding guests and brides some fantastic designs to pick from.

How you can wear this trend to a wedding

Dhoti with Kurta

Dhoti with Peplum & Crop Top

Dhoti with Jacket <3

Dhoti with jacket - Aharin India - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Dhoti with Cape

Cape dhoti pants - Ayinat by Taniya O'Connor - What to wear to an Indian wedding

#3 Dhoti Saris & Pant Saris <3

The dhoti style has found itself a place in sari-drapes as well! And of course, Sonam Kapoor is our go-to guide on how it’s done right.

#4 Crop Tops & Skirts <3

Crop tops that double up as blouses, and maxi skirts that are used as lehengas - multi-tasking fashion is officially here. And I predicted it almost a year ago ;) These are PERFECT for a bride to wear to her Mehendi (see more Mehendi outfit options here) or for the bridesmaids to wear to smaller functions. Eshaani Jayaswal and Ridhi Mehra make my favourite crop tops, while Mogra, Sonali Kalra Ahuja and Nitya Bajaj have created some fabulous maxi skirt designs!

Mehendi outfits under 25k Eshaani Jayaswal floral crop top with Nitya Bajaj maxi skirt blue skirt and top on mehendi Mehendi outfits under 25k floral print yellow maxi skirt Sonal Kalra Ahuja ivory embroidered crop top Tisha Saksena what to wear on mehendi

#5 Long Kurtas & Lehengas <3

I was not particularly a fan of this style, till I saw Kareena Kapoor smash the look in this wedding guest avtaar recently. No dupatta, 1 statement necklace, and a clutch that complements - she nailed it!

Kurta lehenga - Payal Khandwala - Kareena Kapoor - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Another way to wear it, that’s perfect for Delhi’s winter weddings, is this styling with a dupatta (as seen at Sanjay Garg’s show) -

Kurta lehenga - Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg - What to wear to an Indian wedding

#6 Kurtas with Palazzos & Shararas

Have a kurta you love, but sick of pairing it with the cliche churidars and salwars? Experiment with palazzos and shararas, as we move on from slim-fit to wider pant-leg silhouettes. Amrita Thakur designs the best ones :)

How you can wear this trend to a wedding 

Palazzo with Long Kurta <3

Kurta with palazzos - Anju Modi - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Palazzo with Short Kurta

Kurta with palazzos - Zoraya - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Palazzo with High Low Kurta

Sharara with Long Kurta

Sharara with Short Kurta


#7 Jackets

Fitted, flowing, flared. Short, long, sheer, open, closed. Doesn’t matter how you love your jacket, because it’s all good. This is definitely my absolute favourite style, and I’m particularly a big fan of pairing these babies with cigarette pants (Anita Dongre & Bhumika Sharma), and the bomber-jacket with lehenga look that’s been on the runways this past year (Rahul Mishra & Monisha Jaising).

How you can wear this trend to a wedding 

Jacket with Cigarette Pants <3

Jacket with Dhoti Pants

Jacket with Palazzo

Jacket palazzos - Ridhima Bhasin - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Jacket with Sharara

Jacket sharara - Anita Dongre - Sonakshi Sinha - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Short Jacket with Lehenga <3

Long Jacket with Lehenga


Jacket lehenga from South Ex

What I wore to my Reception :)

#8 High Low Kurtas

Basically, a kurta with an asymmetrical cut in front. High-low has been an international trend, and just like capes took on an Indian avtaar seamlessly, asymmetrical designs moved from dresses to kurtas.

How you can wear this trend to a wedding 

High Low Kurta with Salwar or Churidar

High Low Kurta with Dhoti Pants <3

High Low Kurta with Palazzos

Jayanti Reddy#9 Draped Kurtas

If you detest anarkalis, and are bored of your straight-cut suits, a draped kurta is a great way to liven up your wardrobe. It may sound like a vague term, but it’s a great option for anyone wanting to add an interesting piece to your wedding wear closet. The designers that got me hooked onto drapes? Tisha Saksena and Saumya & Bhavini Modi.

How you can wear this trend to a wedding 

Dhoti Drape Kurta <3

Draped kurta jacket on celebrity - Tisha Saksena - Alia Bhatt - What to wear to an Indian wedding

Assymetrical Drape Kurta

#10 Kurtas with a (small) twist

If you don’t want to steer too far away from, what I like to call, “normal clothes”, you can use a few little details to add a slight twist to the normal kurta.

How you can wear this trend to a wedding 

Long Kurta with Side Slit

Short Kurta with Detailed Pants

Payal Singhal

Super Short Kurta with Salwar

Similar to short kurtis and patialas.

Did I miss out on a silhouette?

Leave a comment about what you love to wear to weddings!

More on Fashion for Wedding Guests:

6 Responses to “28 Outfits You Can Wear to an Indian Wedding (that are NOT anarkalis!)”

  1. Swati singh December 16, 2021 at 10:15 pm #

    Totally agree about anarkali everywhere..enough already!


  2. Parneet Bhasin December 16, 2021 at 11:56 pm #

    really an amazing post dearie.Please do a post on best boutiques in New Delhi specially the inexpensive and gud ones


  3. girl bout town December 17, 2021 at 4:10 am #

    My faves would be the kurtas with the side splits and the capes. Also like you - I loved the way Kareena wore the long kurta and lehenga. She made it look awesome and effortless.

    I like the idea of dhoti/pants with sari but I don’t think it’s something I can pull off


  4. Shatakshi December 21, 2021 at 12:25 am #

    Nice compilation Shinjini. :) I have also covered some of these styles on my blog- namely DIY capes, shararas, crop tops and skirts, jackets, uneven hems and DIY kurta. I know this looks very self promotional ;) but you readers might be interested I thought.


  5. Ritu January 18, 2022 at 10:10 am #

    Nice collection I liked kareena outfit….. good play wdh Dhoti



  1. How I Styled 1 Anarkali in 3 Different Ways this Wedding Season | thedelhibride Indian Weddings blog - January 13, 2022

    […] 28 Outfits You Can Wear to an Indian Wedding (that are NOT anarkalis!) […]


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