First Time Attending an Indian Wedding? 8 Things to Expect!

First Time Attending an Indian Wedding? 8 Things to Expect!

First, let’s celebrate your invitation! Attending an Indian Wedding- especially for the first time – is a very exciting experience.

Indian weddings are full of culture, tradition, culinary delights, colorful décor and beautiful music. You can bet on all five of your senses being stimulated throughout the wedding events.

But, with all new things, you probably want a bit of a heads up before diving head first into attendance.

So, we’ve put together this list on the 8 things you can expect to experience. Here we go!

#1 Three Day-Long Celebrations

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If you’re a close friend of the person who invited you to your first Indian wedding, there’s a large chance you won’t just be invited to the religious ceremony or reception, but the pre-events too!

From rituals before the wedding like; the Ganesh pooja, the haldi ceremony, mehendi night or sangeet- you can probably expect at least 3 events before the reception.

Of course, they’ll give you a heads up as to exactly what those pre-events/rituals will be about, so don’t forget to log your vacation days and set your out-of-office accordingly!

#2 Lavish Decorations

Indian wedding decorations are basically a Pinterest board’s wildest dream gone wild.

Think colourful, elaborate and flamboyant. You’ll find every event- from the pre-event mehendi night to the reception with its own unique themed decorations. Some may be DIY, while others will be impeccably perfected by a professional.

So, while you’re there, be sure to enjoy the visual stimuli that the bridal/groom party has so thoughtfully put together for your viewing pleasure (oh, and you can totally use them for photo-ops too!)

 #3 LOTS of People

Contrary to popular belief, these days there are very few Indian weddings where you will find 1,000 people in attendance. But generally, you’ll probably encounter 300-500 people.

We know that number can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re used to far smaller crowds and intimate gatherings for weddings. But, instead of being nervous about the sheer number, consider where the large guest list comes from:

Culturally, Indian people feel very positively towards the saying, the more the merrier.

You’ll most likely find everyone to be extremely hospitable, happy-go-lucky and fun-loving!

#4 Gift- Ettiquette

Often times, couples will request ‘no boxed gifts’.

So, cash or gift certificates are the most common gifts and well appreciated as well.

And, when you give gift money or certificate, add $1 to the amount (51$,101$,15$…). Odd numbers ending in one are auspicious and considered lucky in many Indian cultures.

#5 Colourful Indian Outfits

This is probably what you think about first when considering Indian weddings- the clothes! They are famously bright, colourful and fun, aren’t they?

In fact, women will definitely want to skip black or white attire because those colours are often not worn during times of celebration. Plus, you’ll want to avoid red during the wedding ceremony as that may be the bride’s colour for the day.

Instead, raid your Indian girlfriends closet, or pick out a fun, colourful number to flaunt during the events. And as far as jewelry goes- bling out!

#6 Someone Will Steal the Groom’s shoes

Keep your eyes on the bridesmaids and the bride’s side of the family during the wedding, and you might be witness to some grade-A-mischief.

Traditionally, the groom’s family tries to protect the groom’s shoes while the bride’s side tries to steal them. If successful, the bridesmaids or bride’s siblings can demand gifts or money from the groom to get the shoes back.

It’s a lot of fun, and this is really only one example of the many fun traditions you’ll see carried out throughout the days.

#7 Food, Food Everywhere!

Indian weddings have an endless amount of selection to choose from when it comes to eating. Yes, it’s often Indian, but it isn’t always vegetarian or spicy.

You’ll see the lines fill up fast so be sure to be one of the first- or patiently wait for the line to fade. Dinner is typically served buffet style and open for a few hours, so you’ll surely be able to make a plate of delicious foods.

You will often find Indian weddings to have an open-bar, but you’ll want to check if that’s the case first!

#8 Everyone Can Dance


Indian weddings tend to have the best parties once the dance floor opens! That’s the beauty of having so many fun-loving people under one roof who just want to celebrate.

You can expect mix of old school and new Indian and English songs to be played. And you can bet on a busy dance floor all night – including aunties, uncles and even grandparents showing off their moves.

So, don’t shy away from dancing! Even if you can’t dance, as long as the hands are in the air and your hips are swaying, it will look like you’re having the time of your life.

That being said, welcome to the big fat Indian wedding. Seriously, have fun! Indian weddings are full of joy and one of those events that people look forward to for a long time.


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Happy Planning! – Indian Wedding Buzz

P.S. Pass it on! Planning a wedding can be hard, forward this article to a bride-to-be in need.