Does anyone else love traditional Indian attire as much as I do? I mean, it is absolutely stunning!
This past weekend, Jacob and I went to a traditional Indian wedding. It was so beautiful - the colors were so bright, the bride was stunning in her red wedding gown, and the food was absolutely delicious. I had never been to an Indian wedding before, and oh my goodness, am I glad we were able to attend. On our invitation, we were invited to wear Indian formal attire, and Jacob and I jumped at the chance. We love engaging with and experiencing different cultures. So we hopped on Amazon (our favorite buy-anything-anytime website) and did some digging!
Just as a side note, please forgive me in advance if I get any of my information wrong - I'd love to know more about these beautiful traditions, but unfortunately I am not totally educated on them! And please feel free to correct me in the comments below.
The wedding was made up of four parts over the course of two days - the Sangeet, the wedding ceremony, a lunch buffet, and the reception. We enjoyed all of it thoroughly, and I thought I would share what I wore from beginning to end! It was a lovely event, and we are so happy for our friends newly-married status.
The night before the wedding, we were invited to attend the Sangeet, a pre-wedding event that celebrates the union of the bride and groom's families. I love the idea of a Sangeet - it gets you in the mood for the actual wedding day and it gives guests a chance to get to know each other the night before the big event. As well, at this event they had a lovely woman doing Henna on the bridesmaids as well as the guests. I grew up seeing my Persian friends get Henna, and I always loved it - so I thought I would get a design myself to go with my saree the following day!
This dress is from Marchesa Notte, and even though this exact dress isn't available, Marchesa Notte has what looks to me like an updated version. I rented it from Rent the Runway Unlimited and it fit like a glove (I wore it in a size 4, if that's any indication). I paired this dress with - can you believe it? - the shoes I wore on my wedding day! I haven't worn them since we got married, and I thought now was as good a time as ever to put them to good use! I love these shoes - they're really classic and the design is beautiful. I will warn you, though - the first night I wore these my feet felt fine, but wearing them a second day really ended up hurting my toes. So if you're not planning on wearing them for basically 24 hours, you should be fine.
For jewelry, I wore the beautiful necklace my husband gifted me for our wedding anniversary and a pair of pearl and crystal drop earrings. I didn't want to wear anything too large to distract from the beauty of the dress. Then, I curled my hair (mostly in preparation for the following day's updo), painted my nails red, and paired the look with a bronze smokey eye and a red lip.
The Day of the Wedding
The wedding began at 10:00 AM, so I woke up early to get a head start on my hair and makeup. I knew I was going to do an easy updo, so I wasn't too worried about that, but I was really excited to do a dramatic Indian-inspired makeup look. I looked up some inspiration online and came up with the above look! I think what really makes this makeup stand out is the glitter on my eyelids. It's one of my favorite glitter products and I always get compliments when I use it. Mine had slightly dried out, but here's a quick tip - if a product of yours seems dried out, dry putting a few drops of saline solution in and see if that helps! It definitely fixed my problem. I also accentuated the shape of my eyes by extending my eyeliner into my inner corners, exaggerating that cat-eye effect.
Moving onto my outfit, I wanted to find something affordable to wear to the wedding since many of the options I had found were out of my price range. So I decided to buy a long, stretchy skirt and amatching crop top on Amazon that I could wear again in the future. The skirt wouldn't really show underneath the saree, and I hoped that the beauty of the fabric of the saree might distract away from the casual nature of the crop top. Everyone at the wedding was very sweet and said they loved my outfit, so I think it's okay to wear a crop top underneath a saree (just as an FYI)!
Now, there are many beautiful sarees on Amazon, but I ended up choosing this one because I loved the color of the fabric. I also have a sewing machine at home, so I was able to hem both sides (since the material showed up raw). I watched a couple of YouTube videos to teach myself how to drape a saree - but when I arrived at the wedding, a wonderful woman there asked me if I needed help and retied the whole thing for me! She was such an angel, and she did such a beautiful job.
I paired the outfit with the same shoes I had worn the night before (which didn't end up being the best idea) and a few sparkly jewelry pieces, including a crystal-encrusted bracelet, a pair of drop earrings, and a choker.
The wedding ceremony itself was a stunning affair. There were red, yellow, and orange followers bedecking the mandap (a canopy similar to a chuppah at a Jewish wedding.) The bride was so stunning - I honestly still can't get over it. Nearing the end of the ceremony, they brought us little cups of ice cream, which was so delicious and a fun touch! After the ceremony, we all had lunch and then there was a break before the cocktail hour and the evening reception.
Jacob and I decided to wear our outfits through the day. My only major wardrobe change was into a pair of sandals so that I could dance the night away - and I am so glad I did! I didn't have to worry about my feet and I could really just enjoy the music.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend an Indian wedding in traditional attire - I say, go for it. It is so beautiful and I felt less out of place in a saree than I did in that first cocktail dress! And I have to tell you. After speaking with many of the people at the wedding, it was made clear to me that they liked seeing everyone there embracing their culture and their dress. It was a way of honoring the day.
Have you ever been to a traditional Indian wedding? Have you worn a saree? Let me know in the comments below!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Thank you so much for your support!
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Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!