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How to dress for an Indian Wedding Extravaganza: guest post with Jill

June 13, 2012

L-A: We thought about saving this for a rainy day, but when Jill sent this to us yesterday, we were totally pumped to share it with you. And for those of us who don’t attend Indian weddings on the regular, or on the ever, it’s kind of helpful to know. I mean, just picking out a dress for a one day wedding is stressful enough and this one required a couple of outfits.

Jill: William and Kate who? I recently attended a wedding that I think is the closest I’ll ever get to a royal wedding, and I kid you not when I say it was twice as beautiful.

Y’all, Indian weddings are the bomb.

My beautiful friend (I won’t name her or provide any pictures since I haven’t asked permission – the girl has seriously earned a relaxing, incommunicado honeymoon!) is Indian, as is her husband, and culture is important to both of them. As far as this white girl knows, the wedding events followed the traditions of their culture/religion. And ohmygoodnessyouguys, it was stunning.

I attended four events in total, which meant I got to enjoy four amazing vegetarian Indian feasts. The food, you guys, the food. I’ve always been a lover of Indian food, but I had no idea how many dishes there were. I ate everything and I don’t think I ever had the same exact dish twice.

And with four events to attend as part of this wedding extravaganza, I obviously had to think about what outfits I’d wear. Which is when I mentioned to L-A that I should totes write a blog post for FPQT.

The first event was an engagement ceremony in Halifax. Though my friend had been planning her wedding for months at that point, a religious ceremony makes the engagement official. It was beautiful, and a very touching ceremony. I didn’t snap a photo at that event, but I wore this dress (sans belt) and these shoes.

Several weeks later, I flew out to Toronto for the wedding festivities. First was a Friday evening gathering for the Mehndi Ceremony – the bride gets beautiful, intricate henna designs on her hands and feet, and all the women attending the wedding get some too. (Cute tradition alert: The groom’s name is hidden somewhere within the henna, and he has to find it. It’s meant to break the ice on the wedding night.)

Here I am with my friend Sarah – we both went for cute, summery pink dresses and no, we didn’t call each other to coordinate in advance. I had gorgeous pink shoes to match, but you take them off before entering the space. I was thankful – the heels were way too high to wear all night anyway!

The next day, I got to display my pretty, pretty henna when I went into downtown Toronto to see friends.

Sarah’s was even more detailed and gorgeous, but it took fifteen million times as long. Y’all know I can’t sit still that long.

Here I am outside my airport hotel in beautiful industrial Mississauga. With no wedding events on Saturday, we ventured into Toronto for the day to see friends. It was a beautiful weekend, so I wore a cotton sundress, a light cardigan and flats.

Bright and early Sunday morning, we arrived at the temple for the wedding ceremony. And the temple? It was out of this world. Or at least out of this country – everything had been shipped in from India and was beautifully carved marble and wood. Stunning, just stunning.

You can’t take pictures inside the actual temple, but it was the most exquisite thing I’ve ever seen. For the ceremony, I made sure to cover my legs and shoulders to follow temple rules. No one wants to be the white girl who ruined the wedding, you know?

I purchased my dress at Mandy’s Boutique, a lovely Indian clothing store located in Fairview, Halifax. It came with different pants, but I wasn’t that brave. They are not the most flattering pants. Still, the beading is gorgeous on it and I’ll wear it out for dinner or drinks in my regular life.

Here I am, looking decidedly not Indian, but kind of wishing I were.

Before the ceremony, the groom rode in on a pony. A PONY! It was amazing – his whole side of the family, sang, danced and played drums in a procession while the bride’s family waited for them at the temple doors.

As I said, I won’t show photos of those who haven’t had a chance to give permission, but hopefully my friend won’t mind this photo from the back – I just want you to see how beautiful her sari was.

Indian brides wear red to their weddings and, frankly, it’s way better. Her sari was beautifully beaded and weighed 25lbs. She looked like a princess. Here’s a shot of her hands – Indian wedding jewelry is to die for.

After another delicious feast, we all went back to our hotel to relax until the reception that night. And that meant more delicious Indian food and another fun costume change! I went with this navy dress I bought for New Year’s Eve a couple years ago.

The shoes are from John David, and other than my engagement ring are probably the most expensive fashion item I own. $300, but I got them half off – and totally worth every penny. You can’t see it in this photo, but I curled my hair for the reception. If you’re going to make a costume change, you might as well redo your hair and makeup as well, right?

The next afternoon it was back to Halifax and real life. I like to think I can travel comfortably, yet trendy.

(Full disclosure: I tried to do the comfortable-yet-trendy thing when I traveled to Africa. On the way home? Sweatpants. No one needs to look cute for longer than twelve hours.)

I always dress warmer to travel because I find every airplane freezing, always. So I’ve got a light T-shirt, comfortable sweater, jeans and flats. The hat is a must for me because I like to have one for when I’m in the sun, and they’re a pain to pack. Add a scarf, shades and cute luggage into the mix and I’m ready to go!

So that’s how I dressed for the Indian fairytale wedding extravaganza! Now you’ll have to excuse me, but I have a serious craving for pakoras, paneer and naan that needs to be satisfied.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2012 9:08 am

    Great post! I think I need to check out this Mandy’s Boutique. Maybe an epic trek to Fairview??

    Also, I heartily endorse your travel ensemble.

    • June 13, 2012 9:37 am

      Thanks! I highly suggest you check out Mandy’s, if only to drool over the beautiful saris and jewelry and speak with the lovely owners. It’s a bit hard to find – the second floor above the Taxman place, across from the YMCA Immigrant Centre.

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