Eager to attend your most memorable Indian wedding in Singapore but not sure what to expect? From traditional traditions to food and outfits, prep yourself with this guide and you'll fit right in!
Did you just receive your most memorable invitation to an Indian wedding? Is it safe to say that you are worried about what to wear, what to bring and if there’s anything particular you should be aware of? Our fundamental guide will help you with understanding what Indian weddings are about and the way in which you can have an absolutely amazing, colourful time while at one!
As somebody who has recently had her wedding in 2022, this guide would also include some personal experience, observations―it's all still fresh in my head!
Typically, traditional Indian weddings that closely follow the different ceremonies involved could go up to three to four days. Increasingly, however, couples are shortening the affair and keeping it within two or three days.
For a Hindu wedding: The bride and groom will be seated under a mandap, a shelter-like design where the priest will conduct a ritual and after which the couple will walk seven rounds around the Agni, an enclosed fire.
For a Sikh wedding: The ceremony will take place in a Sikh temple where the bride and groom will be seated in front of the prayer hall before the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy book). When everybody is seated, the priest will start by reciting the official wedding ceremony hymns as spread out in the holy, sacred scripture, while the bride and groom walk four rounds around the area where the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is placed. Typically the entire ceremony will be completed before early afternoon. When the ceremony is finished, while it's a cheerful occasion, note that clapping isn't permitted in the prayer hall.
Moreover, these ceremonies do tend to be about three hours or longer. For Sikh wedding, in spite of careful planning and thinking about delays, we actually ran over by about 60 minutes. All of which meant our guests had to stay longer. So as a guest, make certain to keep your day relatively free if you want to experience the full ceremony.
Except if generally indicated by the couple, boxed gifts are not a custom at an Indian wedding. If you do prefer getting a gift, it's better to send it across ahead of time to the groom’s or bride’s home as there wouldn't be any designated spot to place it while at the wedding. Alternatively, a red bundle or monetary gift would get the job done. While there isn't exactly a "market rate" on what's a decent amount to give, you can gauge based on how much you would spend on a gift if you had bought one. Finally, it's considered auspicious to have the denomination end in 1, for such as, $21, $51, $101 etc.
Depending upon whether you're going for a North Indian or South Indian wedding, the food served would be very unique. Nonetheless, you can be rest assured that the food will not be as spicy as you imagine an Indian food to be. Basically, expect to feast on a huge variety of dishes ranging from veggie lover to non-vegan, arranged in a splendid buffet style.
Do not be amazed if you don’t find any liquor at the wedding―especially at the strict wedding ceremony. You're probably going to find liquor served only during the gathering, reception dinner event or the Sangeet party. However, a few families might select to keep the entire wedding liquor free.
As a general rule of thumb, the brighter the better. If you would be able, search around for a few traditional outfits and show them off at different ceremonies. For the women, go with a sharara, lehenga or a sari, and you would fit right in. For the men, just choose a Kurta pajama. For ladies who prefer to go with a sari, remember that it may be hard to wrap it and handle it throughout the day, especially if it's your first time wearing one!
While shopping for outfits though, make certain to stay away colour white―this colour is often reserved for funerals. However, if you realize the families well and they're not as traditional, then go ahead and lovely cream, beige or grayish outfits.
Finally, when it comes to attending religious ceremonies, it is vital to ensure that your legs and shoulders are covered and you have a scarf to wear over your head, especially for Sikh weddings. From experience, most non-Indian guests don't have the foggiest idea about this and would unknowingly turn up in short dresses, shorts or camisole tops, which wouldn't be allowed in the temple halls.
Towards the day's end, know that Indian weddings are a wonderfully colourful affair, filled with pomp, lots of dancing and an irresistible array of food at each occasion. So put on your most colourful outfits, your dancing shoes and come with an empty stomach and prepare to spend your week enjoying the celebrations!
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