How to Go All-In At An Indian Wedding…When You’re Not Indian

Is it your first time to attend an Indian wedding as a non-native to India?

Well, the best things about a traditional Indian wedding is – vibrantly rich colors, decor, symbolic rituals, traditional music, dance, and overall opulence. Becoming a part of this official ceremony can be the most exceptional cultural experience you could ever have as a non-native Indian. Be it a Hindu or Sikh wedding, regardless of the wedding you’re going to attend, it is quite obvious that you will have a gala time.

If you or your family isn’t from India, but you want to go all-in on an Indian wedding you’re invited to, here are a few ways to indulge yourself in the Indian tradition.

Let’s take a look:

1. Dress Traditionally

Indian weddings are traditional affairs. If you have been invited to an Indian wedding, you should look for some traditional Indian attire that complements the event. Indian traditional clothes are colorful, alluring, fascinating, and detailed. Attending an Indian wedding is the best opportunity to wear embroidered Indian attire and blend yourself completely in this beautiful culture.

As you might know, Indian weddings consist of several occasions from religious ceremony to Mehndi to Sangeet to the wedding ceremony, etc. You need to dress up according to the occasion. Traditional Indian outfits such as lehenga, saree, kurta, and others are big in, you may choose your attire depending on your gender.

Though it is not compulsory to wear Indian clothes, try to avoid short skirts and revealing pieces. As bright colors are highly appreciated at Indian weddings, ensure to final a bright colored dress for each ceremony.

2. Jewelry Selection

Jewelry is another essential asset of an Indian wedding. It will not just enhance your overall look but also complements your attire. If you’re not willing to wearing jewelry, let it be, nobody is gonna mind it. But, if you have decided to go with jewelry, keep a few things into your consideration.

• Match your jewelry to your attire
• Do not overdo
• Make sure you’re not allergic to jewelry metal

3. Wear Easy To Take Off And Put On Shoes

Indian weddings are all about several religious ceremonies. Most religious functions require you to be barefooted before entering the sanctified place. Make sure the shoes you are finalizing are comfortable and are easy to take off and put on.

4. Holy Reminders

Several Indian weddings, for example, Sikh weddings, need you to cover your head during the wedding rituals inside a Gurdwara (Sikh Temple). If you are wearing a dress without a dupatta, do carry a stole or scarf. Men can carry a handkerchief to put over their head. Though there is an arrangement for head coverings in some temples, it would be great and definite to carry your own.

5. Respect The Food

If you are a foodie then your days at a traditional Indian wedding are going to be spent in real food heaven. Indian weddings give you a great opportunity to taste a wide array of delicious and lavish dishes. Moreover, an Indian wedding is the second name of excitement, which is extremely rich in mouthwatering wedding feasts, cuisines, and a variety of refreshing beverages. Make sure not to waste food, and for that, try a small serving of all dishes, and enjoy the experience of being a part of an Indian wedding.

6. Get Ready For A Grand Welcome

Indians are friendly, social, and lively people, and you’re going to see it after arriving at the wedding location. A traditional Indian wedding is a get-together of at least 200-500 guests on the actual wedding day, and it is quite reasonable. Since you will be a non-Indian guest, lots of people throughout the ceremony will love to meet and talk to you. Prepare your mind that a flood of guests will be waiting to greet you and welcome you to their culture. It might be a new experience for you, but one thing is guaranteed that you are going to love it.

If you are a non-Indian, attending an Indian wedding can be fun. Just keep the above aspects in mind and get ready for a lifetime experience. Attend an Indian wedding and experience the fun, food, colors, and enjoyment.

A Typical Indian Wedding Timeline

indian wedding

An Indian wedding is known for its vibrant traditions, customs, and cultural events celebrated over a few days. From Haldi to Mehndi to Sangeet there are various significant customs take place in a typical Indian wedding. The wedding day itself has different exciting moments that make the day happening and memorable.
Here is an Indian wedding timeline covering all the significant events.

Pre-Wedding Ceremonies

Haldi (2-3 hrs)

Haldi is one of the pre-wedding ceremonies of an Indian wedding. A mixture of turmeric, water, and oil is applied to both bride and groom. This holy ritual happens in the morning also known as the Pithi ceremony. A sangeet ceremony at night follows the ceremony.

Mehndi (2 hrs)

This traditional yet exciting pre-wedding ceremony is celebrated at the bride’s place.
A beautiful mehndi is applied on the bride’s hands, arms, feet, and legs by professional henna artists.

Wedding-day Ceremonies

Barat (1-3 hrs)

Barat is the most celebratory time in the Indian wedding. The groom makes his way to the bride’s house accompanied by his family and friends. The event involves a lot of singing and dancing throughout the journey.

At the bride’s place, the groom is received by Pooja and Aarti. Depending on the distance between the groom and the bride’s house, this event may take 1 to 3 hours.

Varmala (15 to 30 minutes)

Sometimes, referred to as Jaimala, this wedding ceremony holds a significant position in the Vedas. Bride and groom put fresh flowers garlands into each other’s necks. The event includes some funny tricks as well played by family and friends.

Kanyadaan (1 hour)

The bride’s father accepts the union and places her daughter’s hand in the groom’s.

Phere (1 hour)

Phere or Saat phere is the sacred union of bride and groom. It is the most important event of the Indian Wedding in which the bride’s dupatta (a long scarf) is tied to another scarf worn by the groom. After that, the couple takes seven round against the havan kund (sacred fire) and takes the oath of their relationship.

Sindoor (5 to 10 minutes)

Groom applies sindoor or vermilion in the parting of the bride’s hair. Following which he makes her wear a wedding necklace (Mangalsutra). Couples also play some interesting games after this event like one is finding the ring.

Bidai (30 minutes to 45 minutes)

Bidai is ritual of bride’s farewell to her family, usually accompanied by the emotional atmosphere as bride parts from her family. Traditionally, the bride was taken to a home in a palanquin (Doli) which today has been transformed into a car.

Post-Wedding Ceremonies

Graha Pravesh (12 minutes to 30 minutes)

This event takes place when the bride reaches her new home. Aarti is performed to welcome the new bride.

Reception (3 to 5 hours)

This event marks the end of the Indian wedding. All near and dear ones are invited to this grand party. As the name indicates, in this event, the newlywed couple receives society for the first time after marriage. Usually, a reception party includes a cocktail hour, wedding party introduction, group pictures, cake cutting, special dances and finally dinner hour.

All in all an Indian wedding is a colorful carnival where you witness various interesting rituals and traditions, enjoy a lot of music and dance, and satisfy your taste buds with mouthwatering food.

How to Host Your Indian Wedding Welcome Dinner On A Boat Cruise

If you have decided to take a plunge and tie a knot on a boat cruise, you must be looking for the right destination and cruise options to choose from. Boat Cruise destination weddings are the perfect way to celebrate your wedding in a different way. Imagine tying a knot on an extravagant ship with the blue sea around.

There are several dinner cruises across the world where you can host your Indian wedding reception on a grand note. You can get a plethora of choices among a private yacht and a large cruise ship. Surprisingly, hosting a welcome dinner on a chartered yacht can be affordable. As it has a small space that is a delicate balance of subtlety and grandeur.

If you are wondering how to host your Indian wedding welcome dinner on a boat cruise then follow the steps.

Decide a Location

Boat Cruises aren’t available everywhere, so you need to pick a location where this type of excursion is offered. If you’re planning an exotic destination Indian wedding, then consider a location like Mikonos Greece for your Indian wedding welcome dinner. If you’re staying local and you live near a body of water, reach out to your local Travel Bureau to see if dinner cruises are available locally. Waterfront cities like Chicago and Boston offer these types of activities.

Create a Guest List

Indian weddings are big affairs which involve extended families from both sides. But there are a few boat occupancy rules so make sure to invite the important guests in your wedding. Limit the guest list without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Send Invites

After creating a guest list, it’s time to send invite to your guests. Add crucial information on your wedding invitations like time, date and venue

Choose the Right Boat Cruise

Usually, a boat wedding venue doesn’t travel far, but around your wedding city. So, choose a boat cruise that understands your wedding culture. Picking the right cruise line depends on your wedding style.

Book a Cruise

After finalizing a boat cruise for your wedding dinner, it’s time to make a booking. To book your desired cruise, here are the options you can consider:

  • Book online from the cruise line website
  • Call the cruise line’s reservation center
  • Use an online travel booking platform
  • Use a travel agent

Formal or Casual – The Way You Want

You can make your welcome dinner like the way you want. When you pick a boat as a reception dinner venue, you can have a full-fledged formal dinner or make it a colorful affair for your guests.

Music and Decor

These are the basic needs of an Indian wedding. Exotic, vibrant and intriguing. Some cruise offers decor and music services as well. However, if you are throwing an Indian wedding overseas, make sure the cruise you hire offers decor and music according to Indian traditions.

What to Serve for Dinner?

As you are planning a wedding welcome dinner on a boat cruise, so obviously food is one of the top priorities. A dinner cruise often offers gourmet dining with menus created by celebrity chefs. Some cruise even offers traditional dining plan where the food of a specific culture is included.

Hosting an Indian wedding welcome dinner is fun. If you are planning your dream destination wedding on a cruise ship, make sure to include these steps in your planning.

Indian Wedding vs. American Wedding – What’s The Difference?

Tying a knot in any culture has its own significance, traditions and rituals. Be it Mehndi ceremony of an Indian bride, the bouquet tossing by an American bride, every culture has its own customs and traditions when it comes to the wedding.


Differences Between Indian Weddings and American Weddings

Indian and American weddings can sometimes appear as polar opposites. From traditions to customs and rituals, everything is different. From the ceremony length, wedding rituals to number of guests, all are different between the weddings of these two cultures. However, they both unite two families and offer well wishes for a happy life for the newlywed couple.


Guest List

Indian weddings are grand receptions. They follow the rule ‘the more, the merrier.’ The guest list involves all relatives, friends and acquaintances. The gathering ranges from 200 to 1,000 guests.

On the other hand, American weddings typically reserve invitations to close family and friends. Although it really depends upon the family. Some families choose to include coworkers and acquaintances, if the budget allows. American weddings can be as small as a 25 person gathering and as large as 500 guests. According to The Knot, the average American wedding guest was 136 in 2018.



A typical Hindu wedding lasts about a week as there are so many different traditions to be done. From pre-wedding dinners, Sangeet, Mehndi to reception, the whole week is filled with fun, music, dance and emotions. Destination Indian weddings are at least 3 days long.

But the typical American wedding lasts only one day. Elopements can be as short as 30 minutes, but most traditional American weddings are an all-day affair with morning getting-ready rituals through to the reception and even an after-party. Most Americans will also host a Rehearsal Dinner a few days or a week before the formal wedding and others will also include a Farewell Brunch the day after the wedding.


Hindu marriages have so many rituals that it can leave anyone flabbergasted. Starting from praying to Lord Ganesha, Mehndi, seven sacred steps around the holy fire while saying a vow to tying a black beaded necklace around the bride’s neck and put red sindoor on her forehead to symbolize their wedding. Each ritual has its own significance.

American weddings have numerous rituals as well, based most often on Christian traditions and modern secular traditions, such as walking down the aisle, lifting of the veil, ring exchange, broom jumping, blended wine pouring, sand ceremony, rice tossing or bubbles, tossing of the bouquet and garter, the money dance, the first dance, the father-bride dance and the mother-son dance, among others. The wedding is officiated by either a government official, priest, pastor or secular officiant who leads the couple through their ceremonial vows. During these vows, the couple promise to support and love each other.



In India, the wedding is a multi-day occasion and, for each day, everyone wishes to wear heavy and bright colored attire. From Indian ethnic sarees to lehenga choli for women and kurta pyjama, blazer pants and sherwani for men, everyone is dressed up elegantly and beautifully. On the wedding day, the bride usually wears Red. As in Hindu tradition, this color stands for fertility and prosperity.

In America, brides frequently wear a white or ivorybridal gown and the groom wears a suit or tuxedo in black, navy, ivory, white or another neutral color. These aren’t hard and fast rules. Some couples choose to wear more colorful and bold attire, others opt for a more conservative look. Either way, most couples will include at least one upscale accessory into their outfit, such as special cufflinks, luxury brand name shoes or high end jewelry.



The main focus of Indian weddings is to decorate their indoors and outdoors. A special canopy erected and decorated for the ceremonies. As lighting also plays a vital role, so the venue where ceremonies will be accomplished are decorated with flowers, lights, and other decor items. Colors are usually bold and bright.

American weddings can be held anywhere from a banquet hall to an outdoor garde and décor is a big part of the planning. American couples care a lot about the styling of their event space and want it to reflect their personal taste and aesthetic.

Undoubtedly, American and Indian weddings are different from each other, but they each have their own unique elements that make them both enjoyable.

These are the Wedding Venues Where 4 Wealthy Bollywood Celebrities Got Married in 2018

When it comes to wedding celebrations, Indian weddings are super rich. From customs, traditions to rituals, Indian weddings are full of fun, colors, dance, and entertainment. The celebrity weddings, especially from the Bollywood often spell out grand wedding and are organized with all bells and whistles.

2018, was a year slew of high-profile weddings of Bollywood celebrities. From a Bollywood and Hollywood celeb union (Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas) to the most expensive weddings in the history (Isha Ambani and Anand Parimal), these wealthy celebs define the true meaning of ‘Big Fat weddings.’

One of the best parts of these weddings are the venues. Here are the 4 wedding venues our super wealthy Bollywood celebs pick for their wedding in 2018.


Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh

One of the favorite B-town couples, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh dated for more than a half decade. Their wedding was the most talked about wedding in the country. It happened on 14 November 2018 at Lake Como in Italy. With breathtaking views, Lake Como is among the hit list of several Hollywood celebrities like Madonna, Branson and more.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

Seen as the unification of Bollywood and Hollywood, another big celeb wedding was Priyanka Chopra’s and Nick Jonas’. The couple got married on 1st December 2018. This multi-day wedding celebration took place at various royal venues in Mumbai, Jodhpur, and Delhi.

The couple tied the knot in accordance with Christian traditions at the royal venue, Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan Palace on December 1st, 2018. The next day they again exchanged vows in Hindu rituals. According to the report, Mandap was around 40-feet high decorated with red flowers.

Some international and Indian celebrities spotted at the wedding were Jonathan Tucker, Jasmin Walia, Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o., Salman Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Deepika Padukone, and Ranveer Kapoor.

Sonam K Ahuja and Anand Ahuja

The beautiful Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor married her longtime boyfriend businessman Anand Ahuja on 8th May 2018 in Mumbai. The couple tied knot according to Sikh rituals.

The marriage took place at Sonam’s aunt Kavita Singh’s Bandra-based heritage bungalow called Rockdale. While the grand celebration happened at evening in the 5-star Leela Hotel, Mumbai.

Kapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath

The star comedian and Bollywood actor Kapil Sharma got united in wedlock with Ginni Chatrath on December 12, 2018. The couple had been together since their college days. The marriage happened in accordance with Punjabi traditional, followed by Anand Karaj ceremony.

It was a big fat Punjabi wedding took place at Jalandhar and Amritsar (India). The marriage was attended by his colleagues from the television industry. While popular singer Gurdas Maan performed at Wedding. After the earlier wedding in Amritsar, a grand reception party was thrown at the JW Marriott in Mumbai that witnessed numerous Bollywood celebs in attendance, including Karan Johar, Farah Khan, Anil Kapoor, Rekha, etc.

So these were 4 most talked about big fat weddings of Bollywood celebrities in 2018. The year has witnessed many lover stories turning into happily ever after.