Two of my good friends got married this year and I was a bridesmaid at both. After these two weddings, I have a quick guide to everything that is expected of you as a bridesmaid for an Indian Wedding. Hint hint, it’s more than just wearing a stunning sari!
So your friend is getting married and asks you “Will you be my bridesmaid at my Indian wedding?” You obviously and instantly say yes thinking you will be part of a lavish affair and get to wear a gorgeous Indian sari, but little do you know that there are quite a few bridesmaid duties that you will have to commit to as well. Don’t worry, I have got you covered. Here are my top tips for making your time as an Indian bridesmaid a breeze!
- Wear Color – Most brides will likely gift you with a wedding day sari so you usually will have at least one of your outfits, but there are going to be multiple other pre-wedding events where you will have to have outfits for. Steer clear of black or white for other wedding related events and keep in mind that Indian weddings are extremely vibrant! This is also the time to channel your inner diva and go all out with your outfit. Don’t worry about out shining the bride, you will never do that, trust me. Go all out, have fun, wear bring colors and if you bring a male plus one, suggest he wears a suit accented with a colorful pocket square or bow tie for a fun touch.
- Play Hostess – Food is super important in Indian culture, so you’ll probably be expected to act as hostess through any pre-wedding events. So make sure the bride is fed, because most days she will be busy or unable to eat herself. Indian weddings are stressful and with lots of people running around it’s your job to make sure the bride stays fed and hydrated
- Carry an emergency kit – This is pretty straightforward and whenever you are a bridesmaid you should be prepared for anything, but Indian weddings are all day and night events so it will be helpful to carry some of the following: stain remover pen, eyelash glue, makeup, flats for dancing the night away.
- Dance Rehearsals – An Indian wedding will almost always have dances at the reception. Usually, the bridesmaids will have to participate in at least one dance. My suggestion is to try to get in as much practice time once all the bridesmaids are together. This is difficult when you have bridesmaids flying in from all over the world, but as a group, you should definitely practice the nights leading up to the wedding. I would suggest one person takes the lead and choreographs the dance a few months before the wedding and send a video around so some people can try to learn the steps beforehand.
- Arrive well rested – Indian weddings are days or sometimes weeks long. From the moment you arrive there will be events to attend, pictures to smile for, dances to dance, and memories to be made. Make sure you come rested because you will not be sleeping for days or at least the weekend.
- Ask questions – If this is your first Indian wedding, don’t be afraid to ask what is going on. No one expects you to know everything. There will be multiple events and venues, so make sure you have a note of everything going on, but there should also be a point of contact like the maid of honor that will give you, even more, detail, just ask! Plus the bride and bride’s family will really appreciate
- Be a good support system – All weddings are stressful, but Indian weddings have hundreds of guest and multiple events and as fabulous as they can be it can also be very exhausting for the bride. Make sure to check in with her leading up to the wedding if she needs anything and during the wedding weekend make sure you remind her how beautiful she is and how amazing her weekend has turned out to be!
- Limit the bride’s social media use – I am a social media addict, but it was important as a Bridesmaid to get the phone out of the bride’s hand and reminded her to live in the moment. She has bridesmaids for a reason, make sure you document and save everything and share them with her afterward. She will appreciate re-watching everything later after she has lived the event in real life. If you do have her permission feel free to post on her behalf, but make sure she is enjoying her day more than posting on social media
- Become the bridesmaid’s paparazzi – Make sure to take a lot of pictures or make your plus one do this. There will be many events and moments leading up to the weddings where the bridesmaids will not be getting ready with the bride or unable to see the bride. Your bride will really appreciate you documenting everything that the bridesmaids are getting up to while she is getting dolled up someplace else. Also, the pictures from the photographers will most likely come much later
- Keep track of the groom’s shoes – There is an old Indian tradition where the bride’s sisters or bridesmaid have to steal the grooms shoes and demand a payment back for them in order to take their sister away from their family. When the groom enters the ceremony he will have to take off his shoes and this is the perfect time to grab them!
Chances are that as a bridesmaid you are going to be very stressed, perhaps more than the bride. But trust me, after it’s all done and dusted you will realize that it was all worth it. Oh and one more thing, if you are single get ready to mingle and flirt. There will be hundreds of guests and lots of Aunties that will try to set you up with their single, successful, and hopefully cute son!