If you’ve never been to an Asian wedding before, this article will give you a little insight into what to expect from an Asian wedding.
Firstly, no two Asian weddings are the same, it’s important to know the type of family, North Indian, South Indian, Punjabi? Either way, many Asian weddings are huge, with a gigantic guest list where everyone gets an invitation. A conventional Indian wedding normally goes on for three days, but as a guest you wouldn’t normally expect to be attending all of the functions.
On the first day, a cleric will perform a service that is usually at home, just the bride and groom and close family.
The second day sees another service, where the ladies typically will have unique henna patterns drawn on their hands and feet. That evening the Sangeet happens, which is another pre-wedding event that occurs prior to the Hindu, Punjabi, and Gujurati wedding ceremonies.
Visitors are welcomed and the Sangeet is mainly conducted to enjoy the happiness surrounding the couple. Both sides of the family attend and their is food and dancing. Historically, the Sangeet would last for an astonishing ten days, celebrating up until the wedding day, quite some party.
Finally, the third day sees the main services and the wedding reception takes place, usually guests will be invited to this day, but your invitation will clearly inform you which of the Asian wedding functions you’ll be invited to.
Dress code is usually very colourful and bright, so don’t worry if you’ve seen a very bold coloured dress, wearing that will help you fit in with the other Asian guests who will finish their bright colours with sparkly jewellery too. An Asian wedding is almost a fashion show. You may even choose to wear a traditional sari or lengha, which are easily available online too. If in doubt, ask your friends about dress codes for the wedding, or take a look at a UK Wedding Directory for ideas.
Traditionally, the bride and groom at an Asian Wedding, each have their own arrival traditions. When the groom arrives (possibly even on a white horse) the mother of the bride may give him some sweets as a welcome to marry her daughter. The men may exchange gifts or flower garlands. The bride will follow down the aisle behind her bridesmaids and flower girl and she prepares her rather grand reveal, escorted by a senior family member, sometimes even carried as the bride is literally given away.
Of course, with all Asian weddings, the particulars vary per culture, but the main ceremony will last between and one and two hours, but the entire wedding day can last up to sixteen hours.
As with Western weddings, the Asian wedding reception is where everybody who has been invited to the wedding can celebrate, and Asian weddings really know how to party, you can Bhangra with the best of them. There will be speeches and grand entrances. Plenty of food and drink, and not just spicy or vegetarian, you’ll probably see some regional food options. Quite often you’d expect to see lots of theatrical style dancing, with guests almost serenading the bride and groom with Bollywood style dancing.
Traditionally a wedding gift is more likely to be money, a gift to help the happy couple start their life together, so worth checking what the couple what they plan to do beforehand.
Hopefully this article will give you a little insight into what to expect from an Asian wedding, but it is guaranteed to be one of the most fun and enjoyable weddings you’ll ever attend.
If you’re planning an Asian wedding, then we recommend you take a look at the Asian Wedding Directory who will help you find all of your perfect wedding suppliers.