The Sikh Wedding: How To Be The PERFECT Guest


When I got married, I had a traditional Sikh wedding. The guest list, at the final count was 300. In comparison to other Sikh weddings, mine was definitely on a smaller scale.

To be the perfect guest at a Sikh wedding requires you to respect the religious values of the Sikh marriage and institutions like the Sikh temple, the Gurdwara. Including covering your head, not wearing shoes when entering religious grounds and dressing respectfully, to name but a few.

Our guests included very close family members and friends. We decided on an intimate wedding and decided against inviting distant relations. A typical Sikh wedding guest list like many types of Indian weddings can easily exceed 500 guests.

Head Covering

Why do you cover your head in a Gurdwara? Most Sikh weddings religious ceremonies like the Anand Karaj takes place in a Gurdwara, so Gurdwara rules and etiquette like covering your head needs to be followed. The main reason for covering your head is because you are paying respect to God, who is the all supreme.

You have to keep your head covered at all times when you are in the Gurdwara (temple). This rule applies to both men and women guests regardless of the fact if you are Sikh or non-Sikh guests.

Ensure that the only two colors you avoid when choosing your head covering attire is white and black. These two colors always relate to funerals in the Sikh community.

Handkerchiefs (Rumaals)

Wearing a handkerchief (rumal) to a Sikh wedding especially for Sikhs who have cut their hair and for non-Sikh wedding guests is a good and the easiest choice. The handkerchief (rumal) is not appropriate attire for women, it is more appropriate for men only.

Head coverings

The handkerchief (rumaals) are normally provided at the front of the Gurdwara, prior to entering. The only point to note is that these handkerchiefs (rumaals) are being used by a variety of people throughout the day. It is advisable, for hygiene reasons to bring your own. Make sure that your handkerchief (rumal) is large enough for you to tie a knot at the back.

There are a number of materials available on the market for handkerchiefs so there will always one suitable for you. You can get them in Cotton Lawn, Cotton Sateen, Flannel or even Silk. Handkerchiefs (rumaals) are easy to purchase from shops and online stores. They come in a variety of colors and designs. From bold or neutral plain colors to bright reds, pinks and paisley patterns.

The more standard size of a handkerchief (rumal) for men is 12” x 12”. Handkerchief (rumal) is not really appropriate attire for women, it is only suitable for male guests whether you are Sikh or non-Sikh guests. Larger sizes, 12” x 12” are also available which may allow you additional material to tie your handkerchief around your head.

Remember, apart from black and white, you can wear any other color, print or pattern of handkerchief (rumal). Ensure you keep your handkerchief (rumal) on throughout the ceremonies taking place inside the Gurdwara.

Turban

A traditional Sikh would be wearing his turban when attending any and all Sikh ceremonies. This is the main factor in differentiating a Sikh to any other religion. The turban is a unique identity for the Sikh community. A turban not only keeps the hair clean but, will also ensure that your head is always covered.

It not only defines ones’ Sikh faith but, constitutes their honor, spirituality, piety, self-respect, courage and equality. The turban is part of the five K’s of Sikhs which symbolizes uncut hair (kesh).

Turbans come in a variety of colors and depending on your cast the actual style of the turban can vary. The style of the turban and the manner it is tied is handed down from father to son. Non-Sikh guests can also attend a Sikh wedding wearing a turban.

A turban can either be hand tied by a Sikh guest or you can purchase readymade turbans which basically you can easily put on and take off, like a hat.

The only thing to bear in mind is never wear a black or white turban as these two colors are worn at funerals in the Sikh community. There are a number of color options available on the market and majority of them are in one plain color.

Turbans generally are not patterned. Turbans can be tied in different styles depending on your cast. Each cast will tie their turban slightly differently. Some of the Sikh casts are Ramgarhias, Chooras, Jat, Kathri to name but, a few and they will all a have different style of turban. Some casts are even known by just their style of their turban.

Bandana

Wearing a bandana to a Sikh wedding is perfectly suitable and appropriate attire to use by  means of covering your head when attending a Sikh wedding in a Gurdwara (temple). This is appropriate attire for both Sikh and non-Sikh guests. At weddings, the bride and groom may provide bandana’s for the use for all their guests.

They can have the bride and grooms names printed together with the date of their wedding. Thus these bandanas can be used as great means of momentums for their wedding guests to keep. The base color of the bandana for weddings can vary depending on the bride and grooms choice.

The more common wedding colors would be various shades of reds, blues and yellows. The only thing to bear in mind is never to wear black or white as these colors relate to colors when attending Sikh funerals.

Caps

Wearing a cap to a Sikh wedding looks too casual and disrespectful for both Sikh and non-Sikh guests. For Sikhs, when wearing a cap to the Gurdwara relates strongly to captivity, humiliation and apostasy. This shows when you look into and research into Sikh fiction, historical traditions and art. Sikh weddings are always very formal occasions and wearing a cap will definitely not only be frown upon but, you will look and feel out of place. Wearing a cap is definitely not formal attire.

Shoe Removal

Why do you have to take off your shoes in a Gurdwara?  All Sikh wedding ceremonies which take place in the main Gurdwara (temple), must respect the rule of removing your shoes before entering the Gurdwara. One of the main reasons for taking your shoes off when entering a Gurdwara (temple) is to show your respect to the Guru (God).

When you are inside the Gurdwara you will notice that almost everyone, with the exception of the elderly, will be sitting on the floor. In the Gurdwara there are only a small number of chairs/benches available for the elderly who are no longer able to sit on the floor due to their health and age related issues. The rest of the community/guests, Sikhs and non-Sikh guests are all expected to adhere to and respect the etiquette for the Gurdwara and sit on the floor.

You cannot sit on the floor comfortably while wearing shoes, so that is another reason for taking your shoes off in the Gurdwara. Without wearing your shoes you can then gain a better posture which will allow you to listen to the kirtan (hymns) more comfortably.

Where do you put your shoes?

As soon as you enter the Gurdwara (temple) premises you have to cover you head, this symbolizing a mark of respect. Sometimes that will be even be before you take your shoes off, as this will be in the foyer part of the Gurdwara. The main Gurdwara, where the Guru Granth Sahib is situated, (Holy Bible) will be in the main hall.

Men and women shoes are segregated in most gurdwaras outside of India, with women shoes one area and men shoes normally in the opposite area. The area where shoes are stored consists of a number shoe racks which are stacked together. You simply put your shoes in one of the shoe racks.

On some special occasions in the Gurdwara, where a large number of visitors/guests are expected the shoe racks may be manned. On these occasions you simply take your shoes off and hand it to the person and they will in turn hand you a tag which relates to the number of the shoe rack your shoes are stored in.

Make sure any tag, ticket etc. you are given you keep, especially in large Gurdwaras where large number of weddings guests will be in attendance. Upon your return you simply hand in your ticket/tag and your shoes will be returned.

Smaller gurdwaras might not have anyone helping with the shoes, so you must find your own spot and remember it. Most Gurdwara’s now do store a shoe horn and a seating area will be available to assist the elderly.

Segregation

There is a segregation inside the Gurdwara’s for men and women, particularly in Gurdwaras outside of India. This ruling only appears to apply in the UK. In the past before the segregation ruling, it is believed that when families could all sit together, that the men would always end up sitting at the front and the women would then be confined to sitting at the back.

It is thought for this reason that a Guru (high Priest) decided to segregate the congregation to make it fairer and therefore allowing everyone the opportunity of sitting at the front. All guests, Sikhs and non-Sikh need to observe and adhered to this ruling.

Guest Outfits

What do guests wear to a Sikh wedding? For any guests, whether they are Sikh or non-Sikh guests the main ruling, in my opinion, would be not to choose an outfit to try and upstage the bride or the groom. For both male and female guests regardless of your religion ensure that you are respectful in the choice of your attire.

Regardless of the fact if you are a male or female guest, under no circumstances should you attend a Sikh wedding wearing shorts, of any length. Your legs should never be on show. Do not wear any see through clothing or show too much of your mid-riff. Sikh weddings are always a colorful affair with bright vibrant colors.

Non-Sikh guests wearing traditional clothes

You can pretty much wear any color and be as bright and bold as you wish. The only thing to bear in mind, is never ever wear any item of clothing in either black or white. These two colors are always in relation to colors to wear to funerals in the Sikh community.

What do you wear to a Sikh temple as a female guest?

As the religious elements of the Sikh wedding take place in a Gurdwara, clothing worn should be respectful. Both Sikh and non-Sikh guests should consider some essential items as the basis of their outfit.

Ensure you cover your legs, make sure you have something to cover your head and make sure you are not showing too much skin and especially make a point to ensure that your undergarments are not on show and your neckline is not too low either.

Non-Sikh guests can opt for outfits such as maxi dresses/skirts, trouser suit, trousers with a blouse/shirt or pear up your skirt with either a blouse or a shirt. You can wear a sleeveless top but, not a strapless or a boob top. T-shirts are not classed as formal wear so stay away from wearing one.

Ensure you have a scarf as you will need your head covered whilst you are in the Gurdwara (temple). The color of your outfit can be bright and bold, either plain or patterned. The only thing to bear in mind, as previously mentioned, is not to wear black or white garments.

You can choose any material, obviously bear in mind the season the wedding is taking place but, ensure if you opt for chiffon that you are still being respectful and not showing your under garments.

The other thing to bear in mind is not to wear any outfit which is tight fitting or figure hugging. Make sure your outfit does not have a very low neckline either. In the Sikh community this is definitely frowned upon.

Sikh affairs are very formal occasions so dress accordingly. You are not allowed to wear a hat as means of covering your head whilst inside the Gurdwara so ensure you have a scarf instead.

There is a supply of scarfs at most large Gurdwara’s (temple) which is provided by the Gurdwara which are either donated or left behind from previous guests. Point to note on this is that you have to bear in mind that a number of people may have used them before you. Hygienically more appropriate to bring your own item to cover your head.

Obviously as a non-Sikh guest you are still more then welcomed to wear Indian outfits. You can either purchase one or borrow an outfit. I have outlined some of the traditional outfits below.

Sikh guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing an outfit to wear at weddings. You can wear a churidar/salwar kameez, lengha choli or even a saree. These outfits are the main categories. All these outfits come in a variety of designs and can vary quite considerably in style and price.

One thing you can be sure of that no matter what outfit you choose it will definitely be colorful and vibrant. When opting for that right outfit just bear in mind you stay away from black and white colors. As a Sikh you know that these two colors are always worn when attending funerals in the Sikh community. Below I have briefly outlined what each of the outfits entail.

Churidar / Salwar Kameez

The Churidar is an outfit which consists of a slim fitting trousers. Whereas the Salwar is a wider cut from top and narrows at the ankles. The kameez basically means the top that is worn with either the churidar or the salwar. The length of the top is normally long and can vary from just below your knees to just above your ankles.

The style of the tops can be slim fitting but, will have two slits on either side to aid further movement. They can vary quite considerably in design and style depending on the designers.

Churidar tops can also come in a-line style which is longer in length and sit just above your ankles. This outfit will always consist of a chunni (long scarf). These outfits can come in a variety of materials, from cotton, silk to velvet to name but a few. The choice of colors and styles is vast. Prints can be bold and colors bright.

Wedding garments are often embellished with sequins or heavily embroidered in gold or silver threads. The one thing to bear in mind when choosing your outfit is refrain from wearing shades of dark red or dark pinks. You will find these two colors are more commonly worn by the bride.

Also ensure that you do not pick an outfit which is heavily encrusted with sequins or threaded in heavy gold prints. Remember you are a guest attending the wedding and not there to outshine the bride. It is a privilege to be invited and it shows that you are an important part of the couple’s family member or a close friend.

Lengha Choli

The lengha choli is a very common outfit for not only the bride but, also for the guests. It is also a very comfortable and suitable for majority of age groups as it can come in different designs and styles suitable for the almost everyone.

This outfit consists of a long skirt, normally covering your ankles. The top can vary vastly in not only style but length. As with all Indian outfits, a chunni (long scarf) will also be included as part of the outfit.

The style of top varies considerably so you can always choose something to suit different age groups and different body shapes. For example, for the younger guests they can opt for a blouse which is either shorter in length or covers most of their top half with a slight show of the mid riff.

Lengths can vary from short which covers the whole of your tummy area to a longer length where the top is up to or even below your knees. You can pretty much find a style to suit the majority regardless of your age or the shape of your body.

Lengha Choli’s come in bright, pastel and pale/lighter colors, with bold prints and embellishments. As with all Indian outfits, you should be able to find these outfits in a number of different materials catering for all seasons. Your outfit may be a combination of materials as well.

The more common material choices are cotton, silk, chiffon, velvet etc. The skirt may be a different material to the top. There is no right or wrong combination.  Again, just ensure that when choosing your outfit, you bear in mind that you are not the bride. Stay away from black or white outfits, as mentioned previously these two colors relate to funerals in the Sikh community.

Saree

Saree is a material which is more commonly 9 yards. It consists of a blouse which varies in style and design. The length of the blouse can vary from cropped to longer length which covers the mid riff area. The style of blouse can vary from designer to designer. You always have to wear an undergarment under the saree which is known as the petticoat. The length of this is down to your ankles.

Normally you would choose the petticoat the same color as your saree. The petticoat is used to help tie the saree around your waist by tucking in the saree into the petticoat. This will ensure your saree is safely and securely tied.

After the initial wrapping of the saree, normally twice all the way around, pleats are then folded and placed in the middle and a finally the saree is then wrapped around the pleats and placed either over or around your shoulders.

Sarees come in a vast number of colors and prints. The material of a saree can be decorated as heavily as you want with either embroidery prints, threadwork or embellishments.

Materials of a saree vary considerably so you can definitely find one to suit any season. They can come in chiffon, crepe, georgette, silk to name but a few.

Saree’s used to be the most common attire for not only the bride but, for her guests as well. However, now most brides and guests opt for a Lengha Choli. Once again, steer away from shades of bright red and pinks as these are common colors for the bride to wear. Bear in mind and  do not opt for a very heavily embellished saree. Remember you are not trying to outshine the bride.

What do Sikh male guests wear?

Sikh male guests have to be formally dressed when attending a Sikh wedding. There are a number of  options available. From the traditional wear to western outfits. I have outlined below some of the traditional attire options to choose from.

Churidar

The Churidar has a couple of options. Either slim fitting trousers or slightly looser fit. Both of the items can either be tied using a drawstring or they can be elasticated at the waist. It really depends on your personal choice.

The shirt, known as the Kurta for the churidar has to be knee length. The fitting can again be slim fitting or slightly looser fit.

There are options in the style and the design of the kurta’s. The slim fitting shirts normally have two side slits to allow easier movement. For men the shirt is commonly full sleeved. The looser tops may have a slit at the front or no slits, but this is a design and style factor.

You can always mix up the color coordination of your outfit. Rather then wearing the same color for the top and bottom, you could wear a brighter colorful top. The color options are vast and bright, and the prints can be bold as you dare.

Men’s outfits, mainly the Kurta can also consist of gold thread embroidery work, mainly around the neckline and/or the cuffs of the sleeves. Unless, you are the groom avoid heavy, all over embellishments.

You can pretty much wear most colors on the market. You just have to remember to avoid wearing black or white. These two colors relate to funerals within the Sikh community. Instead of white trousers, opt for cream.

The other option available for the top is called the Sherwani. The Sherwani length can either be knee length or slightly longer. It is a garment which is coat like. You can wear the Sherwani on top of your kurta or top. It comes in a variety of colors and prints.

The Sherwani can be combined with a specific Sherwani Dupatta, (long scarf like garment). This is more to complete the outfit and gives you that more formal and regal look. It strictly for show and should not be used to means for covering your head. If you are wearing a plain colored outfit, you could style your outfit with a bright and bold colored dupatta with gold thread embroidery.

The material for the male outfits can vary from cotton, raw silk, brocade or georgette to name but a few. You can easily choose the material depending on the season of the wedding. Even if you are a non-Sikh you can still wear the traditional outfits. It is not specifically just for Sikh guests.

What do non-Sikh male guests wear?

Whether you are Sikh or non-Sikh guests you can still wear a business suit to a wedding. Trousers with a matching jacket. There are a variety of different designs and styles available which come in a number of colors and prints.

You can wear both dark and light colored suits. The only thing to remember when you choose the color of your suit is to ensure that you do not pick a black or a white suit. As already mentioned, these two colors relate to funerals in the Sikh community.

Suits come in a variety of materials, from wool to linen so you will easily be able to choose an outfit appropriate for the season of the wedding.

When wearing a suit, ensure you complete your outfit with a collared shirt and tie. This is the only time you can wear a white shirt. Never wear a black shirt or a black or white tie.

A business suit is applicable for everyone. Sikh weddings are always formal occasions, unless you have been advised otherwise, so wearing a business suit is definitely an appropriate and formal attire to wear.

Sikh wedding guide for guests

Sikh weddings consists of a number of functions and really depends on the family as to how many of the traditional ceremonies they wish to undertake. Some of these occasions may be less formal then others and, in these instances, they may take place in the family’s home. Some of the larger, more formal ceremonies can be held in a hall.

As all the different ceremonies are family orientated you have to dress with respect, not only for the family but, for their beliefs.

Sikh women would commonly wear a traditional outfit to all the celebrations. Apart from the wedding day your attire can be less formal and less decorative. However, you still have to remember and adhere to the rules of not wearing either black or white colored outfits. On most of these occasions you will not be required to cover your head.

Although with all traditional outfits, your outfit will consist of a chunni (long scarf) which can be draped over your shoulders so you are always prepared should you have to cover your head at any time.

Non-Sikh guests can either wear the traditional outfits or wear dresses and skirts but, show respect by ensuring that the length is not higher than your ankles. You can wear dresses but, again nothing higher than your ankles. So either maxi or midi length will be appropriate. You can wear sleeveless items on these occasions.

Bear in mind that you should still not attend any of these ceremonies wearing any items which reveals too much skin – your undergarments should not be showing and do not wear tops with a low neckline, no boob tubes and nothing strapless.

If you are wearing western clothing, then carry a scarf with you at all times. Should you be required to cover your head you will be prepared at all times.

There are several Sikh ceremonies which lead up to the actual Sikh wedding day. It really depends on the individuals as to how many of these customs they wish to conduct. Below I have highlighted some of the more common ceremonies which are followed by the majority of the Sikh families together with a brief outline advising you of the appropriate guests attire at each of the function. 

Roka (Engagement)  

The Roka is basically the very first step and start of the Sikh wedding proceedings. Engagement rings are exchanged, and this symbolizes not only the unity of the two families but, it also confirms the couples commitment to each other. They are officially engaged and therefore will not consider any other offers of marriage. 

The Roka in comparison to the other rituals is normally a low key fair and takes places at the brides’ family house. It consists of the immediate family members on both sides with perhaps very close family friends. 

The outfits for both Sikh and non-Sikh female guests are mainly either the traditional outfits such as Churidar or Salwar Kameez. In brief this outfit consists of three items, the bottoms which can either be slim fitting or slightly looser trousers, a long shirt which is normally to the length of your knees and a long scarf, called chunni.  

Non-Sikh guests are able to wear western outfits should they wish. You have to be very conversative in your dressing. Make sure your legs are covered at least to your ankles, sleeve lengths is optional but, nothing strapless as this will be considered inappropriate. Ensure your clothing is not figure hugging or that any of your garments are see through i.e. your undergarments are showing.

Be aware of the neckline of your tops and ensure that it is not too low, your cleavage should not be showing under any circumstances. These outfits come in a variety of materials, styles and designs. As previously mentioned, do not wear any black or white item of clothing as this always relates to colors the Sikh community wear to funerals.  

For Sikh and non-Sikh male guests you can either wear the traditional kurta pajamas outfit which consists of either the slim fitting trousers or the slightly looser fitting bottoms. This outfit is combined with a long sleeved top which comes down to the length of your knees or slightly longer. This is an informal occasion but, by no means casual. 

Male guests either Sikh or non-Sikhs can also wear smart trousers and a smart collared shirt. Either with or without a tie. Do not turn up wearing a t-shirt and shorts. This and all occasions leading up to the wedding day are never casual affairs. Also dress respectfully and cover your legs. Trousers should also be full length.  

Again, with men you cannot wear black or white clothing as these colors are only ever worn when attending funerals in the Sikh community.  

Sangeet 

The Sangeet is another ritual held in celebrating the fourth coming wedding. It can either be held at the brides’ family home or in a hall. It really depends on the number of guests the families want to invite. 

It is a great excuse for a party. Traditional Sikh folk songs are sung combined with the traditional Bhangra dancing. With the playing of the Dholki (traditional Sikh drum like instrument). This ceremony is fun for all ages. 

It’s a great chance for both the bride and groom’s families and friends to get to know each other. If this event is taking place at the family home, then it will be less formal then if it takes places in a hall.  

For both Sikh and non-Sikh female guests the outfits for this vary from churidar/salwar kameez to less elaborately decorated lengha choli’s. In brief the churidar/salwar kameez consists of either slim fitting or slightly baggy trousers with long top to the length of your knees together with a long scarf (chunni).

The lengha choli is a maxi skirt, which reaches to your ankles in length with a variety of styles in tops. It also includes a chunni (long scarf). All these outfits come in a variety of styles and designs so you can always find one to suit you. The materials will range from cotton, velvet, silk to name a few. 

Non-Sikh guests can opt to wear western outfits but, ensure your legs are covered and you dress modestly. You should not be showing too much of your body and do not wear figure hugging or transparent clothing. 

With all outfits, regardless of your attire being western or traditional, make sure you do not wear anything black or white. As previously mentioned, these two colors always relate to funerals. 

For Sikh and non-Sikh male guests you can either dress in traditional attire by wearing a Kurta Pajamas which comes in either slim fitting or slightly looser fit trousers with a long full sleeved shirt or, western outfits. For the less formal occasions the traditional outfits can be of plain colors and less elaborately decorated. The western outfits can consist of smart trousers and shirts, collared shirts are optional either with a tie or not.  

Do not dress too casually. Not appropriate to be wearing jeans, t-shirts, tracksuits, shorts (of any length). Stay away from black and white garments as they are always linked to funerals in the Sikh community. 

Mehndi 

The Mehndi will normally take place a day before the wedding. The bride and groom will hold this ceremony in their respective family homes. Again, this is normally a smaller and more intimate affair which would probably take place at the family home. Obviously depending on the number of guests, this can still be held in a hall as well. 

Mehndi applied to hands

The dress code for this affair is still very much of smart formal attire. Both non-Sikh and Sikh guests can wear the traditional outfits. The main one being the churidar for women, which can either be slim fitting or slightly looser fitting trousers with a long shirt below the knees.  

For Sikh and non-Sikh men guests the traditional outfit would be the kurta pajama which consists of either slim or slightly loose fitting trousers with a long sleeved knee length top.  The non-traditional outfits include full length smart trousers, with a smart shirt, tie is optional.  

As mentioned previously it is not appropriate to wear casual items, such as jeans, shorts, tracksuits etc. Never wear any item of clothing in either black or white as this relates to funerals in the Sikh community. 

Anand Karaj (Wedding Ceremony) 

This is the Wedding Day. This takes place in the Gurdwara (temple) or any venue where the Sikh religious ceremony takes place, so a more formal dress code is required. Both Sikh and non-Sikh guests can opt to wear traditional outfits. You can choose from churidar/salwar kameez, lengha choli or even a saree. On this occasion your outfits can be brighter and bolder with elaborate threadwork and embellishments.  

In brief, the churidar/salwar kameez consist of trousers which can be either slim fitting or slightly looser fit. This is coordinated with a long shirt; this can vary in both length and style. The length can be either down to your knees or even down to your ankles. This outfit will always come with a chunni (long scarf). 

Bride walks with Groom around holy book

 The lengha choli is a long skirt, which comes down to your ankles. The style of this skirt can vary from a line, fish tail to slightly more gathered and flared skirt. 

Saree’s can vary in lengths and width of material but, commonly a Saree is 9 meters long and 1,200 millimeters in width. You can tie your saree around your waste and tuck the material at the top of your waste into your petticoat. The petticoat is worn underneath the saree and tied with a drawstring so you can tie it as tight as you want and fits most sizes. The saree consists of a blouse which varies again in style and as the name suggests, it covers the top half of your body. 

The material of the traditional outfits vary in style and designs of the outfits. Materials can be chosen depending on the season of the wedding. Cotton, Silk, Velvet and Chiffon are some of the materials your outfit can be made from. 

Non-Sikh outfits have to be of formal attires. Ensure you are dressed with respect and not showing off too much skin. Ensure your legs are covered. You can opt for smart trousers and blouse, maxi skirt or maxi dress. Do not wear anything see through or figure hugging. As always, stay away from black and white outfits as I’ve mentioned before, these two colors relate to funerals in the Sikh community. 

Sikh and non-Sikh male guests can both wear the traditional outfits. The most common outfit being the kurta pajama which comes with the option of either slim fitting or loose fitting trousers. The outfit comprises of a long sleeved top which is normally either to the length of your knees or slightly longer.

The style and the design of the top can vary extremely and depends on the designer of your outfit. The colors of the kurta pajama outfit can vary, you can either wear the same colored top and bottoms or you can vary the color of the bottoms and wear a different colored top.  

You can opt to wear a Sherwani which is like an overcoat which you can wear on top of the churidar. You can be as bold and bright as you like. Just be careful that you do not try and outshine the groom by wearing a very elaborately decorated items with gold threadwork and a lot of embellishments.  

When choosing your outfit ensure you do not pick black or white outfits as they are only worn when attending Sikh funerals.

Non-Sikh and Sikh guests can opt to wear western clothes. For weddings you should always wear a business suit i.e. matching trousers and jacket. If you do not wish to wear a suit, you could opt for smart trousers with a blazer. Collared shirt with a tie is a must. Sikh weddings are always formal attires so dress accordingly. This is the only occasion and time when men can wear a white shirt. However, do not wear a black shirt. 

Never attend a Sikh wedding wearing shorts, of any length, tracksuit or jeans. Also remember not to wear black or white suits as they are worn when attending funerals in the Sikh community.

Photo credits:

Head coverings – 5.32 by Ami and Debo Mukherjee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Non-Sikh guests wearing traditional clothing – Best079 by Ami and Debo Mukherjee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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