If you haven’t ever attended a South Asian wedding, then you probably won’t be familiar with the basic etiquette you should know and follow. Whilst this doesn’t apply to every Asian wedding, most of these will be expected, especially if you’re attending a place of worship. Here are a few of our favourite top tips if you are planning to attend an Asian wedding!
Without a doubt, the most important part of attending an Asian wedding is making sure that you’re dressed appropriately. Try to stay away from blacks and whites and wear more colourful clothing (apart from red, as this is a bridal colour) that is an appropriate length. Also, make sure to carry a scarf as some places of worship may ask you to cover your hair during the ceremony (this can also be used to cover bare arms and shoulders). As long as your outfit is colourful and modest, you’ll be fine!
Take Your Shoes Off (If In Place Of Worship)
If the Asian wedding you’re attending is held within a place of worship, you may be asked to remove your outdoor shoes and place them in a designated area where you can put them back on after the ceremony. In most places, they do prefer you to be barefoot, but if you need to or would prefer to, of course, socks or stockings are accepted – just remember to be respectful!
Know Your Side (If In Place Of Worship)
When attending a wedding at an Asian wedding venue, especially if it’s a place of worship, you’ll have a side you need to sit on. Which in many cases, means men and women sit in separate areas. Read the room as you enter, and you should be able to tell which side you’re supposed to sit on. However, if you are unsure, it wouldn’t hurt to ask someone around you, we’re sure they’d be more than happy to help you out!
Now, this specific tip won’t stand for all Asian weddings, however, some ceremonies do permit any kind of photography/videography (it’s even a no for the professionals). This is the case for many Hindu ceremonies (although not all of them), as they find that the flash of a camera can distract from the ritual in question. So, before taking any pictures, read the room, as it may not be allowed!
Monetary Gifts (If No Wedding Registry)
If the couple in question haven’t provided a wedding registry for their wedding, a monetary gift is usually preferred as part of their wedding gift! It doesn’t have to be much either, although, numbers ending in 1 (e.g. 11, 51 101) are considered good luck, so keep that in mind. Simply place the money/gift card in a pretty envelope or bag with a good wish note for the happy couple and give it to them on the big day!
Asian weddings do tend to be slightly different, however, by following these top tips and keeping them in mind, attending an Asian wedding should be easy for you without being disrespectful. Remember to do your research before going and don’t be afraid to ask the people around you if you’re unsure of what to do!