Tips For Wearing a Saree On Your Wedding Day

Posted on: 22 June 2016

Will you be marrying a man of Indian descent or who is actually a native of India and are interested in incorporating the use of sarees in your wedding? Perhaps, you are considering wearing this traditional garment yourself on your big day or are thinking about having your bridesmaids wear them. If so, it is important to understand how the saree is worn, as well as its history. Otherwise, you might look like you're just donning a costume rather than honoring the long history behind these beautiful garments. 

How They're Worn

Sarees have been worn in India for hundreds of years, and they were even mentioned in literature as far back as 3000 BCE.  Each saree consists of a long piece of unstitched cloth that is usually about five to nine feet yards in length. This cloth is typically wound several times around the waist, and then one end is draped loosely over the woman's shoulder. The midriff is typically left bare. Underneath the saree, women typically wear a petticoat and a cropped, close-fitting top called a ravike in South India or a choli in other parts of India.

Completing the Look

If you do decide to wear or have your bridesmaids wear sarees, consider also:

  • Hiring a henna artist. In India, the bride will typically have her feet and hands decorated with henna tattoos one night before her wedding day. 
  • Wear a nose ring, if you are a virgin. In India, the wearing of a nose ring -- a nath -- is a sign that the bride is still a virgin.
  • Donning an anklet. In India, the sound of a jingling anklet announces the bride's entrance into her husband's household.  
  • Adding a maang tikka. This is a traditional hair accessory that hooks onto the center part of your hair and boasts a pretty pendant that will lie down the center of your forehead, right above your nose. Where the pendant falls is an area on your head that is believed to house the third eye, the ajna chakra. It is believed that the tikka will give the bride wisdom and power. 

Because the way the saree is wrapped can differ from region to region in India, it would make sense to speak with your future in-laws about how you should go about donning your cloth. That way you can ensure that you will be wearing your saree in a way that will look appropriate in their eyes. You can find sarees at places like