Destination Wedding Guide Part 2: What to Wear and Why?

Continuing my focus on destination weddings, we arrive at the big question.  What do I wear for what event at the wedding?  Now, is a good time to note that we all live in a multicultural society and may attend a variety of weddings through the course of the year.  For the sake of this post, I will concentrate on clothes that one may consider wearing to a culturally Indian wedding.

The Saree: The six-yard drape is a natural winner when it comes to wedding attendance attire. Sarees look beautiful and the choice of style and fabric is endless.  However, there can be a small problem with taking one to a destination wedding. The tying of a normal saree involves pleating the front and this is not everyone’s cup of tea. Many people are discouraged from considering a sari because they have no idea who is going to pleat it away from home. This is a genuine problem and I have seen many a tear shed and time wasted trying to tie a saree that won’t work at the opportune time. My mother has a tried and tested solution for this problem that truly works. I will be posting a live video of her method in my next post.

The other relatively new solution is the ready-made or ready-pleated saree. These modern sarees have pleats that are already in place like a stitched skirt. All you have to do is slip them on, zipper up the side, put the palla across your body and you are ready to go. Once on, you can move around freely as there is no danger of pulling out the pleats by mistake as the saree is made to size and securely in place. This avatar of the saree is truly well suited to destination weddings; the wearing time is minimal and the output is maximum. If you are particularly apprehensive about wearing a saree – this is a great option for you.

Sharara: A sharara is basically a flared wide-legged trouser (in various styles) that can be worn with a short or long top and an optional dupatta.  It is a truly comfortable garment and one that I think would be truly flattering on all sizes and shapes. This versatile garment works for a multitude of functions – right from the wedding to the reception.  I highly recommend you incorporate a sharara in your destination wardrobe for a comfortable ensemble that packs a mighty fashion punch.

Suit: It is hard to go wrong with a salwar kameez, anarkali or churidar suit.  They work well and are uber comfortable.  Furthermore, they will keep you warm as they allow for a variety of warm undergarments to be worn with ease.

Lehenga: A lehenga with a short or long top is a tried and tested outfit that will work at most times. It is also an ideal piece to mix and match with other tops and dupattas in your wardrobe.

Fusion wear: Modern Indian destination weddings present a unique opportunity to wear clothes that may not work in traditional Indian weddings.  For example, if you are attending a wedding at a beach resort, a beautiful kaftan with statement jewellery would be a unique choice that would offer both comfort and style. These outfits are a great opportunity to make an individual style statement and I will be lookbooking a favourite kaftan dress in a later post.

Shoes: I do believe that shoes make the outfit or are at least as important as the rest of the outfit. When you are destination wedding bound – shoes take on even more importance due to their possibly bulky nature. In this case, it becomes imperative to pack shoes that you know you will wear with an outfit (hopefully more) and not ones that may possibly work.  My sincere advice; pack shoes that are comfortable. The whole idea is to go and have fun – it’s not worth letting foot pain ruin your enjoyment.  Equally importantly, please pack shoes that compliment your outfit – it is truly impossible to put forth your best style statement if it is apparent that your shoes were an afterthought.

Jewellery:  Destination weddings are a great opportunity to wear some of your statement jewellery. Do carry your jewellery that compliments your outfits. If you are travelling to a foreign country and want to take real jewellery; do look into local laws of taking gold etc. into the country.  Many countries may let you take it in but will question you if they discover you are travelling out of the country with precious metals and stones.  Also, keep in mind that if you travel with real jewellery, the oweness of keeping it safe falls on your shoulders. Make sure you have a secure provision to store it.

Given the above, the following are some tips that I think are important when it comes to considering what you may want to wear to a destination wedding:

  1. Decide on outfits that complement the particular function that you have chosen them for.  You may be desperate to wear a new outfit but wearing a slinky cocktail saree to the actual wedding ceremony may look out-of-place and leave you feeling self-conscious.
  2. Do not shy away from ethnic weaves and other traditional Indian outfits.  Modern sarees and gowns look great but so does a South Indian saree with flowers in your hair.  Mixing up your sartorial choices is a great way to put forth your fashion acumen and versatility.
  3. If you have no idea what others may be wearing – try to find out.  Individuality is great, but dressing in a style that is totally out of whack with what others are wearing may leave you feeling awkward or embarrassed.
  4. Do your research on certain controversial colours before you pack.  For eg., certain families may not appreciate you wearing black to the main wedding function.
  5. If the evenings are going to get considerably colder (such as in southern California where temperatures can fall significantly once the sun sets) go prepared with a shawl or other warm garments that match or coordinate with your outfit.  It’s no point ruining your look with a puffer jacket on top of your saree to evade the cold.

Last but not least, I suggest that when you are deciding what to wear (and before you go shopping), go shopping in your closet and in the closets of those close to you such as your mother, aunts and friends. We all own beautiful clothes that have often not been worn more than a few times.  These clothes deserve another outing and choosing them will prevent you from spending more on new clothes.  As importantly, this exercise will spurn you on to mix and match in your closet and in turn create new outfits out of old ones.  I am a firm believer in this practice and I will show you my recent haul of sarees from my mother’s closet in a future post.

I hope you have found this post useful in some way. In my next post, I will share a video of my mother’s pre-pleating saree’ hack as well as my packing list for a destination wedding. Have a great weekend and thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

I want to thank Kumkum for collaborating on this post and providing this sharara that could work perfectly as a destination wedding outfit.

Contact details:
+44 7983 863852
+44 7448030545
Facebook Page: Kumkum (click here)

 

Destination Wedding Guide Part 1: The Preliminary Steps to Being a Best Dressed Guest

Destination weddings are really having their moment in the sun and it’s very likely that you will be attending one in the near future. Wanting to look your very best is an integral part of attending weddings and attaining this is easier than you may think.

The key factor to recognise is what you have packed in your suitcase is what you will have available to make an effective style statement throughout the wedding.  What does this mean?  In one simple word – organization.

Being a best-dressed guest at a destination wedding requires top class organization.  Nothing should be left to chance because you are there to enjoy the celebratory atmosphere, the company of other guests, and perhaps lend a helping hand if required.  No part of your planning should include, “I need to pop to the shops to buy a pair of gold heels for tonight”, once you are there.

As I discussed in the video, your best-dressed self for a destination wedding starts when you leave the house for the airport.  So what should you wear to travel in?

Now, of course, the choices are endless and dependent on many factors such as your travel companions (kids or elderly parents) and the total length of your travel.  My general advice is that unless you are very comfortable in heels, wear flat comfortable shoes that look good and can be worn on your return journey. If you live in a relatively cold country, travel with a light coat that may be necessary on both your way there as well as on your return journey home.  Carry a handbag that can hold your essentials and is smart enough to carry in case you have a leisurely day out with other guests at the wedding.

Below, I have lookbooked an outfit that may work if you are travelling a rather short distance (say to Spain or Italy from England) for a destination wedding. I personally would not wear a dress on a long flight but a short flight presents a unique dress wearing opportunity.  I love the idea of showing up to a wedding wearing a fun dress with a lip print to echo the celebration of love and affection of the nuptials that you will be attending. I have teamed it with my trusted broken in black and white pumps that are uber comfortable and work with a myriad of outfits.  I have topped it off with a water-resistant beige trench coat (trendy yet classic) and a black tote that can be used for a day out and will hold your essentials for the plane. Make sure it has a zipped pocket for important documents (Pictures at the bottom of the post).

Even before we discuss the preliminary aspects of packing for the wedding, remember the following:

  1. Grooming: Plan to get your waxing, threading, manicures, pedicures, hair colouring and hair cuts done well ahead of the day you leave for the wedding.  Tempting as it is – I strongly advise not leaving these grooming aspects for your destination. Once you get there, it could be more hassle than its worth.  You may not like the haircut, the wax may burn your skin – the possibilities for minor disasters are endless (I know because I have been there so many times). Even, if you are going to your home town, try to go a day early and get it all done so that you are ready well before the wedding celebrations start.
  2. Luggage: Packing for a destination wedding is a masterclass in packing smart; every item you pack must serve a purpose and clothes and accessories must double up to be of service in multiple outfits/looks. It is hard to pack light for an entire wedding so plan to take your luggage allowance of at least a suitcase. Take a suitcase in good condition and preferably water-resistant in case it stands around on the tarmac in the rain with your glad rags in it.

Next time on the blog, I will discuss the key factors to consider in terms of outfit selection, accessories, jewellery and shoes. I will also share my handy packing list and other tips to help ensure your attendance is fuss-free, and you are your stylish self at the celebrations.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I would welcome any feedback.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Jolie Moi

Shoes – Karen Millen

Handbag – Longchamp

Personalised Wallet – Aspinal of London

Mac – Marks and Spencer