wedding season is upon us, whether you like it or not. get ready for roughly 4 months of vintage chalkboard flare, mason jar cocktails, tacky "mrs" and "mr" flags hanging on the betrothed's chairs, and striped straws for people to sip their ironic cocktails from. oh and of course....bland/standard food, mediocre wedding cake (or maybe, if the couple is trendy...cupcakes!), and (hopefully, for your sake) an open bar.
the dress code for being a guest is pretty easy/boring...wear a dress, don't look better than the bride, wear a dark color so if you spill wine on yourself, no one will see it. however.... maybe the gods are with you, and you've been invited to...and ethnic wedding!
that's right. ethnic weddings, the jackpot of all wedding invites. indian wedding? expect the groom to ride in on a horse. japanese wedding? expect kimonos and the best food you've ever eaten (and endless supplies of sake). thai wedding? expect more food than you can handle and a total freestyle evening and maybe even some amazing karaoke. chinese wedding? expect probably lobster.
the best part about ethnic weddings though is that you can actually finally wear something awesome. no worries about upstaging the bride because....unless you show up in a bridal saree, you will NOT outstage an indian bride, and no kimono can top a bridal kimono.
chinese wedding look
Indian wedding saree
japanese bridal kimono
...yeah. good luck topping that. (p.s. how INSANELY GORGEOUS is our cousin Yoko in that kimono!?)
but of course, now you're looking at your invites wondering...where in the world will i get a saree for the Patel wedding? or....i don't have a kimono for the Nakamura wedding? well, never fear you guys. you thought Rent the Runway was a life change... just wait.
Borrow it Bindaas is here and ready to save the day for all your Indian wedding needs. you can actually RENT a saree for less than $100 - they send you everything you need, you put it on and wow everyone (and all your jealous ass Facebook friends) in your beautiful, glamorous saree. and bonus: you feel like a total princess in it. and the best part is....they are NOT boring! pick the most colorful one that you want...a wedding is a celebration and Indians believe in color!!! note: make sure to read the measurement guide properly, the chest measurement is NOT your bra size!
(or google "kimono rental" in your area)
the kimono rental situation is a bit more precarious...they're really hard to put on by yourself, so you'll most likely need to rent one along with a dressing service for the day of the wedding. this can run you up to $300 (around $200 for the kimono itself and all its pieces, and then about $100 for the dressing fee), but you'll be really glad you did it! wearing a kimono is one of the most elegant experiences possible, especially for a wedding! you can be as bright and colorful as you want and choose a kimono that really represents you!
our our way to our cousin's wedding in Osaka. my kimono seriously enhanced my wedding experience.
Thai weddings are pretty freestyle (i can confirm...my wedding was a thai/western fusion, it was pretty freestyle). the bride will wear anything from a traditional dress to a thai wedding dress, but it's totally appropriate for guests to wear super colorful thai dresses! ramthai.com is a great place to order traditional thai dresses for fairly cheap ($90-$200 for pretty good ones!) and the dresses are truly elegant. go for any color you want...deep navy blue, light powder, or pink. anything goes. again...Thais believe in color!
my crazy, beautiful Thai side of the family in variations of Thai dresses throughout our wedding day.
so the point is - if you're going to an ethnic wedding, you actually have the opportunity to look AWESOME. you basically cannot upstage a non-western wedding bride...the bridal looks of most non-western tradition observing ethnicities are just way too awesome... but that gives you some creative license to look great yourself! have fun with it, enjoy the crazy music, weird (probably awesome) food, and take part in all the traditions. it's not insensitive at all to join in the festivities...trust me, the happy couple will love to see their friends and guests getting in the spirit of things!
happy (ethnic) wedding season!!!!!