I've got 99 problems, and finding wedding guest outfits on a budget is one
How to attend weddings without going broke
It’s that time of year when more wedding invites get dropped off at your doorstep than household bills. Of course, the news of Minnie aunty’s daughter marrying the love of her life puts a smile on your face. But let’s be honest with ourselves – there’s a bit of dread mingled in there. Once you’ve rotated through all your shaadi clothes – and then your mom’s shaadi clothes – the thought of attending one marriage ceremony after another and spending on countless wedding guest outfits makes your bank account quiver.
Once you cross a certain age, it seems inevitable. You’re dancing to Kala Chashma and screaming “Oh ho, ho, ho!” every time Ishq Tera Tadpave’s chorus comes along more times than you can count. When you’re living on a budget, figuring out wedding guest outfits is more stressful than sangeet rehearsals.
You already wore the green gharara to Pammi’s reception, so you can’t repeat it for Saba’s cocktail party because it’s the same friend’s circle. You curse the automatic SIPs you set up for mutual funds and insurance in the hopes of being financially responsible – that ₹20,000 could have bought you an outfit. Spending on fancy wedding guest outfits is causing hair fall already. You’re not even that close to Ameena chachi, but your mother is forcing you to attend on the family’s behalf. What about the last-minute invite to your boss’s son’s 5-day-long wedding celebration, which you couldn’t turn down out of politeness?
Leave your FDs alone. We know how expensive wedding attire can be, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on clothes to attend a wedding that’s not your own. The gods of capitalism have also blessed us with a lot of sales so that you can snag some classy outfits under ₹10,000.
Please note: The listed sale prices as accurate at the time of publishing.
Deep red velvet embroidered kurta set by Varsha (₹9,680)
Any wedding with more than three ceremonies will definitely have one royalty-inspired event.
You may have grown up hating velvet because it reminded you of the pillowcases at older relatives’ homes, where I’d have to visit and be bored to tears. That said, the embroidery on this deep maroon outfit is far from boring and apt for the regal theme. The best part is probably that it’s paired with easy pants rather than a gharara or heavy lehenga that you’d need both hands to lug around.
One of our problems with wedding clothes is that they’re the type of outfits that only come out for, well, weddings. Rarely can they be reworn for a party or fancy event sans a marriage ceremony. That’s why we love these pieces by Abhishti. It’s the closest thing you’ll find to being appropriate for a wedding party but also the rest of your life. The pieces come separately, so you can buy them to make the set or mix and match with something you already own.
Blue dupion silk jacket with jade green brocade pants by Swtantra (₹4,999)
We love a co-ord look that lets you dance all night without worry of something coming undone or ripping if you jump around too much.
The mix of bold colours, brocade, and dupion silk will definitely catch eyeballs, as well as some unsolicited questions about when you’re going to find someone and ‘settle down’ too. Run away as fast as you can in these simple pants. They have an elastic waist, so eat all the biryani your heart desires.
Molten shimmer satin sarees by Kreation by KJ (₹1,999)
Kreation by KJ has some beautiful sarees for you to choose from. Like this rose beige one that will have people singing “Badan pe sitare lapete hue” every time you walk by, and this stunning sea green velvet one too.
But it’s their shimmer satin sarees that have our hearts. The dual tones combined with the fluid material make it look like you’re covered in majestic molten metal.
Green and pink lehenga set by Lavanya (₹7,199)
If you want to keep things more traditional, then you can’t go wrong with a lehenga choli which amps up the colours. This set by Lavanya has serious Bollywood vibes.
Dial up the drama when you’re twirling around during the mandatory sangeet dance performance, and let your inner heroine free.
Sequins saree by EFW by Fathima (₹2,899)
We often blame Isha Borah for our depleting bank account, but she never fails us when we need some outfit inspiration.
Some might find the sequins overwhelming, but you could always pair the saree with a more simple blouse rather than the piece you get in this set. However, we choose to live by the words of queen Rihanna. It may not be your wedding, but you can still shine bright like a diamond.
Black georgette jumpsuit by The Loom (₹9,999)
Black, check. Jumpsuit, check. Sequins that make this an appropriate outfit for a wedding cocktail party? We’re sold. The Loom has managed to make a jumpsuit that will flatter so many body types. Flared pants, a V neckline and cinched waist with a hand-embroidered belt. The only downside, though, of any jumpsuit is awkwardly stripping down every time you need to go to the loo. We say it’s worth it.
Green chanderi organza silk saree by Roots Handloom (₹8,750)
Something about an organza silk saree makes us want to make the pallu flutter in the wind like we’re in a ’90s music video. The saree has zari bootis all over, giving it a little edge but nothing too flashy for a daytime event.
The unique colour makes it elegant without needing to shout, ‘look at me!’ from the rooftops.
Bandhani printed skit set by Truebrowns (₹8,999)
Everyone has a rebellious phase when they give their family members mild palpitations about their life choices. This deep-cut blouse might do the trick if you’re going through that phase right now.
We love the colour combination as well as the mix of bandhani styles in the skirt. If you plan to be on your feet all day, we’d recommend swapping out high heels for Gul from the Tweak X Stoffa collection (shop here). The padded footbed on the one-inch heel will ensure you won’t wake up the next day with throbbing feet.
Tangerine lehenga choli by Karagiri (₹9,918)
It may seem like a lot is going on in this outfit, but it really does come together wonderfully.
There are sequins, zari, embroidery and printed flowers. Combined, you get an elegant mix of traditional and modern aesthetics, all in a pop of tangerine orange that’ll make you stand out in baraat.
Multicolour silk lehenga choli by Panash India (₹6,926)
This Panash outfit screams main character energy. It may not be your wedding, but you will definitely catch the limelight in this stunning outfit. You’ll be warding off questions about your clothes all night.
So, if you’re an introvert who likes to be left alone, this may not be for you. Though it could serve as a great icebreaker.
Peplum sharara set by Meraki by Anchal (₹9,999)
This look hit us straight in our girly-girl feels. You may shy away from crop tops, but the peplum pullover on top of that will make you forget all about that (you can rock it either way). Why be a rose when you can blossom like the entire bouquet? It’s easy and breezy, with shorter sleeves so you won’t have to worry about messing up the mehendi being put on your hands.
Purple organza sharara set by Pomcha Jaipur (₹6,973)
Monochrome outfits are a real power move. The contrast of gota on this deep purple comes together perfectly for that ‘I didn’t even have to try too hard to look this good’ vibe.
The potli bag is unfortunately not included in their listings, but you could always reach out to them to try and make a special order.
Periwinkle embroidered lehenga set by House of Jamoti (₹9,373)
You can get the best of both worlds in this outfit by House of Jamoti. A traditional lehenga with gota work, but in a more modern periwinkle colour and a blouse design.
With your outfit doing all the talking, you can pair it with some lighter jewellery that doesn’t make your earlobes ache by the end of the night.
White georgette dhoti saree set by Monk & Mei by Sonia Anand (₹8,799)
Some of us still have PTSD from our saree pleats coming undone during our school graduation ceremony. If pallus and pleats aren’t your thing, fret not, because the wonder of the saree is that there are now endless twists on the standard.
One of our favourites is the pre-stitched dhoti saree style like this one by Monk & Mei. You won’t have to spend half an hour looking for all the bobby pins you used to keep the saree in place all night. A mix of georgette, chikankari and pearl work, this lets you wear a saree with the ease of putting on pants. Your grandmother might scoff at the idea of pre-stitched sarees, but hey, whatever makes life easier, we’re here for it.