I’m A Guest At A Sikh Wedding. What Should I Wear?

Please help asap!

I am attending a Sikh wedding tomorrow – I have been looking forward to it for months, got a new outfit, shoes, the works.

The invitation included a detailed description of the customs and the ceremony and that we would be expected to wear a scarf or suitable head covering, remove our shoes – no problem.

However, 2 friends told me today that they were going to be wearing pants and long sleeves, as women are not supposed to let any skin show, at least not in the Gurdwara. This was not mentioned at all in the invitation and I have not been able to locate any information regarding this online.

Can anybody help me? My outfit consisted of a knee length skirt and a sleeveless dressy top – do I need to get a new outfit or will this one be okay?

Thanks in advance.

Nancy Tucker

I have checked the information I have and only see the reference to removing the shoes and covering the head. If there were dress restrictions expected of guests, it would have been on the material you received with the invitation. Relax, go in your outfit and enjoy.

Reader Response

Thank you so much for your speedy reply!

I am still so worried about this – I would hate to offend anyone, especialy in their place of worship. It wouldn’t be so much of an issue if the wedding was in my hometown and had my closet at my fingertips, but it is 250 miles away.

I think I will go out and buy a shawl that I can throw over my shoulders, and wear pants to the Gurdwara and wear my skirt to the reception. At least this way I have all the bases covered!

Thanks again!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I agree that my information doesn’t mention that women cannot allow any skin to show. Your friends may have gotten this confused with another religion. Conservative modest dress is key.

But, since you will be sitting on the floor, it may be best to wear slacks.

Reader Response

Thanks, Rebecca!

I really appreciate the help and guidance that you and Nanacy have given me.

Reverend Susanna Stefanachi Macomb
Author of Wedding Celebrations, A Practical Guide for Couples

Actually, if they are conservative Sikhs, the women will be dressed modestly for the ceremony. Simply bring a loose jacket and a large shawl along with your head scarf. The loose jacket will cover your upper body for the ceremony. If you are expected to sit on the floor, you can simply drap the shawl over your legs. You can then remove the jacket and shawl for the reception.

Rev. Susanna