At the center of every Hindu wedding is the ‘mandap’ or wedding canopy- a four pillared structure under which the bride and groom exchange their vows. It is in this sacred sanctuary that the ceremony takes place along with the auspicious wedding fire. The four pillars are said to represent the four goals of a Hindu life as well as the four parents giving their blessings to the bride and groom.
For this reason, selecting the wedding mandap is an important part of planning a South Asian Hindu wedding. Over the years, the wedding mandap has progressed from a ‘cookie cutter’ wedding decoration to one in which the couple can express their own unique ideas and truly make a statement! There are so many different styles of mandaps, from round to square, from crystal to floral, that the options can be quite overwhelming!
Here are some tips for selecting a mandap for your Hindu wedding ceremony:
1) Have an idea of what you want: Before you meet with the person who will be designing your mandap, make sure you have a clear idea of what you would like. Print out pictures from the internet if possible. They can then add to your ideas to customize it for you. Your meeting will be much more efficient and effective this way.
2) Keep some contrast: While most brides try to match the mandap colors with their wedding dress, make sure there is enough contrast in the mandap so you don’t ‘blend in’ and become part of the background! Remember, you want to stand out!
3) Do your research: A lot of companies have sample mandaps in their warehouse/showroom. Definitely make the trip to see them so you know what fabrics and materials they use. Also, ask around and research the person/company you are using for reliability. The last thing you want is an unfinished mandap as guests enter!
4) Save on flowers: Remember, mandap floral arrangements can get expensive. You want to pick flowers that can be reused in your reception centerpieces. With a change in lighting, the flowers look completely different and your wallet stays the same.
While there are so many mandap ideas on the internet, the acrylic mandap is my absolute favorite! It looks classy, elegant and trendy. Check out these absolutely gorgeous pictures below!