Mandap Style Guide

Magnificent Mandaps 

The mandap is integral to any Hindu/Jain wedding ceremony. It’s sacred and a symbol of love. No wonder so much time is spent designing them. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help narrow down your choices.  

1. Indoor vs. Outdoor

indoor-mandap-JWMarriott-pink-lighting-Indian-wedding-Lin-Jirsa
Photo: Lin and Jirsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indoor Considerations:  

  1.  no weather worries privacy – no onlookers throughout the ceremony
  2. Not all venues allow a flame indoors (find out which ones do on ShaadiShop)
  3. Since South Asian weddings tend to be large, many venues only have 1 ballroom that’s large enough, which means that ballroom will be used for the wedding and reception. There’s nothing wrong with that, some people don’t like it as they want different looks for each event. Also, it requires more careful scheduling to ‘flip’ the room’

Outdoor Considerations:

  1. They’re gorgeous!
  2. It’s kinda nice to be outdoors, esp. since other events are going to be indoors.
  3. There’s always a risk with weather. In summer 2015, there was a fluke day of rain in Southern California…in mid-July. We know of at least two weddings where the mandap had to be remade indoors, last minute, causing 2-3 hour delays.
  4. Also weather related is wind – mandaps can down before/during the ceremony.
  5. Outdoor mandaps seamlessly flow from the baraat
  6. It may be too hot/cold for guests and since most South Asian ceremonies are long, consider bringing in heat lamps, umbrellas etc. In summer 2015 I attended an outdoor wedding in late July. It was so hot that even the couple’s family members left the ceremony to seek relief inside the resort.
Indian-wedding-destination-Maui-Wailea-outdoor-ceremony-mandap-Hindu-wedding-lehenga-dulhan
Gorgeous beachfront Indian wedding ceremony at the Wailea Grand Resort on Maui. Note resort guests watching from above. Photo: Image IQ

2. Structure
Custom stage vs. Gazebo vs. Structure-less
You’ll find this info in the ShaadiShop venue profiles

Indian-wedding-mandap-outdoors-build-assemble-onsite-Hindu-ceremony
At venues that don’t have a gazebo or structure, decorators bring the parts and assemble the mandap on-site. The venue will usually setup the elevated stage. Considerations: 1. very customizable 2. takes more time to setup 3. be more careful in selecting structure material – you don’t want it to fall or get blown down by wind! 4. Versatile-can stick to traditions but still get creative and modern if you want Mandap Design: Sheer Romance; Photo by: Lin and Jirsa
Indian-wedding-mandap-gazebo-Newport-Beach-Marriott-Hindu-ceremony-Lin-Jirsa
Gazebos at the venue reduce the design work and sturdy. Mandap Design: Bridal and Event Lounge; Photo by: Lin and Jirsa
Mandap-Indian-wedding-Hindu-ceremony-Sri-Lankan
A structure-less ceremony doesn’t have a mandap but has all the furniture etc. This is an ultra-modern style. Some might like that it provides unobstructed views for guests. Furniture: Us To U Rentals

3. Shapes: circular vs. square vs. unique
Tops: dome vs. flat

Indian-wedding-mandap-indoors-circular-fire-Hindu-ceremony-Greycard-Photography
The circular main section looks grand. Notice this mandap is flat at the top. Mandap Design: Deepti’s Floral; Photo by: GreyCard Photography
Randery-Imagery-Indian-wedding-Hindu-Patel-indoor-ceremony-mandap-fire
This transparent ‘ghost’ look is very modern and elegant. It goes well with any type of decor. Photo by: Randery Imagery
Indian-wedding-mandap-Hindu-ceremony-Marina-del-Rey-Marriott-fire-Braja-Mandala-Photography-Shawna-Yamamoto-Design
Very unique customized, die-cut, white, hexagonal mandap Mandap Design: Shawna Yamamoto Design; Photo by: Braja Mandala
Indian-wedding-manadp-Hindu-ceremony-Jain-Long-Beach-Hyatt
The dome-top mandap is another style.
Indian-wedding-Jain-ceremony-mandap-multicultural-fire-San-Mateo Marriott
Pre-built gazebo with dome top that’s covered in draping.

4. The Look
canopy, transparent, metalic

Indian-wedding-mandap-Hindu-ceremony-Ethnic-Essence-Smita-Mohindra-fire-Long-Beach-Hilton
The canopy style mandap is light, airy and offers unobstructed views as it can be made very wide. Mandap Design by: Ethnic Essence; Photo by: Payal Photo & Video
Indian-wedding-Hindu-ceremony-fire-Ritz-Carlton-Dana-point-Lin-Jirsa-mandap
The transparent mandap design is ultra-modern and elegant. It’s often combined with the ghost chairs as well. Photo by: Lin and Jirsa
Indian-wedding-mandap-Hindu-ceremony-fire-Arizona-Phoenix-Chateau-Luxe
The metallic look is very regal and pairs well bold colors and especially indoors. Mandap Design: Jessica Barry; Photo by: Ushna Khan Photography

5. Dressings
drapes, flowers, none

Indian-wedding-mandap-Hindu-outdoor-ceremony-Punjabi-Lin-Jirsa-2-Create-Designs
One decision you’ll make is the ratio of flowers and drapings or elect to have none of the above. Mandap Design by: 2 Create Designs, Photo by: Lin and Jirsa

Indian-wedding-mandap-indoor-Hindu-ceremony-fire-Greycard-photography-Deeptis-florals
Flowers dress up the metallic mandap too. Mandap Design: Deepti’s Florals; Poto by: Greycard Photography
Indian-wedding-mandap-Hindu-indoor-Ushna-Khan-Photography
without flowers or drapes the mandap looks beautiful – esp. mixed with with red and the matching gold chairs. Design: Jessica Barry; Photo by: Ushna Khan Photography

6. Dressings Coverage
whole or some

Newport-Beach-Marriott-Indian-wedding-Jain-Patel-Hindu-Gujarati-fire-Samson-Productions
The whole gazebo is covered. Photo by: Samson Productions

Indian-wedding-Hindu-ceremony-fire-phere-mandap-indoor-Casa-Real-Pleasanton
Instead of full coverage this mandap is partially adorned with green draping. Design by: Fantasy Sound & Events; Photo by: Charleton Churchill.

7. Aisle-way
ground/floor vs.  elevated runway

Indian-wedding-ceremony-palki-walk-down-the-aisle-Hindu-Jain-phere-mandap
A newer trend is to create an elevated runway for the aisle (see photo below). for brides coming in on a palki, the ground/floor is more stable.
Indian-wedding-Marina-del-Rey-Marriott-phere-mandap-outdoor-ceremony-Hindu-fire
The elevated aisle-way is a new trend. Design: Shawna Yamamoto Design; Photo by: Braja Mandala

8. Backdrop Decor

Indian-wedding-Hindu-ceremony-phere-mandap-outdoor-fire-Randery-Imagery
You can also dress up the mandap with backdrop decor. Images of Lord Ganesh are very common. Mandap Design: Deepti’s Florals; Photo by: Randery Imagery

Beautiful frame around Ganeshji - love his decor idea!

For more guides visit our Pinterest board.
Find South Asian-friendly venues. See which venues have a gazebo and which don’t on ShaadiShop.
Follow ShaadiShop on Facebook for the latest wedding stories, advice, and tips.

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