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
no weather worries privacy – no onlookers throughout the ceremony
Not all venues allow a flame indoors (find out which ones do on ShaadiShop)
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’
It’s kinda nice to be outdoors, esp. since other events are going to be indoors.
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.
Also weather related is wind – mandaps can down before/during the ceremony.
Outdoor mandaps seamlessly flow from the baraat
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.