Indian wedding ceremony setup with a rent canopy.

Decorative Weather Coverings at Indian Wedding Venues

ProTip Tuesday: In general I recommend having some sort of shade/rain protection for guests during an outdoor ceremony, especially on a hot day and DEFINITELY on a rainy day (I went to an Indian wedding where it unexpectedly rained and the couple actually…seriously contemplated making all their guests stick it out (all 2 hours!) in the rain). The type of canopy you choose will depend on the venue’s layout and whether they have any restrictions or policies.

{Types of Coverings}

Circular canopies

You don’t see these as often, but they really bring the whole space together! I love how the canopy’s red color reflects off the white chairs too. ProTip: choose the chair cushion color wisely and test it, to ensure you get the look you want.

Indian wedding ceremony setup with a rent canopy.
Photo: Lin & Jirsa; Canopy: Bridal & Event Lounge

Rectangular canopies

These are the most common. The key here is sturdiness. These are individual pieces of cloth hung on the frame.

Real story: (not depicted in any of the weddings here). I went to a wedding on a ‘it was so hot, I almost melted day’. There was a slight breeze that was just strong enough to move the cloth pieces, leaving big gaps in-between them and the sun beaming down on us. The heat was so unbearable that most guests sought shelter under the surrounding trees on the outskirts of the ceremony site. The tough part was that it was a 15-20 minute walk from the ceremony site to the hotel as it was at a vast resort, so some guests who left to escape the heat didn’t go back.

Photo: Global Photography; Canopy: Sheer Romance; Rectangular canopies separated by the aisle most common).


They’re super cute, make for great photo props for you and your guests. And they offer the most relief from the sun.

Outdoor Indian wedding at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa in the Rose Garden. An Indian bride in a photo with her bridesmaids wearing matching saris.

How to distribute them: Pre-opened on each chair or Grab n’ Go

Obviously, open on each chair, like you see below, looks beautiful, but when you’re in a time crunch on the wedding day, or rather worried you might be, then it’s more practical to store them in a bin, like the photo, on the right, below, and guests can grab one.  Luckily most venues use those padded white, garden chairs where you can secure the parasol onto the chair.

ProTip: Keep checking the forecast for your wedding day. If it’s going to be a windy day, the last thing you want is your beautiful parasols flying around before the ceremony even starts! For windy days, I recommend a canopy but MAKE SURE it’s sturdy.

Shveta the principal planner at A Panache Affair, shared this real life story with us:

Use reputable vendors. We had a beautiful outdoor Sikh Ceremony at an inland outdoor venue in the midst of August. If you’re from Los Angeles or have been there in August, you know it can get extremely hot and this wedding was no exception. This was an outdoor Sikh ceremony where it is an absolute must to have the appropriate floor coverings and since it was SO hot, proper shading for the guests. So finding the best decorator or rental company is crucial!

After much debate and discussion with our clients they decided to go with a vendor that doesn’t have a lot of experience but had the equipment to pull it off. With such a large setup, you need at least 12 hours of setup time in order to properly setup a tent and any décor such as draping, etc. Since the vendor was inexperienced with such a large tent setup, and what’s needed to setup the tent, they waited until the day of the wedding. It seemed impossible to get the entire ceremony setup done in time, and it was! An hour before the ceremony was supposed to start they had laid the foundational structure for the canopy and as they pulled up the fabric it collapsed due to the heaviness of the fabric and weakness of the structure!

There was no way to recover at that point, and no other option but to move the ceremony indoors and push the baraat and ceremony back an hour. Luckily they were at a wonderful venue and their staff and the other vendors all pitched in to expedite the new setup.  A setup that normally takes 5 hours was completed in 1 hour. 

Keep-in-mind this mishap didn’t just throw off the ceremony timing but they’ve paid for allotted times with ALL of their vendors who graciously donated extra time and resources, understanding the situation. It required extra photography time, extra lighting, a bigger dance floor,

 It’s no secret that we all want to save money but the worst place to cut costs is on big ticket items such as comfort for yourself and your guests during any event. Trust your planner, and know they have your best interest at heart!

Guests and Parasols

Some things to think about are guests have to hold them for a pretty long time and they will definitely block some people’s view, but they provide the most shade and look great.  FYI, they cost anywhere from $3.50-$14/piece (check out Google Shopping).

Photo: Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema

Sun Umbrellas

Photo: Lin Jirsa, Venue: Marriott Newport Beach Hotel Spa

Some venues already have these and you can negotiate to have them included with your wedding package. They’re uniform and look great. The key is to make sure there’s enough of them for all of the guests.


Photo: Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema

Tenting can be $$$ and for some, defeats the purpose of being outdoors. However, sometimes it’s necessary. Like this wedding where it rained and the venue doesn’t have an indoor alternative space.

These are the most common coverings at Indian weddings. Each has its pros and cons. We hope you find this useful as you plan your wedding/event. Cheers!

{Take Aways}

These are the most common coverings at Indian weddings. Each has its pros and cons. We hope you find this useful as you plan your wedding/event. Cheers!

Did this article help you? Let me know in the comments. And follow ShaadiShop on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram so you can see our latest guides and tips.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! 🙂

Samta Varia, Founder & CEO ShaadiShop: Indian Wedding Venues

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ShaadiShop is a free service to help couples, planning an Indian or any South Asian wedding, find their wedding venue. We walk you through the whole process from discovery to booking. And, venues extend better pricing and amenities to our clients. Visit our main website or contact me to start your venue search today!



Cover image: Lin & Jirsa