What Venue Managers Need to Know About Indian Wedding Ceremonies With an Open Flame

Venue Managers, if you’re unsure or thinking about opening your venue to Indian wedding ceremonies, don’t let misperceptions stop you from capitalizing on this profitable business. This article shares what venue managers need to know about Indian wedding ceremonies with an open flame.

{Why Venues Should Learn About the Ceremony Flame}

I am in frequent contact with catering executives as ShaadiShop works exclusively with venues. I get first-hand accounts of how many misperceptions there are that are stopping venues from earning lots of revenue. Indian weddings are a lot of fun and very profitable and venues that are missing out because of misperceptions…are really missing out.

Misperception: People think the open flame is a massive unruly bonfire. That couldn’t be further from the truth. And I will go into more detail below.

{Why We Created This Guide}

We want to enable more venues to host Indian weddings! Plus, this topic warranted its own article as the ceremony flame is a non-negotiable, integral part of the wedding ceremony. Therefore, venues that will not or cannot accommodate the ceremony flame are not going to host many Indian weddings.

In this article we’re going to show you how professionally and safely managed the ceremony flame is.

At ShaadiShop, my team and I continuously publish articles like this one to enable catering teams at venues. The beauty of this is you only have to learn it once and just keep re-applying the info!

{Outdoor vs. Indoor Ceremony Flames}

For outdoor venue spaces, the open ceremony flame is not usually a problem; meaning that venues are fine with it because there’s no risk of setting off the fire alarm and burning down the building.

For indoor ceremony flames what you need to know is that:

  • this is NOT a huge bonfire. The flame is small. Couples and officiants are happy to work with the venue to determine how big the flame can be.
  • major world-recognized brands: Marriott, Hilton, Westin, Wyndham are hosting Indian weddings indoors and outdoors. So…you’re in good company. The fact that they’re doing it should give you some peace-of-mind.
  • Even though Hindu and Jain wedding ceremonies are anywhere from 1-1.5 hours, the fire portion is only about 10 minutes.
  • The officiant immediately extinguishes the flame with rice.
A mandap setup for an Indian, Hindu wedding ceremony
PC: Aaron Eye Photography

{Safety Measures Venues Can Take For Indoor Ceremonies}

Venues can take additional safety measures:

Fire Watch – in addition to the fire permit, some venues may require a fire watch at the wedding ceremony. All this means is that someone from the venue or local Fire Marshal will oversee the ceremony and have a fire extinguisher at the ready…just in case. This is a precaution – I’ve never heard of anyone ever having an issue. Since there is labor involved, venues can charge for this. Most charge between $200-$400 for this.

Temporary Bypass – with the permission of your local Fire Marshal you can have the smoke alarm put on temporary bypass.

Flame Size Restrictions – some venues impose restrictions on how big the flame can be i.e. it can’t exceed the top of the container.

Fire Permit – require couples to get a fire permit from the city where the event is being held.


  • the fire is very small
  • it’s only needed for about 10 minutes
  • the officiant immediately extinguishes the flame
Having a flame indoors is fine. PC: Randery Imagery

{Take Aways}

I hope this guide on what venue managers need to know about Indian wedding ceremonies with an open flame has helped you understand how doable the Indian wedding ceremony flame is and dispels any worries you have about how professionally and safely this is handled.  A lot of people think it’s a big bonfire and it’s not. As you can see in the photo above, the flame is small and officiants are accustomed to working with venues to ensure safety. No one wants the fire alarm to go off during a wedding.

Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and Westins all over the world host Indian weddings so that should give venues peace-of-mind knowing that these world recognized brands have found a way to make this successful.

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