Traditional Indian Wedding Decorations

by Denise Brandenberg

Traditional Indian weddings are typically grand affairs that last for days. The bride and groom are usually treated like royalty, and the decorations are elaborate. Many people plan wedding affairs to reflect their heritage and culture. Several specific items are required to decorate for a traditional Indian or Hindu wedding.

Significance

Traditional Indian weddings can be traced back to Vedic times, and the ceremony is based the values of happiness, harmony and growth. The ceremonies include many rituals, such as Jaimala (garland exchange), Madhupak (yogurt and honey offering), Kanyadan (giving away the bride), Havan (sacred fire lighting), Rajaham (sacred fire sacrifice), Gath Bandhan (tying the nuptial knot with scarves), Mangalphera (walk around fire), Saptapardi (seven steps), Jalastncha (couple blessing), Sindhoor (red powder), Menhdi (henna ceremony), and Mangalasutra (marriage necklace). Several decorating components are required to serve as the background for the rituals.

Mandap

The actual ceremonies at traditional Indian weddings take place in mandaps. A mandap is a four-pole canopy at the center of the wedding stage. The traditional decorations of the mandap include flowers, herbs, and red and gold colors. Many people place earthen pots (clay) and sliver plates around the mandap. The fire is lit in the center of the mandap, and the Saptapardi is done around it.

Shamiana

Shamianas are decorated tents used in wedding receptions and celebrations. They are usually made from gandhani print, ethnic mirrors and satin. They are also in mainly red and gold colors. The shamiana is decorated with flowers and often has burning incense throughout the tent. They usually have elaborate carpets or rugs, and are lighted with candles and Indian-inspired lanterns.

Flowers

Flowers have always been a part of Indian weddings, and blooms with exotic fragrances are often used. Many people decorate with yellow and orange marigolds to give a traditional ambiance to the ceremony. Some other commonly used flowers are roses, jasmine, gerbera, lilies and orchids. The mandap frame is decorated with garlands of flowers and herbs. Many brides use seasonal flowers, such as bright and earthy-colored ones in autumn and pastel shades in summer.

Bride and Groom

The bride and groom are decorated in traditional Indian wedding ceremonies as well. The bride typically wears a pink or red sari, an elaborate veil, and jewels given to her by friends and family. The groom traditionally wears a white silk suit or safa, a long flowing shirtdress and pants. Many bride and groom’s foreheads are painted in crown designs with sandalwood.

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About the Author

Denise Brandenberg has more than 15 years professional experience as a marketing copywriter, with a focus in public relations. She also worked as a recruiter for many years and is a certified resume writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.