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11 Wedding Mandap Decor and the Specific Rituals from Across the Nation to Inspire You Before You Get Yours Finalised

Weddings are a celebratory occasion which brings together two families. Confused whether to decorate your wedding mandap using florals or lights? We have curated a list with some awe-inspiring Wedding Mandap decor inspirations we know you’ll love.

Image courtesy: Shades Photography by Ashwin M.

A wedding mandap, the focal point of all ceremonies is also the centre of decoration and everyone’s gaze at your function. The wedding venue is decorated following the theme and colour palette was chosen by the couple and the mandap usually contrasts the decoration or enhances it all the more. Usually set up in an outdoor location with four pillars supporting the structure, the mandap holds traditional and cultural significance. Fire plays a very significant role and this is also one of the main reasons why the mandap has always been an external affair when it comes to deciding spaces for the arrangements in the selected venue.

It is typically a dome-shaped one or a 4 pillared cube in the middle of the ceremonies where you take your vows and exchange the love and gratitude for each other. It is always the walk down the aisle to the mandap that is the most important moments of your life with the groom waiting for you at the wedding mandap. The wedding mandap is an epitome of traditions and holds a special place forever. You can incorporate soft and flowy aesthetically pleasing elements that add to its charming appearance.

Here is a glance at the different wedding mandap ceremonies from the diverse cultures of our country. Read on to know more about how each one is decorated and what culture-specific significance they hold in a wedding.

1. Tamil Wedding Mandap

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The Tamil mandap is traditionally decorated with coconut leaves and accentuated with the use of colourful fabrics. Floral accents also add to this tale. The same fabrics are also used to create a carpeted aisle for the couple to walk down on. They then sit on a raised platform on the mandap where the groom ties a Mangala Naan around the bride’s neck, exchange garlands and that completes bind them as one. A lot of mandaps inspired by their botanical style can be seen across the current wedding scene.   

2. Gujarati Wedding Mandap

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The groom is accompanied by the bride’s mother to the mandap. There she washes his feet with a mix of water and milk and offers him Panchamurt, a traditional drink made with special 5 ingredients – milk, yoghurt, honey, sugar and Ghee. The bride’s maternal uncle walks her down the aisle to meet the groom at the mandap and then the priest performs the wedding rituals. The steel Ghada are kept at all sides of the mandap for decoration as well as for good luck charm. 

3. Bengali Wedding Mandap

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The mandap at a Bengali wedding is called Chhadnatolla. First, the groom is escorted to the mandap by the father of the bride where the priest does a short Puja. He is then asked to change into his Jor and is brought back to the mandap. The bride, on the other hand, arrives at the mandap seated on a wooden platform carried by 4 young male members of the family who are mostly the brothers of the bride. She has betel leaves covering her face and this is a fun filled moment where the bride and groom try to exchange the floral long chains on around them also known as the maala badal.

4. Marathi Wedding Mandap

Image courtesy: Shades Photography by Ashwin M.

First, the groom proceeds to the Marathi mandap keeping his head covered with a traditional cap. He then wears Mundavalya and waits for his bride to arrive. The maternal uncle of the bride walks her down the aisle to the mandap where is a priest is chanting sacred verses to initiate the wedding ritual.

5. Assamese Wedding Mandap

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An Assamese wedding mandap is called Morol and is traditionally decorated with mango leaves, banana leaves and flowers. The groom is escorted to the mandap by the bride’s mother and after that, the bride walks in with a male member of her family and sits in the Morol where she is greeted with gifts from the groom’s family. Bride’s mother-in-law also applies Sindoor to her Maang at this time. Such mandaps are definitely eco-friendly and can be a charming way to impress your guests at an intimate destination wedding.

6. Rajasthani Wedding Mandap

Image courtesy: Shades Photography by Ashwin M.

After the whimsical and playful Jaimala ceremony, the bride and groom are lead to the mandap. A cloth around the groom’s waist is tied to one end of the bride’s saree. That is followed by Kanyadaan and Pheras. While these ceremonies are performed four relatives hold up swords at the four corners of the mandap. This is the beauty of a Rajasthani wedding mandap. This kind of mandap would perfectly suit a royal-themed wedding where everything is regal and has an enchanting appeal of the bygone era. 

7. Punjabi Wedding Mandap

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Traditionally the mandap is beautifully decked up by the bride’s family using red and silver elements of decoration. These colours symbolise prosperity and the four pillars of the mandap represent the bride and groom’s parents. Depicting how grateful the bride and the groom are for their constant support all through their lives. This is the beauty of the Punjabi wedding mandap

8. Telugu Wedding Mandap

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The groom first participates in a Ganesh Puja before the arrival of the bride. This is done to seek God’s blessing before a new beginning and to ward of any obstacles and evil. In some communities, the bride is carried to the mandap by her maternal uncles while she is seated in a bamboo basket. Once she arrives, the priest chants holy verses and begins the wedding rituals. Who wouldn't want an entry like this one!

9. Himachali Wedding Mandap

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Traditionally a mandap at a Himachali wedding is decorated with elements from nature like banana leaves, coconuts, Kalash full of water, garlands made from mango leaves and flowers and is supported by four pillars. The Havan Kund lays in the centre of the mandap where the sacred fire is lit when the wedding rituals commence. If you're having a vintage theme wedding or a green wedding, this should be your go-to mandap decor style.

10. Kannada Wedding Mandap

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The mandap holds a very important meaning in a Kannada wedding. Before commencing any wedding ritual, the priest performs a mandap Puja that is intended to purify the mandap and the wedding venue and ward off any evil. After the mandap Puja, the bride and the groom are called to the mandap to proceed with the wedding rituals. An open mandap such as this is ideal for covered but not closed venues. 

11. Nair Wedding Mandap

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The mandap at a Nair wedding holds special importance and comes with a set of rules to maintain its authenticity and significance. The bride and the groom have their unique ways of walking down the aisle towards the mandap. The bride’s mother washes the groom’s feet and then escorts him to the mandap with a group of girls following them holding lit Diyas in their hand. The bride is then accompanied by her aunt whilst a traditional song (Nadaswaram) is played in the background. The priest then sits down to commence the wedding rituals.

Bonus Tips:

  1. While selecting your mandap decor, do keep the weather of your wedding destination in mind. You will need to rain-proof your decor if there are predictions of a shower.
  2. Remember to keep open ventilation source in your mandap decor. The Havan Kund will release a lot of heat and fumes, and you don't want to trap that inside your mandap.
  3. Seating around the mandap should be able to accommodate all the family members. Ensure that it is comfortable enough for all elderly people.
  4. The mandap is the centre of all the actions around because this is where you take vows, so placing it in a space that is comfortable for mass accommodation is very important.
  5. In case of a winter wedding, make sure to cover the open spaces well so that the chill doesn't interfere with your ceremonies.

It is quite interesting to see how different communities and cultures have different significance and ceremonies for a wedding mandap. What is common in all these is the rich aesthetic beauty that each mandap holds. The decorations are awe-inspiring and a treat to the eye making the mandap the centre of attraction at any wedding venue.

Which ceremonies are performed at the wedding mandap of your culture? Let us know in the comments below!