Traditional Indian weddings take place in a mandap and the mandap is the focal point of all Indian weddings. Hence it is very crucial that you select your mandap design carefully. Here are some tips and points you need to keep in mind before finalizing on your wedding mandap.
Size: The size of the mandap is important since most rituals would take place in the mandap; hence it is necessary to ensure that you have enough space to carry out all rituals smoothly. While freezing on the size, consider the number of people that would be in the mandap at any given point.
Style: Get as many reference pictures as possible for ideas on the style. There is an array of options when it comes to choosing the style, right from open top to canopy style to dome shaped or even a back drop styled mandap. In case of an outdoor day wedding we would always suggest going for a closed top mandap to get protection from sunlight, especially for summer weddings.
Costing: Wedding mandaps are usually expensive and we think this is one area where you must go all out! Your wedding mandap is where all the rituals will take place and therefore it has to look very pretty. If you have a tight budget, you can always cut down or replace the expensive stuff. Floral mandaps are most expensive hence you can find a way of interspersing flowers with interesting fabrics and other props.
Position: According to Hindu scripts the ideal position of the mandap is towards the North-east of the venue. Make sure you keep this in mind while deciding on the placement and layout of your function or check with your Pandit.
Strength: This is very important as you need to keep in mind how many people you will have on the stage. Usually for the ceremony there are not too many people on the stage other than a few close relative, the parents, the couple and the priests, but during the varmala ceremony you may have lots of friend suddenly coming up to the stage and you won’t want any hazardous situation. So make sure the stage is strong enough to have at least fifty people on there.
Seating: It is very important to consider seating at weddings as you will have to sit for a long time and if the seating is not comfortable it may get difficult. The bride and groom should be seated facing east. As a ritual at Indian weddings the bride and the groom have to carry out all the rituals sitting on the floor. But this has changed over the years, now there are multiple options for low seating with chairs and sofas which are quite comfortable.
Lighting: This is another very important area. Lighting is very crucial and it can either enhance or ruin your décor. Hence choosing appropriate and proper lighting is very important. Halogens are a complete no-no! If you have a sunset wedding ensure you have incorporated lights in your décor; even if the ceremony starts around sunset, it might get dark eventually.
Ventilation: Indian weddings outfits are heavy and crafted in rich fabrics such as silk; hence it tends to get very hot during the ceremony. Thus ventilation is a must! Arrange for coolers at strategic locations around the mandap so that the place is well-ventilated during the ceremony.
View: Very often, guests are socializing among themselves at weddings as they cannot see what is happening in the mandap. The mandap should always be raised by a few feet so that guests can see what is going on inside the mandap, and are involved.
Décor: There are plenty of ways to decorate the wedding mandap. You can use flowers, rich fabric drapes or other elements such as crystal, lamps, candles etc. The décor changes from region to region. Just make sure you take the middle path, too much or too sparse is not a good idea!