Getting Home Decorations for Indian Weddings doesn't have to be stressful. Having a wedding at home is a terrific way to share a very personal experience in a very personal space. From Wall Decor to showing your personal style, there are plenty of ways to stick to a budget and keep your traditions alive.
However, if you live anywhere outside the Indian subcontinent, holding a traditional wedding might be met with some challenges.
This is why we have compiled a list of the best home design ideas for Indian-American brides who want to hold a traditional Indian wedding at their homes. All of these ideas are pocket-friendly, creative, and call for a communal effort from family and friends.
Let’s not begin with the wedding and instead, decide how to plan the wedding programs. A traditional Indian wedding is preceded by the following functions: engagement, tilak, mehendi, and sangeet ceremonies. You can pick one theme and plan all your ceremonies according to that.
You can go for a royal wedding theme where the bride and groom arrive in an antique car to the sounds of dhol and nagada instead of the DJ. Or you can opt for a Rajasthani wedding with proper Rajasthani folk dancing and singing during the sangeet ceremony. For something exotic, sultry, and a tad bit bohemian, you can choose a Moroccan theme and trade the chairs for mattresses and mats with pillows and cushions on the side.
More detailed ideas can be found here.
Decking out the venue
Pinterest is laden with DIY ideas for decorating your house on the big day, but we suggest a few here to make the decision-making process smoother:
Any wedding would be incomplete without flowers. However, you don’t have to go the conventional way with them. Below are just a few for how you can arrange flowers throughout your wedding venue. They’ll add beauty and also delight guests.
Create a simple backdrop
Lael and Vikram's wedding was as simple as it was elegant.
You can create a simple backdrop akin to the one shown above using a simple wooden beam. For hangings, you can actually clip photos of the bride, groom, and their families using threads.
Using marigolds is also a good idea since the flower is used in a lot of auspicious ceremonies in India.
The color and tones of your drapery set the entire atmosphere for your wedding. Depending on the feel you want to create, and the architecture of your house and backyard, you can choose the kind of drapery you want to use, and coordinate it with the color code of the wedding dresses.
In San Jose, California, here is a glimpse of how Shalani and Dineth used minimal but beautiful drapery to create a soft feel for the entire wedding:
You do not need to spend a fortune on pitching massive tents. Smaller ones, scattered throughout the property, or just one tent erected at the edge of the lawn, close to the woods, will serve as the perfect place for an intimate gathering or photo shoots.
Here are a few (28 to be exact) tent decoration ideas. No. 1 advice tidbit? Keep it small, but deck it out beautifully. The resulting ambiance will charm people to no end.
Lightning around trees
This is an especially good idea if you are having an outdoor wedding on a summer evening. Mingled with the soft twilight light, the glow cast by these fairy lights will create an overall enchanting atmosphere.
If you do not want to get too tangled up in the branches, you can also wrap the lights like this:
Get a Sitar Player
The sitar is an Indian classical music instrument. In Indian mythology, it is held and played by Goddess Saraswati, the bearer of knowledge. It has a rich and poignant sound and will add another dimension to the music lineup. Not to mention, it’ll look great as a decor piece when resting on a mattress outside in your backyard while the sitar player goes for a drink.
Floating candles with flowers
Thought I'd recommend a big water-filled container sprinkled with flowers and holding floating candles? That’s passe.
These floating candles with flowers are not only space-efficient but are entirely DIY! Get a set of mugs/ glasses, fill them with water, and stuff them with your favorite flowers. At the top, you can immerse a candle of the same circumference as the mug/ glass, or it can be smaller. Totally up to you.
Indian-Themed Photo Booth
Photo booths are all the rage right now. You can participate in the same by getting a few (or all) of the following props:
With enough planning and an afternoon with your girlfriends, you can even prepare these props at home.
Indian themed signage
Another fun element to add to your wedding that you can create alongside the above props.
Once you finalize a Rangoli design, you can use dried flowers, rice, or sand to make one for your wedding. Place diyas throughout the design for an even more beautiful effect.
You can pull up a few design combinations from here.
Apart from these ideas, you can also use colorful pillows, beautifully embroidered and scatter them around on couches and mattresses to suit your overall theme.
Also, Indian mythology is rich with deities, rituals, and customs. One of these customs is invoking the name of Lord Ganesha before the start of any auspicious event. Hence, it would be a good idea to install a statue or murti of Lord Ganesha, especially near the mandap.
An Indian wedding is the complete blend of time honoured traditions and the latest trends. So where you, on the one hand, you have a pundit reciting ancient verses in a yellow dhoti, on the other hand, you have the dance floor decked out and young people shaking and swaying to latest Bollywood/Hollywood numbers. There’s space for all!
As indicated above, music is a big part of Indian weddings. But you don’t have to rely on a DJ to curate the perfect playlist for you. You and your family members can make a list of all your favorite tracks ever and simply hand them over to the DJ. No excuse for anyone to stay away from the dance floor.
Apart from this, if you are trying to decide on the perfect song for the bride’s entry, here are a few out-of-the-box song recommendations to get you started:
For Daddy’s Princess:
Yeh Beetiyan (Movie: Na Tum Jaano Na Hum. Play till 1:17)
Banno Rani (Movie: Earth. Play till 1:07)
Thousand Years (Singer: Christina Perri. You can play the whole song)
Looking at You (Singer: Vidya Vox. Again, play the entire song)
Din Shagna Da (Movie: Phillauri. Play it On!)
Afreen Afreen (Singer: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan, Coke Studio Pakistan. Play from 2:42-4:50)
The Dance floor
It’s time to gather all family members and friends to create a DIY dance floor! Think it’ll be a hassle? Flip your perspective and think about all the memories that will be created when everyone gets together with paints, drills, wood panels. Ken Wingard will show you how to create a dance floor like the one below:
After everything that is being done the DIY way, there is no way to let the responsibility of creating the mandap fall into someone else’s lap. It’s time to gather the troops, the tools, and create your own mandap! Sri and Steph hand out a little help from Alabama. You can also look here to create your very own simple mandap.
Another great tactic was employed by Shalini and Dineth. If you look carefully, they used the mandap space for the cake-cutting ceremony, too. Once you pitch the mandap, you can convene there later and cake the cut. Post that, you can gather for family photographs. Mixed with other different backdrops, your photo album will contain the perfect tones and colors with happy faces against them.
Food and drinks
Indian wedding bar
Drinking is a common way for people to celebrate. And when it comes to weddings, the more bottles that open, the merrier.
A small tent will work very well:
As will a caravan (gasp!):
You can even ditch the tent if you feel like it:
And if you don’t want to incur any furniture charges or space:
Creating a dosa station is incredibly simple. Again, you pick up some materials you used for creating the mandap and the backdrop and adding a table to the entire setup, create your very own dosa station!
There you have it! A guide to planning your Indian wedding on foreign soil that neither you nor your guests will forget. May your wedding day turn out to be absolutely dreamy and better than your wildest dreams.
We wish you a happy married life, filled with abundant joy, love, and laughter.
Michelle has been with Wedding Favors Unlimited for nearly 20 years. Starting out in Customer Service, she’s interacted with thousands of Brides helping them navigate every Detail imaginable around a wedding. She became a full-time writer for us because he realized he kept getting the same questions over and over and wanted to share them with everyone. Feel free to ask Michelle a question below!