A Guide to South Indian Wedding Decorations

Indian-Wedding Traditions
Source: Manhattan Bride

Weddings are special celebrations of life. They are ancient traditions, practices, and unions. Since history has been written, weddings can seal the fate of nations, unite families, and promote the promise of a happy life.

Weddings are no doubt luxurious, interesting, and filled with historical motifs and decorations. These decorations can be geometric, and beautifully crafted. They imbue a feeling of sacred geometry. Decorating for weddings is a tradition amongst most cultures.

It is ever so prevalent in South India, especially in the regions of Tamil and Kerala. South Indian wedding decorations are magnificent, and they make the wedding a display of human creativity, which is from a source divine!

Go Rustic

Source: Lin and Jirsa Photogrpahy

Don't be afraid to take a rustic route for your South Indian wedding. Try incorporating natural colors, branches, and airy organza into your mandap. South Indian weddings naturally have a rustic feel about them thanks to the hand painted pots and use of roses and marigolds. Incorporate a lot of flowers, jasmines, earthen pots, and more Indian wedding  decor.

Don't Forget The Palaquin

indian wedding palaquin
Source: Maharani Weddings

The palanquin or palki as some call it, is one of the most traditional ancient ways to enter the Mandap. It can be viewed as a platform or doli to carry the bride to the wedding ceremony. It makes for an elaborate entrance. The palanquin or palki dates way back to the epic of Ramayana.

The bride is carried in on a beautifully covered chair, on a platform or four poled apparatus. The wedding guests look forward to the entrance of the bride. By the way, the word palanquin comes from the ancient Sanskrit word for couch, which is palanka.

The palanquin is usually a jasmine decorated vehicle, and often carried by the bride's brothers. Some palanquins are so beautiful, they might be likened to a biblical structure or an ark. This is an apex or a necessary highlight for the wedding, and a continuance of the culture.

Get Flower Rangolis

Source: Beauty & Health Tips

Rangolis are a sacred and traditional art form in weddings. They add a spiritual touch to a wedding! You might not know it but rangolis are mostly made of eco-substances, but when they are made of flowers they are actually called a pookalam.

They vary from painted floors, to eco-friendly multi-media art work. They are indeed flowers and geometric shapes made with food substances and stem back to the welcoming of Hindu deities. A rangoli symbol goes way back to the story of the legendary Ramayana. It is a symbol of Sita's wedding pavilion, and is a sign of welcoming to your guests!

The colors alone are extraordinary. The art work is breathtaking! If you take a look at a natural rangoli you will see it is sometimes created from spices such as turmeric, colored sand, and dried flour. The petals are often colored in vermillion which makes them ever so vibrant!

Shower the Mandap in Flowers

Source: Indiamart

Now, every South Indian wedding includes a Mandap. It is a sacred tradition. It is the altar for the wedding. The Mandap is a wooden structure which can resemble a canopy, however; it is delightfully decorated with flowers and bells!

Moreover, Mandaps can range from 6 to 10 feet in width, to 7-8 feet high. In a sense, it is a stage for the visitors! They are carpeted and often have fancy draping. They are adorned with flowers to mark the occasion! It is in the Mandap that vows are exchanged.

Remember, flowers are a symbol of love- so adorn your Mandap! There are so many popular choices for flowers, however; marigolds, jasmine, and mums are popular additions to the garlands. Lastly, it is important to note that decorating the Mandap with roses is not only gorgeous, but luxurious.

India produces many verities of roses, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu! Roses are cultivated in many colors from red, yellow, white, and orange rose. They have cultivated roses from hybrid methods, which include grafting and budding.

Additionally, one can match the draping with the flower arrangements or garland. White and gold are popular colors for drapes, as well as combining crystals with the flowers. This creates a sparkling aura around the altar, too!

Incorporate the Golden Statue

south indian wedding decorations
Source: Inside Weddings

Many statues can be displayed at South Indian weddings. Some statues are made of marble, and others are ceramic. They are decorated pieces of art work and sculpture dedicated to deities.

If you are seeking the top of the line art work you might want to consider a gold statue of Ranganathar Vishnu at your wedding. Another truly popular gold statue is the Ganesha Elephant with four arms. The Ganesha Elephant statue is a symbol of success. It is often made of a resin and gilded.

Share an Indian Theme Favor with your Guests

indian wedding favors
Source: Wedding Favors Unlimited

Memorable moments always seem cherished when you send your guests home with a token or favor from your special day. Favors can be varied, but they are certainly delightful. Lucky Golden Trinket Boxes are a popular favor for many weddings. In fact, favors with elephants in general are a good favor.

Guests will also enjoy Henna Tea Light Holders as a memento- take home token! Some couples have distributed jeweled coasters. You might want to personalize the coasters with the name of the couples, and date of wedding. Engraving lasts forever!

Remember this, South Indian wedding decorations not only add to the beauty and aesthetic background of a wedding, but are a welcoming symbol for your guests. People will be so happy to see the cultural traditions imbued in a South Indian wedding. It is evident that weddings from Kerala or Tamil are so lovely, that movies are often made around them. Yes, they are costly, but this is an extraordinary moment in the life of a couple.

In Conclusion

Indian-Wedding Traditions
Source: Manhattan Bride

Now, take it from me. South Indian weddings are a jeweled movie! You can get ideas from several sources to enhance your ceremonial beauty. Have a look at the deco ideas mentioned on Pinterest. That website has amazing ideas whether you are having an indoor wedding, or an outdoor gala.

Let us depart wishing your wedding ceremony to be worthy of legends and epics. Remember, the quote from the famous Indian writer who was the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature. He was a playwright, essay writer, painter, and song composer:

"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation."
-Rabindranath Tagore

Perhaps, you might want to decorate your wedding invitations with a quote from this famous Indian writer? After all, there is beauty in love!

Moreover, just as a note to all visitors, and brides to be- having a traditional wedding with ancient themes can be a lot of work, but well worth it. An Indian wedding ceremony can last for three days, and your wedding date might very well be picked for you by an astrologer. However, it will be never forgotten in the memory of your heart and mind. I can affirm that!

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These are great ideas! Where do you suggest placing the two statues at the wedding venue that is outside?