What are mandaps or chuppahs?

For Indian Weddings & Jewish Weddings there are gazebo-like structures called mandaps or chuppahs utilized for the ceremonial proceedings.  If we juxtapose Christian or Catholic Weddings, we will find they use a 2 pillar or post setup commonly referred as an altar.  Mandaps and Chuppahs commonly consist of 4 pillars or posts made up of anything that can stand up straight or balance.   Let's say tradition has evolved, so we'll find 6 pillar, 8 pillar, 10 pillar and more variants.  What does this equate to?  The larger your setup, the more you will pay.   These structures are mere formality, and shouldn't be correlated to efficacy of marriage.  You may be thinking, why do I need a mandap? The pillars are suppose to represent the four stages of life, or possibly four directions(N,S,E,W).   The candid answer is to appease or acquiesce with your parent's notion of requirement over reason.  It's tradition so will it really hurt you? The answer is emphatically NO!

1 - white mandap example 1 (1)

What do mandaps cost to rent?

What do structures commonly cost a bride, generally, brides should budget $1500-$8000 which can include fresh flower arrangements which can be reused at the reception.  Some smaller companies may offer coupons or deals, you may have to ask about specials for off season or Sunday weddings.  The larger your setup, the more you will pay. Moreover, it's really important that a bride have reasonable budgets when opting to do traditional weddings.   We see brides who ingenuously draft erroneous budgets for their weddings, although it may be specious but not pragmatic in many cases.  We'll save inflation topic for a different article.   Also, brides need to be aware of fly-by-night decorators that don't have the furniture set, statues or the correct fabric material to do a stunning job. The last thing you want is wrinkles and hard folds in the fabric hanging from the mandap in your closeup photography shoots. Great decor will help substantiate you paying for a decent photography budget. Most brides often choose to DIY and the planner is impetuously eliminated from the equation, however, weddings should be considered investment. You don't get married while having doubts or reservations about the success or outcome, otherwise you may want to stay single. All of these nuances can become a bit more lucid with an experienced wedding planner. Once again, avoid those who have just done less than five verifiable Indian Weddings in the different sub cultures i.e. Gujarati, Telugu, North Indian/Punjabi, Sindhi, Muslim, Pakistani, Palestinian, LGBTQ etc.... If you need Indian Wedding Planning Services in Tampa, please contact us: Email Us Today!

To clarify our position, let's give a more layman's example.  Most people have some sort of Insurance policy, i.e. auto, health, home, life, appliance, credit, mortgage, professional……Some are purchased for peace of mind, while others for policies of the demagogue, himself.  Nonetheless, in almost 99% of cases, you pay for it, and what do you get back?  Nothing unless you encounter a peril or tragedy.  The soothsayers believe it can give you peace of mind, but should you live your life as a hypchondriac or someone with General Anxiety Disorder?  Is that your main purpose in life to worry about material items? However, with wedding planning, it's not about so much to alleviate the anxieity of getting married.  It's all about the decor, DJ, food and the vast amount of resources, time and money that comes with planning a 2 - 3 day Indian Wedding, the return is ebullience, blythe, mirth, and memories. These are priceless returns on investment.

What are the colors for a mandap?

In the early 90s and 2000s the colors were generally combinations of red, burgundy, gold and white.  Today, there are a plethora of colors used by today's modern Indian bride.  Outdoor mandaps as well as indoor mandaps are quite colorful with vibrant hues of purples, pinks, blues, greens and oranges, while gold and whites are merely accent colors.     

Tips for choosing or renting a mandap in Tampa?

For outdoor weddings, you have the element of mother nature.  Specifically, you have shadows, rain, wind, and sunlight. Temperatures are hot from around April through October, which has a rainy season from June - September. Summertime weather is very consistent, with highs in the 90s °F, accompanied by high dewpoints and humidity and an almost daily chance of afternoon showers.   Of course we do have anomalies within our weather patterns, and just when you have predicted your weather in January to be picture perfect, there's La Nina or some other weather variance to deal with. It's best to have the wedding sometime between November through April which are the most cooperative months for outdoor weddings. 


What does all this mean for you?  

If you are having an outdoor wedding or plan on an outdoor wedding baraat with a horse and carriage or elephant this will apply to you.  For outdoor wedding mandaps, it's a requirement to have a sheer / voile roof cover to block at least 50% sunlight and UV rays, this will keep your 1-3 hour hindu ceremony modestly comfortable.  Another tip is never, order a mandap on the beach without a proper leveled platform, stage or rise.  We have heard horror stories from the grapevine about how random wind gusts have toppled down mandaps before the wedding even started.  Don't be one of those "it will be okay" brides, listen to our decorator.  If you decorator insists that it will be okay not to use a supporting platform, you will need to ask how are you going to ensure the mandap does not fall?


For Indoor weddings, it's really relative simpler.  Before selecting your venue, you want to make sure the ballroom or space doesn't have any low protruding chandeliers hanging that may obstruct the mandap.  Mandaps are usually 8ft to 12ft high. Also, another concern is does your event facility have enough staging to accommodate an indian wedding setup. Common riser or stage sizes are 12'x12', 12'x20, 12'x24, 12'x32', 16'x20', 16'x24….Additionally, lighting is important. Hotels are great with lighting, they have dimmable soft lighting, which is perfect for pictures.  Whereas, most Indian-owned halls and cultural centers have tube lighting which is not only dated, but will keep your wedding off of Pinterest.

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