are pros and Cons of Indoor vs Outdoor Ceremony?
Outdoor wedding ceremony can be very are romantic and beautiful. It is
a great success if the weather cooperates, if the venue meets all the
requirements and if there are no external distractions. The indoor ceremony
can be well planned and managed.
For Indian weddings, the audience tends to be large, the ceremony involves
many unique rituals and we use candles and small fire in the ceremony.
Major considerations must be given for the stage/ Mandap, sitting arrangements
and audio considerations. Outdoor ceremonies, if planned, should have
a good back up plan.
are the Legal Considerations?
Due to different county and state laws, I recommend that you obtain formal
marriage certificate through the county Judge or Justice of Peace or,
if there is a church wedding also, through the ordained priest. This can
be done same day, a day earlier or a day later than planned wedding day.
should be the ideal Stage or Mandap Arrangements?
folks entering the Mandap should remove shoes. It is customary for the parents
on either side to sit inside the mandap. However, in many cases, the mandap
is too small to accommodate everybody and parents may end up looking at
the ceremonies from behind! I generally recommend that they sit in the front
seats and come to the mandap as requested.
Whether indoors or outdoors, the stage or mandap size should be 4 ft high,
(2 ft minimum), and 16 ft wide (12 ft minimum) and 12 ft (10 ft minimum)
deep. Mandap should be well decorated. Preferred Guest Sitting is front,
in two sections, with a middle path for arrival/departures. Ideally, the
mandap should be facing East. However, we need to be realistic and take
into account other considerations as well.
sitting arrangements, Mandap/ stage, Mandap decorations, Microphone /speaker
set up, items required for the ceremony etc should be complete two hours
before the ceremony. I need the stage for an hour before ceremony for
are the Audio / Video / Music requirements?
Pandit should have a clip on microphone. There should be a separate standup
microphone available for any other participants or for other announcements.
The groom and the bride should choose appropriate music for following
enthusiastic Music during Groom's welcome
Music during Arrival of the bride
Congratulatory and celabratory music after formal announcement
music background music, eg Shehanai, throughout the ceremony. The volume
can be increased at appropriate times.
are ideal days/ times for the Ceremony?
USA, people prefer weddings on Saturdays. Our Indian customs insist on
good Muhurta and an auspicious day. For marriage, all days excepting New
Moon and Eclipse are considered auspicious. We need to jointly work this
out based on the wishes of both the families as well as practical considerations
such as major holidays, weather, hall availabilityetc.
have done a few weddings where the ceremony is in the morning followed
by reception in the evening. In the USA, most Hindu weddings are done
in the afternoon immediately followed by reception and dinner/dance. From
the logistics point of view, it is suggested that marriage ceremony start
no later than 4:30 PM. This gives enough time for all follow on activities.
long is the marriage ceremony?
Time for the ceremony is between 50 and 60 minutes depending upon Number
of steps in the program. This assumes that we have done a complete rehearsal
on the previous day and all logistics and everybody's roles have been
Items are needed for Pre Marriage Ceremony?
items are needed for the Wedding Ceremony?
Idol, Other specific Deities that are important to you,
- Three, low profile
wooden pedestals (chowrang) for Pooja
Flowers, Halad, Kunku, Udbatti, Niranjan, Aarti
Betel Leaves, Supaari (30), Mango leaves if available, Metal Bowls (4),
Stainless or Copper plates (4), water Kalasha, Pali (Small ladle) or
Bell, Rice (half a pound), Coconuts and other fruits, Food Offerings
( naivadhya), Prasaad, Panchamrut (mixture of Ghee, honey, sugar, yogurt,
Small Agni Kund, Liquid ghee, Fire wood (I will bring if it is not available)
on Microphone and Speakers; stage (if more than 30 people
low profile pedestals (2 ft round or 2x2-ft Square for the homa, Ganesh
prayers and Kalash)
for groom's welcome
Carpet, Table Cloth, Mandap Decorations, Chairs for the bride, groom,
parents and the two attendants
Clip on microphone for Pandit plus one extra hand held or with stand.
Towels (3-4), 4 metal bowls, 4 metal plates, 4 spoons, 4 metal glasses
2 Very Small garlands (for initial welcome) and 2 large flower garlands
(at the final acceptance), One each for bride and the groom.
Ganesh Idol, Lots of loose flowers, Rice and Akshata (rice grains with
Kunku /Halad) about one pound each , Udbatti, Coconuts(2), Halad, Kunku,
Water Kalash from previous day) , 10 good size candles ( 3-4 inches
metal collecting plate for Kannyadaan
Mangal sutra (Gold or beaded Necklace), red Cloth, Rings to be exchanged
Popped Rice about a pound , Large Tile (12 X 12 inch),
Agni Kund and Fire material (I will provide), Gas lighter, matches (Note:
I light a very small fire, no bigger than 4-5 inches in Diameter, 5-6
" with flames. Some venues may not allow fires. In that case, we
will use 4-5 candles, about an inch diameter with holders)
for the Mangal Fera. Bride and Groom should wear Shawl at the homa so
that these can be easily tied.
baskets to distribute flowers.