The South Indian mandap is a common decoration in weddings. The mandap is a four-pole or column canopy erected for the bridal party. It is under this colorful decoration that the bride and groom exchange their vows. The mandap is typically a combination of red and silver, and may be adorned with flowers, jewels and light fixtures.
A South Indian wedding should embrace a variety of vibrant colors, designs and decorations. The wedding mandap, which hangs over the couple as they say their vows, the jewelry for the bride's headpiece, the traditional decorative pottery and the floral arrangements should all reflect South Indian traditions and sensibilities.
Flowers are a staple in South Indian weddings, and are present not only for their beauty and fragrance, but also to symbolize health and prosperity for the bride and groom. Plantain trees, often placed at the gates to the wedding hall, portend prosperity for generations to come. Mango leaves, which may adorn overhead rafters or doorways, symbolize a strong unfading marriage.
Similar to many American weddings, flower petals are thrown across the bride and groom following their wedding vows. Flower petals are also commonly scattered across tables before meals.
Pallikais are decorative pots made of earthen clay that adorn the wedding hall. The pots are made before the wedding, and the base of each pot contains hariali grass, Bael leaves and grains. Following the wedding, the pots are placed in a pool or river to symbolize a healthy life for the married couple and their children.
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