Top South Asian Wedding Essentials Vendors in Texas: Desi Wedding Favors, Personalized Masks, Pooja Samagri, Indian Floral Garlands, Live Painters
After you’ve squared away your venue, décor, photographer, and other key vendors, there are also other wedding essentials that are important not to save for the last minute! We’ve overviewed key essentials, including wedding favors, floral garlands & bouquets, pooja samagri, and live painters in the FAQ at the bottom of the page to help you make sure you have the details covered.
Wedding gifts for guests are a symbolic gesture and can be a memorable keepsake. Here is a compilation of Q&A to help you choose the best wedding favors that suit your budget and also save time. Note that you'll find top wedding favors in Dallas, top wedding favors in Houston, and top wedding favors in Austin featured above.
I am having an Indian wedding. Do I still need to give wedding favors?
While you don’t need to give wedding favors, they are often given at weddings. Traditionally, families give the guests a box of sweets or mithai after the bidaai. You can opt to give mithai or other favors according to your budget and preferences. We’ve included ideas below.
Are wedding favors given only on the wedding day?
No. You can give wedding favors as a token of appreciation to the guests for other ceremonies as well such as the pithi, mehendi, and sangeet.
What are the best gifts or favor options for the haldi, mehendi, and sangeet?
In addition to the favors mentioned in our recent blog post about top mehndi favors, other options to inspire you are included below. We recommend staying away from trinkets that may end up in the donation pile and looking for favors that your guests can either consume or use in their lives. The nice part about wedding favors is that even if you live in Texas, you can work with wedding favor vendors across the U.S. and abroad.
Customized gift boxes: Customized jewelry boxes or dry fruit boxes
Personalized items: Wine glasses, coasters, or photo frames with the couple’s signature or the guest’s name engraved
Theme-based dessert: Mehendi-themed assorted cookies, cupcakes or cake pops with henna designs or paisleys
Traditional accessories: Chanderi wrist bands, glass bangles, leheriya potlis, or gota / bandhej dupattas
Brocade accessories: Brocade includes raised metallic threadwork on jewel-themed fabric. Clutches, scarves, and stoles made of brocade can be a thoughtful touch.
Take home beverages and foods: Green tea and rose tea vials, hot chocolate kits, and chocolate truffles
For the Indian engagement, aka Misri (when the bride and groom exchange rings) or the first wedding event, you can hand out favors such as fruit baskets or personalized welcome bags with items like sunglasses, late-night snacks, a Hangover kit, and a weekend itinerary.
I want to give traditional wedding favors. What can I give my guests?
Silver or gold coins with Lakshmi-Ganesha engraved on them
Silver puja thali
Set of earthen lamps and diyas
Assorted namkeen (salty snacks) such as namak paara, flavored mathri, and achaar. You can always do a DIY Ziploc bag or purchase these from a restaurant or caterer.
I want to gift my guests zero-waste favors or something eco-friendly. What are my options?
Given how lavish Desi weddings can get, it’s nice to gift something that leaves less of a footprint. We recommend avoiding glitter and micro-plastics. Some sustainable favor ideas include:
Succulents symbolizing the growth of love
Donations to non-profit organizations you care about in lieu of gifts or cash. See our recent blog post for ideas.
Homemade food such as honey, jams, or cake pops
Essential oil or aromatic candles or diyas
Plant-based food or mithai
Custom monogrammed glass water bottles (especially great for a destination wedding weekend)
What types of wedding favors can we give children?
Coloring books (perfect to keep them quiet and entertained)
Personalized M&Ms or a bag of candy
What is the best way to present the wedding favors and welcome bags?
There are many ways to present and distribute wedding favors and welcome bags, including:
Include the favors on a table with name tags
Have your wedding planner team hand out welcome bags as guests enter the first main event
Leave the favors at each assigned seat at the wedding reception
Have designated areas with labels to separate favors for kids, bride’s side vs groom’s side, or him and her
For a destination wedding, someone can handout welcome bags to the guests upon arrival at check-in
How much should I spend on wedding favors for a Desi wedding?
While the average cost of wedding favors is $5-$10 per person, you may end up spending less if you DIY or more if you have multiple favors across events or more lavish favors. A box of sweets can easily be $10+ per family, and a traditional silver coin can be $15+.
Floral Garlands and Bouquets
Traditional flower garlands are an integral part of desi weddings. Garlands are exchanged during pre-wedding Hindu ceremonies at the Misri and Milni, and at the wedding (Jaimala or Varmala).
What are tips on selecting and using floral garlands?
Match your outfits: Arrange for a jaimala looks color-coordinated with the lehenga, saree, or sherwani of the bride and groom. Opt for a contrasting color to make sure the varmala stands out. A traditional favorite has been shades of red and orange but contemporary weddings indulge in any color of choice.
Seasonal or exotic flowers? There are no hard and fast rules for which flowers you pick. You can choose from seasonal flowers that are less expensive and easier to maintain or exotic flowers, which might give you more color options to pick from. Make sure to convey your vision to the florist.
Mix and match flowers: Instead of going in for a uni-flower garland, mix in flowers like roses, tulips, and jasmine to add depth to the garlands.
Garlands as decor: Floral garlands can be used to decorate the wedding mandap, create a haldi backdrop, or decorate the jhoola (swing) used for the sangeet or mehndi. For intimate weddings, garlands can also be used to decorate homes on pillars, staircases or doors.
Bride’s entrance: From the bride’s dholi or palanquin to the phoolon ki chadar (floral blanket), flower garlands can transform the ambience.
Other uses of garlands: The versatility of floral garlands is such that they may be used throughout the wedding weekend. Here are some ideas:
kalash for puja
photo booth décor
bajot (traditional chowki)
shrifal thaal (thaali or plate for placing coconut)
Which flowers should I select for my jaimala?
While roses, marigolds, and jasmine as traditional favorites, you can opt for so many other flowers as well like lotus, tulips, and orchids.
Can I go for an artificial jaimala?
Yes. Contemporary weddings are popularizing the use of artificial jaimalas instead of the traditional floral garlands. These artificial jaimalas are made of cloth, pearl strings, and fake flowers in silk or velvet. These garlands allow for greater color & design variety, are easier to handle, more likely to stay intact, and sustainable if you choose to pass them on.
Which flowers are best for bridal or bridesmaids’ bouquets?
With budget in mind, it’s helpful to pick flowers in season to avoid flying the flowers in. Secondly, for the bridesmaids’ bouquets, pick a color that complements their lehengas or sarees. For the flower girls, a small bouquet of pastels or bright colors always looks nice.
What factors should I keep in mind before finalizing garlands and the vendor you work with?
The following checklist will help you finalize the best garlands, be they for décor, puja or as jaimalas:
Check the experience of the flower vendor working with South Asian weddings
Ask for the availability of flowers during your wedding (including what will be in season)
Enquire about the cancellation/refund policy
Ask for details on price, theme, and maintenance required of flowers for both décor and mandap
Make sure you insist on only fresh flowers. Ask for the delivery and timings of the delivery to avoid last-minute hassles.
Pooja Saamagri or Saaman
Traditionally, all Hindu weddings start with Ganesh pujan or sundar kaand (from Ramayana). Lord Ganesh is also known as vighnaharta or remover of obstacles. For this reason, even on wedding cards Hindus sometimes include the shloka or verse – vakratunda mahakaya suryakoti samaprabha – an ode to Lord Ganesha. The puja is performed by the priest or panditji for an auspicious start to the wedding and to seek divine blessings. For this auspicious puja to the needs of a Hindu wedding ceremony to the chooda ceremony, we’ve included some tips and checklists on what pooja items you may want to purchase ahead of the wedding. We recommend talking to your priest to ensure your list is accurate and comprehensive.
Before we address some common questions, let’s look at a few helpful pointers:
For the pooja(s) make sure to talk to your priest about all of your requirements, from the chooda and kaleerey ceremony to wedding rites / vivaah sanskaar or the kalyanam. Different cultures and families have different traditions, so it’s important to work with your pandit and agree on the rituals.
If you’d like to modify any of the ceremonies, like the wordings of the pheras, discuss your options with the pandit well in advance
Ask your panditji for a written list of all items required
List of pooja items
Here is a quick, go-to list of items you need for pooja or pooja saamagri/saaman for a traditional Hindu wedding and havan, including pheras. However, please consult your priest for a list of pooja items for a proper havan:
For a Gujrati or Rajasthani wedding:
Kumkum or sindhoor
Sandal Wood (Chandan) powder
Agar Batti (Incense Sticks)
Betel Leaves (Paan ke pattey and supari)
Garlands or Jaimala
Flowers (roses or marigold)
Fruits, including bananas and others
Sugar Candy (Misri/Kalakanda)
Deepam (Lamp), oil, lighter or matchbox, and cotton wicks
Kalasam or kalasha (small brass pot)
Mauli or kalawa (red thread)
Panchaamrit (made of five items such as milk, ghee, yogurt, sugar, and honey)
A small idol or picture of God for the puja
Puffed rice or kheer
Sweets or mithai for prasad
Laung, elaichi (cloves and green cardamom)
Aam ki lakdi or wood from mango tree for the havan
Dupatta or stole
For a Telugu marriage:
Thalambralu/Biyyam (Washed and Dried Rice)
For Tamil style ceremony:
Kan Mai (kajal)
Who should buy the pooja saaman?
The pooja saaman may be arranged by the panditji or the temple. Alternately, the priest may ask a family member to arrange for. Make sure you ask for a list and who is responsible just as you discuss the pooja day and timings. Here, it is important to note that the priest may select a timing that is auspicious according to nakshatras or how the stars are aligned. In order to make sure you’re not running late for the ceremony, it’s important to have all of the saamagri accordingly.
Masks and PPE for your safe Desi wedding
To stay safe and keep your guests safe with the pandemic, wearing masks is encouraged. For weddings, you can order special masks to match your lehenga, sherwani, or décor.
There are plenty of masks to pick from:
Hand-embroidered masks with thread-work
Embellished masks with pearls, sequins, gota, lace, mirror-work etc
Masks in matching shades with your attire in silk or satin
Chanderi , brocade and mulmul masks
Masks with quirky or digital prints in cotton or any breathable fabric
Important tips to remember:
Whether you are a guest or a host of an intimate wedding event or larger reception, remember to respect the safety of yourself and others.
Comply with CDC guidelines
Maintain proper distance
Wash your hands often
Use hand sanitizer
Check for symptoms, including a temperature check-in at the entrance
Keep disposable masks handy even if the guests bring their own masks