Wedding Decoration

Buying Indian Garlands: Fresh vs. Artificial (San Francisco)

Buying Indian Garlands

The vibrant tapestry of India Buying Indian Garlands: Fresh vs. Artificial (San Francisco) in culture is woven with fragrant threads of tradition, and garlands (malas) play a central role in many celebrations. In San Francisco, the rich cultural heritage of the Indian community thrives, and the demand for beautiful garlands remains strong. But when planning a wedding, puja, or special event, a crucial question arises: Fresh or artificial garlands?

This guide explains the advantages and disadvantages of both options, helping you navigate the flower scene in San Francisco and choose the perfect garland for your needs.

The Allure of Fresh Garlands:

  • Intoxicating Fragrance: Fresh flowers like jasmine (mallika), rose (gulab), and marigolds (gendha) fill the air with captivating scents, adding a sensory dimension to your celebration.
  • Natural Beauty: The vibrant colours and delicate textures of fresh flowers create a stunning visual experience.
  • Symbolism: Certain fresh flowers hold specific meanings in Indian culture. For example, marigolds signify auspiciousness, while jasmine represents purity.
  • Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly: Fresh garlands decompose naturally, leaving no environmental footprint.

Finding Fresh Garlands in San Francisco:

  • Traditional Indian Grocery Stores: Stores like Patel Brothers and India Cash & Carry often offer fresh marigold garlands at competitive prices. Call beforehand to confirm availability.
  • South Asian Florists: Specialized florists like Anjula Singh Designs and Floral Creations by Sangeeta create beautiful, custom, fresh flower garlands for various occasions.

Challenges of Fresh Garlands:

  • Shorter Lifespan: Fresh garlands may only last a few hours, especially in San Francisco’s cool climate.
  • Seasonal Availability: Certain flowers might not be readily available year-round.
  • Requires Care: Fresh garlands must be appropriately stored in a relaxed, humid environment before the event.
  • Price: Custom-designed fresh garlands can be more expensive than artificial options.

The Convenience of Artificial Garlands:

  • Durability: Artificial garlands can last for years, making them a keepsake.
  • Weatherproof: Unaffected by San Francisco’s cool weather or occasional rain.
  • Wider Variety: Available in a broader range of colours, styles, and designs than fresh flowers.
  • Planning Flexibility: Artificial garlands can be purchased quickly, eliminating last-minute worries.
  • Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable than custom-designed fresh garlands.

Finding Artificial Garlands in San Francisco:

  • Indian Grocery Stores: Stores like Patel Brothers and Bombay Bazaar may carry pre-made artificial garlands.
  • Online Retailers: India Bazaar, Etsy, and Hena Lounge offer various artificial garlands at multiple prices.

Considerations for Artificial Garlands:

  • Look and Feel: While high-quality artificial garlands can look realistic, they lack fresh flowers’ natural fragrance and delicate texture.
  • Environmental Impact: Artificial garlands are not biodegradable and may contribute to plastic waste.

Making the Right Choice: A Guide for San Francisco Celebrations

Here are some factors to consider when choosing between fresh and artificial garlands for your San Francisco event:

  • Occasion: Fresh garlands might be preferred for their symbolism and fragrance at weddings or pujas. Artificial garlands offer convenience at housewarmings or more casual gatherings.
  • Budget: Fresh, custom-designed garlands can be expensive. High-quality artificial options provide a more affordable alternative if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Personal Preference: Do you value fresh flowers’ natural beauty and fragrance, or are durability and convenience a higher priority?

Finding the Perfect Balance in San Francisco:

San Francisco offers a unique advantage – potentially combining both options!

  • Fresh Accents: Consider using a miniature fresh flower garland for the puja ceremony or exchange of vows, where fragrance and symbolism are most important. Complement it with an oversized, durable artificial garland for photos or décor.
  • DIY Projects: Get creative! Purchase pre-made artificial garlands and add touches of fresh flowers or fragrant herbs like tulsi (holy basil) for a customized look and a hint of natural fragrance.

Beyond the Garlands:

When planning your San Francisco event, consider incorporating other fragrant elements:

  • Loose Flowers: Decorate the ceremony or reception area with loose flower petals or small bunches of fresh flowers.
  • Incense and Dhoop: Burning fragrant incense or dhoop can fill the air with a beautiful aroma, complementing the visual appeal of your garlands.


The choice between fresh and artificial garlands for your San Francisco celebration is personal. By understanding the

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *