Custom Multicultural Mangalsutra


Today, I am going to show you how a mother went through our custom design process and got a custom mangalsutra that combined Tamil and Maharashtrian cultures. 

The mother wanted a versatile mangalsutra design that can be worn daily and not hidden behind outfits. 

The mother pins her mangalsutra inside the outfit so it doesn’t look out of place on her Western wear. She didn’t want her daughter to do that and eventually not wear the mangalsutra. 

This led her to find us on Google and contact our team to create a modern, multicultural, custom mangalsutra that her daughter would enjoy wearing after her wedding. 

Meet Hema: 

Hema lives in New Jersey and has worked at technology companies like Amazon and  Microsoft for several years. 

Like many busy professionals, Hema realized she wasn’t enjoying her mangalsutra and had to pin it to her outfit for formal events. Since her daughter was getting married, she wanted a mangalsutra that her daughter would take pride in wearing.

Since this was a multicultural wedding, Hema wanted to create a manglaustra that represented Tamil Ayer, Tamil Mudelier, and Maharashtrian cultures in one piece.

Additionally, Hema also wanted to incorporate a Laxmi gold coin and the birthstones of the bride and groom to make it extra special. 

Hema also found difficulty in wearing the heavy thali from her wedding day. She wanted a design that was sleek and custom-made for her daughter.  

To sum up, these were the exact mangalsutra requirements:

  1. Tamil iyer thali and tamil mudelier thali
  2. Maharashtrian vati 
  3. Bride and groom’s birthstone
  4. Laxmi gold coin 
  5. Solitaire diamond (nice to have)
  6. Mangalsutra black beads 
  7. Bottu beads 
  8. Versatile and sleek design


Step-by-Step Process to Hema’s Multicultural Mangalsutra 

Hema emailed us on  March 21, 2023. We scheduled an introduction call. We discussed our signature custom jewelry process which includes creating custom mangalsutras. Hema also educated me on everything she wanted in a mangalsutra for her soon-to-be-married daughter. 

Hema also shared her budget. This information was important because it helped me design the best possible mangalsutra that met her needs. Hema’s budget was $7000.

After our call, Hema sent me the photos of the thalis she wanted to incorporate in the final piece. 

Step 1: Hema commits to creating a custom mangalsutra process

We recognize that there are some unknowns when creating a custom mangalsutra. Hema had ideas of your own. We’ve designed and brought to life dozens of custom mangalsutra. 

Hema quickly recognized the value of the custom design process. She paid the nonrefundable design fee of $1000 and signed up for the service.  

The custom design fee service pays for the time it takes for me and my team to think and create multiple mangalsutra designs. To learn more about our complete custom design process, please visit this page on our website. 

The good news was that if Hema decided to move forward with us creating the final piece for her, we would apply a design fee credit of $1000 towards her final purchase. 

Once Hema paid the design fees, I got started on my drawing board to create some concept sketches.  

Step 2: Hema receives the first set of custom mangalsutra designs

Creating the first set of six custom mangalsutra design sketches took approximately two weeks. 

It was challenging to incorporate several design elements in a single mangalsutra while ensuring the design was elegant and modern. 

I came up with some options that I will share with you below. 

As a designer, I wanted to use the constraints of having so many elements as a tool (instead of a problem) to enhance and amplify the design. 

I gave Hema six of the best options. She was excited to see the designs. 

I also sent Hema a video explaining the designs so she could review her own pace and show the designs to her daughter and other family members, as needed. 

You can watch this video here.

Option #1: Off-center modern

I created an off-centered design with a lariat style. 

I added the thali and gold Laxmi coin on the side and a black bead in the middle with the vati hanging down the pendant. 

The centerpiece was made with rubies and natural diamonds. The pendant is square-shaped to give a modern touch. I also added a ruby in the middle and an amethyst representing the couple’s birthstone. 

Custom Multicultural Mangalsutra

Option #2: Symmetrical and balanced

In this option, I wanted to create a symmetrical design. 

Here we have the main thali in the middle and two Laxmi gold coins with halo settings with two white gold vatis to complete the design. 

For the mangalsutra chain, we have a solid gold link chain with black beads in a dual-tone chain. This chain helps to keep the piece more versatile and timeless.

Custom Thali mangalsutra

Option #3: Playful and unique

In this option, I wanted to create a playful design using all the different shapes of the elements and create a more organic design. 

Here I added round and baguette-shaped gemstones to accentuate the free form. It feels like a more fun and casual design for daily wear. 

I was committed to giving Hema more than what she expected. I wanted to delight her with unique designs and inspire her to think out of the box. 

Most importantly, I want to show the possibilities of what Hema and her daughter can get. 

Custom Designer Mangalsutra

Option #4: Timeless and regal

For this option, I added the solitaire on the side of the chain as it looked great near a collarbone. 

The pendant had vati in the middle and two embossed Laxmi gold coins with other thalis. This gave the design a symmetrical and finished look. 

I then added a bezel cable design around the symbolic elements including the solitaire diamond and two black beads on each side. I love how simple and personalized this option was.

Timeless and Regal mangalsutra

Option #5:  Graceful

The off-center design for this custom mangalsutra not only made it look lighter but also made it look more contemporary and unique.  

Here you’ll see a layered chain look with all the symbols on one side and a graceful double chain with diamonds and black beads. 

It is an elegant, modern, and stylish mangalsutra design. 

This design can be beautifully worn with a saree without other jewelry. This would be the statement piece. 

Layered mangalsutra

Option #6: Layered and practical

Since we had many symbols and gemstones, the opportunity was to put them together in an elegant and fun manner. 

Here we have two mangalsutra chains for versatility. 

I thought it might be useful for the bride to have two mangalsutra chains — one with gemstones and the other chain with cultural symbols. The bride can layer the chains and style depending on her outfit. 

The first chain has ruby, diamonds, and amethyst in a white gold mangalsutra chain with gold balls. This chain would look great even if she chooses to wear it by itself. 

The second chain has the Laxmi gold coin with a halo diamond. On the side, there is the gold thali and vati. I found this to be an appealing option for today’s bride who prefers to mix and match different jewelry pieces depending on her outfit. 

I love the look and practicality of this design.  

Layered Mangalsutra

This first set of 6 designs introduced Hema to the possibilities. The next step was for Hema to review the options and get back to me with her feedback.  

Step 3: Hema shares her favorite mangalsutra design(s)

I emailed the designs to help along with a personalized video explaining the different design options. 

Hema liked certain elements from design option #1 (off-center modern), design option #5 (Graceful), and design option #6 (layered and practical). She loved the concept of asymmetrical design. She also reviewed the designs with her daughter to understand what she liked. 

Below are the exact elements she liked from each of the three design options. 

Custom Multicutural Mangalsutra designs

Hema wanted a: 

  1. Asymmetrical design
  2. Dual-tone gold chain
  3. Halo diamonds for the Laxmi gold coin
  4. Spaced-out black beads 

She also wanted me to include one additional thali in the mangalsutra design. 

After my conversation with Hema, I went back to the drawing board for the next and final round of design iteration.

Creating the final designs was a fun part of the custom design process because I knew I was getting closer to Hema’s dream design. 

Step 4: Hema places the order for her custom multicultural mangalsutra design

It is during the final phase of the design process that the best ideas come together leading to a beautiful art form. 

I created 3 additional mangalsutra design options for Hema to pick from. Hema picked option #7 (see below). I thought it was a beautiful choice for what she was looking for. 

Custom Mangalsutra designs

The final design includes two thalis, a vati, the couple’s birthstone, a diamond solitaire, black beads, bottu gold beads in a dual mangalsutra chain. 

Hema had minor changes like adding the bottu gold beads in place of black beads. This gave a cultural detail to this chain design. 

Once we had the design set, I worked on identifying the right chain length. 

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get the right chain length because everyone has a different torso. You can check out this video to learn how to select the perfect mangalsutra chain length. 

Hema had a good budget of about $7000 so we decided to add a GIA-certified solitaire diamond of 0.45 carat weight. This was not only the perfect size for this mangalsutra design but also fit well within her budget. 

At this stage, we were all set and ready to create this masterpiece – a one-of-a-kind, custom mangalsutra for a multicultural wedding. 

Hema was happy with the final design. 

Step 4: Getting her mangalsutra to her doorstep

Hema finalized the final proof of the mangalsutra design and made the payment so that we could proceed to bring this beautiful piece to life. We were delighted to apply the $1000 design fee as a credit towards her final purchase.

Our team got together and started working on each element of the design because the thalis were not a standard size. They were smaller and more lightweight than traditional thali. We had to custom-make each element to fit perfectly. 

This was not a cookie-cutter thali that is generally available at jewelry stores. It was unique and tailor-made to fit this design. 

Since this was a complex design, the piece had to be meticulously handcrafted by four artisans, each playing a different role in the jewelry-making process.

We started making the thalis first, then sourcing the birthstones, and GIA-certified diamond solitaire. The mangalsutra chain was customized with diamonds, bottu gold beads, and black beads. It is a tedious process to make such a chain. 

Hema was even lucky to see some behind-the-scenes photos of the thali while it was in the making. She loved it and was looking forward to seeing the final piece. 

Custom Thali Proces Shot

It took approximately 4 weeks from design finalization to the creation of this custom mangalsutra. The final piece turned out to be spectacular and had everything Hema was looking for when we had our initial call.

Modern Mangalsutra Thali Design

We mailed the custom mangalsutra piece to Hema to her doorstep. Shipping was complimentary and the package was insured. Hema received tracking updates as the package made its way to her. This way Hema didn’t have to worry about the package getting to her safely.

Once Hema received the piece she emailed us saying how happy she was to see it.

Sampati review


This was a great story where a mother pushed the boundaries of what a mangalsutra could be for two families from two different cultures. 

Marriage is the beginning of a new relationship and mangalsutra is a piece that signifies this new beginning. 

I love the importance Hema gave to the mangalsuta and it was not an afterthought for her. I commend Hema for taking action and giving her daughter the most beautiful gift she will cherish for years to come. 

Hema’s daughter will wear and not hide under her outfits. 

To summarize, Hema was able to get her daughter custom mangalsutra in 4 simple steps: 

  1. Hema commits to creating a custom mangalsutra process and pays the custom jewelry design fee
  2. She receives the first set of custom mangalsutra designs from Sampati within 2 weeks. Hema and her daughter select their favorite mangalsutra design(s)
  3. Sampati designer refines the mangalsutra designs based on Hema’s feedback. Hema finalizes the custom, multicultural mangalsutra design and places the order with Sampati. She gets a credit for the design fee towards her purchase. 
  4. Hema gets her mangalsutra delivered to her doorstep via complimentary and insured shipping. She also gets a tracking number so she can track her order. 

Hema was extremely pleased with the final piece. 

In case you missed it, here is the Instagram story showcasing Hema’s multicultural custom mangalsutra. 

I’ve also created a video that you can watch here explaining this exact process in video format. I hope you enjoy it. 

We love it when the result is epic. Most importantly the design process should be enjoyable. After all, this is a dream mangalsutra that you’ll cherish for years to come.

Do you have a custom mangalsutra piece in mind? If yes, we may be able to help. Contact us here to get started.


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