There’s something incredibly special about Indian weddings – a jam-packed, colorful, three-day extravaganza filled with lavish décor, mouth-watering food, dance, and loads of relatives you’ve never ever met! However, despite our weddings being fun to plan and attend, there’s no escaping the dreaded wedding budget. It’s no surprise to hear that the cost of an Indian wedding has almost doubled in the last few years and whilst you and your partner would love that day to be about you, we know that ain’t going to happen.
Wedding watchers believe there are many contributing factors to these increasing costs. There is rising popularity for couples opting for destination weddings, couture bridal wear, pre-wedding photoshoots and not to forget the fact that traditional hens and stag parties are now turning into weekend-long parties or overseas getaways. The way in which couples choose to approach their weddings has taken a dramatic shift from the days of hiring your local community hall down the road to massive function venues in hotels, resorts, vineyards, and even castles. It’s all about the ‘wow-factor’ and creating something magical for not just yourself, but for your family and friends as well.
Yes, it’s true. Planning an Indian wedding doesn’t come cheap and it’s difficult to stick within a budget. Some couples often have to seek financial support from their parents or dip into their own savings accounts in order to cover costs. But, the truth is that your perfect day shouldn’t have to be a financial struggle.
Indian weddings come with a number of other challenges too. It’s often difficult to convince your families that this day is about you and your fiancé. They may prefer to focus on the religious aspects whereas you on the other hand want to make sure everyone has a memorable time. Try to strike a compromise. Nowadays, couples are more inclined to take charge of their own weddings but do ensure that families have their input. Nothing will happen unless you have their support.
It is possible to plan the perfect wedding on a budget. It is also important to remember that weddings shouldn’t be about showing off how much money you have or about making comparisons about whose wedding was better. Traditionally, Indian weddings are about the joining of two families and spending it with your loved ones. That is all that it should eventually come down to.
Our advice is to draw up a wedding budget by breaking down all the costs. Break down the events, costing’s and components. Create a spreadsheet and identify areas where you can save.
Host your pre-wedding puja’s, religious ceremonies, and parties at home:
Your pre-wedding functions don’t have to be over the top and over budget. To begin with, it may be wise to invite only your closest friends and relatives. If your house is too small to hold an event, host it at a friend’s or family’s place or a well-equipped venue. Seek assistance from your relatives and friends to facilitate with décor and if need be, song and dance routines.
DIY or purchase decorative items:
Indian wedding décor comes at a cost and it’s quite tricky to budget for this. Decorative items such as candle votives, candelabras, or mason jars are not difficult to source and are more affordable than hiring. Pinterest is useful for this. It’s a great tool for seeking to do it yourself wedding inspiration and you can narrow your wedding decor likes and dislikes. However, be very careful to not go overboard with the DIY. Trying to include every single DIY Pinterest idea will make your venue look tacky and over the top. Remember, less is more depending on your styles and tastes.
Small bridal party or none at all:
A modern-day dilemma that Indian brides face these days is whether to include a bridal party (aka bridesmaids and groomsmen) on the wedding day. Did you know that it isn’t even an Indian tradition? Supposedly it was passed down from Ancient Roman times. Say what?!
Anyway, yes times are changing and modern western values are becoming the norm for our weddings. Think really hard about whether having a bridal party is going to make a difference at your wedding. Your family and besties are always going to be around to help on the day and you definitely don’t need a label for them.
Don’t go overboard with flowers:
Choosing floral arrangements that are smaller or at the less expensive end of the spectrum as your centerpieces isn’t always a bad thing. Your wedding venue may be able to include centerpiece, floral arrangement packages, or offer recommendations to florists or stylists that they have affiliations with. But do your homework and shop around. Remember too that always choose flowers that are within season. This makes a huge difference in your budget.
As for bouquets, it isn’t customary.
Get married on a weekday:
Did you know that some venues charge extra for a weekend wedding? The season also makes a difference. Summer is peak wedding season with Spring coming in at a close second.
Opt for local wedding vendors:
Interstate or overseas wedding suppliers are always going to charge more for travel, time, and transport. But, we are all for choosing quality suppliers and so if there’s a vendor whose work you absolutely love, don’t compromise. Let them know what your budget is from the get-go.
Save on catering:
Wedding food is a delicate topic when it comes to Indian weddings. Most Indian couples don’t even know where to begin! After venue hire, food and beverage are the next biggest expense. We don’t believe that you should cut costs on catering. After all, what is an Indian wedding without our delectable curries right?
What you could do though is reduce the amount of food and alcohol you serve. We do go overboard with our food and drink sometimes, so have a chat with your wedding venue coordinator or caterer and opt for the basic food and beverage package. Any additional items can be accounted for once you know your numbers. Who knows, if there’s a little money left over in the budget, you might even be able to serve a signature cocktail!
Host your wedding and reception at the same venue:
Venue hire is another big wedding expense. Factor in the travel costs for your vendors, friends, or family members and you have a big dilemma if you’re trying to save. That’s why opting for one venue to host all your functions could work in your favor. Discuss your budget and determine which venue can offer you the best packages.
How about a smaller guest list?
Here’s another touchy issue. I know your parents are probably insistent on inviting Uncle Raj or Aunty Renuka or some distant relative or friend you haven’t seen in years. The truth is that you don’t know who they are right? Catering can cost you a bomb these days and if you and your parents want to save on anything, this might be a good place to start.
Save on photography, videography and entertainment:
I’m sure you have a photographer or videographer in mind whose work you absolutely love but can’t budget for their packages. Ask them if they have an associate photographer or videographer. Rather than two photographers, opt for one
In terms of entertainment, hire a smaller band or just one DJ and pro Bollywood dancers – those are your friends right?
At the end of the day, you know your budget, your needs, and your wants. Try and save on costs where you can.