Marriages are the soul of Indian culture comprising of special occasions that come along with special costs. They’re called big fat Indian weddings for a reason, precisely to ace up the ‘wow-factor’ to create something exclusive and magical. No wonder this business has grown into a billion-dollar industry and is still growing. It’s 2022 and it seems like Indian weddings are skyrocketing in terms of expenses now more than ever. The average middle-class Indian wedding in North America is anywhere between $220,000 and $300,000. Whereas luxury Indian weddings can range anywhere between $400,000 and $1,000,000++. Wedding watchers believe there are many contributing factors to these increasing costs.
With a big fat Indian wedding around the corner, it’s needless to say that with the number of events that lead to the Big Day, the cost hike is palpable. Indian weddings easily extend over a period of 5-7 days beginning with the engagement or the ring ceremony, followed by sangeet or cocktail night, mehndi, jago night and maiyan ceremony. The wedding day and reception party are to be followed thereafter. Apart from these can’t do without traditional ceremonies, there’s a rising popularity for couples opting for destination weddings, couture bridal wear, and pre-wedding photo shoots including overseas getaways.
For optimum utilization of all resources, our advice is to draw up a wedding budget by breaking down all kind of costs including the events, costing’s and components. Create a spreadsheet and identify areas where you can add that extra penny into your pocket.
But first, let’s understand the real cost and different expenditures involved in an Indian wedding –
Deciding on the venue is the foremost task to tick off from the to-do wedding list of things. Determine your guest list for each event as this will determine the size of the venue(s) you will require. Keep in mind, the higher the guest count, the higher the expenses. Next create a budget for each event to determine how to allocate the funds for each one and which type of venue will fall within your budget.
Having an event at a hall is typically the most cost-effective option as you are allowed to bring in your own alcohol which is a huge savings, whereas no outside food or beverages are allowed at hotels. Many couples dream of having an outdoor wedding, but this can be a very costly undertaking as in most instances it would be your responsibility to bring all the elements in, from tents to tables to chairs, the list is endless and yes even washrooms. Destination weddings are typically thought to be a more cost saving alternative but with style savvy modern couples wanting one-of-a-kind events, costs have increased and according to a recent survey they cost on an average 11% more than a hometown wedding.
The décor of each wedding event speaks volume about the mood of that event. Décor usually takes up the majority of your budget, hence it should be one of the first things to consider when planning each event. From florals, to linens, to dance floor wraps, to custom stationery, to dinnerware and more there are many elements to take into consideration. If working with a limited budget find an event space with beautiful architecture that you can incorporate into your décor. We like to start by creating a mood board for each event and an itemized list of the couple’s wish list for each vendor, to be able to get accurate quotes for every event.
Satisfying the guest’s taste buds plays a key role in Indian weddings. With many kinds of cuisines to choose from these days, it’s important not to compromise on this aspect of the cost. One can choose from having lavish delicacies to local food but quality should be the main priority in this case because what guests take back from the wedding is the taste!
It would be right to state that now people spend as much on their wedding ensemble as they would on catering. Now how far is it reasonable enough to do this is totally a personal call but it can make a huge shift in your budget. To add on to this would be a heavy additional cost of traditional gold jewellery that marks the tradition of an Indian wedding. Investing into buying jewellery near the wedding can increase the costing heavily considering the metal’s soaring prices each year.
It is said that memories last forever. And pictures nowadays are not just limited to traditional photographs but candid shots, pre wedding videos, drone photography, and much more. The cost of the photographer would vary on the number of functions and the albums.
Always keep an extra budget for additional costs like makeup artists, invites, sweets, wedding favors, travelling and accommodation costs.
But, planning an Indian wedding on a budget is not a distant dream anymore. A few tips on how you can do that –
In Canada, most Indian weddings take place between April to October. Destination weddings in Mexico, California and, Florida may take place between November to April when the weather is warmer. During the 6 prime months for the Indian wedding season in North America, there are only 26 weekends where most of the weddings will be scheduled. This shall flare up the competition and increase costs for venues and other vendors.
Writing a journal is supposed to be the bride’s most favorite thing and with fancy planners in the market these days, it’s altogether more fun to record your expenses and more at one place for your own sanity. You can also set up a wedding saving account if you’re conscious about your budget and spending. Keep adding some money to it until your big day to redeem when needed.
More the merrier when it comes to helping hands during your wedding preparations. Also, the last thing you want is a disgruntled uncle or bridesmaid who hasn’t been given clear instructions. This will save money and time both!
Irrespective of your planned budget for the wedding, it might be difficult to allocate the same appropriately. That is where a wedding planner comes in, to help you relax, take a back seat and outsource most of the heavy lifting. Planning your wedding and don’t know where to begin? Your vision. Our innovation: Kavita Mohan Events!