Tuesday, 28 May 2013

7 Tips For Planning a Beautiful Indian Wedding on a Shoestring Budget

Indian weddings are known for their pomp and splendour. Tell your family you want a no fuss ceremony and reception, chances are they will vehemently oppose the decision. There even might be some drama and crying on cue. Also, it has now become the norm for Indian brides to contribute to their wedding fund. Putting two together, couples today have to host a grand wedding event with 1000 odd guests and pay for it. Here are some tips to make this work without drilling a major hole in your pocket:

1. Prioritize Your Wedding List.

Make a list of key wedding elements that are really important to you. With your partner, discuss the list and eliminate items that you could do without. The point is that, it is your wedding day, and you will be too busy smiling for photographs and greeting guests and feeling too squiggly to be bothered about that orchid centrepiece that turned out to be blush-pink instead of baby-pink. Invest in a good photographer who will capture moments that make for memories, or a great makeup artist who can make you look like a princess in those memories. Once you have revised your list, set a budget and stick to it.

2. Plan Your Wedding During Off-Peak Times.

Now this is a trick that will work if you don’t have important family members living abroad as the wedding season in India often coincides with the NRI season (December-January/June-August). You can save a lot of money by opting to tie the knot on a summer’s day in April, or a breezy beautiful afternoon in October.

3. Rethink Your Guest List

Ouch. It almost hurt even thinking about it. But then, since you’re out to save some money a smaller guest list is the best way to go. The bigger picture here is that it’s more important to have a few people who truly care about you on your wedding day as compared to a large crowd of strangers- as is the case for most Indian weddings. Did you know that you are charged per plate for the reception? And did you know that there are folks who drop by just to pry, socialise, and of course, eat? Give it a thought.

4. Go Tech-Savvy.

Call in a web designer friend or an acquaintance who knows a photoshop trick or two, and create your save-the date/engagement announcement card online. This will save you guys a lot of cash considering how much postal services cost these days. Your guests will even appreciate the effort that went into customising and creating your little online space just for them.

5. DIY Wedding Invites.

Plenty of websites give amazing design ideas for wedding cards. If you have a quality printer and some creativity, you can easily make classy invitations in no time. By doing this you will only land up spending for good quality paper and ink.

6. Seek Help From Family & Friends.

It can be trying to have a tonne of family to entertain at your wedding and the days preceding it. Make the most of this situation and have them roped in to do little tasks. Your Martha Stewart enthusiast aunt would be flattered to bake your wedding cake, and your girl-cousins can catch up on all the gossip while sewing flowers for garlands. Give your list of favourite tracks to your little cousin brothers and ask them to make a mixed CD. Having a large family is probably the best part about being an Indian!

7. Personalize Your Wedding Venue & Service

Fore-go hotels as they come with plenty of hidden costs and taxes, particularly for weddings. Instead, use your community hall, park, or the backyard of your home, and trust a decorator to deck it up into a beautiful venue for your big day. Also, this allows you to use your own caterer- which is by far a better option than cold hotel food that has always disappointed. Most family run catering services have an incredible reputation and charge a reasonable rate.

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