Weddings On A Budget: Ideas And Tips

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You are very excited to have found the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. And you are also looking forward to what would be one of the happiest days of your life- your wedding! But planning a wedding on a budget can be a daunting task- one that comes with pitfalls and dilemmas. The average wedding cost in India is 7-8lakh INR but we have also seen INR 55 crore and INR 140 crore weddings! If you are looking for budget wedding ideas, read on –we have many tips for you:

1.     Save on wedding jewelry

Many reputed stores like Tanishq sell quality 22 Karat gold wedding jewelry. Other places to buy cheap Indian wedding jewellery sets include Ebay, Snapdeal , Amazon etc. You could even choose hand me down or heirloom wedding jewelry from your mother or granny.

ideas for Indian weddings on a budget

Image: Camera Crew

2.     Prioritize

Once you have worked out a wedding budget, you can prioritize your needs versus your wants. This includes selecting a local marriage/banquet hall instead of a 5-Star hotel or a destination wedding, requesting guests not to give gifts so you do not have to give them in return, talking to the in-laws about saving etc. Here are some things you must splurge on and ones to save on:

  • Wedding photography-Definitely splurge! You will have lasting memories of the day-and good photos are a must. You could, perhaps, cut back on the pre-wedding photoshoot which is so popular these days.
  • Wedding dress/saris– Save! You would hardly wear them more than once. If you wear salwar suits to work, then, consider buying good quality, party wear suits that you can wear on more than one occasion.
  • Wedding shoes– Save! Look for comfortable shoes which can be worn more than once. You need not buy branded shoes- many non-branded shoes are available at decent prices and they last for years.
  • Mehendi– Save! Have a simple at-home mehendi night instead of giving a lavish party in a hotel. Call near and dear friends and cousins. Play some lovely songs instead of having a DJ. Same goes for Sangeet and Sagai or roka functions. All of them can be cut down and kept intimate affairs.

3.     Pick an off-season date

This can help you save nearly 50% of the money you would otherwise spend on an in-season- wedding. Likewise, pick a weekday instead of the weekend. Many wedding professionals will be willing to give discounts for certain days too.

4.     Keep the guest list small

Do not over-invite. If possible, write down the names of people who really matter to you. If you are having a reception ceremony, then divide the guests between these two functions.

wedding guest list

Image: Confetti Films Inc

5.     Shop around

Spend some time in doing your homework. Find out the best rates- whether it is dresses, shoes, venues etc. Find out what typical wedding costs are and bench mark against them.

6.     Haggle!

When it comes to talking to wedding vendors, it helps if you can haggle, haggle and then haggle some more. State that you are on a very tight budget and it would help if the caterer/decorator/photographer could adjust his/her prices accordingly. Ensure however that there is no compromise on quality in this aspect. If the vendors are not willing to budge from their final price, ask them to throw in some other service for free.

7.     Get friends and family to help

In case of a small wedding, you could get a friend/cousin to make the mithais, beverages and other wedding favours etc. Your friends could turn paparazzi and take wedding photographs. Your aunt could sing and entertain people, while another one could do your mehendi. Instead of spending money on hotels for a honeymoon, you could go to a nearby picturesque locale or live at a relative’s/friend’s vacation home. The wedding transportation car could also be borrowed from an associate and decorated at home.

Harshaan travels indian wedding car decoration on budget

Image: Harshaan Travel

8.     Whatever you do-do not borrow money for the wedding

Whether it is you or your father who is funding the wedding-do not borrow money if you can help it. You simply do not want to start your married life with debt. If you are compelled to borrow- do some back calculations and find out if you can repay the loan back within a year.

9.     Ask yourself questions before you buy/book

The following questions can further help you stick to a budget:

  • Is it worth it?
  • Am I getting value for what I am paying?
  • Can I get this service/product cheaper elsewhere?

10. Shop online

Many retailer sites give the same products for a lot less. So, again, as explained before, do your homework.

11. Get a makeover at home

When it comes to your beauty and hair stylist, it would help if you can get facial treatments at home with DIY facial kits. Make sure you start these at least 6 months before the wedding. Also talk to a friend who is good at makeup- she could help do your hair and makeup helping you save thousands of rupees. Many beauty training institutions are also on the lookout for to-be-brides who are willing to get their hair and makeup done from their students. Seek out such training institutes, try out a trial and go for the one that works best!

weddings on a budget in India

Image: Makeup By Ruchi

12. Save on wedding invitation cards

Design the card at home using MS Word, Paint or other tools. If needed, get a friend who is good at this sort of thing to help you out. Then get them printed at a local printing shop. If possible, save paper and send out e-invites.

unique Indian wedding invitations with warli print

Image: Kards

13. Say no to Alcohol

If alcohol is imperative, then buy it yourself to avoid paying for it in restaurants and hotels that generally sell it at higher rates.

Use these 13 tips and ideas and have a stress free wedding on a budget!

Main image: Ankur Dandekar Photography

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