How To Plan The Wedding Budget6 min read
There is something extremely exciting about an Indian wedding. It is a three-day extravaganza of food, music dance, and good vibes. The way couples approach a wedding has changed from hiring the local community hall to now throwing larger than life receptions at hotels, farmhouses, and even palaces. Apart from the venue, several other aspects too add to the expenses.
Figuring out the budget of your wedding and sticking to it is not an easy feat, but is possible with patience and smart work.
1. How much money do you want to spend
How much you want to spend must depend on you and your fiancé’s savings, current income, and the additional contribution from family. Have a candid conversation with your partner about how much are you comfortable spending on a wedding. This is the time to discuss how much each will be contributing or who will take up which portion of the wedding. Talking to your family for money may not be easy, but it does not hurt to ask if they can contribute.
2. Keep track of your spending
Create a spreadsheet and keep track of all the expenses by making columns for vendors, venues, and extras. Surprisingly, though the venue, food, and decoration take up a major chunk of expenses, miscellaneous spending can make up to 15% of your total wedding budget. These include vendor transportation, band/DJ, and venue set up and clean up, stationery, photographers, and wedding planners.
3. Crunch the guest list
The Big Fat Indian Wedding is infamous for its huge guest list, but if you and your partner are serious about sticking to a budget, then you need to be mindful when inviting guests. The number of guests you invite will determine the size of the venue, the food budget, and the extra like transportation, stationery costs, and favors.
4. Re-evaluate and cut costs
If the estimated budget and actual costs seem to match, do you want to re-evaluate and spend more? If you are going over-budget, do you want to slash your spending and try out cost-saving ways? Here are a few ways you can lessen hidden costs and stick to the budget.
• Host pre-wedding ceremonies and parties at home: Invite your close friends and relatives and if your house is not big enough to host an event, you can host it at a friend’s place.
• DIY decorative items: Decorative items for an Indian wedding can come at a cost. Mason jars, vases, candelabras, and wall hangings are not difficult to source and more affordable to make yourself than to hire. Even wedding favors can be made at home with the help of Pinterest and a few enthusiastic friends and family members. Be careful not to go overboard with the DIY since it will make the venue look tacky and it will cost you hours.
• Get married on a weekday: Venues and vendors charge higher for weekend events and that is a fact. Season too makes a difference. Winters and Autumn are peak wedding seasons while summers are considered offseason.
• Opt for local vendors: Overseas wedding suppliers are going to be more expensive since they charge for their time, travel, and accommodation. If you are not comfortable with compromising with the vendor, let them know from the start, what your budget is. You can save money by using lesser vendors. If one vendor provides multiple services, choose them. If the caterer also makes edible favors and bakes a cake, hire them. You will be getting a better rate as compared to hiring separate vendors for individual tasks.
• Wedding websites: There are multiple events to cover at a wedding, which means a load of information to add to the invitation. Why not try out a wedding website created by the Wedsite Company. You can have your formal invite, with all the nitty-gritty information about the various ceremonies, venues, maps, directions, timings, transportation, dress code, and accommodation on the wedding website. You can send your guests a link to the website and also answer their queries and collect RSVPs all at the same place.
• Do not go overboard with the flowers: Choosing smaller flower arrangements that are less expensive as your centerpiece, is a good idea. Professional wedding florists are accommodating, and if you have a theme in mind, they can suggest floral arrangement options that are within budget. Remember to choose flowers that are within the season, this will save you from spending a bomb.
• Mindful catering: What is an Indian wedding without lip-smacking food? After the venue, food and beverages are the next major expense. We do not believe in cutting down the food budget, but in mindful catering. What can be done is reducing the amount of food and drinks according to the guest count. We all know the amount of food that goes to waste, and the number of counters that go unattended at weddings, which is pretty heartbreaking. Talk with the wedding caterer and opt for the basic food and beverage package. Additional items can be added once you have the final guest count. Choose food items that you are sure will have a good number of takers and serve limited amounts of beverages.
• Host the wedding and reception at the same place: Keeping in mind the cost of decorating two venues and travel costs of vendors, family members, and friends, hiring a single venue for the wedding and reception is a great idea if you are looking to save. Do ample research and determine which venue can offer you the best package and space.
• Delegate tasks to family and friends: A wedding planner sure gets the work done, but also comes at a heavy price. If you are looking to save money, ask help from family and friends. Running errands, making the favors, discussing and negotiating with vendors and supervising work at the venue can be left to trusted family members. This saves your time and money too. Remember that having a budget worked out is important if you want to have a wedding without burning a permanent hole in your pocket.