Planning your wedding? Here’s something that will help you gauge how much your wedding will cost you. Read on to know more.
Weddings are fun, especially if it isn’t yours! Because let’s face it, in our country weddings are tedious for the bride and groom due to the umpteen customs and practices. And it doesn’t end there. Weddings are expensive affairs too.
And unlike the west, in India, we don’t know how to or rather, don’t believe in having a “low-profile” wedding. Typically, and if we’re being very modest here, the average Indian wedding has a guest list of 500 plus people. And from there on, the expenses just pile up.
So, the big question still remains. How much will a wedding cost?
The answer to this question solely depends on how much you are willing to spend. These days weddings are all about flamboyance, flashing your wealth in the faces of your guests and making sure you one-upped your neighbour!
Therefore, there is a huge market for wedding planners, caterers, florists, photographers and the likes. What’s strange is that people are willing to spend humongous amounts of money on all the jazz and don’t care if they have to dig into their life savings to fund their wedding.
Additional Reading: #PlayYourPart: How To Budget, Save, And Cut Costs On Your Wedding
But, you don’t have to deplete your life savings to get married. If you plan ahead and stay on top of your budget you can have a lovely wedding too. And before you get started, you should have a list of things you will need and an estimate of how much those things will cost you (on an average).
Additional Reading: Ahead Of Wedding Season, A Financial Checklist For Couples
Here’s a sneak peek into how much your wedding will cost. To make things simpler (like we always do at BankBazaar) we have classified the different expenses under various categories. So, here goes:
Location & Transport
- Picking the right venue for your big day is of utmost importance. However, most venues in India have to be booked almost a year in advance due to high demands. Moreover, these venues are pricey during peak season. So, choosing your venue in advance is crucial. Sometimes, the venue will also offer food and this cost is included. But, that’s not the case always.
- You will need a different venue for your wedding ceremony to take place. It could be a temple, a church, the mosque or any such holy place. Thus, you will have to ensure that you book this place well in advance as well. You will have to pay a nominal charge to get this slot booked for your big day.
- One of the most expensive things when it comes to weddings is transportation. You will have to take into account all costs related to your transportation on that day, perhaps hire additional vehicles for your family and friends to get them from the wedding site to the reception etc. If you fancy getting a luxury car hired for yourself on your wedding day, then you will have to book it earlier and include this cost too.
- Photographer – Your wedding day is one of those days that you will never forget. You will want to cherish those memories forever and capture them in their truest essence. And for that reason, you need to find a good photographer. Since photography these days has become an ‘art’ and is considered ‘candid’, the prices for their services are also going through the roof. They will perhaps charge you based on the number of days you need them.
- Videographer – These days the only videos we watch are the ones on YouTube or Instagram. However, to capture your special day, you will need a resource allocated to do just this.
- Event planner – If you believe in outsourcing and delegating things to avoid stress, then you must consider getting a wedding planner. A wedding planner will be your only point of contact who will make all necessary arrangements without you having to run helter-skelter behind umpteen vendors, losing your cool. Wedding planners will undertake and execute your entire wedding by further outsourcing it and coordinating with several other vendors. Hence an event planner may sound like a splurge, but might be well worth it. Event planners usually charge a heavy sum for their services, so, be sure you get the best out of them.
- Décor /Florist – An event as big as your wedding will need a lot of decking up. And décor constitutes one of the biggest parts when it comes to wedding expenses. Your backdrop, entrances, main stage, seating arrangements, centre-pieces etc. are all part of your wedding décor.
- Wedding dress/ groom’s attire – Indian weddings aren’t a one-day affair. Most wedding ceremonies spill onto a few more days after the actual wedding has happened. Some cultures have more than 3 days of wedding ceremonies and you will be required to dress and “look” like the groom and bride for those many days. Which means you have to shell out tonnes of money on weddings clothes. Getting readymade garments these days is as expensive as getting bespoke outfits. Hence, there is no escaping these big-ticket purchases. And if you have more than one day of traditional ceremonies, then you have to pick clothes for each of those days. In some cultures, the bride and groom have to even buy clothes for their close relatives and the bridal entourage.
- Jewellery – Sadly, an Indian wedding cannot take place without the yellow metal. And even if you don’t like jewellery you will be forced to wear or buy enough of it for your wedding. Buying gold, silver and other precious stones aren’t that bad if you are to consider them as investment options. They are investments that can be liquidated when required. Unfortunately, gifting jewellery during a wedding is a common practice, and jewellery doesn’t come cheap!
- Hair & Makeup – Who wouldn’t want to look their best on that one special day when all eyes are on you? Since you are going to be the highlight of your wedding, you need to look absolutely stunning. And you will need a good hair and makeup artist who will enhance your features and make you look like an absolute dream. Most “to be married” couples also indulge in pre-wedding spa treatments for their skin, hair etc. So, be sure to calculate these costs too.
- Wedding band/DJ/ musicians – No wedding is complete without some foot tapping music. And getting a good band to play at your wedding or a renowned DJ or musician will be necessary. These guys are also usually booked almost a year in advance, so be sure to check their calendars and fix up your appointment with them. The last thing you want for your wedding is some lousy music playing in the background.
- Compere/ presenter – If your wedding reception has too many people, you will need a person to ensure that the entire function is carried out in a methodical way. Hence, you will need a compere to address the crowds, introduce people and tell them how the rest of the function is going to pan out. You can hire a professional to do it if you have elaborate ceremonies scheduled.
Food & drinks
- Catering – Like we mentioned earlier, some wedding reception halls include prices for food and drinks. But in case your venue doesn’t supply food then you have to find a good caterer to take on the responsibility of impressing your entire family, extended relatives, your entire neighbourhood and random guests with their quality of food. Most wedding guests end up complaining about the food at any wedding, so picking a good caterer is essential. That said, you can never make everyone involved in your wedding happy, so stick with what works best on your pockets.
- Wedding Cake – In the last few years baking and cooking, in general, has emerged as a gourmet product. Thanks to Masterchef, we all love a good fondant cake with shiny ganache and a lemon meringue! And that’s why a wedding cake has become such a big thing these days. Most people spend a lot of money on three-tier cakes made from exotic ingredients that have amazing craftsmanship displayed on the outside. If you identify yourself as someone like that then you need to find a good baker that can deliver you such a product.
- Alcohol – Well, alcohol doesn’t come cheap and if it’s going to be served at your wedding then buckle up for some major expenses. You will have to estimate the number of drinkers from your guest list and buy enough alcohol to serve all of them. No one likes it when a party is out of drinks!
- Invitations – It is customary in India that invitations are printed and personally handed over to the intended guests. This is a cost you need to factor in if you’re going to print out more than a thousand invites. Here’s a small tip, go paperless like us and have e-invites sent to your guests!
- Return gifts – Whether its coconuts or a candle or candy, arranging return gifts for your guests should also be taken into account.
- Tips – Tipping people for their services is like an unsaid rule in our country. Moreover, that just helps build your relationship and goodwill with people. During your wedding, you will have to hand out a lot of ‘change’ to people who help you out with several things.
Additional Reading: Go For A Cashless Wedding
Keep in mind that setting a budget for each of these expenses and sticking to it will help you stay on track and not overspend on your wedding. Hopefully, this post will help you get a fair idea on how much your wedding cost will be.
If you’ve already begun planning your wedding, then we suggest you check out some of our Credit Cards that have great offers on them.