How To Make Your Big Fat Indian Wedding A Low-Cost Affair

By | November 19, 2016


‘Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy-tale.’ Anyone who can relate to this will understand the urge to have a fairy-tale wedding. In India, weddings not only mark the union of two souls in marriage but also show one’s societal standing. Most of the time, people opt to have lavish weddings only because the society expects them to. Parents spend their life savings to give their children a wedding that the ‘society’ wants.

However, times are a changing. While big fat Indian weddings are still a real thing, a lot of youngsters are looking for ways to have an elegant wedding at a low cost. A lot of people not only exhaust their savings but also avail of Personal Loans to take care of the wedding costs. But what if we tell you that it’s not necessary to do this and that you can plan a budget-friendly wedding?

Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime affair and it’s only understandable that you want it to be an affair to remember. Spending lakhs and crores for a wedding is not unheard of in India. However, wanting to spend more only because your cousin or friend’s wedding was an extravagant affair is a big NO. It’s better instead, to know what you want and spend accordingly.

If you fall under the category of those who know the kind of wedding they want with minimal expenses, you have landed on the right page. We have tips for you that will help you have your dream wedding without burning a hole in your pocket. Remember, a memorable wedding doesn’t always have to be an expensive affair. So, let’s begin with the tips, shall we?

Wedding Fund

We bet you know the importance of an emergency fund by now. As soon as you start earning, putting aside money for an emergency fund should be a priority. However, you should start a wedding fund too (either for yourself or if you are a parent, for your children). Maybe you don’t have plans to get married anytime in the near future or you are in a phase where you don’t think about getting married at all, but even then start putting money into a wedding fund. Even if you are one of those who doesn’t plan to get married, you can use the money for other things in life. Even if you put aside Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 5,000 a month, it can help fuel your wedding budget.

Additional Reading: Amazing Things We Heard Parents Say This Wedding Season

Pre-set A Wedding Budget

Are you a soon-to-be bride or groom? Well, it’s time to chalk out a wedding budget. If you plan to fund your wedding along with your partner, sit down with him/her and decide the overall budget. If you plan to pay for the wedding with some help from your parents, then discuss the budget with them. If you have already decided the date, it’s time to decide the venue, menu, clothes, etc. and the amount you plan to spend on each of these. This will help you prioritise the costs that matter more and identify where costs can be cut.

Additional Reading: Amazing Things We Heard Couples Say This Wedding Season

An Off-Season Wedding, Maybe?

Have you still not decided your wedding date? Awesome! Are your parents cool with a date that you choose or would they prefer a date chosen by their favourite astrologer? Well, if they are cool with any date, we advise that you choose a date that falls in the off-peak season.

In India, there’s a wedding season – a season when most weddings take place. If you choose a date that falls in the wedding season, be prepared to shell out lots of money on everything, be it the venue, the pundit, or the food. However, if you choose a date that falls in the off-peak season, you will be surprised by the amount of money that you will save. Most wedding venues are not booked during this season and so they are available at discounted rates. In fact, you will find everything at discounted rates. If you still prefer to get married during the wedding season, our tip is that you choose a date that the pundit asks you not to get married on.

Most of the pundits consider a certain day or date inauspicious for a wedding. If you believe that your wedding is more important than a pundit’s opinion, choose a date which suits your budget. Got it?

A Consolidated Event

The one thing about Indian weddings, be it in South India or North India, is that it has numerous events which go on for days. Each event brings with it its own costs. If it’s the sangeet, then there’s the extra cost of lights and a DJ. If it’s the mehendi, the cost of mehendi artists cannot be ignored. And food and decoration costs are always on the rise. If you want to bring down the wedding costs a few notches, you can have one consolidated event or you can try and club two events on one day at the same venue. If you think that you can eliminate any event altogether, you can consider doing that too.Once you decide not to host one of the events, you will realise that the amount of money you will save is quite a big amount. You can add this to your wedding or post-wedding savings!

List Of Guests

Well, the saga of the Indian wedding and its endless list of unknown guests is known to all. Honestly, you don’t need to invite that distant uncle whom you haven’t ever met or the distant cousin whom you haven’t spoken to since first grade. Keep your guest list crisp. Invite only those people who are close to you and actually care about you. Cut out anyone you think is going to attend only to criticise you, or the groom, or the food. Trust us, your wedding will feel more special when you spend it with people who genuinely care about you.

Go Digital

In a world where everything is digital, isn’t it a little outdated to send out printed invites? We get it that your grandmother or one of the other older relatives does not regularly access their email and may miss your invite. But what about the rest? We bet your cousins, uncles and aunts have access to social media. You can create an event on a social networking site and invite all your near and dear ones.

Alternatively, there are a lot of platforms which allow you to create a free website to detail your journey to the wedding and the wedding itself. You can use all your creativity on these platforms. We get it that wedding invites are a social symbol these days, but do you really care about what the society has to say? Why spend lakhs on wedding invitations when it can be done almost free of cost? You could always have just a few invitations printed for those who are not online.

Choose The Wedding Venue/s Wisely

Instead of choosing different venues for each event, you can host all events at the same venue. This will help you bag a good deal. And the venue does not have to be a banquet hall or a ballroom in a 5-star hotel. You can choose a heritage house on a hilltop or a beachside open-air venue. You just might get a good deal and save a ton of money. Perhaps a relative or friend of yours owns a farmhouse which you could rent for the wedding. If you are open to a temple wedding, go for it. It’s generally a cheaper affair.

If you were to ask us, think out of the box while looking for venues. Go for the unconventional ones. Gone are the days when you HAD to get married at a wedding hall. There are numerous gardens and lawns available which you can rent to host your wedding. And trust us, these unconventional options are not only cheaper but also prettier than the boring halls. All you need to do is use the search engine well and you will be surprised by the options thrown at you.

Additional Reading: Top 5 Wedding Destinations In India

Cut Down The Amount Spent On The Attire/Jewellery

Be it the wedding dress or the jewellery, none of it comes cheap. However, it does not have to be new. You can borrow your mom’s wedding dress or wear something from your closet for the other events. Also, does it really make sense to spend so much on a wedding dress that you will never wear again or on jewellery that will remain locked in a safe forever? There are quite a few places that rent out wedding dresses and jewellery. If not the attire, you can at least rent the jewellery. You will save heaps of money. If you are hell bent on buying a new dress, then please buy one based on its appearance and not its price. A lot of brides buy a dress that is more expensive just to show off. Not worth it, okay?

Choose A Simple Menu

Weddings are synonymous with wasting food. Nobody is going to eat all the 40 dishes available on the menu. If someone does, they’re in for an upset tummy and will probably blame it on your wedding food. Do them a favour, choose a few simple dishes for your wedding menu. If you still feel like spending money on food, how about donating food to a nearby NGO or an old age home? Trust us, it will be very well received.

If you plan to have an open bar at the wedding, keep the variety limited to a few types and don’t spend too much on importing international brands. Drunk people are more likely to ruin your wedding than the sober ones. So, why get them drunk, right? One last tip: If you can hire chefs to cook the meals for you, the cost per person will come down drastically. No, we aren’t bluffing. You can try and get quotes from a few chefs and thank us later!

Simple Décor, Please

Decorations and theme-based decorations will burn a hole in your pocket. Flower-based decorations can be costly. So, you can opt for cheaper, plant-based ones or rent the décor. Candles, lanterns and paper-art, if used rightly, will not only make your wedding look brighter but will also help you save money. If someone you know got married recently and had used DIY décor, you can borrow it from them. Keep the décor simple. It will not only save money but will also make your wedding look classier.

Don’t Fund Everybody’s Trip

Are you having a destination wedding? Or is your partner from another city, due to which your wedding is not being hosted in your city? If yes, then you need to understand that most of the guests attending your wedding make enough money and can afford to fund their own trip. If someone truly cares about attending your wedding, they will. You don’t have to fund everybody’s trip, be it train tickets, air tickets, or accommodation.

If you know someone who has been out of work recently or has been going through a tough financial phase, then you could fund their trip. But apart from them, there is no obligation to fund everybody’s travel and accommodation. It used to be a norm to do so earlier, but it’s time to break free from such practices. Aren’t you spending enough on the wedding already?

No Return Gifts, Please

Planning to buy return gifts for the entire wedding brigade or only the close ones? Be prepared to spend a bomb. However, you can just scrap the idea of giving return gifts altogether. If you aren’t convinced about scraping this cost, then look for DIY return gifts instead of gifting gold coins, sarees, and expensive items like that. However, if the gifts are a goodwill gesture, then go ahead but please don’t spend too much on these gifts. As far as other gifts are concerned, which could range from jewellery to a car to household appliances from your parents or from your partner’s parents, grow up and say , “No thank you”. You know you’re capable of buying these things on your own.

DIY Wherever Possible

There are a lot of wedding-related things that can be DIY. If you have creative friends, put them to work. So, which costs can be cut down by DIY, you ask? Do you plan to host a sangeet? If yes, instead of hiring pricey choreographers, you can use YouTube videos to help choreograph the dances.

If you are hosting any of the functions at home, get your family and friends to cook a dish each. You will save on catering costs. If you have a friend whose makeup skills you’ve always envied, ask him or her to help with your makeup. Makeup artists are very expensive, so you’re cutting down on costs right there.

If any of your friends are good at mehendi art, you can get them to do your mehendi and save on hiring a mehendi artist. Planning to buy wedding favours? Well, the internet is flooded with DIY ideas for favours. Use one of these ideas, get help from friends, and save money that you would otherwise have spent on buying favours.

Additional Reading: Ahead Of Marriage Season, A Financial Checklist For Couples

Well, now that you know how to host a wedding on a low budget,  the one thing that you have to be firm with is sticking to your decision. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. A lot of people will have an opinion on everything. Thank them for it but the final decision should be yours and your partner’s. It might be a little tough to stick to your decision, because there will be a lot of pressure to spend more. But don’t care. It’s your wedding, your day, and your money!

So, what next? Are you looking for options to invest for your wedding fund? Well, you can put it in a high interest Savings Account or a Fixed Deposit and earn interest till the day you need to use it for your wedding. If you need funds for anything else, check out our Personal Loan offers.

Do you have all your funds sorted and have enough to spare for a down payment towards a new home where you plan to start your new journey after the wedding? Well, our Home Loan offers will come handy. Wait no longer!

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Category: Money Management

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2 thoughts on “How To Make Your Big Fat Indian Wedding A Low-Cost Affair

  1. Siddharth

    Not getting married in the wedding season saves good amount of money. Everything ranging from venue to catering and decor comes half the price. I have also given this advice to many couples. Young generation likes this idea but the parents disagree with it. Parents end up saying “What for, we have earned and saved money? If we can not spend it on our kids..”. Well Indian society is different from West. Parents love the idea of passing on everything to their kids before leaving for heaven. It is embedded in our cultural values. We have been taught by generation to generation that once we leave this world nothing goes with us…and one should not forget it to attain the moksha! 😀

    Thankfully, You have not suggested to seek help from a friend who is not into professional photography just to save money.
    I am supporting it not because, I am a professional photographer. But, I know the cases where this idea went wrong. One can save money on photography by buying cheap packages. I have witnessed weddings where the friends of the bride and groom was doing photography and their gadgets malfunctioned.

    Once, My friend called me up in the middle of the night. He was not a professional photographer. He was shooting the wedding of his friend as a token of love. His card got failed in the middle of the wedding. Of course! He can not be expected to carry pro memory cards or back up cards because it costs double the money to manage professional gadgets. Such things can ruin the whole idea of saving money and then post decision regret stays longer than expected.

    Yes! I also suggest people to shop around for everything. There are very good photographers who work on minimum prices. There are photographers too for every kind of budget. One can contact them. At least, they are prepared for any malfunctioning with the technology.

    I also wrote a blog based on a same idea…check and leave your feedback! I would appreciate it!


    1. Team BankBazaar

      Hi Siddharth,

      Thanks for writing in. We are in agreement with you with regards to not compromising on quality. Luckily, these days we have a lot of options for everything which makes it easy for people who are on a budget.

      Have a nice day!

      Team BankBazaar


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