Congratulations you’re getting married! Now it is time to focus on the details of your wedding day. Every girl has a fantasy of just how her wedding will be conducted. The ceremonies, the dresses, the actual wedding and finally the reception are all planned out well in advance. The whole deal is a personal fairy tale which, unfortunately, you will have to pay for.
As economics rears its practical head amongst your rose colored dreams, you need to have a wedding budget to help you keep your fairytale alive, without sacrificing your entire bank balance. Mark out your heads of expenses. Consider the ones given here and add any personal ones that you may have to undertake. Then divide the lump sum amount you intend to spend on your wedding into these individual heads of expenditure.
Are you hiring a planner?
A professional wedding planner can save you severe stress over the wedding but can also work out more expensive than if you do it yourself. Consider your immediate family and friend circle. Is there someone who can take on the role of chief wedding planner and do a good job? Ask them to help you and save the fee that you would pay the wedding planner. If you have no one who can help you, then do some research on the wedding planners that your friend circle has employed. There’s always someone you know who has a married elder brother or sister or cousin who used a professional wedding planner for organizing their wedding. Meet them and get their opinion on whether the person hired did a good job or not. Then take your pick.
Events to consider
Each ceremony that you wish to conduct needs to be budgeted for. So ensure that you make a list of every small event that will take place and cater for it financially. Usually a wedding on a tight budget will cater to three main events – The Engagement Ceremony, The Wedding Ceremony and The Reception. If you have some money to spare you can add other ceremonies and events such as a Shanti Hawan, a Sangeet Night, Haldi ceremony, a Hen Night (akin to a bachelor party for the groom), an Introductory Meal with the In-laws to help both families mingle before the wedding, A Ring Ceremony(if a formal engagement ceremony has not been performed earlier), The Gift Exchange ceremony with the relatives and a whole lot more. Discuss the list of events you have with your wedding planner.
Book the venues and the caterer
In case you have a small ceremony planned with just the immediate family, you can use your home as a venue for the event. This will save you some money to book venues for events that will have a larger crowd and cannot be hosted in the house. Decide on the venues for all the events with your wedding planner and book them well in advance. There can be nothing more frustrating than going to book a venue you have chosen and being told that it is unavailable for the date you need it. Hire a caterer who has ample experience in catering to wedding crowds. Everyone remembers two things at a wedding – how the bride looked and how the food tasted. So make sure you plan the wedding feast well. Ask for a tasting session from the caterer if possible to ensure that there are no nasty surprises at the last moment.
Pick out the outfits
Every event will require a different outfit, not just for the bride but for the immediate family. Now depending on how much you can afford to spend, you will need to pick up the clothes and accessories for each event. Naturally the most opulent outfit will be the one used at the Wedding. In case you are going to wear simple traditional clothes for the wedding, the most opulent outfit will be used at the Reception. Gold is the traditional ornamentation for a bride, and is generally worn at the wedding. However you may like to consider the different types of fashion jewelry that is available these days. You can use these heavy looking and not so expensive sets to accessorize the outfits worn on the smaller events and ceremonies leading up to the wedding.
Buy the gifts
Here again you will have to make a list of all the people you will be expected to give a shagun or gift to. The list will ideally include your immediate family, the groom’s immediate family, some close relatives and a few friends. Fix the budget for each person and then scout for gifts that would fit in the same range. Traditionally the gents are given a shawl and the ladies a sari at weddings. However you may pick up something like a showpiece for a couple or any other item that you know they will appreciate. Individualize the gifts to show a personal touch. Get the gifts packed and labeled before you store them away for the big day. Also have a few extra gifts available for members of each gender as you never know who will show up at the last moment.
Have fun as you plan each part of the wedding and above all don’t overshoot your budget for anything. Remember that while your wedding day is an important one, it is equally important to have a nest egg handy for beginning your lives together.
Feature Writer: Cashmere Lashkari