Wedding Planning and Budgeting Overview

I’m left with about 7 months until the wedding. Usually I would think that is PLENTY of time but with me, le fiance and le fiance’s family all being in Canada while the wedding is supposed to happen in India makes relaxing a bit harder.

Since I can’t be in India at the moment, I’m taking this opportunity to do lots and lots of online research…and by that I mean looking at pictures of gorgeous desi clothes on google images and pinterest etc.

Apart from that, I’ve started to put together a little notebook to keep all my notes.

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I have the following tabs as of now:

1. The Venue

2. Where are the guests staying?

3. Wedding Website

4. Things to take from Canada that I won’t find in India

5. Wedding Invites

6. Bachelorette and Bridal Shower

7. Welcome Kits for Guests

8. Wedding Favours/Thank you Gifts

9. Photo and Video

10. Flights (for myself and the guests)

11. Wedding Day Stuff

12. Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot

13. Catering

14. Decorations

15. Different Ceremonies- What is required and what they mean

16. Jewelry

17. Makeup

18. Clothes and places to shop in Delhi, Chandigarh etc.

19. Accessories

20. Music/Song List

21. Guest List

22. Shagun and gifts

This is not in any particular order (as you can tell) and is non-exhaustive. I’ve been carrying this little notebook with me everywhere and every time I have a stroke of genius I jot it down quickly. It is in preparation at the moment but already has a bunch of tips, things to remember, websites, names, phone numbers and all sorts of information. By the time I’m done with this notebook, I think I’m going to pass it on as a resource to all the ladies in my family who get married…haha

Now on to budgeting. The biggest costs involved with weddings are- catering (by far the most expensive thing), venue (banquet hall, outdoor venue etc.), decorations (sometimes that comes included in the price of the venue itself), Shagun (usually suit fabric for the ladies and traditional wear fabric for men, jewelry- budget permitting, sweets etc.- this can be for up to 40-50 people depending on the size of the boy’s family- immediate and extended), your personal expenditure (lehenga, reception outfit, mehendi, sangeet outfit, trousseau outfits, accessories, makeup), photographer and videographer, decorations and catering at home for the smaller functions or guests staying at home and DJ).

PS: A note about Venue/Decorations/Catering Pricing

Well..this is the biggest thing and the biggest decision you will have to make- cost wise. There is a pretty wide range available in this department. The way it works in my city in India is that when you book the venue, you have to book catering through the same people (it might be like that at other places too…I don’t know). So basically, the price includes the booking of the hall/lawn plus catering for all the guests. I think my wedding will have about 200 guests max (even with that number I’m trying to cut it down but it probably won’t happen). The place that I absolutely LOVE is reasonably priced for the lawn + decorations booking but their catering price is INSANE! It is literally twice than all the other places and twice that of the venue booking itself. Why do they have to make it that way??????? WHY? Why this Kolaveri Di???? Anyways (got a bit carried away there).

Unless I can magically save a lot of money in the next 7 months, it is pretty unlikely the wedding will happen here (thanks to the insane catering prices %^&!%#^$&@*(^#*)

The next best place is really good for price, literally half of what the first one costs but it’s not much to look at. I will save a lot of money if I have my wedding here.

This is the ultimate trade-off. I could book the more expensive place but that would mean foregoing quite a few other things- cutting the guest list (parents won’t be happy), not spending too much on photographer (photos won’t turn out nice), budgeting gifts for the in-laws (they’re all flying to India just to attend the wedding…I wanted to pamper them a bit), not spending too much on my lehenga and trousseau (erm..I don’t plan on spending too much there anyways), not having nicer decorations for smaller functions at home. So in the end, I think I’m going to spend less on the venue and catering and more on the above mentioned things.

The fact is, the wedding will be over in a few years. The 200 or so guests will eat and leave within the next few hours as well but I don’t want to remember just that one day because it will be too short!

I want to have a pre-wedding photo shoot at Lodhi Garden/ Humanyun’s Tomb in Delhi at sunrise with le fiance. I want to go crazy shopping in Chandni Chowk and Sarojini Nagar and Janpath and Palika Bazaar for crafts, decorations, wedding invitations, jhumke, kamarbandh, my lehenga, reception outfits, trousseau and outfits for my whole family etc. etc. etc. I want to have a shamiana set up on the terrace and garden of my house and have all of my friends and family stay at my house, even if it means some people sleeping on mattresses on the floor. I want to decorate the entire house with colourful flowers, cushions, curtains and lights. I want to get the loudest speakers and blast music and dance every night for about a week (not too loud to disturb the neighbors though :P). I want a permanent gol gappe stand stationed at my house at all times…lol. I don’t want my mom and aunties to labour in the kitchen so I want to arrange for catering for a week for all the guests staying in the house. I want to put together a welcome kit for the boy’s side and a thank you gift kit with some personalized items (apart from all the shagun that goes with the wedding anyways). I want to have a small mehendi, haldi and sangeet function at home and I want a photographer to capture all of these moments. I wan to take the guests out for day trips or even a week trip to show them around.

I could spend a bomb on the nicer place but I won’t have funds left to build all those other memories that cost 1/100th of the venue but are worth so much more. I don’t want to have to cut down on all of these things that will happen over months before the wedding just so I can spend all the money I have in 6 hours! I want to enjoy the whole process…the one that takes about 2-3 months. Oh wait…I think I just made my decision 🙂

I can always just have the not so lavish venue decorated with seasonal flowers, colourful hangings and lots of lots of diyas and it can be made as beautiful as I want it to be.

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