Arguably your wedding day is the most important day in your life but have you given a thought to the fact that it could also be the day when you probably spend the most too?
The “big fat Indian wedding” is one that can burn a big hole in your pocket. And that is no fun – you are just doing the opposite of what a wedding must be – instead of making good memories, you are accumulating debt and financial woes. Weddings in India can either be costly or very costly. Managing finances can be a cause of concern and may come in the way of enjoying your dream wedding. So what do you do? Well simply start planning and ensure that you rock your wedding without feeling the financial pinch. When one of my cousins decided she was ready to get married, she had a frank conversation with her fiancée on what she could spend and what she felt could be curtailed. In fact both of them agreed on how they wanted their wedding and the end result was an affair that was classy and smart and exactly how they wanted it. Likewise media professional Merlyn Fernandes and her husband Everol Dsouza, both of who are also photographers knew exactly how they wanted to be married and planned everything to the tee and ensured that their wedding was on a budget and yet they did not cut any corners. And a wedding is certainly an event that needs you to spend simply because there are so many things to buy, gift and pay for. So while it may seem like a mountain initially, you can plan right and ensure that the climb does not seem as steep. Smart people can, however, choose to marry in a cost-effective way and still have a memorable wedding. Here are some ways that will help you plan your wedding smartly.
Plan Early: If you are planning on getting married in the next couple of years, or are recently engaged, you should start putting a little bit of money away every month. Sanna Vohra, CEO, Wedding Brigade avers, “even if it does not seem like a lot, Rs. 1 lakh saved over the course of the year can get you a stunning lehenga or amazing decor when the time comes to start spending.” It is also vital that you and your partner set your priorities for the big day and decide on what you are willing to spend on and where are you willing to save.
Budget: Be clear on how much you want to spend. Whatever budget you decide, remember that several last-minute expenses and additions may push it further up. “Instead of draining all your savings, consider availing a personal line of credit from a bank or a host of upcoming FinTech apps. Once your credit line is approved you can access any portion of it anytime and pay interest on the borrowed amount only,” advices Anuj Kacker, Cofounder, MoneyTap. Make a list of things you need for your wedding and know how much you will have to spend on it. Leave a 15-20% buffer as things will always end up costing more than you planned.
DIY (Do It Yourself): Adding a personal touch to invitations or centerpieces on your wedding day is a great way to save money, especially when you want a specific look. “Pick things you are good at and find a tutorial and get going. You might also be able to enlist friends and family to help add fun elements to the wedding,” advices Vohra.
Wedding Venue: Marriage venues are expensive and when you book in advance, you can save a significant sum. If you are on a tight budget, choose the city where most of your guests / relatives live so you can save on their accommodation.
Wedding Decoration and Catering: Go for a minimalist yet aesthetically beautiful decoration theme. Floral decoration can be very expensive. “Choose seasonal flowers that do not need to be imported. While selecting a menu, ensure it will be finger licking good but at the same time resist the urge to have cuisines from all over the world,” says Kacker. Opt for candles, kites, origami, rangoli to cut on the decor cost.
Wedding Jewelry and Clothes: Do you remember repeating your wedding clothes? Chances are you have never done it and the huge one time investment is of no use. Choose clothes and jewellery that you can reuse. For the wedding day itself, brides can wear matching jewelry which is not made of real gold and you can even opt to hire jewellery.
Beauty Treatments: It is natural to want to look your best on the wedding day. However, most of the elaborate beauty treatments that begin months in advance may only be a marketing gimmick. “Your bridal makeup should complement your own beauty instead of trying to make you look like a different person altogether. Don’t get pushed over by others and go for what makes you comfortable,” says Kacker.
Pre-wedding Events: Bollywood movies have fueled the trend to have elaborate pre-wedding functions like mehendi, sangeet and cocktail parties. You could try to combine all of them into one because every separate function will add to your cost. “Hire a wedding coordinator to handle things on the days of the functions as opposed to a planner. Though this may involve doing more work yourself before the wedding, it is a huge cost saver,” says Vohra.
This story first appeared in Sakal Times dated 4th Jan 2019 here: