Let’s face the fact that it’s going to be THE MOST EXPENSIVE EVENT in your life. Everyone dreams of having a grand wedding, but not everyone can afford the expenses it entails. Then there are others who wish to save up money spent in the actual wedding and invest it elsewhere, like buying things for the house, an extended vacation a.k.a honeymoon or simply donate the extra savings for a noble cause. Whatever the reason may be, if you ask me, it’s always sensible to spend wisely no matter what the occasion.
So here are some ways in which you can still have a great wedding without a huge dent in your pocket !
Skip The DJ!
Yup! You read that right! Skip the DJ but not necessarily the song and dance routine. I personally find the traditional ‘dholki & chamcha’ routine with folk songs sung impromptu by family members during ‘sangeet‘ or wedding celebrations, or the traditional live ‘dhol’ much more soulful, memorable & enjoyable however, to each his own, therefore, if you are the kind who prefers ‘bollywood’ or any other genre of songs for fun & dance, have a techno savvy cousin mix up a a bunch of CDs with your favorite tracks, get speakers on rent, (or if you own JBL speakers you’re sorted) and have a blast without a DJ blasting a hole in your wallet!
Recycle Your Mother’s/Father’s Wedding Attire!
You may be surprised to know, or maybe not, that wedding couture can be painfully expensive. And to make matters worse, you end up blowing your gold on something that you would probably NEVER wear in your entire life AGAIN! So if you’re one of those lucky people whose parents are sentimental about their wedding wardrobe and have kept it with TLC even after all these years (because it was damn expensive back then too and they only wore it ONCE), then your apparel issues are solved! Depending on whether it’s a saree, lehnga, sharara, gown (if you’re the bride) or a formal suit, a pathani suit or a dhoti (if you’re a bridegroom), all you have to do is get it dry cleaned and trimmed or extended to fit you. If you feel you don’t like the colors or the design is too old fashioned, try mixing and matching for e:g stick to the lehnga but team it up with a new dupatta or get the saree dyed to a different color or get a new designer blouse stitched! And not only for the D-Day, you can reuse your parents’ wedding trousseau for other celebrations as well! Problem cost effectively solved!
Limit The Number Of Invites
This is a tough one, I agree. In our country, a wedding is a time when people usually end up inviting hoards of guests who, like almost everything else about the wedding, are a one time show! A way to ensure as less a number of sullen faces as possible (an impossible task really) is to have a quite gathering of very close relatives and friends for the actual wedding ceremony and throw a grand reception later. What happens in most scenarios is , we end up inviting a whole gamut of guests on almost every function or ceremony. That can and should be restricted too! For instance, men really have little or nothing to do during mehndi, haldi & sangeet functions at the girl’s side at least except for hang around in the courtyard or an extra room for drinks, so sending ‘Ladies Only’ invites for these functions only seems like a reasonable thing to do! The men can enjoy their drinks at the reception isn’t it?
Make A Schedule & Stick To It!
Indian weddings are infamous for never starting on time! If the time on the invite says ‘Baraat At 07:30’, you can be absolutely sure that the procession isn’t going to start before 10 or even 11:00PMish! What this implies is, your orchestra band is going to end up charging extra because of the extra time they spend than you hired them for, your ‘conveyor‘ of cars, buses whatever is also going to be serving you a little longer , which also, is probably on rent and I have personally witnessed a situation where the actual wedding ritual had to be shifted to the house of the bride, in her courtyard, because the baraat was so exceptionally late, that it clashed with another function scheduled to happen in the same banquet! AVOID!
Try To Host As Many Gatherings At Home As Possible!
Arguably, most Indian families still stick to this rule. But in larger cities, this seems to be a dwindling trend. Bring it back! Especially if you have a spacious house/apartment or the society you dwell in is OK with residents hosting terrace parties or using the lawn or garden area for this purpose. Trust me, it’s going to turn out much cheaper to pay a few extra bucks to your own Residents Welfare Association rather than splurging on banquets, open lush lawns or hotels.
Have A ‘Halwai’ At Home!
Sweets make an essential part and parcel of any wedding especially here in India. Instead of purchasing expensive sweets by the kilo and spending on the scale of many thousands, make use of your courtyard, terrace, an extra room in the house or that of a relative, friend etc to have a local halwai prepare sweets for the wedding on a daily wage basis. Your sweets just got sweeter!
Let’s Talk About Jewels!
Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend, books are! Besides they have no resale value.So ditch the heavy real jewelry sets & stick to fashion jewelry which you can procure on rent or even buy without a tsunami in your bank account! If you wish to buy gold with an investment point of view, go for pound coins. You would pay for the gold without the burden of making charges that you end up paying with jewelry.
There are many more creative yet thoughtful & cost effective ways of planning a wedding, you just need to realize that it’s not how grand the wedding looks on the outside that matters but how effectively planned and well executed it really is that would make it memorable for not just you but for those around you too! And remember, a lavish wedding is no guarantee to a successful marriage or a long-lasting relationship, but depth and insight is and if you’re this sorted , organized and sensible on a day when most people lose their mind and end up in debt, you’re partner is sure to admire your thoughtfulness and sensibility!