Having the perfect wedding is any bride-to-be’s dream from invitations, décor and venue to wedding outfits, food and centerpieces. Factoring in a budget plan into your big fat Indian or fusion wedding is an important determinant of how much you want to spend versus how much you actually have to spend. With a list of things to do that runs a mile long, where does a bride even think to start?
It is important to begin with a guest list and figure out the family that makes the “A-list,” the acquaintances that make their way to the “maybe list” and not to mention the “definitely don’t need to invite list.” Remember that keeping a budget of the things you should splurge on versus things you can keep simple is important. Creating a wedding with memories to last a lifetime is any bride’s dream, and making it happen on a budget is even better.
Venue: Okay ladies, let’s face it, this is one of the hardest decisions. If you’re planning a summer wedding, having an outdoor venue is ideal in a park or on a beach. At the same time for outdoor festivities, the unpredictability of weather makes it tough to make a firm decision. In addition, renting tents, chairs, lighting and paying for the outdoor venue can make it ultimately more expensive compared to a banquet hall.
Golf courses offer the best of both worlds letting you have the option of having the wedding outdoors and the reception indoors. Splurge. Choosing the perfect location may be hard, but investing money on a quality indoor location can be difficult. Renting a banquet facility for the evening can be all-inclusive and factors in the cost per plate, décor and lighting making your life a little less tough. If you’re a bride deviating from the big Indian wedding, hotels are perfect for weddings and receptions and are the way to go for the year of 2014.
Wedding Outfits: Where can you find the most spectacular wedding outfit that will make everyone’s jaw drop? Shopping in India will give you the biggest bang for your buck, by snagging the best bargains however, shopping locally will save you the stress of travelling and taking time off work. It’s your day to shine and look and dress like a Queen. Splurge. Shopping at local Indian boutiques will give you peace-of-mind because you can hold your retailer accountable if your sari blouse is too tight. The groom’s outfits for 2014 are trendy and fashionable focusing on embroidered and studded dinner jackets, making your man look like a Raja for the big day.
Jewellery: You can give all the aunties and uncles something to talk about with all your bling-bling without spending a fortune. Save. While purchasing 24 karat gold sets can be expensive, there are plenty of design options that include rhodium accents and white or rose gold as creative alternatives that look much more dainty than the typical yellow gold set. White gold, pearls and crystal-studded sets are 2014’s trend focusing on modern jewellery that you can wear again in the future instead of storing it in a never-to-be-seen-again safety deposit box. Gone are the days of the long awkward Mangal Sutra that doesn’t match any outfit, the trend is to have a single strand of beads in a 18-inch strand or shorter that sports a small crystal pendant that a dulhan can wear on the daily. Other cost effective options such as costume jewellery are always fun with a slew of options available to suit every woman’s individual taste.
Invitations: Your invitations are going to make their way to relatives all over the world, start it off with a good impression and get it right the first time. Splurge? Definitely. Finding a company that proofs your invitation and shows you a sample before they print hundreds is definitely a bonus to avoid unnecessary costs and errors. Some online vendors even offer the service of sending out samples of your card first before printing off hundreds so you have the chance to approve it or remove it.
Photography/Videography: This is definitely something you want to splurge on. After the wedding, reviewing one of the most special moments in your life is important to keep a good budget for. Splurge. Photos of your wedding will be decorating your house for years to come, make it a picture perfect one. Sending out DVD copies to family and relatives is standard, in addition to adding this special compilation to your most treasured possessions in a video that you can share online the very same day.
Make-up & Hair: Every bride wants to look like a Queen, and she deserves to be. But beauty comes with a hefty price tag. Save. Beautification for Indian brides can often range up to the thousands for multiple events, making it something you should budget for if you’re going for something more extravagant. However, bundling hair and makeup for multiple events can help you save a boatload of cash. Makeup artists typically include styling into the bundled packages, so you don’t have to sweat it if you can’t drape your sari perfectly on your own.
Food: This is one of the most talked about decisions amongst all the aunties and uncles that will attend your wedding. People tend to store memories by things that stood out the most, and food is definitely one of them. Splurge. Vegetarian versus non-vegetarian? Indian food versus Western food? And how much food is enough food? These are decisions that will make or break your wedding. Literally. Indian families usually have a member that is a strict vegetarian so try to keep a menu that will accommodate everyone for all wedding events. The 2014 food trends for reception parties include a cocktail hour and feature canapés and various finger foods so that guests can enjoy their yummy treats, while eyeing what everyone else is wearing.
Décor: Décor transforms your reception venue into a fairytale, but at what cost? Save. Have a get together with your girlies and use Pinterest as your tool to create some chic centerpieces for the big day. The trend for this year is to spend on a big elegant cake and show it off on a stand-alone table as décor, surrounded by flowers and candles. Decorating the center stage with a grand display such as a Shahi Jhula (royal swing) or an unconventional sofa set with coffee table will serve as authentic décor, and it's is a great way to have all eyes on you as a couple, and less on the hallway décor.
Cake: Three-tiered decadent delight. Splurge. This is the last thing people are going to be putting in their mouth, give them a lasting moment to savour from your royal wedding. Have a grand wedding cake, but have a second one to be served to all your guests. This year highlights the growing trend of macaroon and cupcake cakes being served at weddings and is multifunctional – adding to the highlight of the wedding centerpiece.
Flowers: Flower arrangements can be a two-in-one deal, and having petals define the walkway from the entrance of the venue to the center stage. Save. Add a personal touch and buy the immediate men in your family boutonnières rather than buying one for every relative. Using your bouquet and bridesmaid posies as décor for the head table will not only look great but save on décor costs.