Mangalyam Thanthunanena - How To Plan Your Wedding Budget

Well the biggest and most hardest part of your wedding is the budget planning and something that's even more harder is sticking to it!
In today's post we are going to see some stickies that would help you plan your wedding budget and most importantly let you think and realize what is important and what is not.

Plan The Events

The top most tip before you start *spending* the money you allocated for your wedding is to plan the events that would be happening around the wedding.
Some families have a lot of pre-wedding events and some have a few post-wedding ones too.
So first get to know your traditions and the pre-wedding, wedding & post-wedding events before heading on with the budget planning.

Some of the pre-wedding events included in Indian weddings are Nalangu or Haldi, Mehndi, Sangeet and Reception.
When you are on a budget you can keep the pre-wedding events simple - just within family and some friends. Of course you can't avoid the expenditure for the reception but can keep the Haldi and Mehndi ceremonies simple & memorable :)


For the Sangeet instead of arranging a DJ the bride, groom & their siblings\cousins can sit together sometime before wedding and plan their favourite list of songs to play so that when the DJ kicks in they would dance the floor off hearing their favourite beats!


If you are gratuitous you can also include some old numbers to impress the elders out there ;)
Also than investing much on the DJ music kit you can rent the music systems and speakers and also include some tiny speakers from your own house too :D


Once you have the list of events and ceremonies in hand you can go ahead with the planning & estimations!

Percentage of expense to plan for the events: 17%

Plan The Invitees List & Invitations

Everyone you ever met in your life is important but inviting them all to your wedding would seems atrocious!
So try to keep the wedding guest list compact and cozy. You don't have to invite the neighbours of every single house you lived in or that distant cousin of your parent who isn't in touch anymore.
Plan and list the names of the invitees you will be inviting to your wedding prior to getting the invitations ready as this would help you save a few bucks on the invitation costs too.


When it comes to the invitations, people are living in a whatsapp world now and believe me I invited even my mom's siblings through a WAP invitation ;)
I won't say you can skip printing invites and move in to the e-world but you don't need to spend thousands and thousands for those grand invitations as how much ever you spend most of them are gonna end up in trash some day.


So plan on the budget and get your invitations printed with simple designs. If you want to spruce it up then you can include some cute verses written by yourself or some cute pictures in it :)
Also plan on who will be receiving your hard copy invitation and who will be receiving the e-invite. Don't just print thousands of them and keep them stacked forever in your store room!
Plan it well and get the right counts printed. The money you save in physical invitations could may be invested in getting a nice e-invite designed (its kinda half the price you save even!)
You can also make a setup where your invitees can RSVP (maybe a facebook event invite) so that it will help you decide how many of your friends would be attending your wedding.

Percentage of expense to plan for the invites: 3%

Also Read: What To Pack For Your Wedding

Decide Your Wedding Venue & Season

This is kinda a big deal when you are planning a wedding these days as getting your favourite venue for your wedding is real tough!
But it's not when you get your marriage date fixed during an off-season. So if you want your favourite venue then pick a date during off wedding season or maybe at the end of a peak season as its easy to book the venues.


Picking a weekday rather than a weekend also would help. Plan both reception & wedding in the same venue to cut the cost to half!
So get the season and venue picked up for your wedding and plan the budget for your favourite wedding venue :)


Percentage of expense to plan for the reception & wedding venue: 15%

The Wedding Theme & Decorations

If you are dreaming of a theme wedding then plan and pick the theme you would like to go with first.
Once the theme is picked you will need to plan on how to accommodate your wedding guests based on your theme and the decorations that would match the theme.
Instead of planning on huge decorations plan on cute little decors and you can even DIY some stuff for the decors :)


If you are picking up an indoor venue then go for floral decors and choose minimal number of flowers than bunch of costly ones.


Also you can go for seasonal flowers as they would cost much less than off season ones.
You can also go for other paper based decorations rather than flowers to cut some budget!

Percentage of expense to plan for the wedding venue decorations: 10%

Who Would Be Your Caterer?

Food is kinda the most important planning step in an Indian wedding as we emphasize on appeasing our guests' tums and relish our taste buds too :D
So first thing you gotta decide is what type of food would be the preference, the kind of arrangement like is it going to be a sit-down luncheon or a buffet and plan accordingly.
Next is to pick your caterer. Instead of going with the one suggested by your wedding planner or rather than going for a wedding planner find our someone whose cooking relishes you & your family ;)


Tips to save in your catering are to keep the guest list minimal (again), arrange food in a restaurant rather than a hall & pick a late muhurtham like after 9 AM so that instead of arranging a breakfast & lunch you can you know arrange a brunch ;) There I said it :)

Percentage of expense to plan for the wedding venue decorations: 15%

A Wedding Planner - Really Necessary?

Ok coming to the hot top discussion - do you really need a wedding planner to 'plan your wedding'?
My answer - not really!
A wedding planner is someone who is going to guide you to a set of people who offer you wedding services and bill as a complete lot which is pricey! OUCH!


Living in a world where everything is just in our palms (yup not even hands anymore - we all have droids) and with a little time you can pick out the top\favourite caterers, venues, decorators etc yourself in no time.
Also by this you get to 'choose' for yourself than just blindly go with what was given to you - awesome right? :)

You can also outsource the big task of identifying the right people & team to your family member or cousins who have organizational skills as they would be able to achieve it in no time ;)

In case you had to go for a wedding planner, then the percentage of expense for the wedding planner: 5% (see how much you can save here!)

Wedding Attire Plays Major Role

Well you can't get married with sweatpants & sneakers right?
And you definitely can't welcome your guests during the reception wearing jeans & tops! :P


Well wedding clothes ARE EXPENSIVE and cutting off your budget in this is very tough but you can save some thousand bucks if you have a good plan :D
Buy your wedding clothes during off season or even better during sales as this helps you save a few thousands - especially on that lehenga!


Also if you really wanna cut down budget here, you can re-use any of your old sarees\dresses for the smaller functions (definitely not talking about reception or wedding here!)
If you are willing to re-use your mom's wedding saree (well its sentimental AND cost-effective) then you can by doing some alterations and adding some modern touch to it :)


Some families have a tradition of buying clothes for the parents' siblings and their family. If you are on a tight budget, you can cut this off and compensate by picking some gifts for each of them which would cost much lesser than that silk saree!

Percentage of expense for the wedding clothes: 13%

Gifts Do Bring People Closer

What is a wedding without any gifts for the guests?
Well you need to pick them something good, useful and rememberable - but remember it doesn't have to be pricey!
So plan and handpick the gifts based on age group or per family and categorize them prior to the event so that you can easily hand them over to the guests during the wedding :)

Percentage of expense for the wedding guest gifts: 2%

You Need Those Gleaming Pictures To Brag

Photos are the best ever memory you could create in your wedding. And apart from being a memory you will be able to literally 'see' your wedding again as being the center of attention you wouldn't have gotten much time to really be an audience at your wedding!
So investing in a good photographer is really good thing in your wedding :)


One tip to how you can save on wedding photography is to go for budding photographers rather than the popular and established ones as they charge less and also would give more care in getting the pictures perfect as it's a chance to establish themselves too :)
However get a trial shoot done prior to booking them to make sure they match up with your requirements and taste!


Percentage of expense to for the wedding photography: 10%

Also Read: How To Choose Your Wedding Jewellery?

The Makeup & Accessories

A queen can't rule without her crown right?
So can't a woman get married without the right accessories & makeup!
Luckily this is another major spot where you can save your bucks.


Main mantra here is: don't go ahead and BUY everything you need. First turn your closet upside down and pick out that long lasting lipstick, or your favourite blush or your gorgeous kundan neckpiece!
Basically pull out everything you can use during your wedding from your own closet so that you don't have to shell out your bucks on picking many things new.
Try avoiding gold jewellery as they're too expensive and go for artificial jewellery sets which look far better with your wedding saree\lehenga than gold!
You can also lend makeup from your friends if they are a makeup junkie to reduce some cost!

Akriti Sachdev from Mesmereyesmakeup - Chennai Makeup Artist

And finally book a good makeup artist after having your trial sessions :)
Maybe you can do your own makeup for the wedding if you are confident enough ;)


Miscellaneous Expenses

Also allot 5% of the budget as a backup for any miscellaneous or last minute expenses like the van you rented breaks down or your wedding planner got sick!

There I said it all and it's now your turn to jot down your wedding budget!
So how do you like the post and have you ever planned the budget for a wedding?
Do let us know your thoughts in the comment box below :)

Good Luck Ladies :) Until Next Time <3


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