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South Asian Weddings


Hi everyone!

I am pretty new to the boards and got engaged a couple of weeks ago...yeah!!! We are planning on a budget- and looking to only invite ~ 150-175.  What kinds of things woule keep our budget down?  Any advice?  I still want a classy wedding is it possible to do this on a small budget?  Thanks~

Re: advice...

  • edited December 2011
    Congrats and welcome to the boards.

    I think the biggest way to keep your costs down is to do a lot of things yourself. Your invites, other paper needs, flowers, etc. And of course good negotiating on the price per person makes the biggest impact.

    I know KPwedKK did a lot of DIY for her wedding and it turned out really great.

    Hope that helps a bit. I am sure the other ladies on the board will have great suggestions, too.
  • edited December 2011
    Hi, and welcome!

    Classy on a small budget is definitely doable. (My FI and I are currently attempting classy on a miniscule budget, lol.) My advice is to find inexpensive but quality things. Costume jewelry is usually far cheaper than fine jewelry, and a lot of it is pretty good quality. You can usually save some money on photo/video by hiring photo or video students from your local universities, or hiring professionals who are just starting their businesses. DIY invites can save you a bit, too, depending on how elaborate you want them to be.

    I have more tips, but my brain has holes in it lately. I'll share them as I remember them. Good luch!
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  • edited December 2011
    Welcome NYchica!  Congratulations on your engagement! 
    There are plenty of ways to keep the costs down, but first you should try to make a budget, and a schedule.  Both of these help to know what you have, and if you intend to put more to it in the future.

    - Venue(s), Catering, Decorations and Outfits are the big things that hit our Indian budgets pretty hard...  
    - Are you having a wedding lunch and a reception, or something like a wedding followed by a reception? 
    - Does the venue provide the decorations - light, tables, table clothes etc, or do you have to rent them?  These are things to look at when looking at a venue.

    I wholeheartedly believe if you have the time, you can do a lot of things yourself!  We put together favors, decorations, centerpieces, the mandap flowers on our own.  I even put together our own invitations and programs through parekhcards.com.   Also our jaimaals (wedding garlands), garlands for family members, and gift card boxes were also DIY early in the process.  I even did DIY Mr & Mrs flute glasses, but in the rush of things, it got left behind, and it was perfectly okay!

    "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." ~ Miss K ~
  • edited December 2011
    Cutting down to the necessary events is the smartest thing.

    Can you walk into your reception instead of being carried in? Do you know a talented make up or hair person you could have do you up for your big day? Why not host your wedding in a back yard of a family home - I find them intimate - and have a lunch reception? Cut alcohol altogether, or a cocktail reception. I would suggest a small, family and a few friends only, wedding and a reception with everybody...make the reception and the wedding at the same place. Look for the talent within all of your family and friends - you would be surprised how many people are skilled with talents that could come in handy.

    Don't go overboard! Do a lot of DIY things - favors, centerpieces, garlands, etc. At least one of us on here has a good tip for you. I say use this website to its fullest - there are so many great tips.

    Let us know what you need, you'll have a lot of support, I assure you.
  • NYchica2012NYchica2012 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks soo much girls!  We are planning on only having the wedding and reception.  I really want a mendhi but I think that I would rather put that $$ towards something else that we think is important.  We haven't decided a venue since we are trying to fugure out who will give us the best deals.

    **Bells...what is your email...I would love to get your advice on NJ venues.  

  • edited December 2011
    All the ladies have provided some awesome tips on saving money and still having a great wedding, good job!

    From my experiences in photographing weddings in the NJ/NY area, I will give you some insights on how I would save some money. I am getting married in March and have gone through this exercise already!

    I have seen so many brides spend $6-10K on Mandaps. Wow. Are you serious? Led lights, crystal pillars...do you need all this? I got a few friends that may be able to help with this. I am asking a buddy to allow me to borrow his kit.

    Goodbye in a car - rented luxury vehicle. Oh my, so many clients renting super high end Bentley's, Ferrari's etc, all for a 10 minute circle around the block. When you exit your marriage, and if you decide to do the entire go around the block thing, borrow a friend/relative's car. Everyone has that one rich uncle with the nice black mercedes, I am sure he will let you take it for 5 minutes.

    Photo/Video - ask your friends and family to give you their photos. Don't hire a a seasoned photographer/videographer if it is not in your budget. These two can easily surpass $10k. Amateurs and local Indian guys with cameras are really not worth the money, trust me. Save your money! Every single Indian wedding I have photographed, there have always been at least 10 people with expensive high end cameras. Even if they don't know how to use them, if they all take thousands of photos, you will get quite a few keepers. If you must have a dedicated hired photographer, I have a few students that I have been teaching, they are very inexpensive and could help you out. This is not an advertisement for my services.

    No Boxed Gifts - Why do Indian people buy blenders and bring them in a Macys bag to the wedding? I love the No Boxed GIfts weddings. Those who would like to give a gift will usually give a check or cash in whatever amount they are comfortable with. I can tell you, I have been to weddings where the couple were gifted multiple toasters, all from the same black friday sale.

    Thank you Favors - so many brides spend hundreds and even thousands on little trinkets to pass out to the guests as they leave. Really? Do you know that we just had dinner at $90 a person? That is more food than most children in India have in a week, or month. Forget the little "thank you favor" - rather make a donation to a charity to help feed those who are hungry. Your guests will not complain and bicker/gossip that you didn't give them a silly candle with the Aum emblem that will end up in their "showcase" never to be seen again.

    Chair Covers - $2 each? No need to say more on this topic.

    DJ with plasma screens, led lights and your initials in a gobo flying around the room....if you have a budget, go with the simple package. Nightclubs are everywhere in NJ/NY, no need to convert your wedding into one if the budget is just not there.

    I have photographed events at way too many venues in the tri-state, so if you need help, you can always give me a call, e-mail, or even drop by with your hubby to be! I have photos from most of the venues, including decorations, dj setups, you name it, as well as a list of vendors we have worked with. I will not share my opinions of them on this forum, it may be considered advertising, so rather you can contact me if you need more  info!
  • edited December 2011
    Make sure, no matter who you work with, you get contracts.


    I agree - favors are not necessary, they are a bonus.

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