Wedding Insurance for Asian Weddings

Your parents have been looking forward to your wedding since the day you were born and so when you find your soul mate and feel like the happiest person ever, everyone is ready to celebrate your wedding in style.

But there is one amazing fact – did you know that the average cost of an Asian Wedding in the UK is  £60000!!  …….Yes that right 60 Thousand Pounds!! That cost is just for the wedding and reception, so what about when you add on the Mehndi Night and the Meet & Greet evening and the pre-wedding ceremonies??!!

I have always believed that your wedding should be the most beautiful process that you go through (alongside having a baby!). All your family and friends around you celebrating the start of your new life – you can’t really put a cost on that.  The thing is whilst enjoying this celebratory time it is always good to have a reality check now and again – Money is Money and you and your parents would have worked really hard to build up that budget and so you really need to take care of it and manage it in the right way.

I guess I never thought too much about Wedding Insurance before – in all honesty it didn’t even cross my mind for my own wedding!   But recently I have been thinking about this – we insure our expensive cars, we make sure our pricey wedding rings is covered with insurance and we even insure our £1000 holidays but why on earth did I not manage to insure my wedding, which cost more than all of the above!

I have recently been in touch with Alpen Patel from Commercial Direct.  Alpen sells a wedding insurance plan specifically created for Asian Weddings.  Unlike traditional wedding insurance, Alpen’s plan at Commercial Direct,  covers multiple events over a 90 day period.   This is great, because for a small price you can cover all your events leading up to the wedding.

We asked Alpen some questions to give you more insight into Wedding Insurance.  See his responses below:

Q1 – What is wedding insurance and why should a couple planning an Asian Wedding get it? 

Wedding Insurance provides financial protection in case things do not go to plan on your big day. This includes cancellation and rearrangement of your wedding due to circumstances beyond your control. This policy will give you peace of mind with regards to loss or damage to ceremonial attire, wedding gifts, rings, cars, photography, failure of suppliers and stationery.  With the average Asian wedding insurance costing in excess of £60,000 we recommend that all couples purchase this policy just in case.  Our Product covers up to 5 events over a 90 day period which you would not get from a traditional wedding insurance policy.

Q2 – How easy is it to sign up and get insured? 

Yes it is very easy.  Brides and Grooms can either email a request for quotation or simply give us a call.  The average response time from Commercial Direct is no longer than 2 hours.

Q3 – How much does it cost to insure your wedding?

Policy prices can vary depending on the extent of cover required, these range from £65 to £300.  This is a one off policy and payment.   If the standard policy is not sufficient we can arrange a bespoke offer, please call to discuss your requirements.

Q4 – In what situations would you be able to claim back on insurance? And how far in advance of the wedding will the bride and grooms insurance be applicable? 

Should a supplier fail, a venue become unusable or a member of your immediate family become serious ill (not pre-existing conditions) you will be able to fall back on this policy to provide you with cover for rearrangement or cancellation.

Q5 – Are there different levels of coverage?  And what will the insurance cover if a wedding was cancelled or rescheduled? 

Yes there are varying levels of coverage for either cancelling or rescheduling a wedding.  The plan that you select will determine how much your insurance policy will pay out in an unforeseen event.

Q6 – What information does the Bride and Grooms need to provide to get insured?

The policy requires only basic information about the couple such as:  Names, Address, Date of Birth, and Contact Details.  We also accept non UK Residents where one of the couple is based in the UK.

Q7 – When is the best time for Brides and Grooms to get insured? i.e. When they begin their wedding planning or, after they have booked their suppliers? 

We always recommend that a couple purchases a policy as soon as they book and pay deposits to any wedding suppliers

Q8 – What does the wedding insurance not cover? 

In relation to illness or death of an immediate family member the policy will not cover pre-existing medical conditions. As with any insurance policy it is the customers duty to take care in choosing a wedding supplier.  Insurers will not provide cover if the couple was aware of any potential problems with a wedding supplier.

Hopefully Alpen has managed to clarify a few things about wedding insurance.  It’s the kind of stuff that is not ultra exciting about your wedding, like buying your wedding outfits or finding your perfect wedding venue but you know what – but you’ll get piece of mind and this can really help reduce stress levels – which is always good when planning your wedding!!

If you are interested in purchasing a wedding insurance plan or would just like some more information, contact Alpen Patel at: asianwedding@commercialdirect.co.uk or via phone at 02086582888.

Buying Beautiful Imitation Jewellery for all your Wedding Events

You have finally bought your wedding outfits and now it’s time to accessorise 🙂  The tradition to buy and wear Gold Jewellery for your wedding has been overpassed by the rising costs of Gold and influx of designers making and selling Imitation Jewellery that looks exactly like high-end Jewellery.  Whilst many can maintain that tradition it really isn’t feasible for everyone.  With wedding costs rising and with the fashion industry designing cheaper alternatives, Imitation Jewellery is a great way to complete your look.Buying Imitation jewellery has some great benefits:

1 – Asian weddings are expensive and buying Imitation jewellery can save you a lot of money when you need to accessorise for multiple events.

2 – Imitation jewellery is very durable as the base metal used is stronger then Gold.   The pieces you can buy should also be looked at as investment which you mix and match for other events many times after your wedding.

Aadheekta By Mudra is a new upcoming designer jewellery company selling Gold plated and Semi-Precious jewellery.  The team at Aadheekta believes that jewellery should enhance your features, just as your Makeup Artist would highlight and contour. Each bride is individual and has different requirements that drives them to design their jewellery freely.  Aadheekta truly feel honoured to be there to celebrate you on your new journey!

I must also mention that Aadheekta does not forget the Groom! Aadheekta are able to design and create custom buttons/ cufflinks for grooms to match the bride’s accessories or some classic strings of pearls to enhance the Grooms outfits!  

We have teamed up with Aadheekta By Mudra to write this blog to help you understand what to look out for when buying Imitation Jewellery.

Imitation Wedding Jewellery 

For those of you who are not experts Imitation Jewellery, below explains some of key words you may hear when looking for your jewellery set.

Kundan & Polki

Kundan and Polki jewellery were wore by the kings and queens in India going back a 1000 years during the time of the Mughal era.  Most commonly from Rajasthan and Gujarat, Kundan and Polki is style of jewellery where precious stones like diamonds, rubies and emeralds are set in the gold.  With intricate designs, Kundan and Polki produces the most beautiful and elegant jewellery.  These days, many jewellers create this style by using gold plated or imitation gold with semi-precious stones.  So you can get the royalty look at the fraction of the price.  

Semi-Precious Stones

When searching for jewellery you may come across the term Semi-Precious Stones.  Now don’t let this put you off as research shows that there is no difference between a precious and a semi-precious stone.  These two terms were introduced in the western market purely to drive sales.  Precious stones include Diamonds, Ruby’s, Sapphire and Emerald and the remaining gems fall under Semi-Precious.   Just like buying a Diamond, the prices of the other stones will be determined by the quality, cut and size.  Imitation Jewellery will most likely have a less expensive gemstones but will still give the look of an expensive stone.

Gold Plated

Gold Plated Jewellery is created using an electric-chemical process.   This process adds a layer of gold on top of a base metal like copper or brass.   Gold plated jewellery looks authentic and will make your piece look high end but will cost significantly less than buying Jewellery made of pure gold. 

Custom Jewellery Design

Companies like ‘Aadheekta By Mudra’ offer custom wedding jewellery for you to have jewellery made to go with your wedding dress. Each of their pieces are handmade with great deal of attention and precision, using the best artisans. For more information on custom designed jewellery – get in touch via aadheektabymudra@outlook.com.  

Buying Good Quality

When looking for quality, buying gold plated or silver based jewellery will have longer longevity. Also, semi-precious stones, synthetic gemstones or Polki stones look much more realistic than low quality crystals.  Sometimes quality of what you are buying relies on what the budget is, we advise our clients to think long term. Investing in good quality is much more important than anything else. Invest in classic styles rather than rushing to buy something that’s trending. Jewellery is meant to make you feel beautiful, pick pieces which will give you maximum wear.

Aadheekta By Mudra believe in owning a collection of pieces which can easily be worked together, whether it be layering longer necklaces with chokers or owning a good pair of Bangles which can be paired up with most of your collection. Why buy your bridal jewellery just to wear it for a few hours on your big day? Why can you not look as beautiful by matching pieces from your wedding events for the upcoming wedding of your bestie?

Average Cost

The prices of Imitation Jewellery vary, sometimes a set of earrings can be more expensive than buying Necklace and Earrings Set. There are many reasons for this, the most important is the Craftsmanship. Some pieces come with very intricate details and therefore can be a bit more on the pricier side. 

The current collection at Aadheekta By Mudra start from £25. Most of the pieces from their collection have been worked on by a numerous Artisans to ensure that each piece is made with the highest quality at each step.  Something I really like about Aadheekta is that they also provide a bespoke service.  They are able to work within your budget to create you a beautiful piece of jewellery that will not only be unique but will match your outfit to give you that sparkle! 

Taking care of Imitation Jewellery

There are two important ways to look after your collection. We recommend keeping imitation jewellery wrapped in a soft tissue and in an individual mini zip lock bags, as weird as it sounds! Especially away from those VELVET lined boxes, which more times than not have been dyed with colours which can easily stain your pieces. Always use a box which ensures that your pieces will lay flat once wrapped and store delicate items separately in an individual boxes. Most importantly, ensure you put perfume and makeup before wearing your pieces, needless to say – Perfumes have alcohol which can cause decolourisation. 

If you are looking for Imitation Jewellery for your upcoming wedding visit Adheekta By Mudra’s profile page at https://www.facebook.com/AadheektaByM/ or @AadheektaByM for more information!  

All images in this post are from the Adheekta By Mudra Collection.

Ways to Save on Your Wedding Costs

If you are on tight budget for your wedding or wish to not spend all your savings on one day 🙂  So read below on how you can save wedding costs and still have a great day without losing that touch of glam.  

Asian Wedding can be very expensive but at the same time there are plenty of ways to save your money.  Budgeting well is very important so keep on top of that.   But in addition to budgeting  this blog highlights some tips on how and where you can save on wedding costs and still have an amazing day!

InvitationsAsian Wedding Invitations and Stationary London UK

The invitation that your guests receive will be the first glimpse of celebration that is yet to come for your wedding.  Although this is the case it will be one of several pieces of stationary that wont stay around for very long… unless your guests are hoarders!!  Lets be realistic here.  How many invitations have you kept over the years.  This is one area I strongly advise not to splurge.  If you do have the desire to buy an exclusive designer invitation perhaps you can buy a few for your close family however for the rest of your guests, perhaps opt for a more simple invitation.

If you are going to be sending invitation via post you may want to get familiar with the Royal Mail Sizing & Pricing Chart.   The larger your invitation by length, depth and weight the more it is going to cost you more to send invitations to your guests.  Keeping to the Letter Size parameters you will save a lot of money especially when you are posting hundreds.  Also send your invited a few weeks early and take advantage of cost savings using second class stamps.

If you want to spend next to nothing on your invites, send e-invites to your guests!  Here are some companies that offer this service:

Greenvelope

Paperless Post

Indian Wedding Card

Flowers

Fresh flowers are beautiful!!  Flowers just make any space look more elegant and during your wedding you may wish to have lots around you! Just remember flowers for weddings are EXPENSIVE! This is one sure way you can save on costs!

Make sure you select a Mandap that doesn’t require flowers on the top! This can save you an additional £600 or so.  There are so many Mandaps with beautiful engraved structures that do not require flowers.

If you would like to use flowers in your decoration, choose more greenery and select flowers that are in season to lower the costs of arrangements.

One look

Go for one look throughout your wedding and reception.  By only having one look you will save a lot.  You will save on the extra cost for hiring a hair & make up artist for your second look, a second expensive dress, jewellery, shoes etc.  This approach can save you approx £2000.   You could make a subtle less expensing change between your wedding and ceremony i.e keep you hair up for the wedding and have it down for the reception.   My friend wore a traditional chanya choli for her wedding and for the evening she removed her chundhri and changed her top and dropped her hair from an up do, to loose and flowey.  It’s was enough to make the look different for the evening and saved money on a brand new dress and accessories!

Reception Decor

Table settings for a reception can really add up! If you have 300 guests at your reception and 10 guests per table, that is 30 tables that you need to decorate.  Table decor does give a great first impression when you walk into the a venue for a fun reception evening, however it is one of things that your guests will also forget very quickly.  Remember most guests will be busy chatting with family friends, watching entertainment on stage and up dancing away on the dance floor.   So this is another place you can save a lot on wedding expenses.  Make the Name Cards, Table Name Cards and Seating Chart your self.  Companies charge a lot of money to do something that you could do very quickly yourself.    I designed my seating chart and got it printed at staples for £25.  It looked sophisticated and did the job!

If you are looking to spend less on table centerpieces avoid fresh flowers or go for a small and simple fresh flower arrangement.  As I mentioned above flowers can increase your costs.  Instead go for a setting that incorporates candles & jewel pieces.

Guests

This is a sensitive topic when planning an indian wedding, but let me be frank.  The more guests you invite, the more the catering, venue and decor costs will be.  To keep costs down and with the exception of your close family and friends, invite different guests to the wedding and reception.  That way you do not have to hire the biggest venue around but everyone on your guest list feels part of the wedding.

Off Season

Get married off season when venue prices, catering costs etc are not at its peak.  Most UK couples want to get married during the summers season June, July and August.  Suppliers raise there prices during this time.  To save money on your overall wedding expenses, get married in May or October.  There may be more chance of rain but unless you are planning an outdoor wedding, remember you will be mostly indoors.

Prosecco v ChampagneWedding Bar Services London UK

Champagne is the sign of a happy celebration, however selecting a good quality champagne for hundreds of people can really make a dent in your  bank balance.   Going for a cheaper champagne is an option – but cheap champagne is really not that great!  In the place of Champagne go for prosecco – It is lighter, sweeter and has all the bubbles you are looking for in champagne 🙂  And more importantly cheaper then champagne!

Wedding Cake

Grand Wedding Cakes can costs almost £1000.   If you are looking for a grand wedding cake but have a small budget, you can ask your baker to make two real layers of cake (the one you are going to cut into) and the rest can be fake.  This will save you can have your big beautiful tiered cake but for half the price.   For my wedding, I had cupcakes as wedding favours.  I noticed at weddings I had been to, that many guests didnt eat the dessert because they were on the dance floor and having drinks.  So giving everyone a cupcake already packaged to take away worked well – and I didn’t  have to buy wedding reception favours either 😉

The Engagement Ring

For most guys, the engagement ring is something that will boggle your mind.  Not because you don’t understand the meaning of it or what it symbolizes, but simply because you can’t quite quantify in your head how something so small can cost so much money.  With that sort of money you can buy a car, help with your house deposit, go on a couple of holidays and the list goes on….but a word of advice…this is certainly something you should not try to rationalize with your other half.  You need to start appreciating that this is something that your girlfriend has been dreaming about for a lot of her life!

Indian Wedding Rings London UK

When I was about to buy a ring for my girlfriend (now my wife!), I did a crazy amount of research because I did not want to mess up this buy.  So I have collated a list that you should use as a basis before making one of the biggest purchases of your life:

1 – The Budget

You need to set yourself a budget.  Now there is this saying that says your budget should be the same as your gross income for 3 months.  In my opinion the guy who wrote this was definitely not planning an Asian wedding.  This would be a huge amount of money to fork out when you are about to start your life with someone where there is going to be so many imminent expenditures.  Remember you can always buy a bigger diamond in the future if you have the money, but this concept does not work the other way around!  I would say 1-1.5 month net income max.

2. Getting you moneys worth!

Being a classic Asian I could probably write a thesis on this after all of the research I did into this but I will condense it down for you.  On the whole the majority of engagement ring cost will be on the diamond and not so much the band/ring it sits on.  The majority of the value of the diamond is based upon “The 4 C’s”.  These are Colour, Clarity, Cut, Carat (another word for size).  The table below shows the spectrum in which these fall.

Now the amazing thing is you might have two diamonds with exactly the same features but each costs a different amount.  Here are some things you need to look into if you want to save some money:

Certification – When a diamond is produced someone needs to assign its Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat. This is done by a Gemologist.  There are many companies around the world that employ gemologists e.g. GIA (Gemological Institute of America), EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) etc.  It is interesting that if the diamond has been assessed by GIA it will be more expensive than EGL for exactly the same features.

The Name Can Cost – If you buy an engagement ring from Hatton Garden, the diamond may be the same as buying from a local jeweller but will cost you a lot more for the fact that you bought it from Hatton Garden – determine the exact characteristics and certification of the stone you want and then buy from the place which sells this the cheapest. Look at websites like bluenile.com, which will give you an indication of what you can afford on your budget.

Negotiate – Buying a ring is not like going to Tesco’s and buying a loaf of bread – there is not a fixed cost and there is an expectation from the jeweller that there will be some movement on the price.  I say this but if you go to a place like Tiffany’s there may not be but for any independent jewelers – take your negotiation skills!

3 – The Element of Surprise

Some girls want to go with their partner to “help” them select an engagement ring and others want it to be a surprise. If you fall into the latter category make sure you have a good idea about what you partner is looking for or would like in terms of design.  Think about the following:

a. The cut of the diamond (i.e. the shape) – will she like a square type (princess cut) or round type (brilliant cut) or another shape?

b. Would she like a classic style ring or vintage, modern etc.

c. Would she like yellow or white gold or platinum?

4.  Your Partners Ring Size

Know the size of your partners finger – the jeweller cannot the make ring ring without this vital bit of info! Best way is to try and take one of her existing rings.  If her siblings or parents know you are planning to propose – get them to get hold of one!

5 – Insurance!

Last bit of advice before we finish – don’t forget to insure the ring immediately – being so small it is not the most difficult thing to lose!!

If you are looking for a Ring, browse our directory to find your partner the perfect ring! Find Wedding Rings

Top Tips to be relaxed & ready for all your wedding events

The lead up to your wedding day can be busy and stressful.  Juggling work, planning all of your wedding events, meeting with friend and family etc etc….it can all be overwhelming.  To enjoy all your wedding events you need to be relaxed and stress free and relaxation comes with preparation, so here are few points of advice for brides-to-be on how you and your family can enjoy every moment of your wedding! 1 – Don’t leave any planning to the last minute 

Here at Plan & Wed we are all about wedding planning  – so you know I have to make this the first point!! 🙂 Make sure all of your wedding plans are in place at least one month before your first wedding event.  A month before call all your suppliers and re-confirm your bookings.   It very easy to forget some of the small and more integral aspects of your wedding, so to avoid this, prepare detailed schedules for each of your events and include times for when caterers need to arrive, set up and serve food, the time guests will arrive, when each stage of the ceremony will commence, time of family photos, when décor will be set up and time any entertainment is to begin.  Add in as much detail as you can! Share the schedule with all your suppliers so everyone knows what is happening throughout the day and when.  This will encourage them to stay within their allocated times to keep your day on schedule! 2 – Your Wedding Day Schedule

Try not to pack too much into your wedding day.  Remember it will take a few hours for your MUA to complete your look and get you ready.   The more you pack into your schedule the earlier you will have to wake up to get ready.   A 4am wake up on the biggest day of your life may not be the best way to start….especially if you are not a morning person!!   After spending months and months of planning, the big day can go by fairly quickly, so space out the wedding schedule to give you more time to enjoy your wedding at a slower pace. 

3 – Delegate Delegate & Delegate some more!! 

If your parents and siblings are left to manage a lot of the tasks during your wedding events, there is no way they will be able to play hosts for your guests and really enjoy the specialness of your wedding.  For each event, make a list of all the tasks that need to take place on the day – for example, let caterers know where to set up or tell photographers that they will be paid at the end of the evening.  Begin to assign relatives and close friends to each task to help your family coordinate the day.   It may be difficult to ask your guests to help you, but just remember that’s what family and friends are for and on most occasions they will honoured that you have asked for their help!! 🙂    By doing this, you, your parents and siblings can entertain and spend quality time with the guests so that everyone feels welcome and enjoy the celebrations. 4 – Spa Treatments 

Ok… so this may be an obvious one… but this truly is a way to make sure you begin to relax before your wedding.   We live such stressful lives so why not treat yourself and indulge! Have regular massages and facials to make sure you are truly relaxed and glowing for all your upcoming wedding events 🙂 

5 – Plenty of ZZZZZ’s

Finally (this is an easy one)  Try and get 8 hours of sleep each night in the lead up to your wedding!  This will help you feel great and full of energy to enjoy these special days!

6 – Wedding Outfits

I’m sharing this tip with you because it really made the start of my wedding events carefree!!  2-3 Weeks before your first wedding event get what you will be wearing for each event organised.  Pack a  separate bag for each event (I used the square saree bags) so on the morning of each wedding event  – you just take that bag out and get ready! No need to rush around looking for things at the last minute!   Tell your parents and siblings to do this as well for the easiest, stress free morning!!

Its very easy to get more busy and be more stressed in the lead up to and during your wedding events and so I hope the above pointers put you on the path to calmness!