Have you recently got engaged? And are you going start planning your big Indian wedding? If so, keep reading!……..Before you go to any wedding shows or start booking wedding suppliers or buy that gorgeous dress, read our list of the first 5 things you must do when planning an Indian wedding. Planning a wedding isn’t as glamourous as many may think. In reality wedding planning is a tough process and there will be challenges and so we want to make sure you are prepared and start planning in best way possible. With a solid foundation your overall planning experience will be much more enjoyable!
For us Indians, one event is just not enough… we love to party and entertain guests and so if you are having an Indian wedding then its more than likely to be 4 events or more. Don’t for one second underestimate the mammoth task of organising many events for 100’s of guests. Also don’t forget budgeting, here at Plan & Wed we believe this is the most important when planning a wedding. Whether you have a large budget or a small budget, follow the below points to get the most for your money! If you want to save time on wedding planning, save costs and have a stress-free planning journey then keep on reading 🙂
1 – Decide on 3 potential Indian wedding dates
Its important to have a few potential wedding dates determined when you start your wedding planning. These dates will help you to checking the availability of other suppliers – lets just put it this way, why go see a venue if its not available on the date you want. Get your family and your fiancé’s family together and agree on three dates that would work for all of you. By deciding on three potential dates you will have options incase one of the bigger suppliers, like venue, caterer or maharaj/priest is not available on one of the dates. Once you have agreed on the three potential wedding dates, decide on how many events you will also be having in the lead up to the wedding. I.e. Mehndi, Vidhi, Meet & Greet Evening etc.
2 – Booking your Maharaj/Priest
Now you may be thinking – shouldn’t I book the venue first? Priests get booked up very quickly. Especially the ones that explain the wedding ceremony extremely well to guests. Also many families are particular about which priest they book. If this is the case with your family then you should definitely book the Maharaj asap. If you have followed point 1, you should have three potential weddings dates and so if you want to remain flexible around your venue availability dates then provisionally book the Maharaj for those three dates and advise him to give you a call if another couple wants to book him on the same date. This way you have longer to decide the final wedding date without losing your chosen priest to another couple.
3 – Number of Guests
Both families should make a draft guest-list. The guest-list’s will probably go through a number of revisions but as a start it will give you an idea of how many guest you could potentially have at your wedding. The benefit of knowing an approximate number of guests is that you will be able to select the venue with the appropriate capacity. It will also help you to gage if the number of guests can be accommodated in your agreed budget. Just remember, the more guests you have the more expensive your wedding will be. There are many wedding costs determined by how many guests you have for example, catering, drinks, table setting & centre pieces, wedding favours, wedding Cake. Top Tip – Create a first draft list of everyone that you and your families want to invite. Prioritise the must’s and the maybe’s. If there are too many for the wedding then perhaps invite some of the ‘maybes’ only to the events leading up to the wedding.
Plan & Wed has specially designed a Guestlist Tool for large Indian weddings. You can use this list to capture guests by families and then decide which event you want them to attend. After you send out invitations you can also manage your RSVP on the tool to track who still needs to respond. All of those that are attending will appear in the seating plan tool so you can then drag and drop your guests name to a table to create a seating plan for your reception…..and its free to use!
4– Wedding To Do List…… and make decisions!
Now I believe this is the most important out of all 5! Many couples don’t do this but it is so important to have a list of all the things you need to do and buy for your wedding before you start booking suppliers and purchasing items. Without a list, you will make ad-hoc decisions which can sometimes be expensive. There will greater chances of you forgetting thing which can be stressful closer to the wedding. And if you don’t give yourself time to research suppliers you may end up spending more or not getting the best quality for the money you are spending. Build your list by Brainstorming. Brainstorming is when a group gets together to determine how to tackle a problem by gathering a list of ideas that are spontaneously contributed by the group members. You can use this method by bringing your family and your fiance’s family together to brainstorm everything required for the wedding. Whilst you make a list, make decisions as well. Like the themes of an event, what cuisine you would like, the colour schemes, start times & end time of each event and so on. Decisions that are made at the beginning stage of your wedding planning will save you soooooo much time and effort in the later months. Many couples don’t realise this, but making all your decision up front before you start researching and booking suppliers can actually save a lot of time and money. Also your family will be there to help you make decisions and so everyone will feel involved 🙂
TOP TIP – The best way to carry out this session is to get your family and your fiancé’s family together for a whole day. Tell them in advance what you are planning to do and how important this process will be. On day, have a spreadsheet or word doc available (if you can airplay of connect this to your TV so everyone can see your notes – even better!), bring plenty of drinks and snacks and start the process. Write down an event and start making notes on everything you will need for that event.
Here is an example of how to track your notes:
- Number of guests: 150
- Location/venue: Marquee at Home
- For 150 guests
- Action – Hire Marquee Company
- Moroccan Theme
- Action – Need to find a supplier for the theme décor
- Start time: 6pm
- End Time – 11pm
- Wedding Mehndi for bride
- Full hands Mums and Sisters
- Strips family and friends (70 people)
- Action – Book Mehndi Artist
- Theme – Lebanese Food
- Action – Hire caterer
- Starters served at 6pm
- Main Served at 7pm
- Dessert – Cakes and Icecream Served at 9pm
- Action – Buy cakes
- Action – Hire a caterer to make homemade icecream
- Serve Mojito and Sangria
- Action – Hire 2 cocktail makers
- Action – Purchase Alcohol
- Action – Purchase Plastic Cups
- Music & Entertainment:
- Playlist on Spotify – Action – Create Playlist for Mehndi Night
- Hire Large Speakers for Music
- Hire Dancers
- What to wear
- Guests – Arnakali’s
- Bride to be – Arnarkali
- Groom to be – Smart Casual
- Parents / Siblings – Casual / Anarkalis
- Action – Hire Hair & Make up Artist
Check out the Plan & Wed To Do List tool! Create your to do list here for free and set up your reminders so that you never forget.
5 – Set Your Budget for each wedding event
This is also a very important one. Before you begin to buy things for your wedding you need to know the budget you have for each event to avoid overspending and to maximise how much you get out of that budget. Until you decide on the budget you really shouldn’t be looking at photographers, caterers or venues because how would you know which suppliers are in your budget.
Now if you are paying for the wedding yourselves as a couple then agree the final amount with your fiance. However for most Asian’s the parent’s usually pay most or some of the wedding costs and so its really important to have the open dialogue with both families on who will be paying for what and how much the overall budget will be. This a very sensitive topic and so be sure to handle this conversation carefully with both sides of the family. We have a great blog that guides you through the process of how to bring two families together to discuss wedding finances. Check it out here because it may save you from an awkward situation: https://planandwed.com/discussing-wedding-finances/
Plan & Wed has a great tool to help you track your budget for each event…..The best thing is its absolutely free! Check out the Plan & Wed Budget Tracker. Once you have created a list from point 4, you can break down the budget and add an approximate cost to each thing that you need to buy for your wedding. Whether it is a service cost or a cost for an tangible item, this should all go in there. When you do finally hit the shops 🙂 you will know your budget which will help keep your overall wedding costs on track.
After completing the 5 points explained above you will then be ready to do all the fun things like view venues and dress shopping and yummy food tasting!! Our aim at Plan & Wed is to highlight the realities of Indian wedding planning and to support you with planning to make sure you have a fun and memorable experience and we hope this blog helps you plan your Indian Wedding Stress-free 🙂
If you are getting married and would like one of the Plan & Wed Consultants to help you build a To Do List and Budget then feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org