7 smart ways to cut down your wedding costs
So you’ve started planning your wedding. While you might have a dozen ideas in mind for the food, décor and attire you want, it’s important to decide on your budget at the outset. If you have a limited budget, but still want to have a grand wedding, here are a few ideas to help you cut corners without compromising on quality.1. Book the right venue:
Ragini Srivastava, Co-founder of wedding planning firm Doli Saja Ke Rakhna suggests, “Instead of an upscale hotel within the city, choose a venue in the outskirts to save on costs.” Wedding planners also suggest having the wedding celebrations during an offseason period, since hotels and banquets offer deep discounts during this time.
Look for a venue where you don’t have to mandatorily use their in-house vendors for decoration and catering services, as these tend to be more expensive. We recommend open ground venues to our clients since it gives them the liberty to work with preferred vendors, thus saving significantly on costs. Also, the tax component for 3 to 5-star hotel is higher at 35-40%, compared to open grounds, where it’s 10-15%.
2. Go for desi cuisine:
Food is one area where you can save a lot. Sachin Singhal, CEO of wedding portal Bandbaajaa. com suggests, “Avoid serving too many international items, as these increases the cost per plate. On average, hotels and banquets charge Rs 1,200 per plate for including international cuisine, whereas Indian cuisine costs only Rs 800 for each guest.” Choose out-of-the-box décor Traditional decorations for a wedding venue can eat into your budget. Ambedkar says, “You can save by decorating your venue with lights and artificial flowers, instead of using fresh flowers and fabric.” You can also think out of the box and enlist the help of local craftsmen or use upcycled objects to add a quirky touch to your wedding décor for a fraction of the cost.
3. Get your outfit stitched or rent it:
Another major expense is that of wedding outfits, which are only worn once, but can be very expensive. Srivastava says, “Some designers now offer buyback schemes for wedding dresses. Another pocket-friendly trend is that of choosing a design and getting the outfit tailored locally.” Hitesh Dharod, Proprietor of Popin Designer, a wedding-wear store, says, “ People are opening up to the idea of renting wedding clothes, which can help them save up to 60-70%.” The rentals start from around Rs 2,500 for a bridal lehenga or the groom’s sherwani. If the idea of renting your wedding outfit doesn’t seem too appealing, you can consider buying an ensemble, and then reselling it on one of the many available portals, after your wedding.
4. Rent jewellery instead of buying:
Renting jewellery for wedding is an emerging trend. “Renting lets brides wear designer jewellery at just a fraction of cost. They can even browse around to find pieces that match their outfits perfectly,” says Taruna Biyani, Co-Founder of Rentjewels. “Renting jewellery can easily save you a couple of lakhs,” she adds. Bridal sets are available on rent for Rs 2,500- 15,000 from online portals.
5. Give traditional wedding cards a miss:
Traditional wedding card invites are passé. Sumathy Bachchan, owner of wedding planning firm Wedding Sutras suggests, “Come up with ideas for creating personalised e-invites, or set up a wedding website or video that your guests can access. This way, you will save on the costs of printing and dispatching wedding cards.” If some of your relatives aren’t tech savvy enough to appreciate an e-invite, consider printing only a small number of wedding cards for them.
6. Capture precious moments for less:
It’s very expensive to hire a renowned professional photographer to shoot your wedding photos and videos. Instead, look up small-time photographers and freelancers who can give you a much lower rate. Singhal adds, “You can also hire a photographer who is just starting out, after reviewing their work. Their services are more affordable, and they bring fresh ideas to the table”.
7. How you can save on wedding expenses:
Doing your research and making a few small changes can help you save significantly on almost every aspect of your wedding budget.