Friday, May 9, 2008

Traditional Indian Wedding: Dispelling myths & Tips on How to Budget a traditional Indian Wedding:

You have popped ‘The Question’ & the answer was “Yes, I will!” Now you are planning a wedding and the question is what kind of wedding to have? If you are the kinds, who like colors, rituals, traditions & flamboyance then the Indian wedding, is the perfect way to celebrate the biggest occasion of your life.

If you still have apprehensions and are wondering that Indian weddings are rudimentary and boring then you really, need to check your facts twice. The Big Fat Indian wedding has changed dramatically. From an elaborate traditional affair that involved the family and community for days at a stretch, it is now as much a celebration of beauty & romance and an occasion for friends/family to get together and have a great time. I have noticed that earlier Indian weddings were about the best five star hotels, a heavy designer lehenga ( & chunky jewellery with elaborate invites. Today, all this has been fine-tuned to a different level and the ceremonies have a modern twist. The functions now include more fun, and are events that are more social. In fact, off late even the guests get all the pampering with shopping expeditions, Folk performances, desert safaris and cruises, as part of the wedding entertainment.

To add to the twist, dance choreographers are either coming in for on-stage performances or training the family members for a dance night (sangeet). Community and regional origins are no longer a parameter for hosting a wedding function. Thanks to the ellaborate portrayals in Indian cinema, you can enjoy every aspect of the marriage in a unique way.

Ok, so you are sold on the Indian wedding. However, are wondering what is a Traditional Indian wedding and how big a hole it will burn in your wallet? Let us start with what Tradition Indian (Hindu) wedding must are. Commonly a traditional Indian wedding is a three-day affair with a host of events.

  1. The ceremony starts with offering prayers to Lord Ganesha.
  2. This is followed by The Tilak, (the sacred mark on forehead) ceremony. Following the Tilak is the Mehendi Ceremony. Tilak & mehendi are hosted on a single day mostly.
  3. The next function is the Sangeet: This is a entertainment evening where family members and Artistes perform to music ranging from Bollywood to folk.
  4. The next function is the wedding ceremony.
  5. Last but not the least is a Reception dinner.

(You can read more about The Traditional Indian wedding on my soon to be launched website:

Hence, at the least one needs 3 to 4 days to host a truly enjoyable & memorable traditional Indian wedding.

How to budget a traditional Indian wedding:

1. Keep in mind that you are talking about 3 days of fun & frolic hence the budget must be planned day wise & function wise

2. The first thing to be decided is the number of guests per day + No. of rooms+ No. of meals per day per guest (Meals apart from the ceremony meals) + Transportation & ceremony venue/venues

3. One of the foremost in your budgeting is setting up an amount for The Bridal trousseau/groom’s attire & Jewelry/accessories for bride and/or groom ; invitations & announcements, Music, photography & videography, gifts for relatives

4. Next comes the budgeting for ceremony lunches & dinners

5. Please put aside a separate budget for Flowers/ décor/lighting

6. If you are not cutting corners then set aside a good amount of money for entertainment & wow elements!

7. Last but not the least don’t forget your wedding consultant fee!

For a common man, the great Indian wedding is an enticing dream world. Every girl’s heart nurtures the dream of marrying off amidst pomp and flamboyance. The ostentation and hype that an exotic designer wedding enjoys doesn’t come without a cost. Yes the grand-traditional Indian weddings come at the cost of your fortune, if you are not Midas or a treasure owner. Briefly, a great Indian traditional wedding for 200 guests will not cost you less than $ 150000!

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