How to plan an Indian Wedding!
Planning an Indian wedding can be an exciting but complex process, as Indian weddings are known for their rich traditions, elaborate ceremonies, and vibrant celebrations. Here's a general outline to help you plan a successful Indian wedding:
Set a Budget
Determine your budget early on. Indian weddings can be expensive due to various ceremonies, guest lists, and cultural aspects. Decide on a budget that works for you and your family. Once you have froZen your budget, you can plan all the other parameters better otherwise you will go on and on in an endless manner.
Create a Guest List
Decide on the number of guests you want to invite. Indian weddings often have large guest lists due to cultural norms and family expectations but this does not mean that you have to invite just about everyone. You can have a separate guest list for separate functions and ceremonies. Your Business associates could be invited specifically for a particular function, generally a reception or a cocktail. Acquaintances may be restricted to certain ceremonies and not all. Your guest list may be restricted with much lavish spending or vice versa as it's the same Budget that will get distributed.
Choose a Wedding Date and Venue
Select a wedding date that is convenient for both families. Book the venue well in advance as popular dates and venues get booked quickly. You can also look at it from a different perspective altogether. Venue being the most important aspect of your wedding, confirm the date of your wedding as per the availability of the venue of your choice, which is both as per your liking as well as budget. Interestingly, Sikh weddings are always on Sundays and mostly the main wedding ritual is performed in the Gurudwara.
Select Wedding Invitations
Choose wedding invitations that reflect your style and the theme of your wedding. Indian weddings often have intricate designs and colors. Nowadays, E-invites are quite prevalent but they do lack a personal touch. Do go for printed cards unless you are too conservative about the negative impact of printing on paper on the environment, Of course, you can always compensate otherwise.
Plan the Ceremonies
Indian weddings involve multiple ceremonies, which can vary based on your cultural background (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain etc.). Some common ceremonies include Mehndi (henna), Sangeet (music and dance), Haldi (turmeric), and the main wedding ceremony. Again, based on your overall budget, you may distribute your spending among these ceremonies. If not planned well, you may end up spending more on a less important event.
Decor and Theme:
Decide on a theme and decor for each ceremony. Indian weddings are known for their vibrant and colorful decorations. Consider traditional elements like marigold flowers, bright fabrics, and ornate designs. But you can certainly keep the theme subtle as well. You may hire a wedding decorator for this but eventually, it has to match with your style.
Food and Catering:
Indian weddings are known for their diverse and flavorful cuisine. Choose a catering service that can provide a variety of Indian dishes to cater to different tastes.
Select traditional wedding outfits for the bride, groom, and family members. Indian weddings often involve multiple outfit changes for various ceremonies. Get the outfits made well before the dates as you need to keep enough buffer for fittings and alterations if required. Do remember, intricate hand embroidery work is all manually done and can take several days to finish. Shalini Khanna is a fashion Designer based in Delhi, who makes exclusive wedding outfits especially for Brides and her relatives.
Photography and Videography:
Hire a professional photographer and videographer to capture the precious moments of your wedding. Indian weddings have numerous rituals and ceremonies that you'll want to document. Most of the good wedding photographers, get booked much earlier. Don't leave this task for the last moment as you may not get any good talented wedding photographer. After all, all the efforts put together in your wedding are eventually going to show through photos and videos. Together We Rock is a team of good Wedding photographers and videographers based in Delhi.
Entertainment and Music:
Plan entertainment for the Sangeet and other pre-wedding events. Close relatives especially young cousins of the couple put together well-rehearsed performances for the Sangeet ceremony. Many people hire a choreographer exclusively for this purpose. For the main event, you may hire a good DJ or live band to keep the energy high.
Beauty and Makeup:
Book a good makeup artist and hairstylist for the bride and bridal party. Indian bridal makeup is often elaborate and includes traditional elements.
Transportation and Logistics:
Arrange transportation for the bride and groom's processions (baraat and vidai) as well as for guests if necessary.
Gifts and Favors:
Prepare gifts for the guests attending your wedding. Indian weddings often include giving out small favors as a gesture of appreciation.
Ensure that you complete all legal requirements for your wedding, such as obtaining marriage licenses and registering the marriage. Many such formalities are fulfilled directly by the organizers which may be your event planner or the management of the venue. For example if you have any professionals, performing on stage, this may fall into a different category
Plan for Accommodation:
If you have out-of-town guests, arrange accommodation options near the wedding venue.
Communication and RSVPs:
Keep communication lines open with guests, especially if you're planning a destination wedding. Collect RSVPs to estimate the number of attendees accurately.
Coordination and Timeline:
Create a detailed schedule for the wedding events, including timings for each ceremony and activity. Assign responsibilities to family members or hire a wedding planner for smoother execution.
Stay Flexible: Indian weddings can be dynamic and unpredictable. Be prepared to adapt to changes and unexpected situations. Always keep a buffer in your Budget as practically the overall spending does exceed what was originally planned as many unplanned and unexpected expenses do come up.
Remember that the specifics can vary based on your cultural background, personal preferences, and the region you're in. Consider hiring a wedding planner experienced in Indian weddings to help you navigate the cultural intricacies and ensure a smooth planning process.