Here's a post for all you Indian brides and grooms. Indian weddings have always been larger than life - it's always bigger and better. However, I've definitely seen a change where clients are choosing to go with a smaller guest list while keeping all the elements of fun! Big celebrations are great, but keep in mind what is really at the center of this wedding....two families becoming one. Your relationship with your future husband or wife is the most important thing to remember through this whole process. Here are some tips to help you through this wonderful season.
1. Bigger is not always Better
Figuring out the what your guestlist is going to be is probably one of the first things your families and you should be discussing. Get an estimated count for both sides and then add your numbers to see what your first draft of numbers looks like. I say first draft because you will want to pair that number down and really look at who you are inviting. Having a smaller, more intimate affair means that you have a little more in the budget to splurge on some of the bigger things you may want or just keep in your pocket.
2. Everyone will have an opinion
This is true for not just Indian weddings but weddings in general. People will always want to have a say in things that have nothing to do with them. So when wedding planning keep your circle of trust small. The fewer people that know details of your wedding, the fewer opinions you have to listen to. It also adds a little mystery and keeping the suspense is a fun way to add another element to your wedding.
3. Plan a budget and STICK TO IT!
This is key - regardless of whether you have a planner help you or not - it does not take much to have an Excel sheet of costs so that you know what you paid at the end of the day. No one likes to talk finances but have a budget helps determine what you can afford to spend on things like your venue, make up/hair, photography, etc. Also, if your parents are helping out, it is a good idea to ask them what is an amount they are willing to pitch in - this way if they are able to give you more than you need, then that can be put towards other things that you two decide on at a later date.
4. There is always a solution ... Compromise
I know, sometimes this is a point of tension with some clients. Typically the bride and groom want their wedding done a certain way and the parents usually have an idea of what they envisioned. My suggestion for this is there is always a solution and there is always a compromise. As much as it seems like it's your wedding, it's also your parents wedding (especially if they are footing the bill). If there are some key elements you want as part of your big day, make that known and see if there is a way all parties can get what they want. A little compromise goes a long way - trust me!
5. Spend your BIG bucks wisely
When you meet with vendors, every vendor you meet with will seem like an essential part of your big day. Your job is to ensure that your wedding is a reflection of your style. For this reason, if the details are not that important to you, spend a little less on the decor and more on your DJ or whatever you two feel is important. I recommend picking 2 big ticket items that you will splurge on and cut areas that may not deem important. The key is ensuring that you don't cut corners where it matters - your guests wants to have a good time, celebrate with you so do not hold back on the food and entertainment/party.
6. Family performances
While family performances are great and really help create lasting memories, it's best to include and incorporate these in your pre-wedding events. Some family members don't want to do speeches, others do; so make sure to include those in your pre-wedding events.
7. Open bar or Cash bar
I know, I know, is this even a question to be asking?! But let's talk this through for a second ... if you know your families or friends can get a little out of hand when alcohol is involved, maybe think about the cash bar route. From experience, it is best to have little drama and if having a cash bar will act as a deterrent, I highly recommend going this route.
8. Have a good team that can help you execute
You'll be surprised as to how many times I've heard makeup artists tell me their brides are stressing out the day of their wedding because the person they originally contacted at their venue is not there and has not passed on the necessary information to the banquet manager that is actually handling their reception.
This is where hiring a Wedding Planner comes in handy - yes I know we're seen as a waste of money to most parents however, on the day of the wedding when everyone wants to enjoy themselves and have a good time; having someone there that will make sure that the gifts are going in the right hands and make sure the night is going smoothly is a huge asset. If you have a friend who has volunteered to help keep your day and timeline on schedule - make sure they are reliable and can connect with the photographer and videographer to ensure that they capture your entrance and all the important moments.
I hope I've given you some tips that will help you navigate this exciting season in your life. The most important thing in all of this is to have fun and enjoy the process - seriously. Don't get caught up in the little things and when things get heated, take a break; go on a date night and remind yourselves why you're doing this in the first place.