Not only Indian Weddings are elaborate affairs, but also they are pricey affairs. Families spend a lot of money in order to celebrate the big day and entertain wedding guests. No matter how much money you are planning to spend on a wedding, having a budget is imperative. Also, your wedding budget will significantly be affected by the size of your wedding. For instance, if you are planning a big fat wedding, you will need to spend a lot more compared to an intimate wedding ceremony. On average, a middle class or budget Indian wedding cost you around 10 lakhs – 12 lakhs.
In such a scenario, it’s essential to have your wedding cost calculations so that you don’t end up borrowing money from friends, family, and banks. Here in this post, we are sharing with you the wedding expenses checklist. Read this checklist and get ready to plan your wedding in your budget, like a pro.
PRO TIP: Compile a list of finance sources. It will include you, your significant other, both sets of parents, and your family members, relatives and friends.
The Deciding Factors
Below are the deciding factors on which the cost of a wedding in India is based on. Remember that the cost of a wedding in India varies dramatically. No two weddings will cost you the same amount, because of the different variables involved. However, the wedding cost in India varies depending on the factors below:
- The size of the wedding
- The type of wedding
- Number of functions
- Venue location
- Guest count
- Wedding décor
- Number of activities
- Wedding attire and makeup
- Professional wedding photography
The purpose of this post is to help you understand the different variables involved in an Indian wedding, along with the various costs that you will need to incur while planning a wedding in India. We have tried to cover all the aspects of a traditional Indian wedding along with their costs. Know that the requirements of every religion differ widely, due to which the wedding budget also differs. But this will give you an overall idea about the wedding expenses in India.
The areas where you will need to incur the cost include
- Wedding Venue
- Wedding Decor
- Wedding Food/Catering
- Wedding Attire for Bride and Groom
- Wedding Photography and Videography
- Wedding Invitations
- Wedding Favors
- Miscellaneous expenses
1. Wedding Venue
A wedding venue cost will largely depend on the number of guests you are planning to invite or the size of your wedding. A venue can cost you somewhere around a few thousands to lakhs to even crores. Besides, the location and the city of the venue will also affect your cost. For instance, if you are getting married I a tier-II town, then your venue for 1000-1500 people may cost you anywhere around INR 1,00,000 to INR 3,00,000. However, in the metro cities, like Mumbai, Delhi, etc. the cost may automatically go high. Also, how richly decorated the venue is will again add up to your cost.
PRO TIP: Instead of planning a week-long wedding, you can cut short your wedding functions or perform them within a couple of days. It will save you both time and money. Moreover, your guests will be able to enjoy most of your ceremonies.
2. Wedding Decor
One of the most significant wedding expenses is – wedding décor. Of course, each bride wants to marry in a fairytale style. A typical wedding decoration set up (depending upon the size of the venue) can cost you anywhere between INR 100,000 up to INR 3,00,000. You will get a simple yet elegant venue set up with flowers and other decorative accessories. However, if you are planning to style it up, then cost may go up to as high as INR 30,00,000.
PRO TIP: You don’t need to go extravagant for your wedding décor. Like if you want to spend too much on fresh flowers, then you should know that these flowers will be of no use the next day. Also, seasonal flowers are very costly. Most venues these days are ready to use. You can also opt for the venue that already has a beautiful décor so that you can save money.
3. Wedding Food/Catering
The cost of catering will majorly depend on the caterer you are going to hire for your wedding. Let me tell you that Indian weddings are very much about food. Your guests may forget about your wedding décor, but they will never forget about the food at your wedding. So it is imperative to do enough research before you finalize a particular caterer. Also, the cost will be affected by the number of food items and vegetarian and non-vegetarian food choices. The more food items you add to your menu, the more your cost goes up. On average, a vegetarian plate cost around INR 600 per plate and a non-vegetarian plate costs around INR 1,000 per plate or more.
PRO TIP: You don’t need to spend lavishly on food. Instead, add the most popular dishes in the food menu. You don’t have to compromise on quality, just keep a check on quantity. Also, having a limited number of dishes will help your guests to make easy choices. And yes, food wastage will be minimized by doing so.
4. Wedding Attires for Bride and Grooms
Every bride dreams of a unique look and attire at her wedding. And why not, after all, her wedding is a once in a lifetime event. In India, brides wear Lehenga or Sarees, which can cost her anywhere between INR 25,000 to INR 1, 00, 000 to INR 10,00,000 or even more. More often than not, the cost of Lehenga depends on the intricacy of work done on Lehenga, the material, and the designer. The cost of Lehenga will also vary based on the market you buy it from. For instance, if you buy your wedding lehenga from Chandni Chowk, Delhi, it will be too little compared to the South Delhi Market.
Then, there are other expenses, as well. Like, Mehndi Dress, Cocktail Dress, Reception Dress, Haldi Dress, Sangeet Dress. This may cost you somewhere around INR 100,000. Apart from this, gold jewelry, which is considered necessary in an Indian wedding. If you are buying gold jewelry, for every tola of gold that you wear, INR 40, 000 will increase in your list.
Then there is bridal makeup and Mehndi. You will need to hire professionals for makeup, hairstyle, and mehndi. It may cost you anywhere around INR 25,000 to INR 75,000 (depending upon the reputation of the makeup artist in your town).
Similarly, a groom’s sherwani would cost INR 35,000 to INR 75,000 (averagely priced) along with other accessories, such as jutis, turban, etc.
PRO TIP: Instead of buying a new wedding attire, you can choose to rent one. This way, you can save thousands of bucks. Of course, hardly anybody wears his/her wedding dress once the wedding is over. So far, gold and diamond jewelry are concerned; you can consider wearing your old jewelry at your wedding. Not only will it look classy, but also you will save a lot of money. Or you can choose to wear artificial jewelry at your wedding and buy lighter jewelry to wear post-wedding.
5. Wedding Photography and Videography
Believe it or not, wedding Photography and videography are a vital part of any wedding. Of course, you need to have pictures of your BIG DAY that you can cherish all your life. The cost of wedding photography and videography will depend on the status of the wedding photographer and Videographer. A good photographer may cost you around INR 40, 000 per day, and a videographer may cost you around INR 50, 000 per day. But, if you hire a professional photographer from some other town, then their travel and accommodation cost will also be taken care of by you, which will add to your cost.
PRO TIP: If budget is a constraint, you can opt for a digital album rather than choosing hard copies. Avoiding prints can save you around INR 15,000 -25,000. Or you can opt for a packaged deal of photo and videography as a bundle. It will not only help you get both the facilities from one vendor but also it will help you save money.
6. Wedding Invitations
Indian wedding invitation cards are again very costly. A lot of money is spent on wedding invitations alone. The cost, however, varies based on the number of wedding invites, type of paper, design, and artistry on wedding invites. A wedding invitation card may cost you somewhere around INR 50 – 100 per card. And if you go for a more graphically created content, then the cost may go up by thousands per card.
PRO TIP: Go paperless. You can consider inviting your loved ones and friends via video messages and e-gift cards. Not only will it add a personal touch, but also it will help you save money. Besides, it is the most economical, eco-friendly & fastest way of delivering wedding invites for your big day.
Indian weddings are considered incomplete if there are no relatives. In India, guests travel from far and wide to attend a wedding. So, for those guests, you will need to make proper arrangements. Of course, accommodation for guests traveling from other cities, states, and countries. On average an accommodation may cost you INR 1,000 per room on a twin or triple sharing basis or more, depending upon your wedding budget. Also, the number of out-of-town guests you are expecting at your wedding will affect your total cost.
PRO TIP: You can consider booking rooms at your wedding venue only. This way, you will be able to save a lot of money.
If your wedding venue is at a far distance, then you will have to arrange for transportation as well. Also, you will have to arrange for the transportation of your out-of-town guests. More often than not, cars are arranged for marriage ceremonies. The cost of transportation will depend on the number of vehicles, type of cars and number of days you will rent them. On average, the transportation may cost you somewhere between INR 20,000 to INR 1,00,000.
PRO TIP: Book your guests’ accommodation close to your wedding venue, it will save you a lot of money and yes, complaints as well.
9. Wedding Favors
Wedding favors have become an integral part of any wedding. In an Indian wedding system, people prefer to give clothes or silver coins or sweets to wedding guests. The cost of the wedding favor will depend very much on your budget. On average, a wedding favor may cost you around INR 500 to INR 5000 or even more depending on your budget.
PRO TIP: You can consider DIYing your wedding favors. It will help you give a personal touch, and save money on wedding favors. Make sure you give something useful and meaningful to your guests so that they don’t leave it at the table.
10. Miscellaneous expenses
There are a dozen things to take care of when it comes to an Indian wedding. Therefore it is essential to keep a small amount of money aside for miscellaneous expenses. Cost like, last-minute supplies, transportation costs of paying drivers, tips to waiters and caterers, alcohol for a cocktail, etc., can add up to your total wedding cost.
Besides, wedding music for different ceremonies, like wedding sangeet and wedding reception, will again add to your cost.
PRO TIP: Keep track of all the expenses related to the wedding budget. It will help you avoid unnecessary costs. Also, you can ask your wedding vendors for the best deals. Undoubtedly, we Indians are great at negotiating. So, don’t miss to use the skills of negotiation while dealing with your vendors. You might get some additional benefit of a 10-15% cost reduction.
WEDDING EXPENSES BASED ON THE TYPE OF WEDDING
The big fat Indian wedding
The big fat wedding or a grand scale Indian wedding can cost you around INR 50 lac to 80 lac or more. The significant portion of your wedding budget goes to wedding vendors, and the remaining money is spent on personal things, like, wedding attire, makeup, etc. The average price of a Big Fat Indian wedding will be:
- Wedding Planner – 5 lac – 7 lac
- Venue – 10 lac INR
- Photographer & Videographer – 5 lac INR
- Tent house & DJ- 5 lac INR
- Catering- 20 lac INR
- Bridal dress -5 lac INR
- Groom’s attire – 3 lac INR
- Invitations – 2 lac INR
- Transportation – 3 lac INR
- Makeup artist- 5 lac INR
- Miscellaneous – 5 lac
Medium Scale Indian Wedding
Medium-scale weddings are for the upper medium class families. This is the most popular wedding style in India. This kind of wedding cost around INR 25-35 lac on an average. Here is the average cost breakdown for various vendor services:
- Wedding Planner – 1.5 lac – 2 lac
- Venue – 2.5 lac INR
- Photographer & videographer – 1.5 – 2 lac INR
- Tent house & DJ- 3 lac INR
- Catering- 8 -10 lac INR
- Bridal dress -50k – 1 lac INR
- Groom’s attire – 50k – 1 lac INR
- Invitations – 50k – 1 lac INR
- Transportation – 1.5 – 2 lac INR
- Makeup artist- 50k – 75k INR
- Miscellaneous – 3 lac
Budget Indian Wedding
Budget Indian weddings may cost you around INR 8 lac to 10 lac. This kind of marriage is for the lower-middle-income class group. Here is the average cost breakdown for various vendor services.
- Venue – 50000 INR
- Photographer & videographer – 25000 – 35000 INR
- Tent house & DJ- 25000 INR
- Catering- 2 – 3 lac INR
- Bridal dress -25000 INR
- Groom’s attire – 20000 INR – 30000 INR
- Invitations – 25000 INR
- Transportation – 25000 INR
- Makeup artist- 20000 INR
- Miscellaneous – 1 – 1.5 lac
Besides these types of weddings, there are intimate weddings as well. Intimate weddings are the best option to save a lot of money and effort. Most couples these days are opting for low key celebrations.
Summing it up…..
Weddings in India can range anywhere from a few thousand to a few lac or even more. However, if you will use this wedding expenses checklist for your wedding, you will be able to save a lot of money. As we have given you pro tips with each expense. You can use these pro tips while planning your wedding.
Happy Wedding…. ☺ ☺