A wedding is an eventful celebration and a once-in-a-lifetime event in every couple’s life. However, weddings are pricey affairs, irrespective of their financial status and the background, couples spend a huge amount to make their celebration grand. Because weddings are once-in-a-lifetime events, couples do not want to leave any stone unturned on their weddings. There is so much to a wedding that no matter how low-key the function is… Money is associated to a great extent. Money plays an important role in making a wedding even more fun and an amazing event. Also, every wedding ceremony vary, weddings in different cultures have different aspects. Country wise also weddings vary.
Why are weddings so expensive?
More often than not, we hear this age-old question “Why are weddings so expensive?” And we hear this question again and again from couples who are planning to get hitched and from others who are associated with them.
Well, there are so many reasons for weddings being expensive. When it comes to planning a wedding every couple has his own way of celebration. Some will go for a low-key celebration. Some; however, wants to go for lavish wedding ceremonies. Also, wedding budget matters while deciding the whole wedding theme, size, etc.
On a typical average, a wedding would cost roughly between $20,000 to $50,000 (15 Lakhs to 35 Lakhs), which would include wedding venue, catering, florists, photography, etc. Now, if the couple is willing to have a destination wedding then the cost can even go higher based on their location, country they are planning their wedding to host, number of guests invited, accommodation, number of days etc. Destination wedding can even go up. Here are some reasons why weddings are expensive.
1. Wedding Venue:
First and foremost, is your wedding venue, which is costly in most of the cases! Only if you are hosting your wedding at home, you can save on your wedding venue. But, if you have some specific wedding venue in your mind, then surely it is going to cost you much.
The first thing which your wedding guests notice at your wedding is your wedding venue. The moment they see the venue they immediately calculate the level of celebration. Most of the couples today want to go for best wedding venues at their weddings. We are in the era of showbiz…. And every couple is inclined to portray their story in a unique way, and for that they are ready to go beyond!
2. Wedding Theme:
If you have chose a specific wedding theme, it will cost you extra bucks… Especially if it is not DIY. Arranging everything according to your theme will cost you something, which will surely add to the total cost.
3. Wedding Invites:
Well, there are several ways you can invite your wedding guests. But even today in some countries traditional wedding invitations are considered important. Also, your wedding invite is the first thing, which your wedding guests receive. So, there comes an obligation to make the best wedding invites. Hardly will it happen that all your guests are tech savvy, and if it happens… Then you are lucky, as you will save money on your wedding invites. Countries like India spend lot of money in their wedding invites. And these printed invites can cost one from INR 20 to INR 200 per piece. Again your wedding cost will be determined by the cost of per printed invite.
4. Number of Wedding Celebrations:
This is very much determined by the country you live in. Like if you belong to countries like the UK or the USA, you will likely to have few functions like bridal shower, wine tasting, cocktail, etc. before your wedding, that too couples most often personalize these functions. However, in a country like India, especially the north-Indian region, there are mandatory celebrations like Mehndi, Haldi, Cocktail, Ladies Sangeet, etc. before the wedding. Each function in Indian custom is considered important that of course add to the cost. Also, the size of the wedding and pre-wedding functions in Indian wedding system is more or less the same that adds to the cost.
5. Number of Wedding Days:
Again it varies, in western culture more often than not, weddings are just a day celebration. However, in Asian culture it may be 2 days event to 7 days event. Indians actually celebrate weddings like a festival. Pre-wedding celebrations starts even few days before the wedding. There will be guests, especially the out-station guests will arrive even before the pre-wedding bash – their accommodation to be taken care of, their food, and the arrangements, decoration, etc. add to the wedding cost, thereby making it an expensive affair.
6. Wedding Decor:
This is another factor which adds to the wedding cost. Of course, it will vary from couple to couple. Because not every couple will go for the same kind of wedding décor at their wedding. Cost of the wedding will go up based on the type of décor you are willing to have on your wedding. For instance, if you are looking for all fresh floral décor, with some specific flowers like Dahlia flower, Tulip flower, Rose, Calla Lily, and Amarylli. These flowers are very costly flowers, having these flowers at your wedding will surely add to your wedding cost. However, if you go for drape, or may be some DIY décor that can help you save money on décor.
7. Hiring Professional Wedding Planners:
Undoubtedly, these professional wedding planners can take your wedding to a next level. But the fact remains that they come with some cost. Hiring a professional for your wedding will add to your wedding cost. However, couples today as I said, want to leave no stone unturned, hence, they hire professionals to make their wedding an amazing affair. An affair, which they themselves and their guests will cherish all their lives. Sometimes the only intention of a couple is to leave a long lasting impression on their wedding guests, and have a memorable celebration. So, to give bring their dream idea to life, they choose to hire professional wedding planners. As, these professional planners are skilled enough to give your vision a life that you have been dreaming all your lives.
8. Wedding Photography:
Weddings are very important and most personal events in every couple’s life and wedding album is considered to be the most sacred book in their lives to relive those beautiful moments even after years. Now wedding couples hire a wedding photographer to document their special day to just to get a few staged poses of their wedding that too created after the event in some studio. Those magical and enchanting moments are riveted by a wedding photographer. An expert of capturing a story and giving it a unique dimension. Wedding photography is a way of not only capturing the couple but also giving their happy moments a life which they can cherish forever. Unlike regular pictures, wedding photography is a specialized form of photography, not just to capture wedding ceremonies but to give those emotions and moments a timeless effect which couples remember for years to come, and so.
Gone are the days when no much importance was given to the wedding photography and the requirement of a wedding photographer was barely important, where on the name of wedding photography – wedding ceremonies and the participants were captured. Today, wedding photography has evolved to an absolutely new dimension. Now, it’s more than just taking some few colorless pictures of the wedding.
Wedding in any couple’s life is the most important event, a new beginning for the couple and their near and dears. Today, the role of a wedding photographer is not just limited to clicking few regular pictures of a wedding but to capture the emotions, the joyous moments and beautiful memories of these two people stepping in their new life. Your wedding cost will automatically go up with the level of wedding photographer you have hired. For instance, if you have hired someone, who has just stepped into the industry your wedding photography cost will be lesser than the one who is a hit in the market.
9. Hour of Wedding Photography:
Some wedding photographers charge on an hourly basis. Now, if your wedding processions are going to be long. And you want all of them to be covered then definitely the number of hours will go up, thereby increasing the cost of the wedding photography.
10. Days of Wedding Photography:
Like I said earlier, in many cultures wedding celebration starts even a week or a few days before. And some of the functions are equally important as the wedding itself. If you want all of those pre-wedding celebrations covered by a professional, your wedding cost will go up the moment your number of days of wedding photography are increased.
11. Number of Wedding Events Covered Professionally:
Now, it is again important. If you are looking at all your wedding events covered professionally then it will add to the wedding cost without any doubt. There are many couples, who in order to save money get few of their wedding events covered by some of their friends or family members. And they hire a professional only for their main event. However, many get all their wedding events covered by a professional only.
12. Hosting an Engagement Party:
Even your engagements can be pricey. In some cultures, engagements are celebrated with great pompous. As, engagement is the first event, where it is announced that these two people are going to tie the knot. However, in some cultures like western, it is just two people’s job…!
13. Cost of the Wedding/Engagement Ring:
Wedding rings also cost high… Today, mostly couples prefer to exchange diamonds on their weddings or engagements. Diamonds are costly of course.
14. Lot of People are Invited:
Every couple wants to celebrate the greatest event of their lives with their nearest and dearest, but unfortunately these costs do add up. It doesn’t matter much where you are hosting your wedding. But yes, the cost goes high depending on your wedding venue. For instance, if you are hosting your wedding in some high end property of your town, where per person charges are applicable. And you have invited like 1000+ wedding guests, just imagine what will be the cost. On the other hand, the same function is organized at your home premise only… Then the cost may be lesser. Also, if yours is an intimate celebration with just 30 – 50 wedding guests, it will also affect the cost and you will end up paying relatively too less!
Over the past few years it is seen that couples are having fewer guests at their weddings, which means that these days’ couples aren’t asking how much their wedding is costing them, but rather how much each guest will cost them. As a result, they’re choosing quality over quantity when it comes to planning their day.
15. Wedding Outfit:
Be it the bride’s wedding outfit or groom’s wedding outfits are actually costly. Of course it’s true that you hardly wear your wedding outfit after the wedding is over. But that doesn’t stop couples, especially brides to spend fortunes on their wedding outfits. Especially in Asian countries, wedding outfits are really very expensive, which again adds up to the wedding cost. However, some couples today are very practical, they choose experience over outfit. Which means they save money on their outfits and spend that in some international holiday. Believe it or not, buy a wedding outfit can cost you anything from INR 10,000 to INR 50,00,000 even more in some cases.
Other than the main wedding dress be it a wedding gown or wedding lehenga, couples need to buy outfits for their other functions as well. Like dresses for Mehndi function, Haldi celebration, Sangeet night, Cocktail night, and Reception dress. All these together add to the overall wedding cost.
16. Type of Wedding:
What type of wedding you are planning again determine the cost of your wedding. For instance, if you plan to host your wedding at your hometown your cost will be different than the one you host in some other location. That means destination wedding. Now again destination weddings can be celebrated in your own country, if you choose some International locations for your destination wedding, it will add to more cost.
Destination weddings include additional expenses like to and fro travel cost, local transportation, food and accommodation of you and your wedding guests. All these added together will add to your cost. Again how many guests are expected at destination wedding will affect the overall cost of the wedding.
17. Transportation at the Wedding:
Even if you are getting hitched in your hometown, you need to arrange for a few private cabs or taxis in order to let your oldies and out-stationed guests have comfortable traveling to wedding venue. Also, the bride will need a separate cab if she has to go to the parlor to get ready. This is again a cost associated to your wedding.
18. Wedding Vendors:
In every wedding there are a lot of vendors to be arranged, like the florist, caterer, decorator, music, etc. There are a lot of wedding vendors, which you need to coordinate with and hire for your wedding and that again add to the cost.
19. Wedding Food:
Yes, food… Food actually plays an important role in any wedding. Be it an intimate wedding celebration or a big fat wedding, food needs to be arranged. And today couples want to have various food items at their wedding. They want to add cuisine from different countries and regions in their weddings, just to treat their wedding guests a perfect and sumptuous wedding meal. Gone are the days when only few dishes were included in wedding food, now there are varieties to be added in a wedding. There are different kinds of salads, deserts, main cuisine, etc. which are added to the wedding food items.
20. Wedding Music:
Any wedding without music is almost incomplete, if it is not a typical church or temple wedding. Music in wedding add to the fun at the wedding. Your wedding guests enjoy more when music is there. Then there are different varieties of music you can arrange for at your wedding, like traditional music or karaoke or DJ etc. Cost vary according to each music.
21. Wedding Reception:
After the wedding there is a reception. If you are hosting your wedding reception separately then again it adds to your wedding cost.
22. Wedding Favors:
Your wedding guests, bridal party (bridesmaid and maid of honor), grooms party (groomsmen and best man) etc. who make for your life’s biggest event need to be treated well. Now what exactly you are looking to giveaway to your wedding guests and how much it costs will add to the overall wedding cost. Of course you will want to giveaway some keepsake, which your guests can cherish all their lives.
23. Bridal Make-up
Bridal make-up is not ordinary, it is special. Every bride wants to look her best at her wedding. So, it becomes important to go for the best make-up artists and hairstylist. Today, make-up artists and hairstylists charge a lot, especially if you are booking the best parlor in the town, then your cost of the wedding will also go up depending on the cost.
24. Bridal Shopping:
A bride needs to shop almost everything new in her wedding. Especially in an Indian culture a bride should buy all new clothes, including inner-wears. A bride in Indian culture cannot take her old stuff with her. Though couples are becoming a bit liberal on this, but still they choose to buy everything new.
25. Bridal Make-up Tools & Make-up Kit
Not only on her wedding, but also after her wedding a bride needs to look beautiful. There are many lunches, and dinners, and parties she will be invited post marriage. For that she needs to have a bridal make-up kit in which she will have almost every item from an eye-brow pencil to a lipstick. A bridal make-up kit also adds to the cost and it varies based on the number of make-up items and the brand a bride buys.
26. Expectations from Family
Weddings don’t come alone, in fact they come with a lot more family expectations, especially when there is money involved. This naturally compels couples to set a certain standard for their wedding day, to make sure that they are keeping face.
28. Style of Catering are You Having for Your Wedding
Each couple will have different liking for style of catering and accordingly the cost of the wedding will be determined. There will be family expectations as well. Consider your family expectations and assess what is important to your family, as well as what is reasonable and accordingly you can decide on the style of catering.
Honeymoon is an important time of every couple’s life. Honeymooning is a kind of mandatory vacation for every couple, no matter whether it’s an arranged marriage or you two know each other for quite a long period. Honeymooning is a must. Now, honeymooning to which location matters. Whether you are honeymooning in the country or going abroad to spend some time together. However, couples these days are preferring international locations for their honeymoon. Your honeymoon again is a cost.
Your honeymoon will include your travel, local transportation, accommodation, food, shopping, excursion, fun activities, and much more.
Your wedding is the biggest event of your life, and sometimes unexpected expenses do occur, which you can include in miscellaneous.
So how should you get around it?
Your wedding is one of the most important celebrations of your life, often phrased as “Once in a lifetime”. Therefore, every couple gets very concerned and particular even with the smallest details of the wedding. That’s okay, but it should not hamper your happiness today and tomorrow.
The best trick to getting around the question of “why are weddings so expensive” is to stop asking it. Rather asking why your big day has to be expensive like other weddings you might have been to, instead ask yourself how you can plan your perfect day in your budget.
You can still have a wedding in your budget. It’s not always that you have to spend a fortune on your wedding. You can simply make small changes like; hire a garden venue with food trucks rather than hiring out that big reception hall. Or hire your wedding photographer for just the ceremony and your speeches rather than hiring them for the entire duration of your wedding. Likewise you can see where and how you can save on wedding cost.
Whatever it is, just see what you can or can’t live without for your wedding day and plan accordingly. Just research well and find out what areas of weddings cost the most money, see what’s worth doing yourself or having someone else do for you. Also, you can consider hiring less suppliers for your big day to keep your costs down.
At the end of the day what matters the most is you and your partner. So, if keeping the cost down is important and required very much for your future together, then do it! After all, you two are the most important part of the day. Remember, that is priceless.
The process of getting hitched is a beautiful and an eventful moment to remember in every person’s life, but it should never be at the cost which a couple is unable to handle. The last thing any couple would want after the ceremony is over, are sleepless nights that comes after because of the heavy credit card debts of which they are unable to handle. So, think wisely and plan your wedding accordingly!! Even a great celebration can happen in budget!!