The feeling of having a having a ring on your finger and someone calling you their fiancée might all seem so surreal and all you really want to do is just stare at the stunning diamond and soak it all in. But you can’t do it forever, because eventually, sooner rather than later, you have to dive headfirst into getting everything ready for your big day. At first, planning for your wedding can seem like a pretty overwhelming task, especially when you don’t have a professional helping you out or if you’re under a tight budget. How to plan for your wedding ? But with a little bit of organization and help from your family and friends, you can have your wedding just the way you want it. It’s important to give yourself a good deal of time to plan so you can take things one at a time instead of rushing everything at the last minute and being stressed on your big day. Ideally, about a year’s time is enough to get everything on track and check everything off your dream wedding planning checklist. Always remember that you have your own life to deal with it as well and these deadlines, lists and decisions will always be endless – but it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that it will all be a whirlwind. If you keep a few basic things in mind and stay calm throughout, you can have the Indian wedding of your dreams that perfectly balances romance, glamour and glitz.
The first thing you need to do is probably the most uncomfortable of it all – finalising a budget. Sit down with the main people who will be contributing and have an honest conversation about how much can be spent and then expect to spend at least 10 to 30% more. Do not assume anything – always, always talk about it. While it is usually the bride’s family that pays for the entire wedding, you never know. It also helps to keep in mind that an Indian marriage isn’t a single day celebration but instead encompasses a lot of events spread over a few days. Do your research online or take the help of experienced specialists to determine how much you need for gifts, ornaments, venue, outfits and more for each event. A large determinant of this is what kind of wedding you want. Discuss with your fiancé about the location – is it going to be in the bride’s hometown, in the place where you currently reside or somewhere fancy? Would it be a traditional wedding hall or a venue with outdoor space? Is it going to be a conventional wedding with glamour elements or a proper traditional wedding? For inspiration, look at wedding magazines, or think of the last few weddings you attended. All the above questions require one answer that you have arrived at after discussing and agreeing to meet midway, as a wedding is a representation of both of you as a couple.
Next, decide on a date and place. Ideally, you and your fiancé’s family together should decide on three potential wedding dates that work for all of you. Then decide the number of events you will have before the wedding, including perhaps a social dinner, Vidhi, Mehendi, Sangeet, Haldi etc. Next, decide on and book a place well in advance, especially if your date lies between peak wedding months like October to February. To make the process of venue selection easy, consider these points: it should have a flexible gathering space depending on whether you need it for the big events or for the smaller social gatherings, it should be available on one of the dates you like, it should fall inside your budget and there should be enough safe parking space to accommodate all your guests’ vehicles. Optionally, check whether they provide food catering services and accommodation for guests. A guest list should be prepared by both families keeping in mind the budget as more people means a more expensive wedding. Having an idea of potentially how many people might attend your wedding is also very important while selecting the venue. Guests should be invited personally, through invitation cards or e-mails between three to six months before the actual event so they can plan their trip accordingly.
To make your wedding a memorable affair, choose a theme and stick with it in whatever you plan – be it flowers, entrance, backdrop, food representation and especially stage setup. Most people prefer an exotic flower theme as setting up roses, marigold, rajnigandha and jasmine add colour and freshness to the place without overwhelming it. If you can splurge a little, think about going for a royal theme, by indulging in top decorative artefacts, an antique car for the groom and a royal palki for the bride. Another category that guests don’t easily forget is the food served. So ensure not just quantity and variety, but excellent dishes that can please all types of guests. If possible, add a fun element to your wedding by bringing in some entertainment in the form of a dance or DJ artist. The dance floor should be equipped with sound and light arrangements so people can gather to dance to high energy songs. Make sure you preserve all these moments to cherish afterwards by hiring a capable wedding photographer and videographer who can capture everything right from the bridal moments like the application of make-up and jewellery. There’s also the trend of featured photography nowadays, which can be done before or after the ceremony. This way, you are capturing natural and real emotions and moments against a beautiful creative made-up setting that’ll go great on the walls of your new home.
Planning your Indian wedding well ahead of time will go a long way in eliminating last minute confusions and shortcomings. To make your dream come true, it would be very helpful to create a checklist or spreadsheet of everything you feel needs to be done, or download one of the many wedding planning applications available. Don’t forget that this is your wedding, and you need to have fun with it. So don’t be too hard on yourself, because what’s truly important is that you go home with somebody you love and have a happy marriage with them.