A wedding is a time when people want to have a lot of fun, enjoy rich delicacies, wear new clothes and meet up with relatives and friends. However, a wedding can often mean a whole lot of expenditure. Some of the biggest expenses in every Hindu Shaadi today are jewellery, food, cost incurred for booking the venue and clothes.
But at times unexpected expenditures or certain personal reasons can force people to cut down on their expenses heavily. However, should it mean any cut down on the fun? Hell no. So what do you do? Here are 10 tips that will go a long way in helping you save money when you can't really afford to spend a whole lot of it on your wedding.
1. Absolute Budget - Absolute budget marriage would be one which is conducted in a court with a couple of witnesses from the bride and the groom's side. The only charges that you would incur are the court expenses. However, don't forget to buy some sweets for the person who registers your marriage.
2. Mandir Wedding - The Hindu Samaj considers a wedding conducted in a 'mandir' in front of the gods as legitimate. Vows taken in front of the gods can't be broken and doing so would be a sin. The only cost you would incur here is that on the 'samagri' (set of items required by the priest who conducts marriage) for the rituals. Also, you'll have to buy a couple of garlands or 'varmaalaas' which will be exchanged once all the sacred 'mantras' have been recited. Also, do not forget to buy some sweets for the priest and some to be offered to the gods.
3. Arya Samaaj Wedding - Arya Samaaj conducts mass marriages every year to help couples from lower income groups to tie the knot as per proper Hindu wedding rituals and traditions. The charges are extremely nominal and at times marriages are even conducted free of cost.
Okay, these 3 were budget category. But if you want to have all the pomp and show for less, make sure you don't miss any of the next 7 tips.
4. Wedding Venue - This is something on which you can tremendously save on if you are willing to settle for a decent venue. Most of the localities have community centres and parks or gardens which they are willing to lease out to residents for a very nominal fee. Try finding out one in your area or ask your friends and relatives if they have something of this sort in their area and how much it would cost. Compare and choose the least expensive one.
5. Ceremonies - For a budget wedding cut down on the ceremonies. In case you don't want to, make sure functions like 'mehendi', 'sangeet', ring ceremony etc. should be held at home or at a friend or relative's place to avoid unnecessary expenditure of booking a hall and a caterer. For wedding songs, catch hold of your grandmother and others of her age.
6. Wedding Dress - As of date a 'lehenga' can cost the bride anywhere between a few thousand rupees to a few lakhs. Similarly, a groom's dress too can cost upwards of a few thousand rupees. Both the bride and the groom should either choose wedding dresses that their pockets permit or ask around to find which of the stores give out wedding dresses on rent. You'll be easily able to rent a groom's dress worth around Rs 40,000 for a few thousand rupees.
7. Wedding Jewellery - Jewellery stores across several cities provide bridal jewellery on rent. You'll however, have to deposit some kind of a security which will be released as soon you return the rented jewellery and pay the fee. Also, these days artificial jewellery is quite popular. They cost less and look just like original ones. You might want to check them out too. Artificial jewellery is available at several malls and standalone stores in almost every city.
8. Wedding Food - if you don't think you can spend a lot of money on wedding food, try and see if cutting down on the number of dishes helps your case. Instead of putting up a wide range of dishes restrict yourself to say 5-6 items. Hire a local 'halwai' or catering service which specializes in certain dishes which everyone in your family enjoys. Most Hindu families love 'Poori' (fried Indian bread) served with 'aloo' (potato curry).
9. Wedding Decoration - Well, no one really like to cut down on it but you'll have to be content with modest decoration if you want a budget wedding. Try and see what the best that a party decorator can offer within your budget. Also, you may want to ask around and see if someone within the family or friend circle would want to do the decoration for your wedding if the flowers and the rest of the required logistics can be arranged from your end.
10. Putting up the guests - Well, in some cases it can mean a big bill. However, if you are planning a budget wedding, you may put up your guests in a nearby mandir. Many Hindu temples have some rooms which can be used for putting up guests. The rooms are usually decent and have proper bathrooms attached or available for common usage.