100+ Best Indian Wedding Tips!
Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Grab some coffee! This is a long one!
We have spent the last 20 years DJ'ing and planning Indian weddings across Los Angeles, Orange County, a good chunk of the USA and even Mexico, Thailand and India.
From small weddings in restaurants when we first started out to a million dollar gala in places like Pelican Hill, we’ve seen it all and then some.
The wedding planning process is stressful enough and the Indian wedding planning process is a whole other level.
So since you might be feeling all over the place, we thought we’d join you and jot down 103 tips about literally ANYTHING Indian wedding related.
Let’s do this!
Indian Wedding Planning
Make your Guest list before you do anything. Your guest list determines who is likely to come and from where. That way you can figure out the best location, and then best hotel, and best vendor, etc…
Finalize your guest list a month after he proposes, and then plan your wedding within a year of that.
If your wedding is above 150 people, yes, hire a wedding planner!
Most wedding planners will charge between $10,000 USD and $20,000 but they will likely save you more money with their connections and ideas.
Ask your planner what they will do, and what they won’t do. Your planner will not help you shop for outfits or talk to tailors in India. They will fight with the hotel if they know they're taking costing liberties.
Make sure your vendors, whether video, photography, planners or makeup are all active on Instagram. Why wouldn’t you want to hire someone who is proud of their work?
If your wedding planner takes longer than a day to call you back, that’s not a deal breaker, but be mindful of that! If he or she also keeps saying “sorry I was with a client” that might be a warning sign.
If when you do meet your wedding planner who never seems to have their phone, and all they’re doing is being on their phone...well, you might want to switch them out.
India is not as cheap as you think anymore, for big fat weddings in Udaipur or Designer outfits. Shaadi business is big business! (Ok sorry, uncle joke!)
Remember major sporting events, holidays, Chinese New Year and Diwali.
WhatsApp Invites are preferred. I suggest you use them, nobody really pays attention to physical invites anymore. If you must, print out 20 for close friends who would kick up a fuss.
Want cash as gifts but don’t know how to say it? Try saying “No gifts, only blessings” in your invite and then have a box for “cards” at your wedding.
Ensure your hashtag is NOT CONFUSING!!! Was it #MeetThePatel or #MeetThePatels (plural) or #MeetPatels2019? I forgot?! Then all your images on social media will be scattered. Finalize it early and plaster it all over the place consistently.
Hotel for your Shaadi
Don’t pick a hotel that is too spread out. You’ll have old people who can’t do an “easy five minute walk” in the heat and don’t want to wait 15 minutes for a hotel buggy to take them back and forth.
Never agree on your hotel’s first contract.
Always ask your hotel for more stuff, like dry cleaning, free breakfasts, late checkouts, extra discounted room for your vendors, etc.. Hotels can always bake more things into your big $50,000 to $200,000 contract but they don’t want to reduce that amount. But they won’t risk if you simply ask them to waive that $200 bottle of wine you got carried away with and ordered during room service.
Remember that sunrise hotel and sunset hotel mean exactly that. You don’t get a nice sunset by your mandap if you have a sunrise hotel facing the east coast!
Ask your hotel if they do Indian catering, and if they, you should do a tasting of at least 10 items. If they do Indian catering, you can cancel any outside Indian catering as you’ll need to use this expense to meet your hotel spend requirements.
Don’t use hotel towels during your henna and mehndi, they will charge you almost $1,000 to replace big luxurious towels or bath robes.
Look into your hotels Instagram location and scroll down until you find pictures of other Indian weddings. Feel free to DM those folks and ask them about what they paid, how the experience was, etc..
If you expect 300 people at your Sangeet, you can do a buffet for 200 and have a few live station counters like a noodle bar, satay bar, teppanyaki, etc.. if your hotel or catering offers that.
Hotels rarely run out of food and you can change all of this a day or two before if you’re really worried about another 100 people.
Try to find hotels that are already heavily decorated so you don’t need to splurge too much!
If you find a ballroom where the ceilings are extremely high, your decoration will look a bit thin, so try to find a ballroom with lower ceilings! The sound will also carry a lot more as well!