How Soon do I book my Indian Wedding Vendors?
Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Congratulations on getting engaged!
If you're reading this, you or someone you know (in which case, please pass along our congrats!) is getting hitches and about to embark on their big fat Indian wedding.
As exciting as that is you have some pretty big decisions to make.
Here's a rough guide on how far in advance you should book your Indian wedding services. You need to know this so when your big day finally comes, you can actually be present and enjoy it.
As we mentioned in our planning timeline, number one is always the location.
1. Pick a Location (City, not Hotel)
Where do you want to do it? And why? How convenient is it for guests? Ideally it should be in a place that is central for one or both parties. If you're from Los Angeles and she's from New York, try to have it in California or the east cost. If you're looking at Mexico or the Bahamas that is fine, but remember you will be doubling your expenses with vendors, transportation, lodging and so on. But ideally, settle in on what city you want your big day to be in. And remember, despite what you think, for destination weddings a good chunk of people will still not confirm or cancel until a month before. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. (e.g. We've had super close guests cancel from going to India or Mexico because of a Zika scare).
BOTTOM LINE: ONE YEAR TO NINE MONTHS BEFORE.
2. Pick a Hotel
Planning too far in advance can be tricky, because hotels might see you have all the time and money in the world. But at the same time, if you wait until 5 months before they know your options are limited. Ideally the sweet spot is between 7 and 9 months, but a safe zone is up until 5 months before. (Remember, you want those invites to go out right after you have your location and hotel). If you're looking at Udaipur or other in-demand venues you might find a one year waiting list however so send some email contact forms and get a sense!
BOTTOM LINE: NINE MONTHS TO SIX MONTHS BEFORE.
Depending on your location, and also your hotel (remember to ask your hotel if they do Indian food).
In places like Hawaii or Mexico or even most of America you will need Indian food from outside. In places like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and parts of UK your hotel will do Indian food just fine.
But if your options are limited like in Cancun, Mexico you will need to lock down your catering quickly. In Los Angeles or major western cities, great Indian catering is booked far in advance.
BOTTOM LINE: FIVE Months to TWO Years BEFORE.
Look, it's no secret most guys dread this part and women tend to own it. But that being said, you need to start looking for your outfits soon. Despite the eye rolling and the "I'll just but something ready made a month or week before." I guarantee you, you will need to plan ahead. I always find it funny when people leave America, go to India, think they'll pick something up in a day because they have $300 in their pocket and will come home with a winner. It's possible I'm sure but if you do it smart, you will get a $5000 outfit for $500 as opposed to paying $500 for something that costs $250.
BOTTOM LINE: Four to Five months before for women, two to three months before for men.
5. Entertainment (DJ, Sound, Lighting, Singers, etc..)
Since this is out space, I'll get straight to it:
1. DJ/Sound/Lighting: Six months to nine months before. We accept bookings up to 10 months in advance. Any further it doesn't make sense.
2. Bollywood Singers: Most will be available but won't commit to anything more than 3 months out. They're busy people and who knows what tomorrow brings!
3. Dancers/Emcees/Comedians: 3 Months.
Bottom Line: Three to four months out for bands and entertainers, five to six months out for DJ, sound and lighting.
Chances are you will be up to your knees in photographer choices, but the one you like after debating for weeks will not be available. That's always fun isn't it? As a result, I suggest you look at about 10 different photographer websites, find about 20 images you like across the set, and then pick the one that has the most images from a single collection. Then simply show him/her the rest of the references and they'll know what you like (e.g. action shots, glamour shots like below, etc..)
Questions? As always drop us a note about your Indian wedding whether you need a quote or just have general consulting questions, we're happy to help.