• Ajay Manaktala

Indian Wedding on a Budget | 20+ TIPS (2019)

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

Ajay Manaktala planned his own wedding in Tulum, Mexico and helps brides and grooms cut costs the right way for their Big Fat Indian Wedding.  He is also a most viewed writer on Quora under Weddings and Indian Weddings and blogs extensively about most shaadi topics, including the definitive Indian wedding cost and pricing sheet in America.

It's 2019 and Indian weddings are as expensive as they've ever been.  The average “middle-class” Indian wedding in America is between $220,000 and $300,000. 

However a bigger Indian wedding doesn't always mean better and in this article I'm going to show you twenty three free tricks to save you money on your wedding expenses.  Even if you CAN afford it, we see couples wasting money daily on a lot of things that aren't required so let's be smart about our budgets!

First, the assumptions are this is a local wedding and not a destination wedding. Although a great way to reduce your headcount from say 500 to 250 is to do a destination wedding (which will of course add some costs in other areas though).

You ready fam? Let's do this.

20+ Innovative Ways to Reduce Wedding Expenses

Indian wedding budget ideas
When you pulled off a wedding for half the price but twice the fun!

1. Ask Hotel or Venue For More Stuff, Not Less Cost.

This tip is so underrated.  I say it in multiple articles all over this site.

I know you're not in the business of banquets or corporate events but man oh man...you CAN sign a contract and THEN ask for extra goodies but it's way harder to sign first and then ask them to reduce the cost. 

Your wedding venue may not reduce their fee of say $50,000 or 10 lakhs (India)...but you can always ask them to:

  • include extra rooms since it’s a sunk cost anyways

  • free breakfast 

  • late checkouts

  • free premium wifi

  • Extra tea/coffee in common areas

  • longer hours for music (dj and ballroom),

  • extra valet parking,

  • more flowers (from in-house decorators)

  • waive an insurance fee (hotel facilities)

  • extra power consumption (Los Angeles hotels)

  • discount on massages and room service for in-house guests

  • 1-2 more free bridal suites

  • special rates for your wedding party (this is obvious but just fyi)

Venues will always give more but don’t want to reduce their incoming money revenue. 

Look at sample prices of food and hotels so you know the range.

Here are some Indian wedding sample pricing for food in America and Thailand for example.

reduce indian wedding expenses
Notice how decor gets it's own bubble?

2. Newer Decorators or Wedding Planners Are Eager to Earn Their Name.

Now a days with Instagram you can easily check someone’s prior work and be in good hands rather than have such a big risk. If they’ve done even 1 or 2 weddings before in Jaipur or a big Delhi Leela palace/Beverly Hills type of hotel they’re fine, and you’ll be fine. 

I personally find vendors who are new and eager to earn their name go above and beyond the call of duty. 

(NOT ALL...but if they've done at least 2-3 events and you find them way more responsive that someone who is acting pri