Recommended Budget for Groom's Sherwani for Indian Wedding (USA)
Indian wedding shoping is a daunting task. There a million spammy ads online, it's hard to remember the difference between a jodhpuri, kurta, lungi and sherwani, and family nerves can rack up. But first, what is the average price you should pay for your sherwani to look like a dapper groom, even for an outfit you're going to wear once? I decided to find out.
What is the average wedding sherwani cost in the USA? A middle-class groom between the ages 27 and 35 is spending between $800 to $1500 on their wedding outfit. Some spend up to $4,000 and others look just fine for $500, although any lower and you'll start to blend in with your guests.
Factors that Affect Cost of your Sherwani
Wedding sherwanis come in a million options and are usually only worn for an entire duration of four hours, although they'll make the majority of your photos. The average cost from the range I see, in California, is about $1,000, as the 3 zeros kind of play into the psychology of weddings. My brother and I each spent around the same.
They're a lot of factors to keep in mind however when selecting your outfit:
1. How Intricate patterns and embroidery?
Indian tailors will usually judge a piece based on the amount of hand work it too, and also:
2. Fabric Quality.
Silk? Raw Silk? Blended? You should make sure your tailor gives you a certificate or a guarantee. With rents so high in America and places like Mumbai, nobody is going to risk a negative Google Maps review on their million dollar shop by cutting $200 of silk off your outfit. So yes, be ready to pay for fabric.
If you're adding names like Sabyasachi or Manish Malhotra or Shantanu and Nikhil, you can pretty much double the cost for the same exact quality, although you get the swag and authenticity of those crazy styles.
Indian tailors are brutally honest, and they will charge you per fabric quantity. So if you're really large, expect to pay more as they'll charge per meter. The average amount of fabric you need for a wedding sherwani will be between 4 and 5 meters for a guy who's 5'8 and above. (You can make accessories with the extra).
How to Choose a Sherwani in your Budget
As you do your wedding shopping, whether in Cerritos, Mumbai, New Jersey, San Francisco or Thailand, or wherever Indian shops are (hint: everywhere), you'll meet hundreds of people who have seemingly hundreds of styles and cuts.
By they way, they all shamelessly copy the designers. Look at the plagarism handle Diet Sabya for hilarity.
HACK: Don't look at prices, or tell your wife/family the prices as you're trying on 20 outfits in the shop. Then ask them which one they like the most. You'll find cost doesn't really win most of the time.
To make the process easy and cover your bases so you don't worry later, we advice after seeing 100s of bride and grooms in the US the following:
1. Match with your Wife
Get colors that compliment or math directly.
2. Don't look at prices while trying them out
Explained above but the mind incorrectly associates higher cost with better. If you don't look at prices, you'll make an unbiased judgement.
My own brother did this and they families told him the $900 sherwani was better than the $1200 one, and even the shop guy agreed! "Sar, if you picked that one, I would have also suggested this one!" PHEW!
3. Understand many groom's go over budget.
It's better to spend $1300 on something you feel awesome in than $1100 on something you're not very excited about. Don't have buyers remorse, spend the extra $100 to know you're going to own that swagger in your baraat!
ALSO SEE: How to Rock your Baraat
How Long does a Custom Sherwnai Take to make?
2 to 3 months at a decent shop, but can go up to 4.
Other Tips for Sherwani Shopping
One thing you should know is Indian shops in America will make a higher margin due to the fact that it's imported. That's the reason so many bride and grooms go back to India once or twice to do their shopping.
A silk sherwani that costs $500 in India will likely cost $800 in California, and the $500 one you see in New Jersey is probably not pure silk, etc...
Lastly, make sure you change for your baraat. Don't wear your sherwani then!
Should I buy my Outfit Online?
Would you buy a car online having never test drove it?
Would your fiance buy her dress online?
You need to feel the outfit, the cut, how you move in it, you look in the mirror, take a picture if they let you, get your parents opinions. They're no stupid questions, so don't feel bad...but there are stupid decisions, so don't make this one!
Indian swag is in. Don't be overwhelmed, try on at least 15 outfits and you'll be a pro after a few hours!
All the best!