Best Indian Wedding Tips 2020
Updated: Jan 22
Indian weddings are a class apart. There is a million ideas and suggestions online but having DJ'd and helped plan over 1000 Indian weddings, I can tell you one thing...Indians want the familiar with the different. They want trendy but traditional. Here are five Indian wedding tips that save you money and make you understand all the other things you'll here.
So what are the best Indian Wedding Tips?
1. Personalization of little things are way more valuable that fancy expensive gifts that go in the storage.
2. Speaking to each guest on the day of the event will trump fireworks and expensive food that gets wasted any day.
3. Drama is no drama (explanation below).
4. Interview your vendors then let them do your job.
5. Discuss Finances with both families so it's not awkward and point 3 is taken care of.
Why These Top Down Tips Determine Your Wedding Mood and Memory
Often times at Punjabi or Gujarati weddings we kind of just go on autopilot. Hotel? Check. DJ? Check. Food? Check.
But aside from the logistics, what about the things we're actually there to experience and enjoy?
Me and Michael had some drama LOL.
Use this list to also know how to enjoy your Indian wedding as a bride and groom!
1. The Little Things are the Big Things | Personalize your Desi Wedding
A hand written note (not the cut/paste generic one with only the name changed) that your hotel drops off in each room, based on guest, with how happy you are to see them.
A whatsapp during your makeup just to say "Hey I'm here and I'll be busy but I'm happy you're here."
A beer in the van that takes from the airport, with some lotion, mosquito repellant, sunglasses or candy.
These are the gestures your friends and family will remember more than your fireworks display.
For example in Indian weddings in Thailand, you can literally design things like this, customized, for like $2 each.
Will guests remember this every time they take out their passport while traveling, or your choice of Johnnie Walker Red/Black label more?
They will remember you for years to come and it costs you two bucks per guest! Come on! (and no I'm not linking here, I just want you to know this is a steal for a valuable memory!)
2. the ultimate Best Free Indian Wedding Hack: Talk for 3 minutes. TO EVERYONE.
If you're having a 3 day wedding, as we discussed in planning one, make sure throughout the course of events you make it a point to speak to each guest or couple for at least 3 minutes.
I know it sounds like nothing, but as opposed to a selfie/hi/bye moment, your guests will appreciate the gesture given how busy you are and remember that more than any fireworks/music/drinks could ever do.
People love to feel welcome and often times we get so busy at our own weddings we forget to just breathe, say hi and trust the process.
Your guests will femember and cherish this moment more than any material item you produce!!!
3. Drama at an Indian Wedding would be No Drama
Every family function can get a little complicated. Drama is ALWAYS there. In fact if you're not having any drama...on don't worry, it's coming.
We love our TV serials in the South Asian community and we carry those soap operas everywhere.
If things get awkward at a wedding, whether a drunk uncle, uninvited guests, venue issues or whatever...remember...nobody expects you to worry about!
If your guests are complaining about their hotel room don't go screaming in the lobby at the hotel clerks as it's not your problem!
If you remember that there will be drama of who got a bigger room, who didn't bring a gift, who pissed off somebody with what they said about money, whatever...you're mind will just deal with it as normal.
Any guest who wants to trouble you on your big day rather than dealing with it on their own ain't worth it!!
4. Interview your Vendors. Then let them do their job. (Photo, Video, DJ, Coordinator, Travel, etc..)
Negotiate. Compare. Ask for sample contracts.
If you know a couple who got married at the same Hyatt a year earlier, ask them what they paid.
Not only do couples LOVE sharing their experiences, you will save a massive headache.
I always ask clients who come in if they have looked at other DJs.
I want them to shop around, compare, and even know why they may or may not pay extra for our services. Chris Rock said "if you're good you'll always have work."
In Indian weddings, if you like a certain photographer, or DJ, or coordinator, but they're a few thousand more...well, make sure you know what you're getting.
This business can be tricky, but don't get intimidated.
5. Discuss Finances with Both Family's FIRST
Once you set the baseline of who pays for what, you will have a much easier time planning from the top-down.
In our culture money is something that isn't as openly discussed as others, and you shouldn't expect the entire cost of an Indian Wedding (between $50K USD and $500K USD) to cause any unhappiness.
As bride and groom to be, make sure you chat openly about what the expectations are, the parents understand, and they're no surprises.
Couples in India sit the whole families down together and spreadsheet who is doing or giving what, so either it's clear that there is NO GIFT exchange to avoid drama, or they figure it out.
This will ensure a smooth planning experience and ironically save you much more money in the long run (say for example you don't lock on hotel rooms or vendors and then pay more as you book last minute).
PLEASE SET CONTRIBUTION and EXPECTATIONS FROM EACH FAMILY AT THE OUTSET!
I've seen a lot of weddings, and I can guarantee you following the advice above ensures a smooth process as you checklist your way through 100 other times like fashion, hotel selection, food, etc..
These are free things (minus the passport covers which are a few bucks) but I promise you they're invaluable!
If you don't follow the advice above, here's the things that could happen:
You'll spend money on fireworks but guests might feel they just stood outside in the cold.
You spent all that money on a Singer, but the food wasn't good. One shrimp dish could have done it.
Guests may complain they have no luggage space for the gift you gave them, or you have no luggage space for 90 more saris. (Yes people do this).
One side of the family won't confirm on the hotel needs, and prices will change and drama will ensue.
People wont say anything, but aside from a selfie they'll resent that you didn't give them any face time.
One side of the family will buy gold for the other, the other thought no gifts.