Hello Lovely Ladies! Wedding Wednesdays just got more interesting on Marigold Events. We get many questions from brides asking for wedding advice. We will be selecting and answering “Question of the week” every Wednesday on Marigold Events. Ask your question by filling out our contact form on the right.
Q. I am having a small Sikh-American wedding in California. My fiance and I are planning our wedding on a budget and want to keep things simple but beautiful. How can I get Indian outfits in the US without spending an exorbitant amount of money? How should I go about selecting a venue? How can I save money on decor? What do most people do with their centerpieces after their wedding? I have looked at different Indian Wedding Invitation websites – is there a catch to them?
A. Dear Bride-to-be: Congratulations on your engagement! Here are some recommendations on how you can have a simple, and elegant wedding within your budget:
Look for Indian Outfits and Jewelry Online
Making a special trip to India or Indian Clothing and Jewelry Stores in the US for wedding shopping does require a higher budget. There are many Indian clothing and jewelry websites which can assist you here.
Here are some reasonably priced websites to order lehengas, sarees and beautiful Indian costume jewelry from*:
Home India: Bridalwear
Your Designer Wear
Utsav Sarees: Lehenga Section
Utsav Sarees: Jewelry Section
*Please note that Marigold Events is not affiliated with any of these websites.
Venue Selection: Questions to ask
When doing your venue research, it is important to check the following with the venue:
1. Do they allow outside/Indian catering?
Tip: Sometimes venues, like hotels, have Indian catering packages. Ask for them.
2. Can you have an outside decorator? Any special permission needed to install a mandap or for lighting a fire?
3. Does the venue rental cost include event rentals, such as tables, chairs, linen, china, glassware, flatware etc.?
Tip: Event rentals’ costs add up very quickly and will definitely increase your per person cost.
4. Can you bring your own liquor? Will you need a liquor license?
Tip: If your venue does not have arrangements to serve alcohol, and they allow outside alcohol, you can save money on liquor because you pay for what you use. You can always return the unopened bottles and it is not a fixed per person cost. Make sure that your venue does not charge corkage or bottle opening fee.
5. Will you need event insurance?
6. Which vendors will need permits and insurance?
7. Check with the venue if they will provide complimentary cake, centerpieces, votives, champagne toast etc.
Tip: Ask your venue if they will charge a cake-cutting fee.
8. How many hours will you get your venue for? Will that be enough time to do set up and breakdown?
9. If it is an outdoor venue, you should ask about a rain location.
When doing your venue research, it is important to keep the above questions in mind. Do your budget and cost calculations based on the answers you get.
Decor and Centerpieces on a Budget
If you want to save money on decor and centerpieces, I would suggest that you go for a venue that provides complimentary centerpieces and votives. You can also look into DIY Decor projects. For DIY centerpieces, I would suggest buying flowers from the whole flower stores to save money. Every big city has a wholesale flower market.
You can reuse some of your wedding decor for your reception as well. At the end of your reception, you can ask your florist to wrap your flowers for your guests to take away. Usually the rentals are taken back by the decorator. For example, if they used a big vase in the centerpiece, they will take it back.
Here is a list of Indian Wedding decor items.
Invitations: Online and DIY
The catch to the online wedding invitations is the shipping cost, which ends up being as much as the invitations. Here are some tips to remember when selecting and ordering your wedding invitations.
If you want to save money on your invitations, you can design your own. Here is DIY tutorial for making your own wedding invitations.
When planning a wedding on a budget, it is very important to stay organized and be on top of your budget. Before I sign off, here are two references for you: Indian Wedding Planning Checklist and Indian Wedding Budget. Good Luck with the planning process!