A huge gathering of family and friends, a house filled with laughter, lively music, and vibrant decorations, rituals spanning over days before the wedding ceremony—ah! You guessed it right—we are talking about an Indian wedding. India, where love is the essence of life and the same is reflected in all the festivities and ceremonies here, an Indian wedding is a joyous celebration of love and the union of two families. The splendor of our rich history is reflected in the diversity of our culture, and various traditions of Indian weddings.
A Complete Guide To Planning an Indian Wedding
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The rituals of an Indian wedding are its zest. Apart from the wedding, the fun and frolic of various ceremonies taking place along with it are known to the world. Every ceremony and event thrives on sentimental and spiritual denotations. Planning such an elaborate and extensive wedding could be an exciting but exhausting task. There are countless things to take care of and decisions to make.
Along with deciding on the lookbook of an Indian wedding and what lehenga to buy, packing the trousseau with all the vintage jewelry and outfits passed down from generations, and planning all the ceremonies, it all sounds a bit overwhelming, right? Fret not! To spotlight everything you need to know while planning an Indian wedding, we have compiled a step-by-step to-do list from pre-wedding ceremonies to the reception, ensuring that the big day is filled with nothing but happiness!
Fix a Budget
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People are under the impression that Indian weddings are expensive affairs. Naturally, a celebration lasting for days could be financially excruciating. But preparing a budget first could save you from overspending. One of the first things you should do while planning your wedding is to set a budget. Many make the mistake of not setting a budget while planning their wedding and end up spending a hefty amount on unnecessary stuff. Understanding your comfortable budget will help you make all other decisions and execute your ideas. Fix your budget first and decide upon all other stuff later.
Pick an Auspicious Date
Indian weddings do not just happen out of the blue. Generally, weddings here are held between November and February. Hence, booking a venue and all other stuff is done well in advance to avoid last-minute hassles. Fixing a date at the earliest will also give you a timeline to plan the festivities based on your budget. It will also keep a door open for any uncertainty.
Decide on the Guest List
After fixing a date for the wedding, preparing a guest list comes next. It’s crucial to get a guest count ready before booking the venue and the caterer. The preparation of various ceremonies becomes a lot easier with a clearer idea of the guest count. Along with extended family and friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other acquaintances are also invited to the ceremony here. However, various ceremonies have different guest lists. For example, generally, immediate family members are invited to the engagement; for haldi, sangeet, and mehndi, extended family, friends, and in some cases, neighbors are invited; and a reception is held for colleagues and other acquaintances.
Figure Out the Venue and Decoration
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While some of us have dreams of having a big royal Indian wedding, others might prefer a small, intimate ceremony. Booking a venue that is large enough to accommodate your guest count and is also perfect for your dream wedding can be a huge task. Generally, starting from haldi to reception, all ceremonies are held at the same venue. Hence, once you have your guest list ready, start looking for venues and decorators before moving ahead with planning anything else. Along with the venue, the time of the wedding plays an important role in the decoration, make-up, and outfit.
Get the Invites Ready
In India, sharing a save-the-date photo is still considered an informal way of inviting. The invitations to an Indian wedding are elaborate and have an emotional touch. Along with the details of the wedding ceremony, they include every little detail about all the ceremonies. Some even mention other details of ceremonies like dress codes for Haldi and reception. Keeping the traditional invites intact, couples can add their personal touch and a small gift to the invites as well. The invites are either given in person or sent through courier to the recipient, which can take some time, so before starting the core preparation of the ceremonies, deciding and sending the invites is essential.
Book the Artists and the Entertainers
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Mehndi is an integral part of Indian wedding ceremonies. Before the wedding, the hands of the ladies are decorated with mehendi designs as a good omen. Mehendi and make-up artists are all very busy during the wedding season. Hence, along with the venue, It is essential to book mehendi and make-up artists well in advance. Not a single ceremony is complete without music and dance in India. Booking a DJ or a live music group once you decide on the venue is also safe. Having the team of artists ready before the big day is a big relief.
Don’t Forget the Photographer and the Caterer
They say that the food is the most important and memorable thing about an Indian wedding. As food is the essence of the ceremony, being careful while choosing the menu and the caterer is important. Go for a trusted caterer with a blend of authentic and exotic dishes. For food to be remembered for a long time, invest in quality.
Capturing all of the pleasant moments that you can later look back on is just as vital as delicious cuisine as they are cherished forever. But, photographers are often neglected during wedding planning and are hired at the last minute. Photos can present the luxury of an Indian wedding all while keeping the simplicity intact. Photos enhance the royalty of the vintage jewelry in Indian weddings. Hiring a photographer with a team big enough to capture not just the couple but the family members could add to the beauty of your memories of the big day.
Select Your Attire
Here comes the step everyone is excited about. After checking every other item off the list, it's time for you to get your dream outfits for various ceremonies, not to mention the lehenga. Now that you have all the details of your decoration and makeup decided, it will be easier to find a piece that is a perfect blend of tradition and trends. From the engagement to the wedding, the Indian wedding outfits are the show-stoppers, hence, everyone looks forward to shopping for them.
Though red is traditionally the dominant color for wedding attire in India, brides today like to play with various color palettes. Start looking for ideas and inspirations for your dream outfits, and buy a wardrobe that speaks volumes about your personality and style. You can even get a vintage outfit altered in a way that keeps its authenticity alive and looks fabulous. Own anything you choose to wear!
Shop Your Jewelry and Wedding Gifts
The bride’s trousseau is a very emotional and personal part of an Indian wedding. While a few brides opt to wear vintage jewelry and heirloom outfits, some create an Indian wedding lookbook that suits their personality along with honoring the traditions. Be it any way, the bride never fails to shine. Keep shopping for the last step of your wedding preparations as you will be done with almost every other thing, you will be able to enjoy it!
Though planning an Indian wedding seems like an overwhelming task, planning well in advance and being mindful of the important checkpoints will save you from last-minute panic. Your big day is all about enjoyment and making memories!