The most interesting question:- how much does the average Indian wedding cost? We answered it, but first, let's understand why is there a cost involved with weddings.
There are many different religions, each with their own cultures and traditions in India. In Hinduism, marriage is considered as a sacred institution where the couple becomes one in spirit. It is the thirteenth of sixteen ceremonies in a person's life.
It is a dedication to the Vedas, which are the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism which date back several thousand years.
A Hindu man is considered an incomplete self unless he is married and has the support of his wife.
In India, marriage is considered to be the tangible proof of the socioeconomic status of a family.
As such, the upper-middle-class families spend a small fortune during the course of the wedding, and the parents start planning for their child's marriage years in advance.
The wedding industry is burgeoning in the country, with an estimated 10 million weddings happening every year. The wedding card business, to begin with, sees anywhere between Rs. 80 – 100 billion annually, considering the fact that hundreds, if not thousands of cards are printed for each wedding
Furthermore, the Indian wedding industry is estimated to be worth around a whopping EUR 34.5 billion and is still growing at a tremendous rate of 20 – 25 per cent every year. The wedding cost in metropolitan cities is estimated to be anywhere between Rs. 25 lakhs to 70 lakhs, while online matrimonial websites bring in anywhere between Rs. 200 – 250 crores, either through registration fees or match-making fees annually!
Marriage is the most anticipated moment in an individual's life. It is an auspicious occasion where two souls and families unite. In every religion and culture, there are different rituals and customs when it comes to weddings. The events pertaining to the wedding could last several days, depending on the region, religion, caste, desire, and spending capacity.
In India, weddings are a social and family obligation that one must fulfil. Bearing this in mind, every parent starts saving for their children's wedding. Every wedding, no matter how big or small, comes with a cost. There are multiple events and factors involved in calculating the cost of a wedding.
One cannot anticipate the exact cost of hosting a wedding with the fluctuating inflation rates. However, despite the high cost, almost everyone wants to invite all near and dear ones to celebrate their big day in a lavish manner. There is a lot of planning involved in making a wedding successful. There are many tools like wedding cost calculators and personal wedding planners that are available in the market that can assist you in wedding planning.
The first task is to decide how much you want to spend on your wedding or figure out how much your wedding will cost you. You need to fix your budget and then allocate funds accordingly.
From the given list of ceremonies taking place in Indian tradition, it is evident that marriage ceremonies in India are a costly affair. The wedding costs in North India are more than in any part of the country due to the prevalence of dowry system in the region. Some people in India put their land at stake and sometimes sell them in order to procure money for their daughter's wedding. The dowry system is the reason why the cost of wedding from the bride's side is more than the groom's side.
The cost of a wedding ranges from Pundit's fees to Mehendi ki rasm, Mandah etc. It costs a lot in the modern day due to the rising inflation. However, the cost of a wedding varies from family to family based on their financial strata and condition.
Due to the lack of resources poor people get done with the marriage with the amount ranging from Rs10k to Rs1 lakh as they are not in a condition to burden themselves with more debt as they have lack of resources. When it comes to a lower-middle-class, they spend anywhere between Rs1 lakh to Rs3 lakhs on the marriage ceremonies.
The middle class which is the most common social class spends around Rs2 lakhs to Rs7 lakhs on marriage and upper-middle-class, might spend between Rs5 lakhs to Rs20 lakhs or way more maybe up to Rs40 lakhs, as the case may be.
Catering is one of the important details to focus on in an Indian wedding. Generally, expenses for food is calculated as cost per plate.
The number of invitations multiplied by the cost per plate is equal to the total food expenses.
Cost per plate depends on the dishes, snacks, salads, etc.
A caterer, providing an assortment of cuisines, can charge anywhere between 1000 to 3000 rupees per plate, and maybe more.
Basic plate charges with normal dishes can be anywhere between 300 to 800 rupees per plate.
The overall average for food expenses would be in the range of 1 to 5 lakh INR
It is believed that people remember your wedding day based on how tasty the food was. So, compromising on your food budget is not a good idea. Most hotel banquets quote the per-plate price that also includes your banquet charges. You can choose from the available options based on the size of the banquet hall, decoration they offer, and the food that would be served there. Some hotels do not insist on their own catering services, and certain venues do not offer catering services at all. In such cases, you can select a caterer of your choice. This may save you money.
Another good option is to hire cooks instead of caterers if your venues permit. Once you zero in on the caterer, you need to select the dishes or the cuisines that you want on the menu. Figure out the number of dishes and combinations offered by the caterer for best use of finances and your choice of the menu. It is advisable not to compromise quality over quantity. Also, opting for international cuisine could shoot the cost of your per plate from Rs 600-800 to anywhere between Rs 1800-2000.
Clothes And Dresses
Indian weddings are full of colourful clothes, for the groom and the bride, it is one of the most special days of their lives.
Groom's sherwani, suit, etc. would cost between 20,000 to 80,000 rupees whereas Bride's designer lehenga may range from 50,000 to 1 lakh rupees.
The overall budget for clothes would cost in the range of 1 to 5 lakh rupees, which includes dresses for all family members.
Buying designer clothes for the wedding would cost a whopping Rs. 2,50,000, while families tend to spend lavishly during weddings on jewellery.
A safe estimate for embellishing oneself with designer jewellery would be anywhere between Rs. 3,00,000 – Rs. 5,00,000, while the cost for printing the wedding cards would be around Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 30,000.
Furthermore, the cost to acquire the services of a professional photographer could set the families back by around Rs. 1,50,000 – Rs. 2,00,000.
What Is The Cost Of Wedding Photographers In India?
This is an especially important part of the wedding because it captures the beautiful memories of this new beginning and will be cherished lifelong.
Nowadays, there are several types of photography available. You need to decide whether you want candid photography, traditional photography, videography cum photography, or drone photography; plus, you have the option of getting a pre-wedding shoot.
You can enlist a freelance photographer or amateur photographers if you want to spend less on photography.
If you are not too keen on spending on this area, get your camera-savvy friends and/relatives to click your beautiful moments for smaller functions and hire a professional photographer for the main events.
Your wedding is very important to you, and you would want the memories to be captured in photos forever. However, traditional wedding photographers charge a lot to shoot your photos and videos.
You can instead hire that amateur photographer friend or cousin to do it for you. There are many freelancers in the market as well who can give you lower than average rates.
How Can You Save On The Cost Of An Indian Wedding?
The decoration is an area where you can substantially cut your budget by opting for paper and lighting decorations rather than exotic flowers.
Using DIY (Do It Yourself) ideas for smaller functions could save a lot of money and give a unique touch to your decor.
Using artificial flowers, lights, and fabrics like dupattas or sarees for decoration during mehndi or haldi function could elevate the venue and be cost-effective at the same time.
Give Traditional Wedding Cards A Miss
Traditional wedding card invites are passé. Sumathy Bachchan, the owner of wedding planning firm Wedding Sutras, suggests, "Come up with ideas for creating personalised e-invites, or set up a wedding website or video that your guests can access.
This way, you will save on the costs of printing and dispatching wedding cards." If some of your relatives aren't tech-savvy enough to appreciate an e-invite, consider printing only a small number of.
Capture Precious Moments For Less
It's very expensive to hire a renowned professional photographer to shoot your wedding photos and videos. Instead, look up small-time photographers and freelancers who can give you a much lower rate.
Singhal adds, "You can also hire a photographer who is just starting out after reviewing their work. Their services are more affordable, and they bring fresh ideas to the table".
Rent Jewellery Instead Of Buying
Renting jewellery for weddings is an emerging trend. "Renting lets brides wear designer jewellery at just a fraction of cost.
They can even browse around to find pieces that match their outfits perfectly," says Taruna Biyani, Co-Founder of Rentjewels. "Renting jewellery can easily save you a couple of lakhs," she adds. Bridal sets are available on rent for Rs 2,500- 15,000 from online portals.
Get Your Outfit Stitched Or Rent It.
Another major expense is that of wedding outfits, which are only worn once but can be very expensive.
Srivastava says, "Some designers now offer buyback schemes for wedding dresses. Another pocket-friendly trend is that of choosing a design and getting the outfit tailored locally."
Hitesh Dharod, Proprietor of Popin Designer, a wedding-wear store, says, "People are opening up to the idea of renting wedding clothes, which can help them save up to 60-70%."
The rentals start from around Rs 2,500 for a bridal lehenga or the groom's sherwani. If the idea of renting your wedding outfit doesn't seem too appealing, you can consider buying an ensemble, and then reselling it on one of the many available portals, after your wedding.
Book The Right Venue
Ragini Srivastava, Co-founder of wedding planning firm Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, suggests, "Instead of an upscale hotel within the city, choose a venue in the outskirts to save on costs."
Wedding planners also suggest having the wedding celebrations during an offseason period, since hotels and banquets offer deep discounts during this time.
Pratish Ambekar, Managing Director of iLeaf Ritz Banquets in Mumbai, says, "Having your wedding on a weekday instead of a weekend can also help you save a good deal."
Look for a venue where you don't have to mandatorily use their in-house vendors for decoration and catering services, as these tend to be more expensive.
Srivastava says, "We recommend open ground venues to our clients since it gives them the liberty to work with preferred vendors, thus saving significantly on costs. Also, the tax component for 3 to the 5-star hotel is higher at 35-40%, compared to open grounds, where it's 10-15%."
How To Plan Your Travel For Your Honeymoon?
It is all about spending quality time with your spouse. This is the stress buster period after so many days of socialising.
Planning your honeymoon smartly is the key. Try avoiding crowded places and places that would involve a lot of travelling. The motive is to be together and get to know each other.
Some couples decide to have a small wedding and splurge on their honeymoon. More couples are choosing foreign locations for their honeymoon.
However, India too has a lot of interesting, beautiful, and luxurious honeymoon destinations (including beaches and hill stations) for you to choose from. Whether your honeymoon in India or abroad, proper planning and budgeting are crucial.
Some budget-friendly foreign destinations are Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bali, Maldives, and Seychelles.
Always reserve a tenth of your budget for other expenses like bachelor/ bachelorette parties, tips for vendors, rental of chairs and fans, priest's offerings, and transportation costs.
Following the above tips can make sure that you fulfil your dream of a grand Indian wedding without burning a hole in your pockets.
Instead of spending a fortune on the wedding budget, you could invest the money in different areas to secure your future after marriage.
Whether you are planning a middle-class Indian wedding or a big fat one, planning your own wedding can be a tough job.
Either you can attend your guests or take care of the wedding arrangements. Hire a wedding planner is a nice option to relax and outsource most of the heavy lifting.
A wedding planner will take away the burden from your head to their shoulders and help you plan your wedding in the best manner.
Planning your wedding and not sure where to begin? Connect with top rated wedding vendors of India.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the case of the upper-middle-class wedding cost, banquet weddings scale up to anywhere between Rs. 25 and 70 lakhs.
The average American couple burns through about $35,000*. Indian nuptials, however, tend to be even more exorbitant. Planners in Washington say their average Indian client's budget is roughly $200,000.
Dongre has been such a hit, given her steep prices. She said that her lighter, non-ceremony lehengas start at $1,000, while bridal outfits rise to $5,000 to $7,000. (On average, women spend $1,600 on wedding fashion, from gowns to jumpsuits, according to a 2019 study by The Knot.)