Pre-Wedding Planning

How To Throw A Wedding Under 5 Lakhs (Yes, It’s Possible!)

Namrata Sahu, 21 Feb 2017

Yes, it’s possible.

I guess you all must have read the recent news of a new bill being passed in the Lok Sabha to cap the wedding expenditure to 5 lakhs. While I have mixed feelings about the news, it has its share of pros and cons. For the middle-class people, I think it'll be more like a welcome news as somewhere at the back of the mind there will be a cut-off amount to keep track of. But for those who have the wealth, well, there is a 10% price to pay.

But having a 5 lakhs cut-off doesn't essentially mean one has to let go of all the wedding fun and enjoyment. It’s just that one may have to tweak their style and expectations a little bit. I have been working on the calculations all morning and have somehow come to a magic number which pretty much includes all your pre-wedding functions and all the shor sharaba while keeping the amount (5 lakhs) in mind.

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At this point, I must clarify that the under 5 lakh cap is only for the wedding reception party (at least that's what I have understood) and not end to end, but in this post I am going to tell you how to have an end to end all inclusive fabulous wedding party under 5 lakhs.

These are some of the main elements to any Indian Wedding. Yes, there will be additional costs involved in other titbits, but the above picture will more or less cover 95% of your budgetary needs.

I feel no bride should ever compromise on her dream wedding. It’s something she has planned for so long that budget shouldn't deter her from having a fabulous wedding. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at how to distribute the budget for wedding outfits.

Now, you might think this is ridiculously impossible. But it is not. The answer to the puzzle is RENT AN OUTFIT! At least a few outfits. You can look like a million bucks at 1/10th the price and easily get away with wearing designer lehengas and sarees at the fraction of a cost.

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Just to give you an example, I have found some of the recent additions on Flyrobe which makes for a stunning wedding and pre-wedding outfit on a budget. Take a look.

(Left) Rs 9999/- ; (Middle) Rs 5499/- ; (Right) Rs 4299/-

If you rent out the big ticket outfits like the wedding outfit, reception outfits and maybe that one or two sisters of the bride outfits, then it will leave you with quite a bit of spare cash to spend on outfits and trousseau pieces that you will actually wear later on as well. It’s all about 'smart spending'.

With the outfit situation handled, let’s move on to the fun part...which is planning the pre-wedding functions on a tight budget.

This is probably the best part of the wedding, and in no way should you compromise on having fun at your pre-wedding functions. The key to DIY your pre-wedding decor, venue and food. There are so many hacks out there to get a Pinterest-worthy decor at a steal deal.

You could add props like frames, ladder, fairy lights, bird cages and more which can easily be reused even after the wedding in your new home décor. The idea is to add a few eye-popping elements that will set the tone of the décor, and not do anything OTT.

Also, another good way is to get some help from your girlfriends (potential bridesmaids). Use a weekend or two to get all the supplies and create fancy décor items for your pre-wedding functions. Once the décor is taken care of, choose the timing of your functions wisely. Spend on exotic starters and small eats rather than going conventional and paying a bomb for the same old dal-chawal, puri & paneer. 

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So most of this is almost borderline impossible to manage, but you got to move things a bit. So if you want to over spend on a photographer, then cut down maybe on your outfits budget and so on. Try to choose a venue that gives a combo deal with food+venue inclusive charges. Websites like ShaadiSaga can help you plan a better wedding and bring the venue prices effectively down.

I have assumed 700 bucks per plate for 200 guests, and 700 is a pretty decent price that you can easily get a good venue at. For decoration, 50k seems impossible, which I agree...but try and keep a minimalist décor. Negotiate to as low as possible. There are ways in which you can bring the decorator's price down...try and get a breakup of costs from him and work from there.

Invitation Cards is probably the easiest to tackle. If you're in a big city like Delhi or Mumbai, you have places like Chandni Chowk & Crawford Market, which have the best budget invitation cards. But if nothing fits your budget and taste, you can always have DIY your invitation card. There are a lot of websites which give free templates and printables. It will cost you hardly anything.

Follow my advice & be absolutely sure to have that perfect dream wedding you have always wanted to. 

Featured Image Credits: Lakshya Chawla