From time to time, we receive emails from brides who are in the middle of planning a huge Indian wedding. Needing advice, referrals or just plain inspired by the weddings we post. Answering the call to the brides who are budget conscious. We asked Shipra Aggarwal, a financial write in India to share her insights. Enjoy.
How to budget your wedding expenses?
The wedding is the most important day in anyone’s life. Everyone wants it to be special and memorable. Hosting a good wedding does not mean that you need to empty your bank accounts or eat all your savings to celebrate one day.
Often, a lot of couples or families are smart enough to start accumulating funds early in their lives for the big day. However, there are many people, who despite having savings find it difficult to plan a perfect wedding. With wedding costs soaring high, it often gets difficult to find money. Fortunately, today there are a lot of ways through which wedding expenses can be easily managed without putting you in a lot of pressure. But before even arranging funds, you need to start thinking about planning a budget.
Planning a budget
Weddings can be overwhelming, even for the richer class. It is quite easy to get carried away when it comes to impressing your guests. However, weddings don’t have to be an expensive affair all the time. Hence, everyone needs to have a budget to plan a wedding and stick by it. Now the big question arises, where to start in the first place?
Families or couples need to break down each and every expense for the day. There are many expenses like number of ceremonies, rituals, number of guests, gifts, jewelry, brides and groom dress, venues, catering etc. Each and every small thing needs to be thought and planned carefully. Pin down every small expense that you think and attach a realistic amount to that expense. You can even use wedding budget planners to make your life, simple and easy for you. These planners have everything listed, right from venue to honeymoon. Once you have everything listed and budget assigned, you would know the amount of expense you require and how many funds you have and how much extra would you need.
Planning a budget would give you a fair idea of how much money you would need to ensure everything is covered in it and you also need to keep a little extra for emergent expenses.
Finding the budget
Once you have a figure in hand, you would know exactly how much you have and how much more you need or do you need the entire amount. There are ways through which you can arrange money for the wedding:-
- Take out a little from savings – if you have money saved in your accounts, you can assign some part of it for the wedding. The rest you can and you should keep for other important life expenses. Don’t use the entire savings on one day.
- Use credit cards – Credit cards a great way to manage funds for the wedding. There are many companies that offer travel discount cards through which by booking you can get cash back or discounts on air tickets or hotel reservations.For example:- HDFC bank credit cards are best suited for having a travel credit card,its HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card is a elite travel card providing free lounge access worldwide and bonus reward points.Banks also offer reward cards or discount cards. Many banks have tied up with online stores like Amazon, Jabong, Flipkart etc today to increase sales and credit card purchase. By using these cards on these stores can buy you discounts or cash back. So, if you have these cards then it is great and if you don’t, you should apply for one today.
- Personal loans – Instant loans are a great way to arrange wedding funds. Families can apply for instant personal loans to create the wedding fund. The good thing about a personal loan is that the borrower doesn’t have to provide any security to the bank and also don’t have given the reason to spend the money. However, it totally depends on your eligibility to apply for loans like income, age, credit score etc. Depending on your eligibility, banks can grant you the loan. But before you apply, it is important that you check for interest rates and compare them carefully. Go for the banks that provide the lowest interest rates.
- Take secured loan – if a personal loan is not an option for you, you can also go for secured loans like gold loan or loan against LIC or FD’s or other securities like Mutual funds or shares or NSC’s etc. Borrowers can pledge these securities to the bank and get the amount valuing the pledged security.
- Asking from friends or family – Keep this as your last option because you can’t be dependent on this one. People may or may not have the money to lend you. But don’t hesitate as well. If you think they can help you in any way, don’t hesitate to ask for help. But again, use this option only if you have exhausted all the others.
Ways to cut costs on wedding
These are some ways through which you can arrange for the extra required funds for the wedding. Now you have the budget and the money, but you still don’t have to go overboard with the expenses. You can still manage to cut costs and can still have a beautiful wedding.
- Don’t outsource – Outsourcing a wedding can be costlier. There are certain expenses that need to be outsourced like catering. But venue and decorations can be something where you can cut costs. There are ways to save on invitations as well, by designing your own invitation cards. Try and plan the wedding yourself as much as possible.
- Negotiate with vendors – Don’t just blindly accept the costs offered by the vendors. Research the market, take quotes from 10 different vendors, compare the services and then agree on a price. There is always a possibility of negotiation in the services offered by the wedding industry.
- Prioritize – Prioritizing your expenses is again a great way to cut costs. One of the biggest expenditures for a wedding is food, decorations, wedding dress, and photography. Some couples like splurge on decorations and food, while some would like to spend on photography and dress. Depending on your personal choice, you can cut costs.
To sum it up, you need to ensure that you utilize the budget wisely and in the best way possible. You may be dreaming about this one day your entire life, but your entire life after the wedding depends on how smartly you spend on this day.