Updated July 2020
This is of course the million dollar question. How much does an Indian wedding cost? We designed an infographic that you can download that will tell you how much to expect to pay for all of the various costs associated with an Indian wedding.
Keep in mind that these things vary. The numbers presented in the infographic are averages for the United States. Use the information as an anchor to get a sense of how far your dollar will stretch.
As of 2019, the average Indian wedding budget was $100K. That hasn’t changed much over the last decade. If the average Indian wedding has:
- 350 guests
- sangeet at same venue as the ceremony and reception
- sangeet with hosted bar
- serve lunch after the ceremony
- hosted bar at the reception
Then a $100,000 budget will be tight, assuming a 4 star hotel. And if you’re including clothes, jewelry, and invitations in that $100k, then it will be even tighter.
Venues Are The Biggest Piece of the Budget
The venue is the single most expensive component for most Indian weddings. Assume 35-40% of your total budget will be spent on the venue. We recently read about an Indian wedding where the couple chose a less expensive venue but made up for the ‘savings’ in decor as they needed a lot more decor to make the space look nice. So unless you compromise on something, there’s no money to be saved. It’s just a matter of where you allocate it.
Sometimes couples think that if they get a nicer venue then they don’t really need to spend much on decor. In our opinion that’s a fallacy. Regardless of the venue you still need:
- escort cards
Perhaps these items can be scaled down a bit but you don’t want a misalignment where you’re at a nice venue with not-so-nice decor. Indian wedding budget trade offs: decor vs. venue.
Dry weddings have the challenge of meeting venue food and beverage minimums. The way to get around this is by increasing the guest count or hosting the whole wedding weekend at the venue, in which case you can negotiate a minimum for the weekend as a whole.
Where The Money Savings Really Are
The one area where you can really save money is alcohol. Alcohol is expensive at venues. That’s why some couples opt for more DIY venues that allow you bring in your own alcohol and bar staff. Often the trade off with such venues is there’s a lot more setup work that you have to do, compromise on location or overall venue aesthetic.
Refer to this infographic to help you answer, How much does an Indian wedding cost? And use it as an anchor to determine your own wedding budget as well as how allocations for each category of items.
The Largest Indian Wedding Venue Marketplace
Cover image: Lin & Jirsa Photography