12 Often Overlooked Costs at South Asian Weddings

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  1. Parking – some venues offer complimentary self parking. Others offer discounted event rates which vary based on whether it’s hosted or non-hosted parking. Parking is charged on a per vehicle basis and can vary from $5-$60/car.
  2. Breakfast at the venue – most couples serve breakfast for guests staying at the hotel. Breakfast is not nearly as formal as the other meals. The caterers charge a fee and so do the venues. The venue still has to open up a room, set it up with essentials, and the most costly part is the labor. The trash needs to be emptied, stray silverware picked up, coffee canisters replenished. So many couples underestimate the costs for this. shutterstock_383520289.jpg
  3. Favors – it’s customary to leave a small token for guests attending the reception and if you’re having a 250+ person wedding, that can add up, even if it’s something small. It’s not just the cost of the item itself, but also the presentation of the item. This couple gave away these high heel keychains wrapped in plastic with custom labels.
    High heel gifts at an Indian wedding sangeet
    Photo: Greycard Photography

    4. Signage and display – it’s pretty common to have signs at weddings re: Instagram hashtag, where to sit, escort cards, photos of the couple. Depending on quantity, size, and materials used, signs can add up to a few hundred dollars.

    5. Guest Transportation – a lot of couples arrange a shuttle to take guests to-and-from venues. Depending on the type of shuttle, number of trips, and distance, shuttles can cost anywhere from $700-$2500 or more!

    6. Welcome Bagswelcome bags are a lovely gesture and all those snacks, water bottles, fancy bags, and custom labeling add up! Additionally, the hotel may charge a per bag fee.
    wedding-welcome-bag

    7. Thank you cards – the stationery.

    8. Postage – South Asian wedding invitations are big, elaborate and heavy. That means more postage costs. It can be anywhere from $2-$8/piece. This also goes for thank you cards, after the wedding.

    9. Vendor tips – it’s general practice to tip vendors 15% of the total bill and even more if they did a stellar job. If your DJ cost was $5000, that’s $750. South Asian weddings have several vendors, so tips can really add up.

    10. Vendor meals – you’re expected to pay for vendor meals. Usually the venue charges a different rate than the regular per person fees.

    11. Hair & Makeup trials – each trial costs you.

    Infian wedding in Newport Beach The bride wearing her lehenga getting ready for the reception.
    Photo: AaronEye Photography

    12. Marriage license and certificate – fees vary by city, county, and state.


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