13 Details That Make The Difference Between A Good & A Great Indian Wedding

{Catering & Food}

Functional China: My friend went to a wedding recently and the liquidy curries were spilling off of the plates and onto people’s clothes and the venue’s carpet. It was one of those things that you wouldn’t know until you were in the buffet line.

Clarify Venue/Caterer’s Responsibilities: Working with your venue, clarify who’s providing what equipment. Some venues provide the chafing dishes and sternos – others don’t. Some venues provide serving utensils – others don’t etc. Most resorts and hotels have a standard set of items included in the outside catering package, but for golf clubs and banquet halls, make it a point to review the details. My friend had a rude awakening the week before her wedding when she found out the banquet hall was going to charge an additional $600 for flatware.

Dish Descriptor Cards: Even for South Asians, sometimes it’s not clear what a dish in the buffet is and whether it’s vegetarian or not. Ask your caterer to make those dish descriptor cards – they’re functional and add panache.

Meditteranean food was served an a sangeet for an Indian wedding.
Photo: VEK Photo

Breakfast vouchers: If you’re distributing breakfast vouchers to guests, let people know how many people and how much each voucher is valid for.

Hospitality room: arrange for family/friends or the venue to man the room to replenish food, keep the room fresh, clean up.

Takeout for the couple: Pre-arrange with your caterer and a cousin or friend to pack food for the couple and deliver it to their hotel room or store it for them to enjoy later. Most couples don’t get to eat on their wedding day and when they get to their room, they’re starving!


View Obstruction: Most sweetheart stages have the couple sitting on a sofa or a couch. Another friend of mine, went to a wedding recently where the couple sat at a table which had a huge floral arrangement on the front, that covered the bride and groom. We could barely see them up there.

Mandap: The decor disaster I hear about most often is issues with the mandap falling – due to wind, poor assembly etc. Talk to several decorators and ask them specific questions about the mandap material and strength. You’re smart, you know that you get what you pay for. I mention that because the mandap issues I hear about most often are when a couple decided to hire the most inexpensive company when the price was almost too good to be true.

Decor can be simple. What people remember most at weddings is what their experience was. Did they have fun? Was the food good? Were they comfortable? Of course there’s a ‘wow’ factor with beautiful decor but I’ve been to plenty of weddings that were boring or poorly planned but had stellar decor and I never recall those as the best weddings I’ve been to.

PC: Lin & Jirsa


Arrange changing rooms: If you’re having a late afternoon wedding ceremony then some people might fly in that morning, but they may not be able to check into their hotel room until as late as 3pm, so they won’t have a place to get ready.

Schedules: Give your wedding party schedules for hair & makeup appointments, location/timing of photoshoots. Similarly, inform family members beforehand to stick around after the ceremony for photos. Clarify who’s going to be responsible for rallying guests for photos. At one wedding, where the guests dispersed after the ceremony, the bride asked the photographer to find and rally family members for photos, and the photographer refused citing that that’s the coordinator’s job, not his. And lastly give schedules to your vendors or have your day-of coordinator take care of this.

Make lists and double-triple check: There are so many little items and moving parts for Indian weddings from the saamagree (ingredients) for the ceremony to all the jewelry and clothes. Make lists of ALL the items from your contact lenses to your lehenga/sari and double and triple check that everything has been packed in your bags. So this means packing ahead of time to give yourself enough time to double check your bags.

Welcome bags: have the hotel distribute bags to guests as they check in. Read more about what to put inside and other ideas. One couple included little Advil two-packs in their bag to help people through their hangovers the next day.


Day-of Planner: Most couples hire a day-of wedding planner to manage the logistics, vendor questions, the schedule and any issues on the wedding day. It’s a worthwhile investment as things happen and it’s worth the peace-of-mind knowing that someone is taking responsibility to run things smoothly.

{Take Aways}

There are so many parts to planning an Indian wedding. It’s like a living-breathing puzzle. These are some of the details we’ve seen that make a big difference on the wedding weekend.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. If it has, please let me know in the comments; and you might like to follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles to help make  planning an Indian wedding just a little bit easier.

Samta Varia Founder & CEO ShaadiShop: Indian Wedding Venues




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Other ShaadiShop Posts You Might Like:

How Venue Fees Work For An Indian Wedding
How to Avoid Venue Overtime Fees at an Indian Wedding
Venue Food & Beverage Minimums: Everything You Need To Know

cover image: Lin & Jirsa