For an Indian wedding in the United States, a budget of about $50,000 with 200-250 guests is pretty common. That’s why we’re writing this post. We get a lot of questions about budgets and budget distribution, so we wanted to share info that you can reference and share with loved ones throughout the planning process.
What Does $50K Include?
- venue for the wedding and reception
- maybe a sangeet/pre-wedding celebration
- decor for the sangeet/pre-wedding event, wedding and reception
- food for the sangeet/pre-wedding event, lunch after the wedding and reception dinner
- photography and cinematography
- DJ + lighting for sangeet/pre-wedding event, wedding + reception
- clothes and jewelry
- hair, makeup, mehndi
How Much Do Things Cost?
Typically the biggest portion of your budget is spent on the venue – around 35%-40%. The other biggest “chunks” are for food and decor. Of course, how much things cost depends on what you do.
ShaadiShop’s South Asian Wedding Budget Infographic – this shows you average costs of everything you need. And you can use this to start playing with numbers and how much to allocate to each item for your wedding.
Can I get an Oceanfront Venue Within This Budget?
Unfortunately, no. Oceanfront and waterfront venues start at $55++ per person for the place setting fee for the reception.
$55++ really comes out to closer to $75 per person once you factor in service charge and tax. Let’s run through some numbers:
$75*250 guests = $18,750 for the outside catering place setting fee for the reception. That doesn’t include alcohol nor the ceremony. If you add in those items, that takes you to about $28,000. Leaving $22K for everything else – food, clothing, sangeet, photography, cinematography, decor etc.
Where Do The Wedding and Reception Take Place?
Most Indian weddings for 200-250 guests with a $50,000 budget have the wedding ceremony and reception at a mid to budget hotel or a banquet hall.
General Rule: about 35% of the wedding budget goes towards the venue. If your budget is is $50K, anchor yourself on a total spend of $17,500 at the venue. ShaadiShop has relationships with venues that serve couples across budgets. Contact us.
Don’t I Have Negotiation Power if I Take All My Business to One Venue?
Yes, you do but usually the venue’s aren’t willing to reduce their prices so much that it still becomes viable to do the wedding and sangeet there. With a $50k budget you’ll ideally do your sangeet for $3-5k at the most.
Keep in mind that the time of year and type of venue matters.
- A summer wedding at a popular resort = less negotiation power
- A primarily business hotel wants more weekend business = more negotiation power. Naturally, business hotels are less popular for Indian weddings.
Where Does the Sangeet Take Place?
Most couples choose an alternate, less expensive venue for the sangeet – a community hall, banquet hall, golf club, the banquet room of an Indian restaurant. For a $50K budget you want to think of keeping your sangeet costs to a maximum of $5000 – but ideally $3,000 in order to have funds for all the other things you’ll need.
At ShaadiShop, we work with a range of venues and can help you find a less costly venue for your sangeet/pre-wedding celebration.
Is Lunch Served After the Ceremony?
We advise skipping the post ceremony lunch and instead opt for what we at ShaadiShop call, the “back-to-back Indian wedding day“. This is where the ceremony starts in the late afternoon, immediately followed by cocktail hour and the reception.
How Do Hotel Room Blocks Work?
We’re so glad you asked. Here’s our guide all about that.
Do the Families Host Hotel Rooms?
Typically just a handful for relatives and maybe a few close friends as well. Most families have their friends cover the cost of their hotel room for the weekend.
I Can Save on Decor if I go with a Nicer Venue, Right?
Well…yes and no. You still need:
- a mandap or altar
- center pieces
- sweetheart stage decor
- some lighting for the ballroom
You just might not need to pipe and drape the space at a nicer venue, but you still need all of the basic decor elements regardless of the venue. But the $100k budget didn’t even take pipe and drape into consideration to begin with.
Where Can I Seek Value When I Consider Venues?
Some venues (hotels/resorts) include:
- two night stay for the couple vs. one night
- rooms for the parents
- soda in the per person fee vs. charging on consumption
- chiavari chairs
These are the primary value packed amenities that some venues offer and things you should consider when you’re comparing venues.
Do You Have Any Venue Negotiation Tips?
Can I Find Vendors That Will Work Within My Budget?
Absolutely! There are so many vendors serving the Indian wedding industry and they all have their own target markets and clientele that they serve. See our comprehensive lists of Indian wedding vendors in Northern and Southern California.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. We wrote this because the $100k, 300-350 guest Indian wedding is pretty common. If you have comments, questions or stories you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments below. Follow ShaadiShop on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles for venue sales and catering teams.
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