Costs That Are Often Overlooked at Indian Weddings

Updated March 2020

At Indian weddings there are so many moving parts ad costs that are often overlooked! There’s the venue, decor, food, clothing and jewelry, hair & makeup, and so much more!

And that’s the focus of this article today. Below is a list of costs for an Indian wedding that can easily go overlooked in terms of budgeting as well as time cost. Think of these items like the accessories of an outfit. They’re the details that bring everything together. 

Do not forget to budget for these items! There’s no limit to how ‘big’ you can go with these but added together you could be looking at, at least $5000-$6500 for these items combined.

Indian wedding invitations are an often overlooked cost
Indian wedding invitations are an often overlooked cost.

{How Much Will These
Often Overlooked Costs, Cost?}

I think of cost in two ways: time and money. A lot of South Asians are badass career people, movers and shakers, healthcare professionals, and leaders. Everyone’s time has value and the time you spend on organizing these Indian wedding costs, is time you’re not spending on something else. So you have to decide how much of your time you’re going to invest in each of these things.

In terms of money cost, I really wish I could tell you concrete numbers, like parking will cost $x and your wedding programs will cost $y! But these things are so subjective. Parking depends on the venue and how much they charge (and how much you negotiate). Wedding programs – I’ve seen everything from super simple black and white programs on white copier paper to very elaborate booklets on the finest stationery. It really varies.

{Ok…Ok Here Are At Least Some Numbers To Wrap Your Head Around}

But….if you included all of the often overlooked items above into your wedding, you’re looking at, at least a few thousand dollars – maybe $5000-$6,500. If you host parking at your venue it will be between $10-$20 per vehicle and if you go for really fancy wedding ceremony programs or booklets they can be anywhere from $10-$30 or even more per program.

For swag like personalized sunglasses, expect to spend around $300-$350 for 450 pairs.

{Ideas for Reducing the Time Cost on Often Overlooked Indian Wedding Costs}

  • Wedding ceremony program: Copy/edit the wedding program provided by friend vs. writing from scratch.
  • Welcome bags: Put one of your parents or a sibling in charge of the welcome bags and host a “welcome bag party” with friends and family. For more details and ideas on Indian wedding welcome bags, check out this article.
  • Guest Sign In Book: Or some version of it. Some couples make a board that they get framed and hang at home, instead of a book. 
Overlooked costs at Indian weddings
Gust sign in book. Photo: Lin & Jirsa
  • Slideshow: Long gone are the days of having a slideshow as an official part of the reception program. If you see it at weddings, it’s rolling in the periphery. This is a great task to outsource to someone on Amazon Turk or Upwork, or ask one of your high school or college cousins to do.
  • Escort cards: That just takes a long time. First setting up the seating arrangements and assigning guests to tables, which of course leads back to people RSVPing on time. And then actually getting them made. There are several styles. Follow our Escort Cards Pinterest Board for inspiration.
  • Hospitality room: This is an important part of Indian weddings and refer to this article for a lot more detail on things to know about costs, setting this up, and negotiating.
  • Swag: The swag is fun. I’ve seen sunglasses and fans personalized with the couple’s Instagram hashtag. There are so many vendors you can find online that can make these. Most of them have pretty easy-to-use websites so the time cost on this shouldn’t be too much.
Indian wedding ceremony programs that doubled as fans placed on each chair
Fans with our hashtag, on each chair. Photo: Greycard Photography

{Time and Impact Miscorrelation}

One thing most of the items in this list have in common is that they consume a lot of time to get them in order. The items that have the biggest impact on your wedding are: the venue, the food & drink, the entertainment, decor and clothes. Everything else has a relatively lower impact on the actual event yet suck up so much time to organize!

It’s like tackling that one hair that’s out of place before you go out! You might have spent 45 minutes getting ready and 20 minutes tackling that one hair! ugh!! That one hair, of course being a metaphor for your wedding accessories. You invest the time to make these things as perfect as possible because they really do put the finishing touch on the whole event.

{Conclusion}

The point of this article was to draw your attention to these often overlooked cost of ‘accessory’ items for your Indian wedding, sooner than later. We encourage you to include them in your money and time budget so that during the last few weeks before your wedding you’re not stressing out about not having hashtag labels for your swag!

Every couple, picks and chooses – customizes – their wedding. Just to give you an idea, if you included all of the items in the accessory list above into your wedding, you’re looking at spending at least $3,000, and on the high end $6,500. So that’s why it is worthwhile to be thoughtful about this and think about where you want to invest your time and money.

Other ShaadiShop Posts You Might Like:

Indian Wedding Budget Infographic – free download
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: Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema