Costs That Are Often Overlooked at Indian Weddings

At Indian weddings there are so many moving parts! There’s the venue, decor, food, clothing and jewelry, hair & makeup, and so much more! The biggest cost and most outwardly visible” cost buckets” are:

But then you’ve also got:

But…wait there are even more items when it comes to Indian weddings! And that’s the focus of this article today. Below is a list of items for an Indian wedding that can easily go overlooked in terms of prep time and budgeting. These are a lot of the details and periphery items that I call accessories. Because they’re like great shoes, a belt, or jewelry that just complete an outfit and give it that polished finish. These are your wedding accessories:

Don’t forget to budget for these items! There’s no limit to how ‘big’ you can go with these and added together you could be looking at $5000-$6500!

{How Much Will The Accessories 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 accessories 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.

Personally I outsourced and tried to create efficiencies wherever I could for my wedding (more details below).

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.

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

But….if you included all of the items above into your wedding, you’re looking at, at least a a few thousand dollars – maybe $5-$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 as much as $10 per program.

Personalized sunglasses will be around $300-$350 for 450 pairs.

Yeah….overall things add up pretty quickly….that’s why I dedicated a whole post to this topic.

{Ideas for Reducing Time Cost on Indian Wedding Accessories}

  • Wedding ceremony program: Copied/edited the wedding program provided by friend vs. writing from scratch.
  • Welcome bags: My mom was in charge of the welcome bags and hosted a “welcome bag party” with a bunch of aunties. For more details and ideas on Indian wedding welcome bags, check out this article.
  • Return gifts: My mom brought them from India (thought I am seeing this less and less at weddings now; I don’t think people really care about some small trinket).
  • Guest Sign In Book: This is another thing I’m seeing less and less. There are a lot of online vendors who can make these. Most couples put in a few photos from their engagement photo session.
  • 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: I got nuthin’ for you. That just takes a long time. First setting up the seating arrangements and assigning guests to tables, which of course leads back to getting people to RSVP. 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
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. When it comes down to it 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 the put the finishing touch on the whole event.


The point of this article was to draw your attention to these often overlooked accessory items for your Indian wedding, sooner than later. The idea is that you include them in your money budget 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.

Speaking of time and money, I touched on both as being costs associated with organizing accessories for an Indian wedding.

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 Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles to help make  planning an Indian wedding just a little bit easier.

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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