Updated March 2020
Are you starting to plan your Indian wedding? In what order do you book vendors for an Indian wedding? In this article we will walk through the order and chronology. We assume you’re planning your wedding at least 10-12 months ahead.
Let’s start by detailing the vendors you’ll need.
1st: Book the venue. The venue anchors everything else for your wedding. The venue is also the single largest chunk of your total wedding budget. Usually the budget accounts for 35%-40% of the total budget. Ideally (but doesn’t have to be) the venue is booked 10-12 months prior. Some venues don’t book weddings more than 12 months before.
Booking 10-12 months away gives you plenty of time to plan and coordinate the wedding and gives your guests – especially those traveling to attend your wedding, ample time to plan their travels.
You might like our Indian wedding venue guides.
2nd: Caterer, Decorator, DJ, Photo, Cinema 7-9 months prior to the wedding
For many people selecting the caterer is another super important vendor, as food is crucial at Indian weddings. Catering is also another large chunk of the total wedding budget. DJs and decorators are integral to the whole experience and your photography and video team are responsible for capturing the memories that will last a lifetime.
3rd: Officiant, Cake/Dessert, Hair & Makeup 4-5 months before the wedding
Once you have the biggest items selected, move on to the next wave of things you’ll need. Officiant, cake, mehndi, hair & makeup – all items that probably require tastings, trials, so get those underway, ideally 5 to 4 months before the wedding.
4th: Shopping, Invitations, and Mehndi
Send a Save the Date out ASAP (especially to people from out-of-town). Ideally invitations are mailed at least 3 months prior to the wedding. These things are booked and taken care of at least 3 months before the wedding. If you’re going to India or South Asia for shopping, that will vary based on when you can travel.
Steps 2 thru 4 are subjective. Switch the order based on what’s most important to you and your priorities.
This article is a simple guide that answers, “in what order do you book vendors for an Indian wedding?” We broke down vendors into groups with the suggested number of months ahead to book each vendor.
Most couples plan their wedding 10-12 month ahead and this article assumes weddings that have that time frame.
For weddings with time frames that of 6 to 10 months, the order of booking vendors doesn’t change but we recommend that you accelerate the speed with which to make decisions and actually book vendors.
For weddings with a time frame of less than 6 months
- book the venue first
- 2nd book the caterer
- inform guests of the date
- work on clothes, photo + video + decor simultaneously
- then everything else.
With less than 6 months it’s all about making tradeoffs, decisiveness, and efficiency. Especially if you’re getting married during peak season – summer through Thanksgiving.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! 🙂
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