So far I haven’t really given you an update of what is going on with my wedding planning. Although this blog is all about sharing my journey of my wedding, honestly its hard when you are down and out to write something about that experience. It sometimes got so exhausting that I felt I needed to give up, that it can’t be done, that I don’t know who or where to go, or how to approach things. And let me tell you, this feeling lasted for a long time – for the entire journey of finalizing the wedding venue i.e. a budget wedding venue. [It’s taken me close to 4 months!]
Now a wedding venue is not just about the venue. There are a lot of other elements which are part of it. First of course there is the venue itself, but then equally important is the caterer and decorator who also come within the same radar.
Initially, I just went around all the places I knew of in and around Powai looking for my perfect venue. The average costs per plate were going upwards 1500! This is not even South Mumbai venues…! I was like 1500 for a person…are you kidding me !!! A Global Fusion full spread buffet also comes for like 1200 bucks max to max and they have a lavish spread. But apparently, these rates are like standard now if you want to go for a decent place. I am talking about places like Ramada, Holiday Inn and the likes.
So anyhow, this rate was simply not acceptable. So started the crazy hunt for (budget) wedding venue. I decided to look away from Powai as long as a good budget venue was in sight. Now, away from your preferred location has a lot of disadvantages.
a. Your wedding guests may drastically reduce. On a weekday marriage like mine, it’s not possible for everyone to travel so much for someones wedding. The only plus side to this is…your head count goes down – and so does your per plate cost count 😛 sorry bad joke !
b. You have to arrange for travel for your relatives as well as for yourself. One it increases costs. Second the logistics is all together another ball game. At no point of time will ALL your relatives be ready at the same given time. Guaranteed. So you will have to arrange for multiple trips, make sure that they reach the venue on time all the while making sure that YOU are on time !
c. You have to make sure that you have EVERYTHING with you before you leave your home. Let’s face it. That’s not an easy task. Shaadi ka ghar hai, you are bound to forget something or the other till the last minute. Wouldn’t it be nice to then have your home close by where you can just ask anyone to quickly go and fetch the things for you at the last minute. The point I am making here is all this is a bigger headache.
Keeping all these things in mind, I was already feeling the pressure that is it really worth moving out of the area just for a couple of lakhs here and there. Isn’t mental peace somewhere more important as a trade-off? Also, what is the right balance between that extra amount you pay vs. your peace of mind ? Is it 1100, 1200, or 900 where I feel – Yes…this is worth it for the price…
Let me tell you, I finalized on something much lesser than that ! + I found the place 10 mins from my house. Walking distance 😀 Hahhh !
I must have told you this before, that I don’t have any kind of wedding planning experience at all. Most of the weddings that I have attended throughout my ‘few’ years of life have been inside the IIT Bombay Campus. So the only way of finding out about potential wedding venues was through Google !
The one website that was striking out from the list was Urban Restro. This website gave all the wedding venues listed in Mumbai along with the type (lawn, banquet, terrace, ac/non-ac) etc, contact numbers, review and most importantly food cost (both veg & non-veg)
I relied highly on this website for getting my initial target wedding venues to look at. With a rough estimate in my mind, I shortlisted like 10 venues to call up and set up appointments. On a frustrated day, for some reason I had filled out my contact details on their website stating that I needed a wedding venue for December. I am thanking my stars right now for doing that. Normally, you would think that, that’s the worst thing to do because you would then be bombarded with calls everyday with random nuisance. And, I am not denying that. It happens. A lot !
I did get calls from Urban Restro 😛
But the nature of the calls was very-very different. During the first few calls, they took all the details about my wedding, what kind – timing, the various rituals, anything particular I am looking for, my ideal wish for my venue, venues I have in mind etc etc. I entertained the calls because I was honestly giving up hope. By then, I had visited a few places with my parents and had witnessed unacceptable things
Pay extra for changing room for bride and groom -> We can give you rooms only if it is available 😕 -> Exorbitant amounts for extra hours -> No dressing room ! -> Closed dingy room for the actual wedding (pheras), still at an unbelievably high price -> Chair cost extra + venue cost extra + decorator extra + room cost extra…extra, extra, extra…
It was really tiring. For all you fellow brides getting married, I totally understand your pain.
So anyhow, I gave them the details thinking what is the worst that can happen and forgot about it. They called back in a few days. This time with a list of wedding venues in my budget mailed to me + personally informed to me over the phone with all the pros and cons of each place.
I was still not giving them any bhav. I thought they will pakka-pakka ask for commission if anything remotely also works out through them. For the first two months I drove the conversation by telling them to work around the wedding venues that I was set on given the budget. I did not want to budge at all !
But what I loved about these guys was that they were very very insisting. Not in the bad way. But something like…why do you want to settle for something like this…We will work out a better deal and get you a better place.
I thought – anything these guys are talking. Not even in my wildest dreams did I expect them to actually come back with some results. Couple of days later, Harsh (I don’t have his last name) who was my primary contact at Urban Restro called back, saying are you ok with this ‘X’ place which is close to your home at this rate (my rate!) I was like, how is that possible…I know that place costs a bomb + I have attended my own friends wedding there + that bomb of a cost is mentioned on your very site…They are way too expensive.
The guy just told me, “you just say whether you are ok with the place, we will get it done” !
Whattt!!!! Is that even possible?! On their website the price quoted was on the same lines as any 5 star hotels which even I was aware of, but you have to believe me when I say this…they got me a deal at almost 40% lesser ! 40% !!! That’s a huge margin if you actually sit to calculate the revised costs.
By now, I was on the phone with Harsh every few days trying to work this wedding venue situation out. From their side, they would make sure to call and check for updates which let me tell you, kept me on track as well. I felt like I was answerable to someone. That someone is actually trying to do something positive for my sake, and I need to reciprocate at the very least.
Even after I shortlisted my wedding venue, like I said before there was the caterer, decorator to figure out as well. Too many obstacles came up there (that I will write about later)…but I kept going back to Harsh who would do the ‘talking’ with the venue guys. I did not have to get involved at all. I simply told him what was workable by me in terms to costs and he magically got it done. Of course I had to do khich-khich myself but Urban Restro had a big big role to play in getting (gifting) me my wedding venue.
I always knew this place was gorgeous and that it came with a steep price which is why it was never even there in my consideration set. Urban Restro just made it all happen for me.
I am not the easiest person when it comes to money. I am always working towards rock bottom prices. Of course the price if justified makes sense. But just because inflation has gone up, doesn’t mean one has to be stupid about spending big big amounts just like that.
There were times when even Harsh would tell me that the price I am quoting is just not possible. But somewhere I realized you need to be sure at the back of your mind and stick to the point no matter what. It works out. Sometimes sooner that later.
Guys seriously, if any of you are having a tough time finding your venue or you have a venue in mind but its a little on the pricey side, do get an opinion from these guys. They really know what they are doing. At this time and age that we are living in, really who does help for free…and help in the real sense…Its just so refreshing to come across services like these who can really make such a huge difference.
A wedding is a one time thing and you simply want the best for yourself. So why not try that extra bit, that unusual path and who knows you might just get lucky. I know I did.
I am eternally thankful to Urban Restro. This is sacchi mein my thank you post just for them. They deserve it for what they have done for me.
P.S. I know I haven’t given out the name of the venue that I chose. Its only because I haven’t yet put in my booking amount. I am silly superstitious that ways. I don’t want to jinx it after so much mehnat 😛 I promise to talk about it soon in details 🙂
Are any of you guys getting married soon? Any stories on how you decided on your wedding venue?