You might call me crazy for writing this one. Every time I write a series of high-end Designer Lehenga posts, I need a reality check. Not everyone can or wants to spend that kind of money. So a solid budget-friendly post is my answer to that. But a Wedding Under 2 Lakhs? How is that even possible?
Last night when I was off to bed I thought there might be someone who can’t or doesn’t want to spend a whole lot on their wedding. Let me tell you upfront it is possible to have a wedding under 2 lakhs. Even less.
People opt for Court House weddings all the time. It’s not so much frowned upon in the west as much as it is in ours. But times are changing. Indian couples are taking charge of their wedding plans entirely which is great. So if you want to know how to plan a budget Wedding Under 2 Lakhs, here’s my research on it.
P.S. I am not suggesting you go for a courthouse wedding. You have other options as well. Read on. But first…
If Wedding Under 2 Lakhs is a bit unrealistic for you, then I also have a budget wedding post under 10 lakhs. A budget of 10 lakhs gives you an additional PreWedding Function + designer lehenga options. I have also written a blog post on Wedding under 5 lakh budget post the whole demonetization period. Google it and you’ll be able to access that post as well.
Things I am including in the Wedding Under 2 Lakhs Budget:
- Brides Outfit (Lehenga/Saree)
- Brides Trousseau
- Food for 150 guests
- Shaadi Venue
- Wedding Photography + Videography
- Family’s Outfits (Mum, Dad, and one sibling). P.S. Two siblings ka budget nahi hai. Bwahaha. Just kidding.
- Wedding Favours for 100 individual guests
- Decorator charges
Things I am NOT including in the Wedding Under 2 Lakhs Budget:
- Gold, for obvious reasons
- No Candid Photography
- No second party i.e. just one meal for the guests. We are on a budget, remember?
- Pandit Ji’s Dakshina. That seriously varies depending on who you choose + I don’t want to anger any strong Hindu sentiments here.
This blog post in no way is a holy grail on how you should be spending your money. It’s my humble attempt to advise those budget brides out there who in all reality might be having a budget of 2-3 lakhs for their wedding.
Also, to give you some perspective of how and why I am writing this. I chose to have a budget engagement party in Mumbai where my venue came free of cost. Food prices were nominal. Plus, I didn’t need/opt for any decor. If any of you’ll want to know how I did it, check the link below:
Ok, coming back to the post. I am assuming my bride is one of the two people from the human description below:
- A bride who has a strict budget for her wedding which is Wedding Under 2 Lakhs, or,
- You are a semi-rich bride with some well to do friends who desire/chooses (by her own free will) to have a simple Indian Wedding Under 2 Lakhs
So here we go.
The most important, and one of the biggest spending in any Indian Wedding comes from the selection of Wedding Venue. It can burn a hole in the pocket if not planned in advance. But there are no right or wrong choice of venue. It totally depends on the season, your dream for your wedding, the location you’re at and what you wish for your guests to feel at your wedding. Every wedding venue has a set of pros and cons. Choose yours based on what fits your wedding criteria the best.
- Pros and Cons of having a Lawn Wedding
- Is Banquet Hall the best option for you?
- Should you opt for a Terrace Wedding instead?
For a Wedding under 2 lakhs, the budget for Wedding Venue is INR 43,000. Here are few options in this price range:
A Temple Wedding Venue
Choose a morning wedding followed by a lunch affair. If you have a beautiful temple with a nice compound – go for it. A mandap takes the same space in a lawn, temple, banquet everywhere. All you need to do is get some seating arranged around the mandap. You can easily go for white Gaddis with colourful DIY cushions instead of chairs. They would cost less and will go completely in sync with the temple environment.
In IIT Powai area, I found vendors selling Gaddis for INR 50-75 after hard bargaining. You might have to buy the white clean cloth to cover it. But that should not put a massive dent in your budget
If you are a Bombay bride, check with Chinmaynand Ashram. The location is spectacular. Plus, they do have a good space for a wedding. You might need some permission etc, but its worth the effort. I know for a fact that there are weddings happening there.
P.S. If you think getting married in a temple is strange. It is not. Most Christians get married in a church, Sikhs get married at Gurudwaras and it costs them next to nothing for the nuptials. The after party and prewedding parties is where they like to spend. You need to keep the same attitude about your Hindu wedding on a budget.
A Community Center Hall
If you live in a community like say a campus IIT Campus, BARC Campus, University Campus etc you are in luck. You will be having a community centre/ground for sure in your area. Try to make the most of it by sprucing it up for your wedding party.
Now, What if you don’t have community access?
Find out friends from your college/school or any other connections who might have. Relatives with access will work better. On face value, everyone will simply say no. Nobody willingly likes to put in efforts. You need to push people in order to get a lucky break. Chances are they can speak to someone who can maybe get you access. It is a long shot. But worth exploring given how expensive outside venues are. Especially if you are in a metropolitan city, the venue charges itself can bleed you by an engineers starter yearly salary or more.
Community Hall access will save you a ton of money + you get to spend that money on something that actually matters. CLOTHES + FOOD !
If you are a semi-rich kid with options, here’s a few venue possibilities:
A Standalone Family Home
Have you ever thought of having the mandap on the terrace and then spending on a full-blown house party? You can have local caterers, and decor charges don’t need to go bonkers. It is the best budget-friendly option to go for. Plus it’s personal. Whether you have a garden or not, you can totally make this work.
Opt for a Destination Wedding
Before I get reminded of the Wedding Under 2 Lakhs budget, I meant your family home back in your hometown. Your guest list will greatly reduce and you can have a personal wedding affair instead of a full-blown extravagant wedding.
If you have access to a beach. I am not really sure who or what permissions are required for this. In case you do, let me know and I can erase/keep this as an option. If the beach venue is a possibility, then all you need to think about is decor.
Ok, now coming to the fun stuff. Clothes.
Where can I find my Bridal Lehenga under INR 10,000?
If you want to wear something classy, elegant Flyrobe would be my option for you. For the budget, you can easily get high-end designer lehenga in the INR 10,000 budget. But I am going to share some of my bridal picks from rock bottom prices.
Flyrobe is no longer operational. Kindly do not order items from their website, or through any of their social media platforms.
Orange Brocade Silk Embroidered Lehenga – INR 2,799
Pastel Green Embroidered Lehenga – INR 4,999
Pink And Blue Embroidered Lehenga – INR 3,999
Peach And Maroon Embroidered Lehenga – INR 4,199
Tricoloured Embroidered Velvet Lehenga – INR 4,999
Cherry Red Embroidered Lehenga – INR 4,999
Personally, I get it when someone tells me spending that kind of money for a rental outfit? It is a bit of a stretch which is why I am giving you options for half the price. If you do go for these, you have an additional INR 5000 to spend on anything else at the wedding. It’s all about where to save the maximum moolah.
What if I don’t want to rent my Bridal Outfit?
Should you opt not to rent your bridal outfit, you can still wear a designer replica in the under 10,000 price range. If you are in Delhi, Chandni Chowk Lehenga Stores is the place to be for picking a budget lehenga. But if you are in any other smaller non-metropolitan cities, you will have your local market where you can easily pick a bridal-worthy lehenga under 10,000.
This is just for lehenga prices. If you choose to wear a nice traditional saree, then prices will depend upon your choice of silk or other fabrics + embroidery work. I might be completely out of base here, but I think this is some of the starting prices for wedding sarees.
- Paithani Sarees starting at INR 6,000
- Kanjeevaram starts at INR 3,000
- Banarasi Sarees start at INR 8,500
- Odissi Silk you can get from INR 7,500
Now, a few of you might ask, which Kanjeevaram has ever cost INR 3,000? Well, good point. Mine did. Not kidding. I sourced it from a store in Mumbai which directly got them from their village somewhere in Tamil Nadu. The first time I picked it up, I didn’t know it cost that less. So when I was finally told the price, I figured if I can’t tell, no one else would either. I instead decided to spend that extra cash on my mum’s saree which I recommend you to do too.
Mum’s give up so much for their daughters. The wedding day is probably the hardest time for them. The time you are on stage, she is busy greeting friends, family and running around making sure you get to have your perfect dream wedding. It is as much yours as it is her moment to shine. I wanted my mum to look like a million bucks. Better than me in fact. I was the bride. I knew everyone would love me no matter what I wear. But my mum, I just wanted to put that extra bit of effort for her.
If you save up some money from your bridal outfit, I would recommend you spend that extra cash on getting the most exquisite saree for your mum. Dad’s are ok. They can wear a Maanyavar sherwani and still be happy. Dad’s don’t particularly care about outfits, right? At least mine never did.
P.S. If you are a DIY person, then I hope you have seen lehenga saree draping styles in my last post. If your outfit look seems too simple, focus on accessories. Buy chunky artificial jewellery. That can solve any problem.
What about Wedding Photography? Budget INR 15,000
Traditional Video + Photo prices have pretty much stayed standard through the years. Most studios will quote you the following prices:
- Traditional Video at INR 15k for 2 events
- Traditional Photo at INR 5k for one event
Try to ask around your locality to see options. Traditional Photo Video doesn’t need expert skills. It’s point and shoots at most times. A traditional video will include food and a lengthy detailed version of your wedding day. It’s not a bad thing at all. You can easily use the free software later and cut down the video to have highlights to show your friends and family.
The reason why I didn’t include candid photography is because you need to have the right photographer for it. The budget shouldn’t be the primary focal point when selecting candid photographers. They come with a skill set that you can’t really put a price on.
Nowadays most of the photographers claim they do candid photography. But they do horrid work. Period. Most of these budget photographers are not consistent with their style of shooting and editing. It can become a big trial and error to go ahead with them.
Ok, now coming to the fun part. Wedding Favors, Invites, and Decor.
Wedding Favor Ideas in under 100 bucks! Budget – INR 10,000
- Potted Succulents (Buy them in bulk, and you can get these prices down to INR 40-50 bucks a plant)
- Scented Candles nicely packed with wedding initials
- Do cute little laddoo packs instead of big bulky mithaai boxes (which eventually lands in the maid’s hands!)
- Cookies instead of regular chocolates. You don’t need to give an entire cookie jar individually. Pretty packing is everything
- Latkans or Saree/Suit borders nicely packed up
- Little cute Mason Jars filled with goodies (chocolates, honey, chutney, anything). Just use a nice little ribbon around it and it is going to be a hit!
DIY is key to making this a success. Everyone loves pretty personalized gift items. You can even make a corner out of the display of your wedding favours. Source the items from local wholesale bazaars like Crawford, or Chandni Chowk. You can get a great deal for buying in bulk.
E-Invites are so much better than traditional invites
I have written a series of posts on you can make your own wedding invite absolutely free of cost.
If you are not too good with using different software, worry not. Go to DaFont for choosing from a wide range of fonts. You can simply type wedding in their search box and see a list of wedding fonts. It is all free. My Frugal2Fab and MissNautiTales logo is all DIY process through DaFonts.
Use Microsoft PowerPoint to make your Evite. For backdrop images, you can directly pick up pictures from Google Images or Pinterest. Say, for instance, you want a floral based invite, then put in those keywords. It is a bit of a process, and you might have to see some YouTube tutorials if you’re new to Powerpoint. But its well worth it.
If you still have to go for traditional invites, then go the basic ones. Print out for e-invite instead for sending it to your friends. Basic wedding invitation card costs start from INR 5-10 bucks for a white basic one card inside piece. They are not bad. You can easily live with it.
Some cute DIY Decor that won’t cost a bomb! Budget INR 10,000
Here are some easy inexpensive decor ideas that can opt for instead of traditional over-the-top decor. Decorators traditionally want to get maximum money out of you, which in turn means they will sell you extra decor oozing out of every corner. You don’t need to do that. Making your wedding space a decorator dukaan is not the key to a happy wedding. Try and pick corners to highlight with personalized items.
- Childhood photos of the bride and groom
- A memory book corner
- Wedding Favours corner
- Plus one bonus only decor corner
Don’t overdo it.
- Use Fairy Lights for your wedding bought from AliExpress/Amazon. You can reuse it post-wedding as well.
- Use a ladder prop for corner decor of photo albums. Click on the link to know how to get a wedding ladder prop FOR FREE!
- Pom-Pom accessories look super cute colourful, and prices per meter start from INR 10-20.
- Choose the right budget flowers for your decor. Tip: Rajnigandha looks amazing but costs peanuts. Marigold over roses to stick to the budget.
Now, for the remaining tit-bit details:
How to arrange for food under INR 450 a plate?
If you are having a wedding at home, food cost can be significantly brought down. There are multiple ways of doing it.
- Hire cooks. Provide them with supplies
- Outsource the entire menu to a restaurant
- Hire professional caterers
If you are getting married in a community campus, or a temple, then you might have campus caterers also available. Their prices will be far below the market price. Whatever you choose, do the menu right. Make sure you know what your guests are going to love and enjoy.
- Hire a local Paani-Puri stall guy. Uska bhi bhala, tumhara bhi bhala for the price. Win-win.
- Work out the costing for ice-cream for 150 people vs jalebi rabdi type budget options. Go for crowd pleaser type menus. Also, which are not too complicated for local caterers.
MakeUp for the Bride: Budget INR 3,000
Go to a local salon in your neighbourhood. Ask them to doll you up along with fixing your saree/lehenga. Do not utter the word bridal. Most makeup parlours charge anywhere between INR 3000-5000 for a getting ready session. Luckily these days, Indian brides are all about the natural glam look. Just prep your skin before the wedding and you wouldn’t need all that much of caking up.
If you are not a makeup person in general, high chances are your face is going to react to all that layers of foundation on the day of. No amount of Mac products can solve that problem for you. If you are blessed with naturally glowy skin, embrace it and go for minimal makeup like a touchup with a nice pop of lip colour, and eye makeup.
The idea behind writing this post on Wedding Under 2 Lakhs is not so you can pinpoint all the items I missed from the wedding plan. It’s to give you the power and courage to make the right choice for your wedding. Spend on the things that truly matter to you. For the rest, you can always come back to this to know what’s the absolute rock bottom prices to pay for any wedding category.