INDIAN parents spend a fifth of their life savings on their children’s weddings. Expensive weddings are encouraged and seen as status symbols. Take stock of your financial position and estimate the amount of money that you can comfortably spend.
Ideally, you should start saving for your wedding months or years in advance. A dedicated wedding fund helps you prepare an adequate corpus for the wedding without disturbing your investments and savings meant for other goals. Once you are ready with the corpus, you can move to the next step of budgeting and spending.
Prepare the wedding budget
There will be expenditure on lodging and catering for guests, transportation, ceremonial preparations, jewellery, clothing, decoration, and gifts. You must make an estimate for how much you wish to allocate for each of these broad expenses. Try not to allocate more funds than what you have decided.
Raising the funds
Once you’ve decided on a wedding date, start saving for it. You should put your money in liquid instruments that offer safety of money and instant redemption. Liquid mutual funds, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, high-interest savings accounts are all good options. You can make monthly contributions to this account, and also park your bonus and seasonal earnings in it to make getting to your target corpus a little easier.
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Have an off-season wedding
Marriage halls and service providers are hard to get during the busy wedding season. How about an off-season wedding? This would be a time when marriage-related services are not in much demand and bookings may be cheaper.
Head to the courthouse
Even temple weddings aren’t the compact affairs that they used to be. Getting married in a courthouse should be the way to go if it’s a lean wedding you’re looking for—a small, intimate event with close family and friends. Complete your signature and paperwork at the court, and head for your wedding day lunch. If you’re still undecided about whether to have a large wedding or a compact one, just calculate the potential costs of a large one.
Control the menu
Food is a very large and very important part of the Indian wedding experience. Unfortunately, it is here that there’s an enormous amount of wastage. To reduce wastage, prepare a compact menu that covers the essentials of a wedding feast but leaves out its excesses. A clean, healthy meal will matter more to your guests than any extravagances. A careful headcount before the preparation of each meal would further help reduce wastage of food.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar