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Getting married on a shoestring budget

October 13, 2008
The Wedding Season is here. However, the cheer that it brings will be somewhat subdued this time thanks to the global financial turmoil that has now reached Indian shores as well.

What with inflation looming at 11.8 percent, stock markets in doldrums, and the word 'Recession' staring at you from the front page of every newspaper, do you think you can afford that much-awaited gala marriage you always dreamt of? If your answer is 'No' don't worry, for help is round the corner.

Your dream wedding may not necessarily mean a 'Big Budget Wedding' in current circumstances. But you can still have a fairy-tale wedding with a small and limited budget. Let's have a look at how this can be achieved.

The first and foremost thing is to prepare a budget wherein you will have to list down all items of utmost importance for a wedding. And the estimated amount you would like to spend on each item that makes up for a typical Indian wedding. This will help you keep track of your wedding expenditure. Very often, people tend to go way over budget where wedding expenditures are concerned.

You can make a model 'Wedding Budget Planner', which can be used to prepare your budget: Make three columns with 'Particulars', 'Estimate of Expenditure' and 'Actual Cost' as the three headers. In the 'Particulars' column include items like 1) Wedding venue, 2) Decoration, 3) Catering, 4) Invitation card, 5) Photographer/ Video, 6) Dress / Trousseau, 7) Jewellery, 8) Transportation/ Accommodation, 9) Gifts for the bride/ groom and relatives, and finally the most important of all: your honeymoon.

Draw an estimate of how much you can pay for each of the above-mentioned 'Particulars' and see that the estimate does not overshoot the actual amount spent.

The above-listed particulars is a broad outline of the main expenditures which everyone incurs, be it a lavish or a simple wedding.

All weddings have their own 'must-haves' depending on individual cultures and traditions. As the word goes these are things you just cannot avoid. However, we still dare and give you a few simple tips to have a fairy-tale wedding with all the must-haves, within your budget:

As Nitin Raichura, a wedding planner who owns Wedding Decorators aptly advises, "Trim that guest list. More the people, more expensive the wedding! As and when you add a name in that guest list, rest assured your cost has gone up."

"More the number of people, bigger the venue, more amount spent on decoration, catering, pick-up for outstation guests, and the list goes on and on. These are the expenses where one can save a lot and hence it makes sense to invite sensibly," adds Nitin.

Photograph: Rediff Archive

Also see: Wedding insurance & you
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