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Wedding costs: Here's how not to bankrupt yourself; 6 brief points to know

The Financial Express logo The Financial Express 09-06-2017 Adhil Shetty

© image Indian weddings have always been grand, and parents make it a point to ensure that their child?s wedding is the best party they have ever thrown. From food to decoration, weddings are meant to be picture perfect without any sign of frugality. After all, the occasion calls for hearty celebration. However, it?s mostly the ageing parents who take the expenses upon themselves, and do the running around to make the day memorable for their children. They spend a large chunk of their lives? savings on this one day. Research shows Indian parents spend a fifth of their savings on their children?s weddings. It?s time young people realised that it makes financial sense to fund their own weddings than to deplete the funds of their parents who would not have a long career span left to rebuild that corpus. Take the onus of your own wedding. Yes, it requires planning and taking responsibilities, but those are useful learnings.

If you are willing to play your part in your wedding, here are a few tips to walk you along:

Your spending capacity

To start with, think how much you need to spend on your wedding. Consider the overheads and do the math. Now, look at your financial situation and understand how much you can spend comfortably without disturbing your other financial commitments. Simplify the event if necessary. It?s always better to have a low-cost event with your close ones than to invite a large number of people and then have a financial crunch after the wedding. Avoid taking undue financial stress. One way to do it is by having a wedding fund in place. You need to plan the fund well in advance and contribute towards it every month.

Chalk out a budget

Once you know how much you have in hand, you can allocate the fund for different items such as food, transportation, decoration, clothing, jewellery, etc. Estimate the cost well and make sure it doesn?t exceed your spending limit.

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Saving for it

When you decide on the wedding date, make sure you have enough time in hand to save for it. Pick your investment instruments based on the amount of time you have to raise the fund. Typically, liquid instruments such as fixed deposits, recurring deposits and high-interest savings accounts are good options for such short-term financial goals.

Low-cost venue

Wedding venues account for a huge chunk of the wedding expenses. If you want to marry in an economical way, you can get the paperwork done at a courtroom and take friends and family out for dinner. You can decide on the cost of the outing based on your spending potential. If you want to stick to your chosen venue, you can try booking it in the off season, or for a fewer number of hours, to cut cost. Along with the wedding venue comes the additional cost of decorations. You may scale these down. Lightning costs, too, can be reduced by marrying in the day time.

Rethink your clothing

Wedding clothes are often expensive, worn once, and then forgotten. So why spend a substantial amount on them? You can dress simply, or rent clothes for the occasion to save cost. When you buy jewellery, try and stick to gold because it may still offer you returns on investment in the long run.

Cut down on events

From engagement to sangeet, Indian weddings can stretch for a week or more to fit in several rituals. Try and make it compact by compressing these events into a day or two, or by removing a few from the list. Keep the schedule budget-friendly. Your guests, too, may appreciate a compact event list. This will also help you save on hospitality costs.

The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com

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