Planning your wedding budget is as important as planning your wedding!

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Marriage is an important aspect of life. Having a life partner through your good and bad times is something most people want in life. Before you start your marriage, there is also the wedding.

Now, your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life. People have different ideas for their wedding, some want it low key, but some like to have it in a lavish manner. It’s a good practice to plan your wedding in advance so that you have a fair idea about the possible expenses that will incur on your wedding.

You could, of course, hire a wedding planner but a better alternative is to sit back at peace with your family with a pen and a paper, jot down the important events and cost areas, and do the math yourself. After all, it is your wedding and no body, other than you, will have an idea about how you want to have it.

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1.      From where is the fund coming from: The first step is to find out who is contributing. Are your parents contributing a lump sum, or will you be funding the entire wedding on your own? If you haven’t saved up enough, you can take a personal loan in the form of a wedding loan to finance your wedding. These days, personal loan interest rates are competitive, so do a basic research, find out who is offering the best rate, and opt for it. Always go for a trusted organization, do not borrow from informal channels. You could try out Tata Capital, which is offering wedding loans at a rate as low as 11.49%. You can repay this personal loan through easy EMIs over a period of six years in institutions such as Tata Capital. Assess your monthly income and expenditure to understand how much you can afford to pay as EMI every month. Of course, for that, you have to first decide upon how much wedding loan you want to take. Tata Capital, for instance, gives up to Rs 15 lakh as a wedding loan. The higher amount of a wedding loan amount is also available depending on your credit score.

2.      Estimate your number of guests: The cost of a wedding pretty much depends on the guest count. The number of guests that you are expecting will not only help you decide upon the size of your venue but also how much food you’ll have to provide. Food and venue happen to be the two biggest cost areas at a wedding, eating up almost 30 to 40% of the wedding expenses. Look at your wedding as per-person expenditure. Your guest count will generate the number of plates you will need to pay for. Not only food, but it will also help you decide upon the number of invitations, table and chair rentals etc. So, figuring out the guest count is very important to decide how much a wedding loan you will need to take.

3.      Jewellery and outfits: Jewellery and outfits are the other two major areas where you will spend the most on your wedding. It’s a good idea to decide at the very outset, what kind of outfits and jewellery you are looking for, how many events will be there for which you will have to wear different clothes and jewels. You can chalk down the pre and post wedding functions and accordingly count the number of dresses you will need. There’s an engagement, there’s mehendi, there’s sangeet, there’s haldi, the final wedding and then the grihapravesh. You would ideally want different outfits for each of these occasions. Set a budget for each day, and accordingly calculate the total amount that you plan to set aside for outfits and jewellery that would take up at least 30% of the total cost. This will form another major chunk of your wedding loan.

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4.      Gifts, décor and photography: Gifts to different relatives and to the bride or the groom will also incur some expenses, so set aside at least 10% of your wedding expenditure on the same. Décor also takes up at least 7-8% of your wedding cost so don’t forget to include that when computing your wedding loan. You can save costs by decorating smaller events with artificial flowers and lights. For the big main day, you can go for fresh flowers as they would be expensive. Photography will take up another 5 to 7% of your wedding loan, so keep that in mind, too, when calculating your personal loan amount for the wedding.

5.      Honeymoon: Last but not least, keep an amount aside for your honeymoon and add it to the wedding loan amount when calculating your EMI on the personal loan EMI calculator. Your cost will depend upon the destination that you are choosing for your honeymoon – international or domestic. If you are eying international destinations, say a Europe tour, and then the honeymoon itself will set you back by at least Rs 3 lakh. If you want to head to an exotic location within the country and have a luxurious stay, you will be able to manage it all within a lakh or so, including airfare and accommodation.

A budget, no matter how lavish or low-key the wedding, is important. Knowing where you will be spending your money is as important as you will get a generalised idea as to the amount of wedding loan you need to apply for. By the end, you don’t want to short on money to plan your wedding!