Once the engagement is over, everyone is confused over how to plan their wedding. Probably, you are also at this stage. A wedding is a really big event in India and it is really difficult to plan it while working fulltime. You might miss really important things during the planning and you would regret your entire life. Nobody wants to happen something like that.
The best way to avoid such situation is to have a checklist. It will help you make sure you did everything and nothing goes unattended. This Indian wedding planning checklist will guide you how to plan an Indian wedding step by step.
The entire process of wedding planning is divided into three stages to make it easier for you. The three stages are pre-planning, planning and purchasing.
1. Pre-planning Stage
This is actually a brainstorming stage. You can start this stage anytime you want. An ideal period is before 12-6 months of the wedding.
Everyone has different desires and priorities for an ideal wedding. Some would want a destination wedding while some others would be fine with a wedding in a wedding hall nearby. Some others would really want to host the wedding party on their home itself. The type and style of decoration, budget and other things also should be considered.
Discussion with your Fiancée/Fiancé
You can discuss the ideas and concepts of dream weddings with your future partner. Both of you should understand the dreams of each other. You may have different concepts for your wedding. In such cases, somebody would have to make a sacrifice.
Once you sacrifice your dream for the dream of your partner, the partner may feel guilty and she/he will also be willingly made sacrifice for you. It is a perfect beginning for a married life, isn’t it?
Discussion with Family Members
Parents and other family members have a huge role when it comes to Indian weddings. Most of the time, they play the main role in the wedding planning. Therefore, you would have to discuss their ideas about the wedding. You and your prospective partner should openly discuss everything with both families. They are wise and they may have better ideas for you.
Make some Research
You have to conduct immense research if you want to have a unique wedding. You can read some blogs and websites related to the wedding. You can also search for Indian wedding preparation tips on the web and get more ideas. You can find lots of amazing wedding photos on Pinterest and Instagram to get inspiration for a distinctive wedding.
During the research, you can also look into how much different things cost which would help you during the estimation of a rough budget.
Plan the Type of Wedding
After the initial discussion, you have can decide the type of wedding you are planning. You can make your wedding a big fat wedding, a small and minimalistic wedding, a destination wedding or a regular wedding. Having a clear vision of the type of wedding would help you to make better decisions easily in the later stages.
You can also decide if you want to hire a wedding planner to assist you plan and coordinate your wedding the way you want.
Plan Wedding Ceremony & Reception
You also have to plan when, where and how do you want your reception.
In India, wedding is organized in many different ways. Some people don’t have a reception and they invite entire guests to the wedding ceremony and a party soon after that. Some people host reception party in the night before the wedding.
Plan Date and Location/Wedding Venue
After the initial discussion, you can plan a date and venue for the wedding. Make a short list of the best wedding venues for you and choose one from them as your wedding venue. It is better to choose one or two fallback wedding venues which you can use if the first one is not available.
Number of Guests
Now you have a clear idea of the type of wedding and your wedding venue. Next, you can think about the number of your guests you want to invite to the wedding.
If you have planned reception and ceremony as spate events, you have to think about guests for both events. You can also consider inviting only your close relatives, neighbors, best friends and other few people most important to you to the wedding ceremony.
Plan for the Dishes
You should also decide what kind of food you want to serve during the reception and ceremony. However, you don’t have to think about the exact menu. The purpose of planning the food is to get a rough idea of the amount it would cost.
Decide the Budget
Now you have a clear idea of the venue, type wedding, number of guests and the food. You can go ahead and conduct some research and make a rough budget. You can also put a maximum limit on the budget if you want.
Now your pre-planning stage is completed. You have a clear vision of your wedding. This will help you to make important decisions very fast in the later part of the planning.
2. Planning Stage
In this stage, you plan everything in detail. Ideally, this should before 6 – 4 months of the wedding.
Fix the Date and Venue
You might have already planned a date and venue in the pre-planning stage. You can confirm a date and venue at this stage. You would have to change your date and venue based on the availability of the wedding venue and other functions in the family or neighborhood.
You can go to fallback venues if the first one on your list is not available.
Hire a Wedding Planner
You can hire a wedding planner to help you in the planning and coordination of the wedding. Wedding planners can help you practical solutions. Their service will be very valuable to make your planning and wedding less stressful.
Book the Venue
You should make sure the venue is available before you fixing the date. After finalizing the date, you have to immediately approach the office of the wedding venue, it might be a wedding hall or resort, and book it.
Book the Catering Team
Sometimes, the venue itself would provide catering team. You have to make sure that the catering team can prepare the menu you want. You can ask your friends and relatives if they know any catering team. Word of mouth is the greatest way to get the best catering team for you.
Decide the Menu
Make a list of the cuisine and food items you want to serve for your guests. Sometimes, you will need separate cuisine for reception and ceremony events. You along with family members should finalize the menu after discussing with the catering team.
Prepare the List of Guests
Make a list of guests you want to invite. It should be quick. You should find out the contact details of the lost friends if you want to invite them.
You should make sure you don’t miss anyone important. Many times it happens that people would forget to include very important persons. You need to discuss the list of guests with your family and friends as well. This would help you to figure out if you have missed someone.
Next, you need to design a wedding invitation and send it to the guests. It is better to send it at least 4 months before because it would help your guests to plan accordingly. Guests from distant places would have to make arrangements for the leaves from the office and plan the traveling.
Book a Priest
Next, you need to get a priest to preside over your wedding ceremony. Sometimes, you will have to use the local priest. Then you should make sure he is free or he can arrange someone else for you.
Book the Band & DJ
You should also hire a band and DJ team for your ceremony and reception. Never be late to contact them because your favorite band may not be available if you approach them lately. You should also make a list of songs you want.
You also have to think about the transportation for the wedding. You may have to hire additional vehicles apart from the vehicle for the bride or groom. You can find wedding car renters in your town and book the necessary number of cars. If you are planning for a vintage car for your wedding, you should try to book that as early as possible.
You need to hire a wedding decoration team to decorate the wedding venue. Based on the decision you made after the initial discussions you had with both families and prospective partner, you should decide the type of decoration. There are different styles of decoration and all that are already discussed in the pre-planning stage. You should get a decoration team who can achieve what you want.
Most of the time, decoration team will also manage the flower decoration and bouquet. If you want to hire a separate and more talented florist, you can think about hiring an independent florist.
You have to hire photographers to manage the photography and/or videography. You should consider the portfolio of photographers and ensure they can provide high-quality photos or videos.
Makeup Artist: You would have to hire a makeup artist for your wedding day. If you have a favorite makeup artist for you, you can ask them if they are available on your wedding day.
Book Beauty Parlor
Apart from the makeup artist, you should also make a booking in a beauty parlor for the previous day of the wedding.
Now everything is planned. All you have to do is make sure nothing goes wrong. You should immediately find other ways if anything goes against the planning,
3. Purchase Stage
You need to buy lots of things like various kind apparels, ornaments and other things required to the home. It is better to purchase these things 1-3 months before the wedding. You shouldn’t purchase them too early because the trend may change. Moreover, as time goes you may find another beautiful dress and you may regret buying too early.
Purchase the Wedding Dress
You have to think about the dress for you, your partner and other family members. The dress selection for the bride and groom would take lots of time. During your research in the pre-planning itself, you should think about the wedding dresses. While purchasing the dress, you should also think about other apparels like footwear.
You also have to buy the wedding rings and other types of ornaments and accessories required for the wedding. It is better to buy this 3-1 month before the wedding.
Sorting wedding planning into three stages would make the process simple and easier. This wedding planning checklist includes all major things you should do for a regular Indian wedding. Following this would make sure that you don’t forget any important things in the planning. You have to make many decisions regarding your big day and it can’t go wrong and I hope his Indian wedding planning guide will help you to make your wedding a perfect day.