A traditional Indian wedding can cost anywhere between a few lacs to a few crores depending on how basic or extravagant you want the wedding to be. Here are some of the wedding essentials and their average cost for a budget wedding (move away, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas):
- Venue: The venue accounts for a large percentage of the wedding cost. It can be a destination wedding or a banquet hall in the heart of the city. The location plays a major part in the price tag. Peak marriage season is costlier with an average banquet hall costing anywhere in between Rs.1-5 lakhs per day. Again, the venue also depends on the number of guests that you plan to invite - more guests means a larger and expensive venue.
- Attire: The attire for the D-day could itself cost you anywhere between Rs 25,000 - 1 lakh. The budget is higher if the bride and groom opt for designer wear. On average, a grand lehenga will cost you around Rs.40,000. If gold is on the list of accessories, then every sovereign of gold will cost you approx Rs.40,000. In the case of a groom, a Shervani or a formal suit could cost around Rs.30,000 to 50,000.
- Food: If you decide to have a lavish spread from a reputed caterer, it can cost you between Rs. 600 to 2500 per plate or even more depending on the cuisine. While in many Indian weddings vegetarian food is preferred, adding non-vegetarian to the menu will increase costs.
- Decor: Decorating the venue is by no means a cheap affair. Decorators may charge anywhere between Rs. 70,000 to 30 lakhs depending on the theme you opt for. You pay more if you want a more photo-friendly decoration. For a simple yet elegant wedding decor, you will spend around Rs.1,50,000.
- Wedding Invitations: Most of us think that the wedding invitation is a meager cost, but you need to add the cost of printing, post, plus home visits to it. On average, one wedding invitation will cost you between Rs.50 to 100 per card. If you want to go for an expensive one, then they are available at Rs.1000 per card as well. Some people prefer to add a gift along with the wedding card, in such cases, the cost will go up depending on the price of the gift and the number of gifts you intend to give.
- Make-up: In earlier days, this was a luxury - today it's a necessity. The bride and groom need to look their best on a special day. Bridal make-up packages for the bride range between Rs.15,000 to Rs.1 lakh. The basic makeup and hairdo will only be possible at Rs.15,000. Each bridal dress will require a different look - especially Haldi, Sangeet, Mehendi, Wedding and Reception. On average - Rs.60,000 only for bride make-up. Groom make-up is not as expensive, still, it may cost around Rs.10,000.
- Photos & Videos: Photos and videos are what make this special day stay fresh in our minds even after many years go by. Today, you will have to spend about Rs.40,000 for a photographer and Rs.50,000 per day for a videographer. If you can choose the same person for both, they will charge as a package which will cost you lesser.
- Accommodation: Accommodations for the bride and groom’s immediate family is usually available at the venue. In most weddings, there are people traveling from other locations to the wedding location and hence arranging accommodation for them is a necessity. You will have to spend about Rs.1000 to Rs.3000 per room depending on the number of guests staying in each room.
- Pooja Needs: Generally an Indian wedding is held for 2 to 3 days with many rituals and ceremonies conducted. The hiring charges for the purohit, his assistants will also need to be considered. The cost of each of the wedding ceremonies can range from a few thousand to 1.5 lakh.
- Other things: There are numerous other things like paying for the band, DJ, transportation, etc. It’s better to set aside an amount for these miscellaneous expenses so that it doesn’t come as a shock.
Overall, when you consider all the above parameters, the budget wedding could cost anything between 10 to 40 lakhs approximately. A typical Indian wedding is pompous and the cost of the wedding is totally subjective as it depends on various factors like social status, venue, number of guests, etc.