Common Mistakes in Planning Indian Weddings

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Indian weddings are elaborate and require extensive planning. Small slip-ups can come in the way of flawless fun and guest satisfaction. Most mistakes happen because you are getting too much stressed looking after everything yourself. Careful planning and timely execution can help in a big way.

Let’s look at some of the common goof-ups and bloopers which have the potential to undo your hard work, leave you embarrassed or your guests disappointed.

Budget considerations: You must draw up a carefully thought-out budget with broad and detailed views. But we Indians are so often found guilty of it. The moment you let emotion take precedence over your rationale, know that you are in for trouble. You need to deliberate and match your expectations with available resources at every point and plan accordingly. Plan a budget effectively and save yourself from over-blowing it.

Consult all stakeholders: Consult all stakeholders like the bride (or the groom), your own family and close friends for new ideas and get a draft budget. Some areas will need you to loosen the purse strings to get the wow factor while you can sit tight in other areas. If you have hired a wedding planner, he/she can give you an idea of the expenses involved in the different aspects.

Don’t miss out on an important guest: Ah! This is such a real threat to so many Indian weddings. We tend to miss out on some important family members or business associates. Start building your guest list early and refine often. Approach the list group wise like own family, maternal side, paternal side, in-laws, business associates, clients, vendors etc. Keep in mind that you will end up adding at least 25 guests to the list at the last moment.

Create separate guest lists for various events: Every guest is not invited to every event. You need to mark guests event wise. So you may be inviting 300 guests in one event and 800 in another.

Invite your guests as early as possible: It is only natural that you would want your closest friends and relatives to be available for your nuptials. They should be informed about the wedding schedule as early as possible. Cards are sent much later but you should send “block your date” notices early so that they can make their plans. Outstation guests have to book tickets which become costlier if not booked early.

Request R.S.V.P: This is still not very popular in India but the concept has many advantages. You can get a fair idea of how much accommodation you need for outstation guests. You can request RSVPs in email invites. Call and confirm with those who have not responded to the emails.

Steer clear of busy vendors: Popular vendors are busy. They will have multiple assignments on the day of your events. However, you must ensure that they personally supervise your functions or appoint a senior level guy who can take quick, on the spot decisions when needed.

Don’t feel shy to negotiate rates with your vendors: We are often too shy to ask for discounts or negotiate rates with our vendors. Most vendors keep some margins to reduce rates on request. However don’t squeeze them so much that they are forced to cut corners.

Constantly follow up with your vendors: You need to be regularly updated on the progress of the different activities status and take note of any impediments that the vendor may be facing.

Work closely with your makeup artist: The bride and the groom need to discuss the planned make-up in sync with the wedding dress. This will result in a harmonious look. If you are not well-rested, no makeup in the world can make you look gorgeous.

Give enough time to your photographer: The photographer needs to meet your family people a few times so that he can identify all the members fairly well. This will ensure he can take good shots and cover them well during the different ceremonies.

Discuss beforehand the songs your DJ would play: It is very common for us to appoint a DJ for the wedding. You should review and / or guide him about the mood you want to build up and he should be guided as to which songs to play and not to play. You don’t want him playing a popular raunchy number during a wedding function.

Try to avoid inaccessible venues: The venues get booked quickly and identifying and booking venues should be done at a very early stage. Some great venues may become a misfit during different seasons. A lovely outdoor venue will be useless in the hot summer season while a low-lying venue will be inaccessible during rains. Transport connectivity & parking facility are also important considerations.

Ensure that your venue has the basic amenities: A lot of venues don’t have proper basic amenities. It would be prudent to check whether it has standard washrooms and lavatories, first aid kits and proper security arrangements in place. If your venue lacks these amenities and the management cannot help, you should make those arrangements from your end or have some backup options.

Check whether your venue has a separate antechamber for the bride: This is a very important requirement which is often overlooked. A bride needs a small private chamber to freshen up, rest her back or just catch up in private with her mom or sister for a word or two before or after the wedding, away from the glare of the camera and the prying eyes.

Familiarize yourself with the venue beforehand: It is extremely important that you and close members of your family visit the venue multiple times before the wedding. You should know the venue like the back of your hands. You should know which stall has been put up where and which room is for what purpose. Don’t act like a ‘guest’ in front of your guests on the all important day.

Make proper seating arrangements: A lot of times we forget to make proper seating arrangements for our guests. Often, there are kids, expecting mothers, elderly as well as sick guests who may be inconvenienced by the lack of enough seats. Have enough number of chairs and importantly get them placed strategically so that they can be availed easily.

Try to have backup plans: The most important advice that I give to all my clients and friends is – don’t leave anything to chance. If you are hosting your wedding in an open space, make plans for unexpected weather. Don’t let it play spoilsport. If you are having a destination wedding, arrange for transport facilities to take your guests around. Don’t hope for things to fall in place on their own. It is always wise to be prepared for any kind of contingency.

Monitor your buffet spread: Start the buffet a little early so that the guests who are in a hurry can be served. Ensure that the food is hot and the containers are regularly refilled. The guests should not be kept waiting for food to arrive once a container in the counter has been emptied. If your guest list is primarily non-vegetarian with a few vegetarian invitees, there have been instances where not enough attention has been paid to the vegetarian stalls.

Delegate duties to responsible members of your family: You cannot manage it all alone. Assign responsibilities of different departments and functions to family members and friends. Review the progress regularly though.

Attend to all your guests. Some guests are super-special. However, you should personally attend to each of your guests. Ensure that they are comfortable and enjoying the rituals. Ask those close to you to be vigilant and see that no guest leaves unattended or dissatisfied.

Drink enough water and follow a proper diet: So often we stop eating properly before an important event in our life because we are so tensed. This is just the time when we should be eating a good diet and having enough water.

Feel happy and wear it on your face: Marriage is a happy union of two souls. Always wear a radiant smile on your face. Make your guests feel comfortable. Drown in the gaiety. Happiness is infectious. If you look happy, people around you will be happy too. Don’t sit with a stressed or grumpy look.

I wish you all the best for your wedding and hope that you don’t get anxious or nervous. I also recommend that you take help of a professional and reliable, end-to-end wedding management software, WedPlan. With this, managing the logistics become easier and you can focus on the creative aspects and most important – the occasion.

 

 

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