Hiya everyone!

This collaborative post is coming just in time after my cousins wedding! Personal Capital reached out to me with a fabulous idea of sharing some of my tips with my readers, of how to attend/plan/follow through a wedding, without going bankrupt! Although i’m not married myself yet…I feel that i’ve been to, been in, and seen many weddings in my lifetime already, and i can definitely pinpoint ways to reduce the money spent on them!

We all know how expensive weddings can be, and as time goes on, I feel that things just get more and more expensive!

Here’s an info graphic of some statistics of the cost of a wedding!

Cost of Saying I Do LRG.jpg

Now, being from a South Asian background, our weddings most likely/more often, I believe, cost more than this. Mainly because we have multiple day functions, which lead to escalated costs.

Slowly, for some people, this is changing. I know many couples who have cut out some of the events to save on costs! I’d love to do that for my own wedding one day, but a lot of what happens in south asian weddings, is dictated by the parents and family and traditions…

So everyone knows i just returned from my cousins wedding in VA, and i can assure you, a small fortune was spent on it. Don’t forget to check out the details in the two part series, here & here!

Let me give a high level view of what traditionally happens for south Asian weddings:

TRADITIONALLY, Bride’s family:
– Buys the grooms clothes for almost all/most functions
– Groom’s wedding ring
– Gifts/clothes for the groom’s family
– Pays for the nikkah (religious ceremony) and if they are hosting the ‘wedding/ruksati/reception’ event separately, then that as well. This will include the food, decor, etc for these functions as well.

TRADITIONALLY, Groom’s family:
Bride’s clothes and jewelry for all/or a part of the functions
– Bride’s wedding ring
– Pay for the valima/reception, includes food, decor etc for this event

Now over time these traditions are changing. For example, for my cousins wedding, the photography costs for all of the events was shared between both families. Furthermore, the mehndi day was also split 50/50, however for many people, the mehndi function is also a burden on the bride’s side. Likewise, my SIL and her family decided to buy her own mehndi and wedding day outfits, leaving the Nikkah and Valima/Reception day outfits to be bought by my aunt/groom’s family.

I believe the best way to budget your wedding but still enjoy it, is to have serious discussions with both sides of the party and outline in detail, how much you want to spend on each event, as well as who shares what cost.

This can be tough, and can cause some friction (which is always possible whenever money is involved) but I believe is the only way to get the cost down.

Here are some tips for anyone who is planning a big fat desi wedding, and things I’d hope to follow myself one day as well….

  1. Determine what each side/family can truly afford and what they want to spend money on.
  2. Collectively decide on who will pay for the bride and groom’s clothes. In South Asian weddings, the bride’s clothes + jewelry alone can cost up to 10 grand+, especially if designer wear clothing are purchased. So it should be determined if designer wear is what the bride truly wants, and who should pay for which clothes.
  3. Determine how many events will take place–and how the costs will be split. For example, will the Nikkah + ‘ruksati’ be separate? If so–who is paying for what? If not, will the events be combined or will it just be a nikkah, and who will pay? Will food costs / cake/ decor costs be split or separate? Will photography costs be split or separate? Will the hair + makeup of the bride be paid by groom’s family or bride’s or split depending on the day and which family is hosting the event that day?
  4. Set budgets for each function and attempt to stick to them as much as you can.
  5. Create guest lists / # of people you want to invite, based on the venue and event. Meaning the smaller events (mahnja, mehndi, and in some cases nikkah), you can limit the # of people you invite, which will significantly cut costs.
  6. Will there be bridesmaids/groomsmen/bridal and groom parties? If so, will there be matching outfits and who will pay for them? For my cousins wedding, we were immediate family, so we were in the wedding. For the wedding day, my aunt bought us all matching outfits so that was another cost. For the mehndi day, she bought the men in our family all matching outfits, another cost. My SIL did not have bridesmaids so they saved on that cost.

These are all the things i can think of right now ! I’m sure there are plenty more ways to save and budget, but for desi weddings, these would be the big things!

Don’t forget to check out Personal Capital’s financial tools and money management that can aid you in saving money on your big day!

Overall it is just important to save on cost wherever you can and set clear cut budgets that you can stick to (as much as possible), and still enjoy your big day!

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks of how you saved or are planning to save for your big day, don’t forget to comment below and let me know!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date on the blog!

Until next time, XOXO



  1. June 29, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    This is going to come in handy 💕 thanks omg
    Instagram @safiyabhamjee

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