Inside the ₹ 1,00,000 Crore
Indian Wedding Industry

Growing every year, and as we speak...

In India, there are two things people absolutely go out of their comfort zones to splurge. One is their child’s education and the other is their child’s marriage.

And anyone, who has ever attended an Indian wedding will agree that Indian parents always go far and beyond their earning capacity to ensure that their kids have an extravagant wedding while they maintain their “aan” and “shaan.”

  • 2nd

    Largest wedding industry in the world

  • 10 Million

    Weddings per year

  • 1/5

    Of lifetime wealth spent on a wedding

  • ₹ 25 Lakh - ₹ 50 Lakh

    1-day wedding cost in a metro city

  • 25% - 30%

    Growth each year

  • 30,000

    Weddings a day

  • ₹ 20 Lakh - ₹ 5 Crore

    Average wedding cost

  • ₹ 5 Lakh - ₹ 10 Lakh

    1-day wedding cost in tier-2 city

What this Guide Covers

Wedding Budget Planning

The hardest but the most important part of planning a successful budget wedding.

There are several cost factors that make or break the budget of your wedding. These are the big-ticket items that you want to focus on knowing that the other little expenses are sure to follow.

Here's the list of those big-budget factors and what to to do if you want to save in those areas.

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    The Wedding Date

    The wedding season in India is during the chillier months following Diwali - November, December, January, and February. If you want to keep your costs down, think of getting married during the off-season months. All wedding-related costs will be a little more affordable then.

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    The Number of Events

    Sangeet, mehndi, wedding ceremony, and reception – the events can keep adding and with each event, your cost rises. So, keep your events limited. If you're set on a multi-event wedding, then club your events together like mehndi and sangeet at the same time and reception immediately following the wedding ceremony. Having all your events in one place will also take your costs down. You can also choose to have pre-events at your home.

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    The Guest List

    This is a no-brainer. The more guests you invite at your wedding, the higher your costs are at each level, especially if you're planning a multi-event wedding celebration. To keep your budget at bay, keep a tight leash around your guest list - edit and review it over and over again if needed.

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    The Venue

    Party plots and fancy luxurious lawns come with a hefty price tag. Check out local banquet halls or hotel ballrooms to keep your budget down. Come up with creative venues like a friend's farmhouse or a relative's home garden, or even the common plot at your place of residence! These venues can end up building some extra special and unique memories.

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    This is one area that you can really go wild with. Food is such an integral part of our culture and an even bigger part of our weddings. It is easy to get carried out with caters coming up with menus that run a mile long with new and exotic dishes from cuisines all over the world. Make sure you stick to the basics and focus on the food quality and not the quality and variety.

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    This is one area where the couple getting married and the elders for the families will surely disagree. The youngsters will want to have themed decor and the elders will want to keep things simple. Remember, that the decor is temporary and think where else can you utilize the money.

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    Wedding clothes, jewellery, and other trousseau items can break your budget on a massive level. Spend wisely on the main items. For wedding outfits, raid your mother's and grandmother's closet and use the old, priceless sarees to create your outfits. Use your family heirloom jewelry as an added bonus.

Depending on how elaborate you want your wedding to be, your total wedding budget estimate could be ₹ 5 Lakh or ₹ 50 Lakh. Assess your financial standing – how much you have, how much more you need, and what wedding finance options you have.

Wedding Finance Options

To cover the costs that your savings might not

Now we come to the part that makes a wedding possible – MONEY!

In India, there is a very low percentage of people who actually save for their weddings. Probably just 1 in 50 realises the importance of saving for a wedding and make it a financial goal. Traditionally, it has always been the parents who have been saving to fund their child’s marriage.

How Indian Parents Get Financially Ready for an Indian Budget Wedding

Most Indian parents start investing for a wedding as soon as a girl child is born. Indian wedding is a major life goal and most parents (especially of a girl’s) invest much early in life. The traditional way to go about it is putting money away in a fixed deposit for a long term. Newer parents invest in high return SIPs, mutual funds, and gold bonds or gold-based investments with amounts as low as ₹ 500 or ₹ 1,000.

Gold has a significant role in an Indian wedding. So, parents invest in jewellery or buy gold coins/bars, which can later be used to make trendy jewellery. Popular jewellers like Kalyan Jewellers, TBZ, Joyalukkas, have schemes that allow you to invest as little as ₹ 1,000 every month to buy gold and diamond jewellery at a discounted price.

That said, there’ll be people/parents who haven’t planned the investments for a wedding, or those who have very little time to plan. For them, there are other options to finance the wedding.

Alternative Finance Options to Cover Wedding Costs

Figure out which of the following finance options might serve you the best.

Marriage loan, also known as a wedding loan is simply a personal loan taken to fund a wedding. The interest rate generally starts from 10.99% and this loan can be easily repaid in convenient EMIs spread across a flexible repayment tenure.

Personal loans taken for weddings have a substantially lower interest rate than what you’d pay by charging your wedding expenses on a credit card.

A personal line of credit for a wedding is an unsecured line of credit that comes handy when you need immediate cash to meet a wedding expense.

For example, you’ve budgeted all the elements of the wedding. Later, you realise that you need extra ₹ 15,000 for an expense you’ve not accounted for in the wedding budget. Getting a personal loan would mean getting access to a large amount when what you need is just a bit. It would also mean paying interest on the full amount when your requirement was of only ₹ 15,000.

In the example mentioned above, a personal line of credit works incredibly well. You can easily withdraw ₹ 15,000 from your approved credit line and pay interest only on the borrowed amount. It is the best type of loan to cover miscellaneous or ad hoc costs as and when they arrive.

It is best to keep a ready line of credit handy for wedding emergencies. MoneyTap offers a personal line of credit of up to ₹ 5 Lakh. From your approved credit amount, you can withdraw what you need and pay interest on only what you’ve used and not on the entire credit limit. If you don’t use anything, you won’t incur any interest.

Listed below are some of the other budget wedding finance options:

  • Using a Part of Your Investments: If you’ve made certain investments to build your savings to earn a better lifestyle you can use a part of that investment, especially the ones that are maturing in the near future to fund your wedding expenses.
  • Fixed Deposits and Loan Against Fixed Deposit: Without breaking your FD, you can take a loan against your fixed deposit.
  • PPF: You can withdraw the employee's share of contribution for the marriage expenses.
  • Loan Against Property: You can take a loan from a bank by pledging your residential or commercial property at its prevailing market value.
  • Asking Friends and Family: If you have tried all the above options in vain and still running short, ask your family or friends. It could be a sticky topic. Drop hints. If they don’t get the hints, just be bold and ask.

Categorizing Your Wedding Budget

The cost breakdown to rescue you from a budgeting blunder

Allocate a percentage to each category of the wedding to come up with your final budget.

The example below of percentage allocation takes a macro look at how your budget translates to each part of your wedding. Although there are no hard and fast rules as to how much you should spend on each category, allocating a percentage to each category helps you keep track of your budget. How much you allocate to what category will depend on your preferences, choices, and family decisions.

Tip: You can arrange and rearrange your wedding budget as you get nearer to the wedding; however, a good rule of thumb is not to spend more than 40% of the overall budget on the venue, alcohol, and food combined. While these are typically the costliest items, they shouldn't overtake the entire budget.

Prioritise Your Costs by Breaking Them Down

Throughout the wedding, there are several costs, some are absolutely needed, and some you can do without. Typically, the wedding costs fall into the following three buckets. The cost breakdown table below serve as an eye-opener, helping you to prioritise the costs of a budget wedding in India better.

Costs You
Cannot Do Without


Photography and videography

Wedding rings/jewellery

Venue and catering

Attire – trousseau shopping


Wedding gifts and favours

Guest accommodations


Dressing up, mehndi and makeup artist

Pundit/priest and marriage registration costs

Costs You Have
the Luxury to Afford

Separate events for each ceremony

Pre-wedding packages (beauty and spa)

Pre-wedding photoshoot

Extravagant wedding invites

Elaborate décor

Wedding cake

Costs You
Can Totally Avoid

Wedding planners/coordinators



Extra guests and plus ones

Imported flowers

Exotic menu


Separate menu for each table

Keeping different events at multiple locations

Splurging on your wedding attire and trousseau

The Ultimate Wedding Budget Checklist

Once you've decided on your wedding budget breakdown, it’s important that you stay true to your budget. Download this printable wedding budget worksheet to stay organized and nail your wedding preparation and wedding planning process like a pro.

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Tips to Save on Costs

And not jeopardise your wedding budget

Here are some cost-cutting tips to help you save on the various aspects of a wedding to enable you to stay true to the wedding budget.

Wedding Venue

Once the wedding date is finalised, booking an affordable wedding venue is the obvious next step. Mind you, the wedding venue will take a major chunk of your budget. Some cost-effective tips on the venue aspect of the wedding are:

  • Choose a venue that allows outside catering services.
  • Instead of an upscale hotel or a wedding lawn in the heart of the city, book a venue in the outskirts.
  • Have the wedding during an offseason as hotels and banquets offer deep discounts during this time.
  • Have the wedding on a weekday instead of a weekend. You get a good deal.
  • If possible, perform your other ceremonies like the mehndi, sangeet, etc. within a couple of days probably at the same venue. Bundling all the events together serves two purposes – it saves time and it saves money. Better still would be cutting down on the number of functions. You can have the wedding earlier in the evening, followed by the reception, so you don’t have to have a separate function. Similarly, you could bundle up mehndi with the sangeet.
  • If your estimated wedding budget is so tight that it doesn’t allow much spending on a wedding venue because you have given more weight to the reception than the ceremony, and in case you're a Hindu, try the temple. No, it’s not strange. Sikhs get married in a Gurudwara and Christians get married in a church, so can you. Getting married in a temple cost practically nothing. Similarly, farmhouses are reasonable options too. Speak to friends and relatives who have farmhouses with large gardens.
Catering Services

At a wedding, every guest assumes that it’s their right to have an opinion about the food. Of course, you want them to like the food served at the wedding, but the fact of the matter remains that you can’t please everybody. You may have the choicest, most expensive dishes on the menu, there’ll always be some guest displeased with the food. The best thing you could do is to plan your wedding menu according to your wedding budget.

  • Keep a combination of dishes that are crowd favourites.
  • Consider the total catering cost for each ceremony and always bargain.
  • International cuisines in the wedding menu shoot up the costs immediately. If an Indian meal cost is ₹800 per person, with international cuisines, the cost per plate can go up to ₹ 2000.
  • Instead of looking for a traditional wedding caterer with a fancy price tag, try out some new caterer, your favourite restaurant or a local food truck.
  • Rather than putting up a bar filled with every kind of alcohol, choose a soft bar that serves just beer, wine and champagne. Or you could just buy your own booze in bulk.
Wedding Décor & Flowers

Many people make the mistake of spending too much on décor and flowers. It’s outrageous and that could make your wedding budget go haywire. Décor is one aspect of the wedding where you should play smart. Some tips to save money on décor and flowers:

  • Instead of spending loads on expensive décor items, use lights to create a beautiful ambience.
  • Use local handicrafts or DIY wall hangings to give your ceremonies' decor a unique personalised touch.
  • Don't spend excessively on flower decoration as they wilt after a few hours.
  • Decorate smaller functions like mehndi or sangeet with artificial flowers and lights.
  • Use paper windmills and other quirky accessories to decorate your mehndi ceremony.
  • Choose cheaper marigolds rather than expensive roses for your wedding stage/mandap.
Photography & Videography

A wedding, presumably, happens once in a lifetime. So, it’s natural to want memories to look back on. So much so that a wedding photographer is not enough, a videographer too is needed. But these professionals come at a huge cost which can run into thousands. And the higher the reputation of the photographer, the higher are their fees. Some tips to save on photography and videography costs:

  • You can hire budding talent after reviewing their work. Not only will they be affordable, but they’ll also bring fresh ideas to the table.
  • Check for a freelance photographer. You’ll get them at a fraction of the cost.
  • If hiring professionals to capture the wedding moments, stick to candid photography. Avoid drone photography, pre-wedding shoot, etc. These types of photography are an added cost you can easily do without.
  • Ask your friend or family to capture smaller events like haldi, mehndi or sangeet. Hire a professional for the main wedding ceremony.
  • Opt for a digital album. This will save you ₹ 15,000 to ₹ 25,000 in printing costs. It also saves trees and is a successful go-green attempt.
Wedding Jewellery

In India, jewellery is considered as an investment rather than a cost. But in the wedding budget, it needs to be given its fair share and not more. To ensure, you are not rattling your wedding budget, stick to the amount you have decided for jewellery. Some tips to ensure that you stick to your wedding jewellery budget:

  • Buy bridal jewellery online from a reputed site. You get good discounts online. You can even go a step further and compare the online jewellery prices with your local jeweller.
  • Buy jewellery around festivals like Akshay Tritiya and Dhanteras. There are promotional offers on jewellery during these festivals.
  • Try out fresh flowers or gota jewellery for any of your smaller ceremonies like mehndi/haldi or sangeet. It saves money. It’s chic, to say the least.
  • Rent jewellery. It can easily save you a few lakhs of rupees.
  • Wear your ancestral jewellery. It will look classy too without spending much.
  • Consider going for artificial jewellery. Who can tell the difference anyway!
Wedding Attire & Trousseau

Wedding outfits and trousseau cost a fortune. If not careful, it can easily ruin your wedding budget. Here, you need to make smart decisions. Wedding outfits are to be worn just once in your life – and trousseau? Do you really want to take so many things when you have the option to always buy when need be? Some tips:

  • Buy your wedding outfits, the bridal lehenga, sarees, suits, sherwani, etc. 6 to 8 months in advance to grab a good deal.
  • Some designers now offer buyback schemes for wedding dresses. Isn’t that cool?
  • Choose a design and get it tailored locally.
  • People are opening up to the idea of renting wedding clothes. Consider this option as it can save up to 60-70%. The rent is for bridal lehenga and the groom’s sherwani starts from ₹ 2,500.
  • If the idea of renting the wedding outfit doesn’t appeal to you, consider buying it and then reselling it online post your wedding.
Guest List

A simple rule of thumb is not to allow your guest list to bloat. You might be tempted to throw everyone you know in your wedding guest list. It isn’t a great idea. But most people fall in this trap. Don’t let your guest list grow to the point where you invite people you don’t even know, simply because you felt obligated.

Remember: Each guest you add to your list is an additional cost to you that has the tendency to overrun your wedding budget.

Categorise your guest list into 2 parts: List A and List B

List A should include your closest friends, family, relatives and co-workers – all the people you surely want to be at the wedding.

List B should include people you are not sure about inviting or whom you are going to only invite if your budget allows. If your budget doesn’t allow, start whittling your list down by 20%, then another 20%. Then see if you are where your wedding budget wants you to be.

Another factor you can dig into is the ceremonies. Not all guests need to be invited to all the ceremonies. Be strategic about who you want to invite for all or each of the events.

Wedding Invites

Traditional wedding card invites are passé. In this digital age, there are other personalised and cheaper options to invite the guests for the wedding. Some options:

  • Go paperless. Create personalised e-invites, develop a wedding website, or create a video that your guests can access. This way, you can save costs on printing and dispatching wedding cards. If some of your relatives are technology-challenged, consider printing a few wedding cards just for them.
  • Announce the wedding on social media. Don’t forget to put a save-the-date picture. Ask your guests to RSVP on your wedding website. Make the whole process exciting by including a wedding hashtag.
Wedding Makeup

The moment you say the words “wedding" or "bride,” the price doubles. Did you notice that? It is especially true for hair and makeup costs.

  • Get a trial run done before you finalise the makeup artist. Negotiate the process based on what type of makeup technique you want – bridal makeup, airbrush makeup or party makeup.
  • See if you can have a friend who is good at doing her own makeup, do your makeup for other events leading to the wedding and if she's too good, you can have her do your wedding day makeup as well as s gift.
Guest Accommodation

If possible, get the guest accommodation arranged at the venue itself. This way, you might be able to get a good discount since you have already booked the venue. Also, don’t need to worry about arranging for transport from lodging to the venue multiple times for multiple ceremonies.

Small Cuts for a Big Saving: The Impact

Small changes can help you save significantly on every aspect of the wedding budget. See for yourself in this beautifully explained infographic below.

Note: Calculations are based on a gathering of 200 guests. The actual costs may vary depending on the venue and the package you choose.

Wedding Planning

Here comes the fun part...

Most weddings are decided ahead of time and you always think that there’s still time for this and I will get this done later… but soon enough, the D-Day gets closer. This can cause a lot of unwanted stresses to multiple members of the family, including the bride and the groom.

To avoid the stress and to make sure that the wedding plan is executed in a hassle-free way, we have created a Wedding Planning Guide for you that you can get started on 8 months in advance. This will allow you ample of time to take care of every little detail and make sure that your budget Indian wedding turns out to be the most magnificent event in your life.

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What Next?

The wedding is over, and now starts the adventure...

With all that we’ve put together in this guide to help you plan the ultimate budget wedding – the budget wedding ideas, the tips to save on a budget wedding, the wedding budget checklist, the wedding planning guide and everything else – you’ll manage to save a significant amount of money!

Use the saved amount to do something more intimate, something more valuable and something more enjoyable.

You need to plan a budget wedding in India, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be grand. Get a wedding loan from MoneyTap line of credit and plan your dream wedding without any hassle.

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