From Mehndi to Mandap, Baraat to Walima : A Roadmap to South Asian Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding in today’s digital age can be a daunting and overwhelming process. There are numerous factors to consider, from the financial implications of what may be the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make to the tight timelines that leave you with only a few months, or even weeks, to plan an event that would typically take years to pull off. With so many details to consider for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration, it’s no wonder that couples often feel overwhelmed.

Even if you enlist the services of a professional Indian wedding planner, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of the Indian wedding planning process to make informed decisions. We recognize the complexity of planning a Desi wedding and provide a comprehensive wedding planning guide to ease the burden. Our guide covers everything you need to know to plan a beautiful Desi wedding, whether it’s an intimate Hindu ceremony, sikh traditional wedding baraat or muslim nikhah or walima. or a grand Indian extravaganza

Our guide is designed to help you navigate through the wedding planning process with ease. From choosing a venue, caterer, and decor to selecting the perfect wedding attire, our guide covers every aspect of wedding planning. We also provide helpful tips on how to stay within your budget and make the most of your wedding planning experience.

With our wedding planning guide, you can take the stress out of wedding planning and focus on what matters most – enjoying your special day with your loved ones. So, whether you’re planning a small and intimate ceremony or a grand celebration, let us charm your event and help you create a beautiful and unforgettable wedding experience that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Choose a Wedding Date for Your Dream Indian Wedding

Before diving into planning your dream Indian wedding, you need to select a date that works for you and your family. Several factors influence your decision, such as:

Parents’ Urgency: Indian parents typically want their children to get married as soon as possible. If your parents urge you to plan a wedding in a short time, be sure to understand everything involved in planning before committing to the date. Moving In Together: In Indian culture, it is customary to get married before moving in together. However, some couples prefer to get married quickly to start their life together. If this is your choice, note that you can have a court marriage first and plan a larger wedding later. Auspicious Date: In Hindu weddings, the pandit or priest looks at the couple’s birth time and suggests an auspicious date for the wedding. Auspicious dates are typically between April – June and November – December, with a few other dates across other months. August – October is a drier wedding season. Weather: Depending on the wedding’s location, weather can be a crucial factor. For example, a July wedding in Texas with outdoor events may require tents, fans, and water for your guests.

Selecting the perfect date for your Indian wedding requires careful consideration of these factors. Once you pick the date, you can move forward with planning the rest of your dream wedding.

Determining Your Wedding Guest Count: Tips for Indian Wedding Planning

When planning an Indian wedding, one of the first steps is to determine your guest count. This can be done by formalizing your guest count before setting a budget, working backwards from your budget to determine the maximum guest count you can have, or even picking a venue first to cap your guest count.

Finalizing your guest count can be a challenging and analytical exercise, especially for South Asian weddings. To make it easier, start with an existing guest list from a close family member or friend’s wedding. If you know there will be overlapping guests, this can be a helpful starting point.

Alternatively, have both sets of parents and the bride/groom come up with a list of family members, close family friends, and friends they want to invite. For the initial wedding guest list, include the family name and number of guests (including kids/significant others). Then, assign priority groups to each family (1 = closest family and friends, 2 = invite in round two, 3 = maybes or last-minute invites).

For Indian weddings with multiple events like a mehndi, garba/sangeet, wedding ceremony, and reception, consider adding a column for each event and indicating whether or not you will be inviting the family to each event.

If you’re planning an intimate wedding ceremony, you may want to lock down a venue first and then determine how many seats you’ll have at the physical wedding. Destination weddings can also help cut down on the guest list as fewer people are willing to travel.

With the pandemic, virtual weddings have become more common. Consider inviting round two and round three priority guests to a virtual wedding ceremony or reception, even if they won’t be attending the physical wedding.

In conclusion, determining your wedding guest count is an important step in Indian wedding planning. By starting with an existing guest list or creating a new one, assigning priority groups, and considering virtual options, you can create a guest list that works for you and your budget.

Before embarking on your search for the perfect Indian wedding venue in New Jersey, it’s important to first consider the location. Will you be having a destination wedding or a local wedding? This decision can greatly impact your wedding planning process and budget.

Hosting a destination wedding can offer several benefits that make it a popular choice:

  1. Intimate wedding – With a destination wedding, you can cut down on your guest list and create a more intimate celebration. This is because fewer guests are able to travel long distances, especially if it requires flying across the world.
  2. Vacation for guests – A destination wedding offers your guests the opportunity to travel outside of their home and enjoy a vacation while celebrating your special day. Whether it’s Cancun, London, or Goa, your guests will be fully engaged in wedding celebrations and will treat their time away as a memorable vacation.
  3. Dream setting – By selecting a destination wedding, you can fulfill your dreams of having a whimsical wedding on the beach, a royal wedding in a palace, or a rustic wedding surrounded by nature. The options are endless when you have the privilege of choosing the destination of your dreams.
  4. More luxurious wedding – If you plan a destination wedding somewhere like India where the dollar goes further, you’ll get more bang for your buck. While your budget may be the same as an Indian wedding in New York City, you can have a much more luxurious wedding in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Niagara Falls.
  5. Lower budget wedding – With fewer guests attending, you can have a lower budget wedding. Additionally, if you plan a destination wedding in Cancun or Cabo, often guests will pay for their own rooms, and the hotel will have budget-friendly Desi wedding packages.

Once you’ve decided on a destination or local wedding, you can further narrow down your search. For local weddings, consider how far you want to be from an airport if you have guests traveling in. For destination weddings, consider how important connectivity and travel time is for guests. It’s helpful to narrow down to a specific city for destination weddings and a suburb for local weddings, such as wedding venues in New York City or wedding venues in Atlantic City.

Discover the Approximate Cost of Your Dream Indian Wedding

Indian weddings can range from a budget-friendly $45,000 to an extravagant $300,000 affair, making it crucial to know your desired wedding budget range. The average cost of an Indian wedding in New Jersey falls between $90,000 and $165,000. However, many couples end up spending beyond their budget due to a lack of awareness of their financial limitations.

Knowing your budget range can help you make informed decisions when selecting high-cost wedding vendors such as venue, catering, and décor. Whether you prefer a budget-friendly wedding, a moderately priced but stunning wedding, or a luxurious ceremony with no expense spared, understanding your comfortable budget range is crucial.

If you need assistance determining your ideal budget for your Indian wedding, we can help you.

Prioritizing Your Desi Dream Wedding: Tips for Stress-Free Planning

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Before diving into the details, take a step back and identify the priorities of everyone involved, including the happy couple, their families, and in-laws. Knowing what matters most to each person will not only make the decision-making process easier, but it will also help minimize stress and drama.

Here are some common priorities to consider when planning your dream wedding:

  1. The couple’s enjoyment: It’s your special day, and you want to have fun! Make sure the wedding reflects your personalities and interests, and don’t forget to take time to enjoy the moment.
  2. The parents’ enjoyment: Your parents and in-laws have likely been dreaming of this day as well. Consider their preferences when making decisions, and make sure they feel included and appreciated.
  3. Time management: Wedding planning can be time-consuming, but it’s important to stay on track and make decisions quickly to avoid unnecessary stress.
  4. Managing relationships: Family dynamics can be complicated, but open communication and a willingness to compromise can help keep everyone happy.
  5. Staying on budget: Weddings can be expensive, but setting a budget and sticking to it can help prevent financial stress down the road.
  6. Creating a unique experience: Impress your guests with personalized touches that reflect your style and interests.
  7. Entertaining guests: Keep your guests engaged and having fun with activities, games, or unique experiences.
  8. Delicious food: Everyone loves good food! Choose menu options that will please a variety of palates and dietary restrictions.
  9. Honoring traditions and rituals: If you have cultural or religious traditions that are important to you, incorporate them into the wedding celebrations.
  10. Convenient logistics: Make it easy for your guests to attend the wedding by providing transportation options and a clear schedule of events.

Remember, it’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time, but discussing priorities early on can help set expectations and minimize conflict. By prioritizing what matters most to each person, you can create a memorable wedding that everyone will cherish.

What is the timeline for planning an Indian wedding?

On average, it takes 10-12 months to plan an Indian wedding. Attempting to plan a Desi wedding in less than 6 months can be challenging and may lead to problems such as not being able to book desired vendors or missing out on important details. It is recommended to give yourself plenty of time to plan your wedding.

The first steps in planning an Indian wedding include finding potential dates, setting a budget, determining the guest list, and deciding on the main and secondary events you would like to host. It is also important to consider the location of the wedding and whether it will be local or a destination wedding.

The next step is to book the wedding venue, which should be done 10-12 months before the wedding. When choosing a venue, it is important to consider the number of venues required, the venue type, outside catering options, special requirements, included services, booking time, and special packages. Once the venue is booked, a save-the-date should be sent to guests and a wedding website should be created with more details.

Seven to ten months before the wedding, primary vendors such as decorators/florists, hotel rooms, caterers, photographers/videographers, and wedding outfit designers should be selected. When choosing these vendors, it is important to consider factors such as vision for each event, color palette, budget, cuisine type, special requirements, hours needed, deliverables, and color palette for the bridal party.

Planning an Indian wedding requires careful consideration of many details and decisions, but with proper planning and organization, the process can be enjoyable and stress-free.

4-6 months out – 

Secondary Vendors: With your primary vendors secured, it’s time to focus on the secondary vendors who will make your Desi wedding complete.

Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist 

Schedule a trial for the bride before the wedding Understand whether the makeup artist can also do hair Discuss the looks for each event Henna Artist Decide on the style and pattern for your mehndi Book your henna artist Music / DJ 

Create a playlist 

for each event Understand whether the DJ is familiar with South Asian wedding music Wedding Officiant Choose your wedding officiant Discuss the script for the wedding ceremony.


 Book transportation for the wedding day, especially if there’s a long distance between the events Select the type of transportation, whether it’s a limo, horse and carriage or vintage car Invitations Finalize the invitation design and wording Order your wedding invitations and any related stationary (RSVP cards, thank you cards, etc.) 2-3 months out – Finalize Details: With most of the vendors booked, it’s time to finalize the details.

Create a detailed timeline 

Plan each event with the vendor teams and share with everyone Finalize the wedding day schedule and ensure that all vendors are on the same page Confirm final headcount with the caterer and venue Finalize details with the décor and florist vendors, including centerpieces and entrance décor Confirm with the makeup artist and hair stylist and schedule a trial 1 month out-Final Touches: As the wedding day approaches, focus on the final touches.

Have a final fitting for all of the wedding outfits Confirm all details with vendors, especially the transportation company Create a “day-of” emergency kit with necessary items like safety pins, bobby pins, and a sewing kit Enjoy your wedding day!

In conclusion, it’s important to give yourself enough time to plan your Desi wedding. With a high level timeline and detailed list of vendors and tasks, you can successfully plan an Indian wedding that will be unforgettable. Happy planning!

Still Need Help Planning a wedding?

Look no further! Our team of experienced wedding planners at CHARM MY EVENT specializes in creating unforgettable Indian weddings in the East Coast region, including New Jersey and New York City Metro Area. We understand the cultural nuances and traditions of Indian weddings, and we’re committed to bringing your dream wedding to life.

From venue selection to vendor coordination, décor design, and everything in between, we’ll handle all the details so you can relax and enjoy your special day. With our expertise and attention to detail, we guarantee a flawless wedding experience that you and your guests will cherish for a lifetime.

Don’t settle for an ordinary wedding when you can have an extraordinary one with our help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you plan the Indian wedding of your dreams!


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