10 Indian Wedding Planning Tips (Lessons Learned From My Experience)

10 Indian Wedding Planning Tips (Lessons Learned From My Experience)

These 10 Indian wedding planning tips are essentially what I would want to tell any bride who’s planning her wedding right now and thinking “what should I know?”

As I went into wedding planning, I felt like I could conquer the world.  Ok, well not exactly but I was confident enough to get stuff done. Despite that, I learned lessons going through the process – things I wished I had known before I had started, and here they are: 

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #1 } You can’t just dive in
The thing about Indian Weddings is that brides want to dive in straight away without actually making a plan of how to do it. It’s because we’re all so excited and we’re all smart Indian women who want to get things done 🙂 But then, midway through planning, there’s a freak out since there are too many things going on in and coming at you from different directions.

Instead of before jumping in to pick your mandap style, take a step back and look at the big picture during your first step. Talk to your partner about each other’s wants and priorities and then talk about the details.

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #2 } Put in the effort to plan your wedding properly instead of “figuring it out” and completing each task randomly.  You’ll make out better.
Too many Indian brides have their minds set on planning the wedding they imagined (I was one of them).  Things are so different when you actually set out to plan your own wedding.

It doesn’t matter how many people you’ve helped – your sister, your cousin, your best friend -if you take the steps to conquer each part of wedding planning instead of attempting to conquer everything at once, you’ll make out better in the end. [Check out these resources to help you get organized].

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #3 } Everyone (and their mother) will have an opinion
Ok, this might not be a surprise. Everyone and their mother, sister, and brother will have an opinion about your wedding planning. Well, that’s IF you share it. If you’re the type who wants people’s opinions and ideas, go for it, but keep it to a small, trusted group. Ok who am I kidding? Even if you do keep it to a small group, you’ll still get unsolicited feedback and opinions about what you should and shouldn’t do and what looks good and what doesn’t look good (in their opinions..).

My Strategy: When someone gives their opinion, stay cool and stay calm. Don’t let it get to you.  Say, “yes, that’s a good idea” and move on. That’s it. 

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #4 } It’s not just your wedding
You probably have your private Pinterest board with all of your “feasible” ideas. That’s great – you have ideas – this is a good start. The reality is that your wedding will not just be your wedding. It’s your mom’s wedding and your mother-in-law’s wedding too.

Your families will likely want at least one thing you don’t want. To that I say, master your negotiation skills and deal with it! Being open minded to your family’s wants is always a good idea (especially when they’re fronting the bill – if applicable). It’s challenging, but in the end, it’ll be a compromise (and a negotiation). Check out my post:  Alleviating Family Tensions to get through Indian Wedding Planning to get some more tips.

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tip: #5 } Don’t cut corners where it counts – It’ll show
Spend money where it counts. We’re all Indians here, so we have that mindset to find EVERY place to save money.  We were planning to “cut corners” with a few things at our wedding and slowly realized that cutting a few hundred dollars for lighting and decor wasn’t really going to influence the overall budget too much.

Plus, by keeping in those details, it made our wedding that much better. The extra lighting we planned to cut made our reception venue look amazing. I’m so glad we didn’t cut corners there.

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #6 } Midway through planning, you’ll get a huge drop in the pit of your stomach feeling of anxiety
Even if you have a plan in place that you’re following step by step, you’ll still get the pit in the stomach feeling midway through planning. It’s that knot in your stomach that won’t go away. It’s guaranteed to happen. It’s just a reality of wedding planning. 

There’s no reason to freak out and get anxious.  Think of it as good butterflies! Remind yourself to stay focused and motivated — you know what the end result will be (your awesome wedding!) and that’s all you need to focus on.

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #7 } Always always always try on your wedding clothes before the big day
I am so lucky that my mom literally forced me to try on my wedding clothes as an outfit at least 3 times (not just the blouse and skirt but everything together – the jewelry, the chuni, shoes, etc). I didn’t realize that my dress would need so much tweaking to make it feel perfect. After all, we’re talking Indian clothes here. 

It’s one thing to get the height of the skirt right, but it’s another to make sure no sharp objects or strings are poking at you in random places. This same rule applies to the groom. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for the groom to try on his entire outfit including shoes and hat (pugri) BEFORE the wedding!  Read more about Groom 101 in this post.

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #8 } Hiring a non-Indian mehndi artist is OK
I wasn’t crazy about getting full on intricate mehndi done on my hands, arms AND feet.  Not to mention the smell makes indian wedding planning tipsme nauseous (I know people like the smell but I can’t stand it). I decided to hire a non-Indian mehndi artist. I saw her work, had a great consultation, she took proper steps to plan out the mehndi and used 100% natural mehndi (not all of them use natural mehndi).

She even makes her own aftercare balm. I was so impressed with the final work – it was simple, clean, professional, not to mention gorgeous! My point: look outside the box. The art of mehndi is so popular today that even non-Indians have mastered the skill (and they may be easier to find, depending on where you live)! Check out my post on what you need to know about bridal mehndi. Hint: It’s not what you think!

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #9 } To your guests, your reception is only about eating, drinking and dancing
At Indian weddings, people are hung up on having a list of performances, and then a list of speeches – your dad, your fiancee’s dad, your siblings, your BFFs, your Maid of Honor, his Best Man… you get the point. Nobody wants to sit through an hour (or over an hour) of a reception program of speeches and skits.

Guests come to your reception to eat, drink, dance, and have a good time – that’s it! Let them get to the good stuff before they lose interest. Keep the program short, sweet and to the point, and move onto the fun! You’ll thank me later.

{ Indian Wedding Planning Tips: #10 } Don’t forget to have fun!  
No really, don’t forget to have fun. Indian brides can sometimes take themselves too seriously and it’s not worth it.  First of all, you don’t want the look of stress on your face – aunties will notice is plus it’ll show in photos! [Fake smiling more in photos will actually get your smiling more – but you shouldn’t need to fake smile since you’ll be glowing already!]  

It’s your day – you (and others) planned it for months, now it’s time to sit back and enjoy.  Things might not work out as planned, but it’s your attitude you can control. If the AC breaks, yes you’ll all be sweating but at least the DJ’s equipment still works!

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