I have always been curious about the cost of Sikh weddings, especially with the pomp, colors, and flowers that usually adorn them. I finally had the golden opportunity to experience the planning of one such marriage. The findings are pretty interesting, I must say!
How much do Sikh weddings cost? The Sikh wedding cost ranges between up to $50,000 and more. This budget depends on the couples and their families tastes, preferences and financial capabilities. Sikh weddings can end up being grand affairs, to cater for large numbers of guests, requiring an equally large venue to host the wedding events.
Sikh weddings are incredibly unique! I have never seen so much color, décor, flowers summed up with delicious cuisine. The singing, dancing, and laughter still echo in my ears. However, despite the weddings being remarkably memorable, we cannot escape the burden that comes with the marriage budget.
Categories of Sikh Weddings
There are two categories of Sikh weddings that I learnt of:
It is possible for couples facing financial hardships to place a request to be allowed to wed free of charge. Such families place their request with the Sikh Temple, also known as, Gurudwara.
Once the request has been placed, they only need a Granthi to read the four verses of Lavan scripture and then say the ardas prayer. In some cases, Gurudwaras may ask for minimal fees for the marriage documentation and arrangement for a scripture reader.
These Sikh weddings are fully funded and usually range from little to hefty budgets. These are the weddings that require wedding planners and a budget to ensure that everything goes as planned.
I came to realize that a Sikh wedding is coupled with ever-increasing costs. Care must be taken to prevent bankruptcy shortly after a lavish wedding. It’s not enough to just impress your family and friends with magical scenes and extravagant spending on expensive getaways. A wedding budget and plan is crucial to avoid hidden exorbitant costs.
Sikh wedding plans require strict discipline. This is because some couples seek from funding from their families and friends, hence the need to spend every dime carefully. However costly a wedding might be, it should be enjoyed anyway.
Planning a Sikh Wedding Budget
A Sikh wedding is about the joining of two families into one. This fact is often forgotten, and the budgets overly stretched while attempting to impress, compare or show off. Yes, some weddings are better than others, but that’s besides the main point of celebrating the marriages.
Care must be taken if the budget is to be adhered to. This is the reason why wedding planners are highly recommended for the job. Once you have hired a professional wedding planner, you need to break down all projected costs to be able to come up with your budget.
A spreadsheet is the best way of recording all costs and identifying any areas to save money. Hard-earned money needs to be spent wisely.
Genius Tips on Saving Sikh Wedding Money
The written budget is only a guideline showing the list of items needed and the amount of money they cost. However, you can save so much money if you decide to identify the hidden costs and evade them. Here are some 18 genius tips on how to save your wedding money:
Minimize the Rituals to be Performed
Sikh weddings have various pre-wedding ceremonies and rituals that require financial facilitation. The wedding cost will totally depend on the occasions and rituals that the couple and their family decide to have.
Among the rituals is the Lavan. This is a ritual that shows and solidifies the devotion between husband and wife. It means that the couple is one light with two bodies.
The wedding cost can be minimized if the couple decides to celebrate just the Lavan. The Gurdwara requires a small fee to perform this ritual. Some additional cost can be required for paying Ragi jatha (Kirtan performers) and Gurdwaras voluntary donation.
The Venue of the Wedding
Gurdwaras have since been built to suit the needs of different classes of Sikh Weddings. It is paramount to identify the Gurdwara that you can afford comfortably.
The cost of wedding in the Gurdwaras varies depending on the size of the building. For instance, instead of going for a massive $2000 building in an expensive city, you can opt for a smaller Gurdwara costing about $300 for Lavan celebrations.
By that wise choice, you would have saved $1700 that could be used for buying more flowers and food for your family and friends.
Pre-Wedding Celebrations and Rituals Are Better Hosted At Home
Pre-weddings are so much fun and intimate since they involve close family and friends. What better way to celebrate them than to host them at home?
It is more comfortable, homely and pocket-friendly. The celebrations can be invite-only to avoid instances of over-crowding especially if your house is small.
Your family members and friends would be elated to help you out with the décor and meal preparations. By engaging them in that manner, you are sure to save some more money for your big wedding day!
Less Decoration is More
A family grows tighter and more intimate bonds by doing things together. It is advisable to make your Sikh wedding décor yourselves. The internet has a mass of do-it-yourself training videos, which can really help you beautify your occasion.
Apart from saving on costs, it is also one way of sharing memorable moments together with your loved ones. You also get to customize the theme and decorations to suit your particular tastes and preferences.
Ensure you do the décor to moderation to avoid jumbled up decorations, such as mason jars and candelabras.
Just Enough Flowers
Florists today have become much more friendly and flexible. They are able to suggest to you bouquets that fit into your wedding budget.
Flowers are beautiful when in moderation. Smaller floral arrangements are just as beautiful as their bigger counterparts. Know your budget and stick to it. I also realized that flowers that are in season are better choices since they are available in abundance.
Fewer Bridesmaids are Cheaper and Neater
It is often mistaken that bridesmaids are a must-have in Sikh weddings. The truth is they are not. According to the traditional Indian culture, they were not a requirement. The modern brides have made it seem like a norm.
Moderation is advised when picking bridesmaids. Fewer maids appear neater and more organized. They also come with less financial implications. Your friends and family will be there for you at your wedding either way, whether labeled as bridesmaids or not.
Weekday Weddings Cost Less
The venues are usually charged depending on the demand. Most weddings take place on weekends, making the venues more expensive as compared to weekdays.
Summer and spring weddings also cost more than winter and autumn ones. Therefore, pick the wedding dates considerately.
If you intend to avoid too much crowding, weekdays are the days to pick. Most people are too busy over the weekday to gate-crush weddings!
Create a Spreadsheet and Start Saving
The Sikh wedding comes with intricate plans that need noting down neatly. This is why a spreadsheet and notebook are important.
Writing down all the plans, items to be bought and their prices helps the couple to know how much is needed. Then a plan can be drawn on how to raise the required money.
Once the budget has been drawn, it is almost obvious that a savings account should be set up prior. By setting aside some amount of money for the wedding, you prepare for your big day comfortably without any pressure or stress.
The Wedding Cake and Catering Services
Most girls dream of grand weddings with massive wedding cakes and sumptuous meals. However, we forget that all these must be budgeted for and financed, somehow. Therefore, a workable plan is paramount.
Opt for a cake that is just enough for your guests. Wastage of food is uncalled for,21 especially when you’re trying to save on costs. Cup cakes have been greatly accepted worldwide in weddings too. They are simply delicious and affordable.
Opt for wedding delicacies that are easy to serve and share amongst guests with minimal wastage. I realized that buying foodstuff in bulk is quite cheaper and more convenient for weddings.
Do you intend to hire catering services? Most people do consider the high number of guests common in Sikh weddings. Hiring such services can add up the costs pretty fast. Just ensure you go with the quality but affordable catering service providers.
Same Venue for Wedding and Guest Reception
While most people prefer to conduct a Sikh wedding in a Gurdwara, some opt for private venues including backyards. And even those who choose the temple as the wedding venue may end up using a different venue for reception.
Hiring different venues can add up the Sikh wedding costs. Besides, hiring two venues has always proven quite expensive.
The wedding venues choice should be spacious enough to host the guests’ reception. This is not only cost-effective, but also highly convenient, especially in terms of travel for the couple and guests.
Shopping for a wedding and reception venue prior is crucial. This is because; the venues are public places that are used by many people for various functions. Early booking avoids last minute rush and clashing events.
Ensure the communication is made to your guests early enough. There are incidences where the venue that was booked prior is changed and guests end up confusing the venues on the wedding day.
Beautiful Space for a Beautiful Sikh Wedding Venue
A good venue is self-explanatory. It reflects much about the couple’s tastes, and style and is pocket-friendly. There is need to identify what you, as a couple, wants. This will help you settle for your wedding theme and colors.
There is an immense potential in renting a beautiful space for the Sikh wedding venue. This is because; such spaces are easily transformed into exquisite sites. The lighting and decorations are always on point.
For romantic ambience, you can have the lights dimmed off and candle lights incorporated over reception dinners.
Family and Friends are Priceless
Weddings are a family affair. Therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that things go as planned. In the event that anything goes wrong, the shame and disgrace falls on the heads of the entire household.
This is the reason why as, a couple, task delegation to family is paramount. Allow them to assist in the planning and organization of the celebrations.
Given the chance, family makes the best cooks, decorators, and planners. The bride and groom should allow a little help from the loved ones. Without this, the wedding ends up with couples who are exhausted, stressed, and disgruntled.
By making use of the readily available human resource, you get to save enough money for other important matters.
Elegant yet affordable Bridal dresses
Elegant bridal wear is now easy to source for. Make use of the local designers and let them bring out the design as you dreamt of it.
The most important factor to consider is that, you should always know what you want. Ensure your gown fits into your budget and go for it. Avoid all those expensive designs in the market.
As you are shopping for the wedding gowns, remember to buy the matching jewelry and accessories for the special occasions.
Wedding Website for Invitation
Sikh weddings entail so much, hence the loads of wedding invitation information. Instead of burdening the wedding card designers with unnecessary crowding on invitation cards, it is advisable to opt for wedding websites.
A wedding website saves on costs since it give you immense room to post all the information needed. You don’t have to worry about space for directions, maps, accommodations and transport. These websites are free to build so, no additional expense on your already overloaded budget.
The guests will require a website link to your wedding invitation. A family member or friend with a little website design knowledge will be of huge assistance in this case.
The number of guests is a great determinant of the Sikh wedding’s cost.
A good budget has a specific number of guests in a list. This helps in planning and purchasing of items especially foodstuff. It is a sensitive matter, I know, but it needs to be addressed.
Ensure that you have an invite-only wedding. The guest list has to be reasonable depending on your budget. Your wedding can be a family and friends only affair. This will help you provide your best catering services at an affordable cost.
The number of guests also determines the size of the wedding venue, number of chairs at the reception, amount of food and size of the cake. Make it worth your while.
A Professional Wedding Planner is a Gem
It is without a doubt that a wedding planner is a must-have for any beautiful Sikh wedding. Planning a wedding from scratch can be a nightmare, to say the least! You don’t know where to begin, who to hire and what to buy.
For ease of work and enjoy your wedding day, source for a professional and affordable wedding planner. Let them assist you in the creation of schedules, budgets and timelines. Let the planner take charge of all the nitty-gritty. At the end of the day, you save on both money and time.
A professional wedding planner offers expert advice on wedding suppliers, timelines, and budget. You will be thrilled to work with the best in the market. Avoid the celebrity wedding planners. They are both expensive and unreasonable. Take your time to shop for a good wedding planner and you won’t regret it.
Hiring a wedding planner is the first step to enjoying your wedding. The burden and time it saves you is unimaginable. This gives you the freedom to concentrate and focus your efforts on enjoying the wedding day with your family and friends.
Beautiful and Affordable Photography
Weddings are events that happen once in a lifetime. You need to have good a photographer in mind, to capture the moments. Ensure you go for someone whose work you have always admired. You need not hire more than one photographer.
Ask your photographer of choice to suggest an associate videographer, whom they can work with. This is important because, a team that can work together to produce the best is all you need.
It is also advisable to speak to them prior and agree on a price quotation that is comfortable for your budget.
The cost of a Sikh wedding ranges from zero to £50000. This is remarkable because it is flexible enough to accommodate every caliber of couples. The most important fact is that every family must cut their coat according to their size.
This old religion has commanded millions of followers worldwide, making it the 5th largest religion in the entire world. This means millions of couples depend on the religion’s doctrine to govern their marriages and family life.
Whatever budget a couple chooses to work with for their marriage depends entirely on their financial muscle. It is no longer prudent to hold pompous wedding celebrations just for show. Everyone must learn to live within their means and embrace it.
Wedding budgets are not cast on stone either. They can be modified to suit each specific need. All that matters is the love between the couple. Family plays a vital role in minimizing the wedding costs especially by the assistance they offer. Couples are encouraged to make use of such by delegating tasks and resorting to DIY tasks especially on decorations.
Make use of locally available materials as they are cheaper and readily available. Avoid last minute rush but make plans early and bookings prior.
Main image from Chandani & Manvir’s Wedding taken by Lindsay T (license – CC BY 2.0)
Wedding venue picture by denisbin (license CC BY-ND 2.0)