Number of Ceremonies
Step 1: Decide number of ceremonies
1) First, if you want to avoid the hassles of managing many steps mentioned below, you may explore the services
of a marriage planner by Clicking here.
2) Most marriages have multiple ceremonies. Decide how many you want to have among roka/sagai/engagement,
mehendi/haldi, sangeet, wedding/reception.
3) Keep in mind... More the number of ceremonies, higher is the budget/expense.
4) Try minimizing the number of ceremonies or combining events as otherwise you will have a scattered guests
presence in different events.
Step 2: Decide wedding date
1) After finalizing the ceremonies, decide a couple of possible wedding dates giving yourself sufficient time to plan.
2) Try scheduling the wedding/reception on a weekend day to minimize traffic commute problems as most guests
Set a Budget
Step 3: Set a budget
1) Go through this list and estimate an approximate budget amount that you want to spend and target to stick to
the number plus/minus 10%.
2) Decide how much are you and your parents going to contribute, who will pay for what and clarify any doubts
with your fiance and in-laws.
3) Depending upon your marriage theme, chances are that you will go overbudget by about 10 to 20% due to
Number of Guests
Step 4: Decide number of guests
1) Finalize the number of guests you want for each ceremony... from both the groom & bride side.
2) Remember, guests invited for pre-wedding ceremonies should also be invited for wedding.
3) Contacts list: From now on, start maintaining a list of important contact names & phone nos.
4) Guests Tracking Spreadsheet: You may create a sheet with the following information: Family Head Name,
Number of people expected, Email, Mobile Number, Location(In-station/Out-station), Address,
Step 5: Decide a wedding theme/venue
1) Choose a theme/venue from either of the following 4 options:
a) Temple/Church/Court marriage: Least expensive, private affair with a few family members/friends.
b) Outdoor farmhouse/garden: For this option, ensure wedding date is not in hot summer/rainy seasons.
c) Indoor hotel: Banquet halls in hotels are popular options.
d) Outstation: A resort in another city or country.
2) Before finalizing, visit the venue around scheduled marriage time & get a feel of the space, parking facilities.
3) Ensure venue is not too distant from city centre or not too far a place where its difficult for most guests to arrive.
4) Some people prefer a very private, simple marriage ceremony but follow it up with a grand reception.
5) Take the final decision after mutual consultations with your fiancé and parents. Your wedding date should be
fixed by now based on venue availability.
6) Be very clear about whether the prices quoted cover everything or whether you'll be expected to pay extra for
something to avoid arguments later.
Food Menu/ Caterer
Step 6: Decide food menu and caterer
1) Decide between vegetarian, eggetarian and non-vegetarian dishes based on your culture and guessing
2) Hire a professional caterer or finalize one as part of a bundled package when negotiating for the theme/venue.
3) If you decide to serve alcoholic drinks, have backup people to drop some people to their home.
Step 7: Flowers Decoration
1) Focus especially on the stage/place where the couple would be seated together and meeting the guests.
2) This usually is the maximum photographed and focused area on the wedding/reception day.
3) Prefer bright flowers that will come out well in photographs and video shoots.
Step 8: Choose a priest
1) Choose your pundit/priest who will perform the marriage ceremony & pronounce the couple as husband & wife.
2) Get his confirmation on his availability on marriage date & ensure he brings necessary material that day.
Step 9: Print and Send Invitation cards
1) You may create a Facebook page & invite your friends there. Responses will let you know who will come.
2) Finalize and get the invitation cards printed. Remember to print about 10% extra cards for unforeseen guests.
3) Some cards have at least 1 spelling mistake. Ensure there are none in your card.
4) Its always good to have venue map printed on the back of card to ensure guests have no difficulty finding venue.
5) Courier the outstation cards about 6 weeks in advance and about 4 weeks before the marriage day within city.
Step 10: Finalize entertainment/DJ
1) Finalize your entertainment options among a live DJ, orchestra, band, amateur/professional singers, dancers or
a famous personality.
2) DJ's- who play your preferred songs- are usually more popular than bands. You may send a song list to the DJ.
3) This is key to making your marriage a memorable one, so do explore innovative options.
Photo and Videographer
Step 11: Finalize a photo/video grapher
1) Finalize after evaluating their experience at wedding ceremonies and prior work.
2) Make sure you set expectation on what the exact deliverables would be with regards to nature of album, CD,
quantum of special effects etc.
Step 12: Finalize your wedding dress
1) Start early to finalize your wedding dress as you may have to go for multiple trials for a perfect fit.
2) You don't have to stick with tradition or spend a fortune on something you'll never use again.
3) Ensure matching shoes/socks to go with your chosen attire. Buy your lingerie/undergarments.
Rings/ Jewellery Shopping
Steps 13: Rings/Jewellery Shopping
1) Rings/Necklace sets: Order 'certified' jewellery by utilizing the services of a trusted jeweller only.
2) Make sure that the jewellery ordered has 'Hallmark' or other relevant certification with it.
Steps 14: Gifts Shopping
1) Buy or make gifts for members of the bridal party
2) Gifts Registery: In some countries, gift registery is setup for receiving gifts that couple wants.
3) Bride and groom may like to buy a gift to be presented on the wedding night. For unique gift ideas, Click here.
4) Its a good idea to shop for gifts to your parents. They will appreciate this gesture even if gifts are inexpensive.
Travel and Accommodation
Steps 15: Travel and Accommodation Bookings
1) Plan your honeymoon location after mutual consultation with your fiance.
2) Make air/rail and hotel accomodation bookings for your honeymoon trip. If you decide on international travel,
check validity of passports/visas. For Top Asian Holiday Destinations... Click here
3) Some of your outstation guests who arrive for the ceremony may need accommodation. Make block hotel
bookings close to the venue.
Step 16: Finalize your wedding/reception day transportation
1) Decide your mode of transportation on the wedding/reception day.
2) You may choose to rent a limousine, use your own/relative's car or as is a popular tradition...a horse.
3) You may have to hire a bus for your outstation guests.
Final Important Tasks
Step 17: Week before marriage: Final important tasks
1) Reserve a time slot for your hair and makeup at your preferred parlour and expert.
2) Nails are ignored by many… ensure your nails are trimmed properly.
3) Call and re-confirm all bookings. If your guests tally changed, give caterer the final number of guests expected.
4) If travelling for honeymoon within a day of your marriage/reception, pack most of your bag.
5) Decide the hourly schedule describing the sequence of events on the wedding day.
6) Collect rings & wedding dress that was ordered. Order the cake if you have opted to have one.
7) Accountability: Ensure accountability for gifts that the couple will get on the marriage day to a trusted relative.
8) Wedding night: Ensure the venue/place where the couple will stay together for the first night is well decorated.
9) Buy condoms/contraceptives: Have a good read for family planning options by Clicking here.
10) You may like to refresh your memory on common sex questions by Clicking here
On Wedding day
Step 18: On Marriage Day
1) Don't be tensed, relax and focus on having fun this day… even if few things don't go as planned.
2) Have a good nourishing breakfast.
3) Don't forget to wear a good smile… it costs nothing and is appreciated by all.
4) Pick up garlands, cake(if ordered). Re-confirm arrival times with all vendors/priest.
5) Ensure you carry all 'give-away' gifts if you plan to hand them to your guests.
6) Bride/groom must ensure they arrive at the venue on time.
After Wedding Day
Step 19: After Marriage Day
1) Keep a record of all the gifts received on the wedding day.
2) Ensure all vendors are fully paid. You may write/call guests thanking them for their presence.
3) Apply for a marriage certificate. For process details... Click here.
4) Love your spouse & lead a happy married life. For husband-wife problems & solutions... Click here
Cost Saving Tips
Step 20: Save costs and channelize saved money towards newly wedded couple or humanitarian benefits
1) Avoid/Serve limited alcoholic beverages. Or limit the time duration of the bar. Prefer beer/ wine/ champagne.
2) Opt for an outdoor day marriage in winters instead of late in the evening as that will bring down lighting costs.
3) Negotiate and ask for bundled packages like venue with catering, decoration etc.
4) Reduce your guest list and have a close family/private affair.
5) For DJ/entertainment, hire a good amateur young group from a local university/college.
6) Rent your wedding attire instead of buying a new one which you may no wear again.
7) Negotiate 'bulk' bookings for guests accommodation to get discounts.