Hey Hey Desi Brides!
Today I want to talk to you about THE dirty word called money. I mentioned earlier last week that the UK Asian wedding industry is worth a staggering £2 billion pounds – OH EM GEEEEEEEEE! Yes it’s big bucks! Why? Probably because many Asians try and out do each other when it comes to weddings, the competitive streak is in our DNA we just can’t help it.
I think when I started out with my wedding planning I REALLY REALLY underestimated the costs associated with an Asian wedding. For example I never knew decor and catering could be so frikken expensive and I still really can’t understand why this is (happy to be challenged on this of course) and If you want lovely luxurious things at your wedding then unfortunately it does come with a nice hefty price tag (sad face).
HOWEVER there are many ways to save costs and lots of them! So below I have listed out my top 5 ways to save costs for your big dreamy day. And Desi Brides remember this, there is lots of good reputable suppliers out there that want your business so make sure you make it clear to suppliers – their not the only ones that can provide decor, catering etc etc.
1) NEGOTIATE – I cannot stress this enough and my negotiating skills have helped me cut costs massively. I hate to say it but I do feel like a lot of Asian wedding suppliers send you a big fat quote first and then they somehow magically reduce it. Perhaps they know we are going to haggle but I can’t help feeling some of them just want to “try it on” first and see how much they can get. This doesn’t go for all suppliers though and many will have fixed costs like makeup artists, but what you want to do is NEGOTIATE. Tell them your looking at other similar suppliers, tell them that you have received X Y and Z quote and see what they can do on the cost. You may be a little shy of negotiating and feel awkward, don’t be. This is your parent’s or your hard earned cash and it certainly doesn’t grow on trees so wherever you can negotiate and ask for the best cost make sure you do. However be careful that companies and suppliers don’t cut corners. Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for and never compromise on quality!
2) GET 5 QUOTES FOR EACH AREA – Yes you heard it right. Try and get 5 quotes for each area of your wedding. Not only does this give you an idea of what each supplier can offer, but you can also work out what’s needed and what’s not. For example if you are getting a photography quote get one from 5 different suppliers that you like the work of and then compare and contrast. You can quickly work out the price differences and also how much photography will cost. It will also bring to the surface things you may have not thought of such as two albums, travel costs etc. I know this might be time consuming but if you follow this process with the main suppliers it will very quickly give you an idea of market value and any hidden extra’s and charges. Once you have decided who you want to go for – negotiate! 😉
3) ENGLISH SUPPLIERS – I am probably going to get a lot of stick for this but I don’t care – truth needs to be told! For some areas of your wedding try and get quotes from English suppliers as sometimes they will work out cheaper. I don’t know the reason why but they do! For example I got quoted £3k for a personalised dance floor and then I found another company on Twitter which could do it at a fraction of the cost. However make sure you are getting like for like in terms of quality and like I always say – don’t compromise on quality!
4) LOCAL SUPPLIERS – Some things such as chair covers, cupcakes, even wedding cakes don’t need to come from London or Birmingham, you can probably get these suppliers in your very own town or city. So wherever you can try and use local suppliers. They tend to be just as good and you cut out the travel costs, saving you ££££ in the long run. For example on my engagement I used a local cupcake and cookie company, not only were they tons cheaper they tasted yummy too! Obv things such as catering you want to go for a big reputable company.
5) SPECIAL DEALS – Many suppliers will slash some costs at some points. For example if they are exhibiting at a Wedding show then they sometimes offer a 10% discount on the day. If you know the suppliers you are interested in – research them and see if they will be exhibiting and ask if they can provide a discount on the day. My motto always has been – if you don’t ask you don’t get. Also soft drinks for all your pre wedding events tend to be cheaper around the Christmas period so stock up! Same goes for alcohol, it can be cheaper during the Christmas period but also around other times of the year too so always try and keep a lookout. Even saving £2-3 per bottle very quickly adds up so don’t miss out!
6) DIY IT – I am absolutely hopeless at this but I know lots of lovely #DesiBrides out there are uber creative and very good with things hands on. So if you can make it – do it girl! This could be anything from your sangeet cushions to the decor for your pre-party or sangeet night. Even the favours you could make and save a small fortune! Get creative #DesiBrides!
7) ASK FRIENDS – Like I said above I am hopeless at making stuff but some of my lovely friends are very talented and already they have made so many things for me which I have saved costs on. For example on my engagement my lovely friend made my thank you cards and engagement cards and all I did was pay for the card. My other friend made my save the date cards and again I saved lots of money there.
8) INDIA – Yes our homeland ladies! I haven’t been India in 4 years and don’t have much experience in buying lots from there but what I do know is you can save a fortune. Try and get as much made out there as you can – from outfits to wedding cards. Not only will you save money but I think they will have a larger selection to choose from. Again make sure you don’t compromise on quality!
9) BE RUTHLESS WITH HEAD COUNT – I know this is easier said than done and a lot of the times our guest list consists of the world and it’s mother and the neighbours your parents knew 50 years ago however try and cut numbers if you can. If you can’t then may be just invite selected people to your pre events only. Head count makes a lot of difference to everything such as catering, decor and even things such as cake so its simple’s, the less people you have the less money you need to spend.
10) GET MARRIED OUT OF SEASON – This is a tough one as every #DesiBride I’m sure would love a glorious summer wedding basking in the beautiful sunshine but if dates aren’t an issue for you then perhaps try and get married out of season. The Asian wedding season has extended to all year round now but months such as December, January and February tend to be quieter for suppliers and they can definitely give you a better deal during these months. Besides a Christmas or Winter wedding can actually be quite romantic!
I would love to hear your experiences or suggestions so do drop me a message #DesiBrides or share your insights with others in the comments.
Until next time….