How to spend intelligently at Indian weddings – the ‘tone down’ effect

Wedding season is almost here. Time for grandeur, lavish display of wealth, jewellery and clothes, feast to feed thousands of invitees, destinations and the works. The question, however, remains – is all this show worth the effort and money? Can this be put to better use? Till when will the display continue in the society?

As an evolving society, where the next generation is more liberal in terms of their thought process, going back the ritualistic rule book just for the happiness of a larger society, doesn’t make sense. Can we create a platform where the fun of marriage remains intact yet the pompousness of the event vanishes? Interestingly, many are open to change.

The ‘tone down’ effect – a trend, surprisingly, taking shape in the villages.
The Gujjar community and Kolkata’s Marwari community decided to put an end to wasteful expenditure at social functions. The Delhi Sikh Temple Management Committee discouraged dowry demands by issuing an edict. A mahapanchayat comprising 12 villages near Noida banned the use of firearms, DJs and orchestras in weddings along with a complete ban on dowry Takhatgarh, Bali, Sadri in Pali /Jalor districts of Rajasthan imposed a uniform code of conduct for weddings. Guradighat village, 18 km from Bhopal, followed suit.

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These examples are positive detonators that should motivate other communities to adopt rightful usage of wealth in weddings. Urban upper class, unfortunately, is still spending a sizeable amount.

The affluent upper class and rising middle class has boosted the marriage industry to grow at 25 percent annually. However, now many youngsters are looking for ways to have a low-cost wedding.

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We tried to analyse and compile ways in which weddings can be downsized.

Wedding fund

How about putting aside money for an emergency fund as soon as you start earning. A few thousands every month can turn into a sizeable amount in future.

Pre-set a budget

It determines your limitations, your confines and urges you to work within boundaries. Helps to prioritise and identify cost cutting.

 Offseason fiesta

Wedding season will always be expensive with hotels hiking the prices. However, in an off-peak season, most wedding venues are available at discounted rates. Try this.

One big fat event

Indian weddings have numerous events which go on for days. How about consolidating into one big occasion? The excess money can be utilised as post wedding savings.

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Guest list

Keep it crisp. Invite people you are close to. Not only will the wedding feel special but will be personalised too.

Go Digital

Of course, this cannot be 100 percent as there could be relatives who are not tech savvy. But for all the outstation guests, friends, family who are – use email. Use creativity, not money.

Choose wedding venue/s wisely

Instead of choosing different venues for each event, host all events at the same venue. This could land a good deal too. Think out of the box and go for the unconventional ones.

Jewellery and attire overload

Spending lakhs on a dress to be worn not more than once, can be exasperating.  Ever thought of rental? If not the attire, at least the jewellery. And if you still want your own, buy intelligently.

Simple menu

Lavish spread of world cuisines, dessert etc gives way to enormous food wastage. Choose a simple yet elegant menu. Donate leftover food to an NGO/Old age home so that it satisfies someone’s hunger.

Simple décor

Instead of theme-based decorations go for candles, lanterns and paper-art. It will not only look brighter and classier but will also help save.


Choreographers for dance are big spin offs. Avoid. Use YouTube videos to assist. Look for people within your community to help with mehandi, make-up.

Travel instead

Plan pocket friendly trips and see the world with your spouse.

Now that you know how to host a wedding on a low budget, be firm. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Spend less and create memories worth a lifetime!


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