So you’ve got your heart set on a dream wedding and gorgeous venue? A wedding is, no doubt, a special day for any woman and everyone wishes to make it memorable, romantic and fun. But a common problem for most of us is fitting everything within our budget. This is especially applicable in case of Indian weddings, where the events go on for a few days. So keeping an eye on the budget is a must. Otherwise, you run the risk of going bankrupt!

Indian weddings comprise a whole lot of rituals and celebrations; hence, careful planning is a priority. It can be a daunting task, but you can get an everlasting experience if you plan the entire process properly fitting your funds. From venue, guest list, gifts, shopping to décor and menu – it is imperative to make a note of each single item. Let’s get started on a real checklist:

• Date of wedding: First and foremost, decide on the date of wedding. Budget for everything starting from the venue, décor, flowers, gifts, lights, photography, menu etc. Make a list of people who’ll handle the whole affair. Keep a few people as backup and all contact details handy.

• Venue: Remember, best venues get booked quickly, so shortlist the ones you prefer and book the one promptly that fits your budget. Also, distance matters, so the closer it is, the better! You don’t want to incur huge vehicle expenses, do you?

• Guest list: Finalize your list of invitees. When booking for venues, accurate number of guests from each family is important. For outstation and overseas guests, book hotel rooms beforehand. Once you have the final guest list fixed, start sending out the invitations.

• Finalize events: Make a list of number of ceremonies and cut down on unimportant ones. Pay individual vendors regarding décor, mandap, catering, wedding cards, photographer, videographer, pandits, hair and makeup professional, sangeet and florist ahead of time.

• Categorize your shopping list: Sort out items that top your chart, from wedding attire, hair and makeup accessories, mehndi, jewelry, wedding rings, gifts to honeymoon necessities. Ask for expert advice if you need one.

• Costing: Settle on a costing chart. If needed, speak with respective families and come to a decision. It will help in agreeing on a budget and save money. Start collecting ideas from friends, by reading wedding magazines and visiting wedding websites which are loaded with candid and applicable tips on affordable wedding.

• Prioritize: Prioritize things that are essential to you. Compromising on few aspects will help you splurge on others. Seeking help of a wedding planner might sound expensive, but they actually assist in cutting down wedding costs. They know the best rates and deals available. Plan ahead; do not keep things for the last minute. Spend wisely and consider alternate ideas.

• Get married and buy things off season: You can save a great deal of money if you buy stuffs and get married off season. You can get the venue and vendors of your choice and avail of reduced fees.

• DIY: Save money by doing things yourself whenever possible rather than outsourcing tasks. Ask for help from relatives and friends. Keep things low key.

• Follow up: Just the week before wedding, keep sending reminders to respective people and check progress of each task. Check whether all payments have been made. Don’t go into debt or beyond your limit. Be reasonable.

There’s nothing wrong in being frugal and trim your costs. You can have your ‘big fat Indian wedding’ without spending a staggering amount. Just sticking to this checklist is enough to keep the memories of wedding linger in your heart forever!