I Planned My Own Indian Wedding – A Personal Story

When it comes to planning Indian wedding events, there are so many events and details to consider. Examples of these details range from coordinating pick-up and drop-off locations for the bridal and groom party, to coordinating the payment of your vendors.

As a result, investing in a wedding planner is a common decision for many couples. Depending on your location and level of needs, a wedding planner can cost a significant amount of money. According to a survey conducted by PlanEvents.ca, more than 70% of couples spend at least $5,000 CAD on wedding planning.

This post is intended for people interested in planning their own wedding, where we interview a bride named Jag, about her experience with planning her own wedding events. Scroll down to read the interview.

Why did you choose to plan your own wedding?

I planned my own wedding for SO many reasons. Below are the main reasons for my decision:

1) Perfection – I’m a very picky person and I wanted so many things to be perfect for my wedding. Perfection wasn’t only the main reason to plan my own wedding, but I wanted everything done according to my taste. I was born in India and moved to the U.S. when I was 11. I have seen many weddings in India and here in the US. For my wedding I knew I wanted a traditional Punjabi wedding, but with a little taste of today’s modern culture.

2) Budget– Instead of discussing my budget for my wedding with other people, I felt more comfortable and well off planning things in my own head and went with what was more convenient and affordable for me.

3) Timing – I am glad I planned my wedding instead of taking time out to meet with wedding planners. Discussing and describing every detail and the vision I had about my wedding would have taken a lot of time. I would rather use that time elsewhere. I was a full time employee and lived in a different town than where my wedding & reception was going to take place.

For example, I was living in the Bay area – my wedding was in Fresno, CA, where my family lives and my reception was in St. Louis, Missouri where my husband lives. So there was a geographical complexity involved in wedding planning. Therefore I felt it would be easier for me to not rely on someone else to work around my locations and schedule.

What did your approach to the planning process look like? Where did you start first?

I honestly don’t know where to start with this question because I was planning so many things at once. I suppose I can say my main priority was to book the venues for the wedding (Gurdwara for the wedding ceremony) and for the reception party (the banquet hall). 

Once the venues were booked, I started looking for the vendors – decor & catering.

From there I branched out to start planning each event in detail. I started writing down my ideas on themes for each event, how many guests, etc. While all of that was going on during the day,I looked into my outfits at night. My outfit designer was from India. She was so patient with me throughout the whole process. My outfit designer brought the visual I had for my outfits into reality. Throughout planning my wedding, I became friends with some vendors. 

How did you go about prioritizing which vendors to book first?

Each vendor plays a big role for your big day. I cannot remember which vendor I booked first versus the others. I believe I started with decor first, then started calling the rest – Photographer, catering, DJ, Mehndi/ Henna Artist, Make-up artist, & cleaning services. For each vendor I had to do some homework before I could book them. But before I could start booking vendors, I had to figure out how many guests were going to attend each event. And honestly, desi parties can never be certain with numbers – usually more people than the count.

  1. Decorations – Luckily, Teresa from krowndecor didn’t require me to meet with her right away. I sent her ideas of what I was looking for and shared my color themes for each event via text messages & phone calls. Yes, they did the magic. They did a great job on decorating our house for wedding festivities & Gurdwara for the wedding day.
  2. Catering – For this, we had to figure out the menu for each event before we went in for food tasting. We had live catering for my wedding festivities.
  3. Photographer/ Videography – ramaphotovideo. Rama bhaji has an amazing team! He was the photographer for my sister’s wedding so he already knew my family and how things will work for us. He’s easy to work with.
  4. DJ – I had to work with the DJ on making sure that lighting, props, music etc, fit the color theme of the venue and vibe of the events.
  5. Mehndi/ Henna: I booked Kamal – mehndi_inspiration for my bridal henna and Inza did my bridal party. I knew Kamal from my sister’s wedding. She’s AMAZING – very patient & designed my henna exactly how I wanted it.
  6. Makeup Artist: Aman- varaichvanity was amazing! Aman & Inza were so helpful! They dolled up my whole bride squad in time! They stayed for any touch-up and last min requests.
JagHMUAArtistry
Jagjit and her husband, at their reception.

What did your process look like for managing the vendors, on the days of the events?

Everything was handled well by the vendors. I didn’t have to message anyone at the last minute or send out any reminders. I was lucky to have such amazing vendors! For the vendors overall, they all explain their requests and concerns before. I made sure they didn’t have any trouble and made sure that everyone was happy.

My decor vendors decorated the house a week before my wedding day. The gurdwara was decorated the night before the wedding day.

My mehndi & makeup artist arrived on time. They were all patient with my family and I.  

My photographer handled everything since he did my sister’s wedding as well. He knows my family well.

Food was catered on time for all the events. 

My brothers & my helpers had numbers of all my vendors just in case there were any changes, especially for the food & decorations. 

All guests had their own car or rented a car. Therefore, we didn’t have to worry about renting and coordinating limos or luxury vehicles. 

My mehndi & makeup artist arrived on time. 

My photographer handled everything since he did my sister’s wedding as well. He knows my family well. 

Food was catered on time for all days. 

My brothers had numbers of all my vendors just in case if there’s any change, especially for the food. 

All guests had their own car or rented a car. Therefore, we didn’t have to worry about renting and coordinating limos or luxury vehicles, 

For the vendors overall, they all explain their requests and concerns before. I made sure they didn’t have any trouble and made sure that everyone was happy.

What was something about the planning process that caught you off guard?

My bridesmaids’ outfit fitting was a total surprise for us. The vendor required so much work of us, and still managed to mess up with sizing and all.

If I could do things differently, I would let my bridesmaid pick their own outfits! I hated hearing complaints. I would highly suggest future brides to not worry about ordering stuff for bridemaids because you can’t please everyone. I would also shop in person for my outfits for minor reasons.

That is all we have for the interview. Scroll down to the gallery below, to see pictures from Jag’s wedding week.

JagHMUA Artistry

Jag's Wedding Week Gallery

About Jag

On Key

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