For all you Tam-brides-to-be, this article is especially written for you. It’s a known fact that Tamils don’t believe in extravagance and like to be simple. However, with so many rituals and customs in a Tamil matrimony, budget over-shoot is a common occurrence. The marriage expenses are borne by either the bride’s father or it is shared between the bride and the groom’s family.
Here are 10 tips to have an affordable yet enjoyable Tamil Kalyaanam (wedding)
- Fix a budget:
So, the ponnu (Tamil bride) and maapilai (Tamil groom) have met formally/informally and the elders in the family have decided the wedding date. Now what? As wedding is a very important occasion in anyone’s life, it is important to sit down and decide on a budget. This gives an expense target for the bride’s father or for whoever is spending for the wedding.
- Opt for a temple wedding and a reception:
One of the driving factors for the budget over-shoot is the money paid for the mandapam (marriage hall). Instead of booking a marriage hall for a day and a half or even 2 and a half days in case of Tam-brahm weddings, think about getting married in a temple and giving a gala reception in one of the hotels or a wedding hall. You may invite only important relatives for the wedding and invite other near and dear ones for the reception. This way you can minimize the money spent on marriage halls
- Pay attention to the menu list:
Like any other wedding, Sapaadu (meal) is very important in Tamil matrimonial. Are you adding too many sweets in the menu? Are there too many dishes in the menu? Cut down on sweets and fried items in the menu. It is seen that most of us are becoming diet conscious (which is a good thing) and avoiding sweets and fried items. There are chances of food items going waste due to this. Pay attention to the dishes and ensure to have few, but healthy and tasty dishes.
- Cut down on unwanted extra expenses:
Marriage halls charge separately for electricity and water. So an optimum and careful usage of electricity and water can minimize extra expense. The bride can go to the parlor instead of bringing the beautician to the wedding hall which will add on to the expense. These are some of the unwanted expenses that can be avoided.
- Predict the number of attendees for the wedding
Although the practice of mentioning RSVP on Indian Wedding cards is slowly catching up, most of the times its sheer guess- work to predict the number of attendees for the wedding. Be wise and predict the number of attendees. Accordingly plan the wedding hall and caterers.
- Spend wisely on wedding sarees
Kancheevaram sarees are a must for Tamil brides. It’s a given that the bride will have to buy atleast 4-5 silk sarees for the wedding. This is excluding the koora podavai (a special wedding saree worn during kanyaadaan). There are silk sarees starting from Rs.3000. You may choose to wear budget silk sarees for smaller rituals and one or two grand pattu (silk) sarees for the muhurtam.
- Opt for hired jewellery:
Like kancheevaram sarees, gold jewellery is also important for a Tamil bride. Gold jewellery like haaram, necklaces and bangles are bought for the bride for the wedding. However jewellery like vanki (Armlets), oddiyaanam (worn around the hip), raakudi (worn on the head) and temple jewellery worn during the muhurtam, can be hired instead of buying, as there are less chances of wearing them again in the future.
- Choose cheap but valuable return gifts:
By return gifts, we mean the thamboola pai (return gift bags) given after the wedding. It is a practice to give return gifts along with the thamboolam. There are so many options available for cost-effective return gifts. You may opt for some budget-friendly, yet creative return gifts like plant saplings.
- Choose a Wedding Planner:
Many may think that choosing a wedding planner can be a costly affair, but it’s not the case always. Wedding planners ensure that the budget is not exceeded. From mandapam (hall) decorators to wedding photographers, from caterers to videographers, they have a complete database to choose from. They help you in getting a good deal and you can choose the vendors according to your budget and need
Keep track of expenses:
This can be done by anyone from the family, not necessarily by the bride’s father. The person responsible for tracking expense must diligently record all expenses incurred towards the wedding and keep the bride’s father posted of any potential budget overshoot.
Marriage becomes more enjoyable when the bride’s father is not burdened by unwanted and extra marriage expenses. These tips can be considered to have an affordable, enjoyable and memorable Kalyaanam.