#FirstPerson: "Here's How I Planned My Big Fat Mehendi Function Under INR 3 Lakhs..."
BY Latha Sunadh | 18 Jul, 2017 | 1609 views | 10 min read
A personalised Mehendi all under 3 Lakhs. Devina, the owner and founder of one of India's biggest lifestyle blog Guiltybytes sure knows how to make her Mehendi an event that will be remembered. She got an interesting lehenga, amazing Mehendi and lost of fun decor, all under a strict budget. Here's her story!
How to plan a wedding, for all those who want a personal experience, here's mine. The views expressed are solely mine and are based on my kind of ideas and budgets and the vendors we worked with but I do have to admit that even though we didn’t spend insane $$$, we did end up hosting a big fat Punjabi wedding that everyone still remembers and talks about. More than the budgets or the money I feel it's the level of involvement or rather personalization that makes the entire difference. You can be a larger-than-life bride who is only bothered about her outfit, jewels or makeup or you can be a ninja bride who is all over the place and ensuring that she includes a level of personalization to her ceremonies. Anyway, here’s what all we did on my mehendi and what all did it cost…
My family and I had decided on a colour theme, which was GREEN. We wanted green to dominate and that's why all guests (ladies essentially since they are always nicer to deal with) were asked to don green colored outfits or include an element of green in their attire. SO the décor was all about green drapes, green with pink seating & golden accents.
1. We kept away from doing a lot of real floral work as that doubles up the cost of any event.
2. We used some of our homemade installations to add a fun vibe to the décor
3. We also designed mehendi favour baskets and cart all by ourselves
4. We didn’t place too many tables and chairs considering we had a limited guest list of 100 people and we wanted them to dance and have a blast
5. We designed our own hashtag board and got it made and gave it to the decorator to simply place it
6. We spent money on creating the bar look (making it fun and vibrant and placing it right in the middle so that everyone gets their priorities straight)
Total Spent on Decoration- INR 50,000
The food menu was very well thought through too considering it was a day affair and we had cocktails and engagement ceremony on the very same evening. We tried to do a combination of street food menu with a heavy-duty lunch and dessert. We setup 2 chaat counters and cut the rest from the cateror’s list. We ensured that snacks were on till late considering that a lot of people came with the idea of brunch and beer of course. Oh as for the alcohol, we didn’t stress too much on the variety of drinks but instead piled on loads of beer and vodkas of the world
1. We didn’t take everything that was included in the cateror’s list and ended up keeping 2 chaat counters- one for the golgappe wala and one for the chaat guy
2. We ensured that we had 3-4 options in both veg and non-veg snacks instead of 10 mad varieties in each category
3. We started snacks early on and winded up late so for a guest list of 100, we kept food plates as 75 knowing that many people won’t even have the courage to hold the plate after drinks and snacks (and also because we had a big event in the evening)
4. For food, again the menu was well thought through with minimum wastage
5. And we winded up with max of 3 desserts that people would gorge on during the day like the kulfi, the ice creams and a hot dessert (knowing the Indian palette)
Total Spent on Food & Drinks- INR 2 Lakh
We ensured that all the ladies had some memories to take back home and that’s where we ended up going to the Chandini Chowk market to buy mehendi favours and items. We got ourselves the ghungroo bangles and the gota haath phool. The gota haath phool and a big gota ring were at the same price and we got 200 haath phools and 200 bangles. In addition to that, we also put some colourful gota potlis (that we had purchased with the badaams for the card) in another basket and boy, we did have many takers for that as well.
Total Spent On Favours- INR 5,000
I shortlisted my mehendiwala after reading a lot about him online, and I finally found him offline at South Ex, main market Delhi. He did my full mehendi and then again 4 full hands for the mother of the bride and for the sister of the bride. We gave them a total sum instead of doing any hisaab of hands (haath ke hisab se) so that there should be no one left without mehendi and trust me this cost worked out better than anything else. There was no extra payment basis any increase set of hands as we had done a whole lump sum deal prior to the event.
Total Spent on Mehendiwala- INR 11,000
I always knew that I would become an #AbhinavMishraBride on my mehendi for he does the bestestestesest outfits for any colourful occasion. I met Abhinav at last minute at his Shahpurjat store and told him that the colour of the day was going to be GREEN and that I wanted something in green too. I still remember that he smirked and after a pause he said- “you are the bride, are you sure that you want to wear green at all?” It did make me realize my exclusivity but then again, I wanted to wear green in some way or the other.
I let him take the call on the design, the colour, the overall look and I have to admit that he did a great job. He made a green colour for me that no one could have ever imagined to wear; it was a FROSTY GREEN (you haven’t heard of that colour right?). But yes, I got my green with a beautiful combination of pink and some fun details like the bird prints, the stunning latkan on the blouse, the blouse design and the statement dupatta. He insisted that I should not wear too much can-can and keep the look comfortable so that I could also enjoy to the fullest and Guys, I was the last one to leave the stage (maybe I took him a bit to seriously).
For mehendi ceremony either invest in newer labels or do a DIY outfit for yourself. Maybe spend in getting your choli right and then get your own fabric and make yourself a skirt, a lehenga, a sharara or whatever you may like. This will you will be able to invest that budget into something else just as significant.
Total Spent on Outfit- INR 30,000
Bride’s Jewellery & Shoes
This was effortless for my mehendi Jewllery was a gift by the brand Zariin (#perksofmyjob) but they do have a stunning range of unique head jewels, rings and earrings that each bride must check out. I layered my Zariin jewellery with floral hand made jewellery by Barkaat Atelier (she also happens to be India’s first gota jewellery designer from Hyderabad).
Another dear friend of mine asked me as to what wedding gift would I like him to bring to the celebrations and without feeling apprehensive, I asked him to get me a pair of Juttis from Needledust that would go with my outfit and there, I rest my case!
Speak to resellers on Instagram or if you are in and around Delhi then do visit Chandini chowk (for the shop we bought the mehendi favours from) housed a lot of gota jewllery and they were also doing made to order pieces. Incase you don’t want to cut cost (which rarely happens in desi weddings) then you can also wear your mum’s traditional pieces or make a friend gift you a gota jewelry of your dreams ☺
For shoes, juttis make a great option as now days you get both comfort and style with these shoes. For budget yet handcrafted juttis, shop from Needledust’s online SALE or check out another brand, started my a very close friend the Jutti Junction.
Total Spent on Jewelry & Shoes: Gift so N.A
DJ & Dholwale
We decided to go in for a good (not that great) music setup for the day, as the evening one was really expensive anyway. My demands were clear, I needed the dholwala for the event and a DJ who would play 1) Our dance sequence playlist & 2)Play fun Punjabi playlist for the event
Total Spent on DJ & Dhol: INR 7,000
The total expense was close to 3 lakh + 10K or so owing to miscellaneous expenses but guys, everything was planned in order to avoid unnecessary expenses and hence I can bet that if you sit with your family and figure out all the key expenses and alternatives that you can follow then I am sure you will have you budgets in place for all the functions.
In a Punjabi family, the number of functions are too many and that's why its imperative to get all the budgets right. You know as a daughter of the bride, money matters may not be of your concern (like I remember my dad calling me the impatient bride for I was too worried all the time and was enquiring on all the expenses) but its REAL, we are the new age kids and we know what we want at the wedding (how to incorporate Pinterest ideas etc) hence we should take just as much interest in saving up (if at all we can). Incase you are wondering on hair & makeup expense then 1) it was a gift from my best friend 2) I will add that cost in the wedding expense but it was close to 7K for me and my sister and we went to F Salon, Rajouri Garden for the same. As for photography & videography, again a family friend did it all and it will be added in the overall wedding expense (but here again. I didn't blow up a bomb and was pretty clear with my brief and how I wanted the shots to look like considering my blogging experience).
At the end of the day...
"It Was Everything I Ever Wanted"
P.S. Here's my video from my mehendi that features my solo performance and showcases all of the fun on my special day!