“Don’t your weddings last a week?”
It’s a common question that many of us have heard before when we are planning a Pakistani wedding and it’s not far from the truth. Organizing all of these events can not only be time consuming, but also incredibly draining on the bank account.
Mariam Rehman a newlywed based in Minneapolis, United States says it doesn’t have to be this way. She shares her tips on how to save money on a Pakistani wedding.
The majority of South Asians do things because “log kya kahenge” (what will people think?) But I’ve never been concerned about this, which is why I tried to have a smaller wedding with simpler outfits and a low-key walima. It’s a once in a lifetime event, but where are those outfits now? Collecting dust in my closet.
I don’t believe in going into debt (or putting your parents into it either) over a one to three day affair. Of course, if you have the cash on hand, by all means, have your dream wedding. But too many people are obsessed with instant gratification and do not think about the future. Remember, the marriage itself is way more important than the wedding. The money that you save can be used for not only your future, but your children’s and your parent’s as they age as well. So here are some tips I used to save that hard earned cash.
What’s your Best Price?
Bargain with EVERYTHING. Seriously, don’t shy away from this. I saved thousands by bargaining with all my vendors.
Food for Thought
Buffet style food versus plated food. If you are having a multi-day wedding event, you try to save where you can. Not a single person complained about our buffet food because it was so good.
Get your dress made in Pakistan or India versus the west and don’t stick to name brands. You can get the same type of outfit for even better quality for much cheaper.
Keep it Short
Invite as few people as possible to your Pakistani wedding. If you are going to invite in excess, chances are they aren’t close enough to truly care about you. Mariam says she had two of her events at a community center. Close to 160 people attended her mendhi and 210 for her baraat. Our walima was just immediate family and cousins that live nearby, so that was about 30 people in total. It was in a Middle Eastern restaurant’s private room and we didn’t have a photographer or a videographer.
Center of Attention
Focus on the stage since it’s where most of the action happens and will be captured more in photographs. I don’t really remember people’s centerpieces, but the gorgeous backdrops.
Planning a virtual wedding? We partnered with Zulily to share some virtual wedding planning tips!