Indian Wedding Planners - A Primer

[caption id="attachment_56725" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Photography by Leah Photography by Leah[/caption]

































As South Asian weddings grow larger, longer and just more ornate, there is a growing need for wedding planners. These days, a wedding planner can be a blessing in disguise. Most brides-to-be are busy working women who have limited free time to spend on their wedding plans. It is at this time that a planner can step in and help take over some of the responsibilities.
As South Asian weddings grow larger, longer and just more ornate, there is a growing need for wedding planners. These days, a wedding planner can be a blessing in disguise. Most brides-to-be are busy working women who have limited free time to spend on their wedding plans. It is at this time that a planner can step in and help take over some of the responsibilities.

Why should we consider hiring a wedding planner?

Let’s face it … when you describe your South Asian wedding to your co-workers they are usually in awe over the number of guests and all of the details. A typical Indian wedding can easily include 400-500 guests. Sure, you have plenty of family who can help you out with planning, but are all of them qualified to deal with last-minute problems?

Think a wedding planner is an unnecessary expense? Remember that a wedding planner can take over all wedding responsibilities and handle them professionally. Just imagine trying to assemble your 16 bridesmaids and groomsmen along with your flower girls for portraits. Anu of Shaadi in Style tells us that “… by hiring a wedding planner you will ensure that everything and everyone is in the right place at the right time.”

Your wedding day should be the most beautiful day of your life and the last thing you want to do on the big day is stress. By delegating responsibilities to a professional you will be able to fully enjoy your day. Ruchir Mewawala of Rose Events, LLC says, “the stress and chaos of a wedding can be drastically simplified by hiring a skilled team of individuals to plan and coordinate a function over multiple days and/or events such as our south Asian affairs.”

How much can we expect to spend for the services of a wedding planner?

Ruchir tells us that service fees can vary from location, date, hours, to even the intricacy of the event schedule. Wedding planners will create a customized package for you that takes into account the exact responsibilities you want them to manage. Anu says that the packages will range from coordinating the entire event to just handling the design concept and can range from $500 and above.

Don’t forget that hiring a wedding planner can also save you money. Wedding planners have strong relationships with wedding vendors in your area and can often secure discounts on items you will need to purchase. By hiring a planner you can take advantage of their experience and their connections with quality vendors.
What responsibilities does a wedding planner typically have? This is all up to you and your individual needs. You can hire a wedding planner only for day-of coordination. This involves the planner managing all of your vendors and ensuring that your wedding day runs smoothly. The wedding planner should meet with your vendors and do a walk-through of your wedding and reception sites before the wedding to ensure everyone is on the same page.You can also choose to purchase an entire planning package in which the planner would handle responsibilities from day one of your planning. This includes theme development and researching all vendors from banquet halls to florists.  “The client conveys their ideas to the planner and the planner carries out this vision within the budget,” says Anu.

You have the option to only hire the wedding planner for specific aspects so you don’t have to feel tied in to purchasing an entire package or just the day-of package.

Will the wedding planner attend and plan my pre-wedding events?

Typically only the wedding and reception are included in a package, however depending on the customized package that you have determined with your planner, he or she will be available to help you with these events. Ruchir says, “We have designed every pre-wedding function from the mendhi, sangeet, engagement, to a kick off of the festivities event (a party just to have a party).”

Does a wedding planner generally have alliances with certain vendors?

Experienced wedding planners will have a list of qualified vendors that they have worked with before and will refer to you. This is a great list to use as the wedding planners can vouch for the service of these vendors. However, Anu points out that it is important to ask the planner if he or she has multiple vendors in each category. This will guarantee that you are receiving a variety of design and budget options from each category of vendors.  Also find out if the planner will be open to working with vendors who are not on their list. Also, Ruchir reminds us that you can benefit from discounted service and products by working with these vendors.
Can a wedding planner also plan and book the honeymoon?Anu of Shaadi In Style mentions that it is probably best to hire a travel agent for this service unless the wedding planner is experienced in this arena. A travel agent will have more experience and know-how and will be able to better assist you. Generally, the responsibility of the honeymoon booking lies with the groom.What questions should I ask wedding planners?

Ruchir of Rose Events points out that you can never ask a wedding planner too many questions – the sky is the limit. It is important that you share all of your ideas with the planner, no matter how crazy they may initially seem. Ultimately, you need to find a wedding planner who you are comfortable with and who will listen to, and address, your ideas and concerns.

Below are some general questions that you should ask all wedding planners that you meet with. To judge the qualifications of the wedding planner, ask the following questions:

  • How did you become a wedding planner?

  • How many years have you been in the wedding industry?

  • How many functions do you coordinate in a month?

  • Have you planned South Asian weddings?

  • Is this your full-time profession?

  • How many vendors do you have affiliations with?

  • What can you contribute to my wedding that other planners cannot?

  • Do you have testimonials and references that we can contact.


Of course, the wedding planner needs to work within your budget. Ask the following questions to determine the costs associated with the services you require.

  • Do you offer different packages? Can these be customized based on my requirements?

  • Do you charge a percentage or an hourly rate?

  • How many meetings will be included in my package?

  • Am I obligated to use the vendors on your vendor list?


Remember that you will spend a great deal of time with your wedding planner so you need to ensure a good comfort level between the two of you. Ask yourself the following questions to determine this:

  • Does the planner listen attentively to my ideas?

  • Is the planner pushy and not taking time to understand my ideas?

  • Will the planner be available to me when I need his/her services?


Be creative with your ideas and questions so you can fully assess the wedding planner and choose the one who is perfect for your wedding.

What was your favorite wedding planning experience?

We asked Ruchir of Rose Events and Anu of Shaadi In Style to describe the wedding(s) that they enjoyed planning the most. Here’s what they told us.

Anu, Shaadi In Style: We have a great time planning all of our weddings.  Since we are known for the cutting-edge style that we bring to Indian weddings, I love working with clients that are open to our ideas.  The best weddings that we have done are ones that are fusion style weddings where the client wanted to fuse Asian and Indian themes or Moroccan with Indian.  We did a Moroccan wedding where we draped the entire room to look like a Casbah tent.  We used the most gorgeous rich hues in red, purple, and gold for the color coordinating. The best part was that the entire theme, from baklava desserts to party favors, was tied together. It was awesome to work with someone that wanted the entire vision carried out since that is our specialization.

Ruchir, Rose Events: That is a tough question. We have planned so many beautiful weddings; it’s really hard to pick just one. One that definitely stands out in my mind is a wedding that we did at an Equestrian Farm near York, Pennsylvania. It was a mixed wedding – Gujarati Bride and Catholic Groom. There were only 200 guests attending the wedding and reception. The wedding took place atop a large hill overlooking the Susquehanna River. The scenic beauty was overwhelming and simply breathtaking. Both ceremonies were performed atop the hill. It was an emotional experience as both families came together at the end after a rough initial start. The most important job that we do is bringing two families, two cultures and two religions together to create a magnificent memory.

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IndianWeddingSite.com thanks Rose Events and Shaadi In Style for their contributions to this article. We encourage you to read more about them below and meet with them to discuss your wedding planning needs.

Rose Events is an event management and consulting company that customizes an individual package for anyone and every occasion throughout but not limited to the South Asian community.

As South Asian weddings grow larger, longer and just more ornate, there is a growing need for wedding planners. These days, a wedding planner can be a blessing in disguise. Most brides-to-be are busy working women who have limited free time to spend on their wedding plans. It is at this time that a planner can step in and help take over some of the responsibilities.

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