How Small Wedding Amidst Pandemic Can Secure Your Future!
If you had a grand fairytale wedding planned for 2020, odds are you aren’t going to have it. With social distancing becoming the norm in the pandemic, the big fat Indian wedding has shrunk. And while it may break your heart to not have the wedding you dreamt of, there is a silver (or even gold) lining to how leaner celebrations can help couples plan for a financially secure future.
Indians are notorious for their wedding spends, with an average Indian man spending 1/5th of his life’s earnings on weddings and a staggering 80% of Indians taking loans to pay for their big day. While some of this stems from a desire to celebrate the big day, a lot of it is socially mandated in a “log kya kahenge” world.
Now, in the post-pandemic world, let’s re-evaluate the same. A legally mandated 50-people wedding, for once, means “log kuch nahi keh sakte”. Further, wedding loans will become increasingly difficult to get, and if this health emergency has taught us one thing, it’s that personal savings are imperative. So with small weddings becoming a norm amid the pandemic, here’s how you can use it to enhance your savings as opposed to adding to your financial burden.
For the sake of this article, think of wedding expenses in the form of a balance sheet—what would be the input, the output, and when it’s all over, where would scales tip. We use the example of a middle-class wedding with a typical spend of Rs 20 lakh to understand economics better. In addition, we account for another Rs 5 lakh on the honeymoon and setting-up-home expenses.
Sources of Money
#1. Parents of the bride & groom
The lion’s share of expenses in an Indian wedding is borne by the couple’s parents. However, weddings are now scaled down to just 50 people—that’s 1/10th the average number of guests at an Indian wedding. So a wedding that cost Rs 20 lakh would now cost at most Rs 2 lakh. This means parents can use the money saved (approx. Rs 13 lakh) to create a nest egg for the couple. In uncertain times such as these, every couple would appreciate that.
#2. Personal savings
A precarious economy means savings are sacrosanct. If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that living paycheck to paycheck is no longer an option and one should have enough savings to tide over at least 6 months’ expenses. With reduced wedding costs, couples don’t need to dip into their savings.
#3. Wedding Loans
If you were planning to take a loan for your wedding, now you don’t need to. These are times to strengthen one’s finances and not add to the debt.
Sources of expenses
#1. The celebration expense
Every couple deserves a special wedding. But in the changed circumstances, having one does not come at a ridiculous price tag. With a 50-guest restriction due to pandemic, most couples prefer to have a home wedding. This eliminates the two biggest expenses in a wedding—venue, and food. The same goes for décor, which can now be done in a more personal manner rather than with flowers sourced from around the world. All of these lead to drastically reduced spends.
#2. The Honeymoon & setting up your home.
These are probably the most exciting wedding spends as they go towards building your life together as opposed to just celebrating the start of it. And while a honeymoon may not seem likely in the near future, there is still a home to set up and a holiday to plan when things get ok. However, we have the perfect solution to these expenses—a gift registry.
There is no time that demands the need for this service more than now! A gift registry helps the couple create a list of gifts they’d like to receive, and guests buy or contribute towards it. The benefits of doing this?
- You can use your registry to set up your home or get travel coupons for your future honeymoon. You don’t have to spend on these anymore!
- A 50-people wedding means most guests will be digitally present. The registry makes it easy for them to get you a gift.
- With everyone looking to avoid physical contact, a registry helps by getting everything delivered to the couple based on their preference.
- The best part. It will be a zero-waste wedding where every gift will be used and loved, not recycled.
In the light of the above, if we revisit the table above, here’s what we get:
Assuming that the couple does not take a loan, it still leaves them with Rs 18 lakh to invest in a financially robust future. And by doing an intimate wedding at home they ensure the day is filled with people they love and special memories. Now isn’t that a win-win?