8th October 2019 by Natasha Goldstein
It has been reported that the UK British Asian Wedding Industry is worth over £3 billion a year with the average Asian couple spending over £50,000 on their wedding with costs only expected to grow. (Asiana Wedding Magazine, 2015)
While many western weddings prices can vary from £2,000 right up to the £30,000 and perhaps even more, Sikh, Muslim and Hindu weddings quite often have a minimum starting budget of £30,000 due to the number of event rituals that complete these weddings along with a large guest list which can reach up to a huge 1,000 attendees.
As commonly known, best practice in traditional Asian weddings is to not only invite your closest family and friends but to also invite friends of friends, business colleagues and to extend invitations to those in return of wedding celebrations you have previously attended.
A good start to planning the cost of your UK Asian Wedding is to set a budget for each event, work towards that and what your compromises are. Quite often, as you know, Asian weddings consist of 4 major events; The Sangeet, The Mehndi, The Wedding Ceremony and The Wedding Reception.
Among the many pre-wedding events that occur to the actual wedding ceremony, the Sangeet is where it begins.
The Sangeet is to show love, joy and happiness to the marrying couple in the form of singing, dancing and is a great icebreaker for both sides of the families to familiarise themselves with one another prior to the wedding day.
Because this is quite an upbeat event, many tend to hire a venue, caterers and bands or wedding DJ's (much like the wedding day itself!) Regardless if you decide for a simple or lavish affair, The Sangeet will still cost a pretty penny, almost as much as a small western wedding.
A Mehndi is a party for the women of the wedding party and close female friends. During a Mehndi the women have henna applied to their palms, hands and feet. Tradition says that the deeper the colour of the bride's Mehndi, the happier the bride and groom's marriage will be.
For this event, it can be as lavish or as homely as you want. If you have a large wedding, you can often see up to and in excess of 100 people attending your Mehndi, so plan the event accordingly.
If you are opting for a very small get together with just family and want to keep costs at a minimum so you have more to spend on your Sangeet and Wedding Reception, hold the event at your home and ask guests to bring a dish each and their favourite cocktail or mocktail for the evening. This then only leaves a cost of having to pay for the Henna artist, which depending on how many hours you book and how many guests are attending, can cost anything upwards of £1,000.
An average Asian Wedding ceremony can last anything from 1 hour to 3 hours - and as you're aware, has many different stages or elements tied within it. .
To begin, the groom will have his Baraat, or the groom's procession. For this, the groom arrives to the ceremony traditionally on a decorated white horse, but this can be any mode of transport, and guests dance around him to the beat of dhol drummers.
This alone can be quite expensive depending on the extravagance of the bride's gown, the groom-to-be's chosen mode of arrival transport and how long the procession lasts for. On top of that, you will have to pay for someone to officiate the wedding, hire the Mandap as well as any additional extras you may choose to have such as welcome gift bags.
The big finale! This will probably eat up 60 -70% of your whole wedding budget. With the cost of entertainment, dancers, the catering, the music and a venue large enough to hold your attendees.
The wedding reception alone can cost in the region of £20,000 - £40,000. (Birmingham Mail, 2016)
The cost of the average Asian Wedding day UK can be broken down as follows:
And the above cost doesn't even include the cost of the Sangeet or Mehndi!
Don't forget your Asian Wedding Insurance!
Whatever the cost for your perfect Asian Wedding Day, the one thing you will both agree on is the need for Asian Wedding Insurance to protect your wallet and peace of mind on your special day.
Asian Wedding Insurance policies start at just £59, offers cover for both UK and overseas weddings and civil ceremonies, can be purchased up to 2 years before the big day AND provides financial protection for deposits paid even before you have purchased your wedding insurance policy!
This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording here for the latest policy terms, conditions and exclusions.