Congratulations! You have just made the most important decision of your life!
However, it is also about time to jump start with your wedding arrangements. And believe us this means you have to make millions of decisions in the months leading up to your wedding day. From important decisions like the wedding venue, perfect dress etc to tiny details like the colour of ink on your wedding invitation and more.
Furthermore, tying a knot in Chennai means the options for every decision that you have to make are boundless. Hence, planning a wedding in Chennai can be a cakewalk or a daunting experience, depending on how you manage the options available to you. Sounds frightful? Relax.
We are precisely here to ease your wedding planning tasks with our comprehensive guide. It will assist you to plan, explore and source some of the best resources for your wedding. We have given a quick overview of how to go about planning your wedding in Chennai. Once you go get an idea of the overall game plan, read further where we dive into an extensive checklist. That will help you with quick tips and guidelines from venues to everything that you need for a wedding.
How To Plan Your Wedding In Chennai?
Irrespective of whether you do the wedding planning by yourself or rely on wedding planners, here is a simple guide to planning a memorable wedding in Chennai:
- Shortlist wedding date/dates – The wedding venues in Chennai have a high demand for auspicious/muhurtham dates. Hence, it is better to have 2-3 alternate dates ready before you start scouting for venues.
- Prioritize your wedding needs – Intimate or extravagant, traditional or trendy? It’s probably best to start with your wedding goals.
- Prepare a rough guest list – A preliminary estimate of guest count will help you scale the wedding and set a budget. Segregate the list as “primary” who are very close and are sure to attend and “secondary” who may be invited. The guest count will define which venue to look for and other budgets.
- Make the wedding budget – Your wedding budget will decide the rest of the wedding arrangements. Make a realistic one considering the current market rates.
- Create a checklist & timeline – Use a wedding planning checklist and assign a time frame to each task which will help you plan, track and coordinate all the wedding details.
- Shortlist the venues and vendors – Narrow down the venues that match your wedding style (indoor or outdoor etc), budget and can accommodate the guest count you have in hand. Similarly, enquire about photographers, decorators, makeup artists etc and shortlist a few that you like.
- Finalize them well in advance – There is no better way to judge a place than personally visiting it. And when you find the one that “fits your bill”, don’t hesitate to block it right away! ‘Cause auspicious dates are extremely busy and you don’t want to be losing a venue that you liked while you decide on it!
Also Read: DO’s and DON’Ts while planning a wedding
Planning a wedding in Chennai comes with its own set of challenges. Wedding Planners are much sought after mainly for the very same reason. Knowing the range of options available in Chennai, what suits for what and the actual price range that they fall in, etc., let these wedding planners get the best options for you.
Being in Chennai’s wedding industry for about 4 years now, having helped planning over 2000 weddings, at BigFday, we have had the pleasure of working with almost all the hotels and the best of wedding professionals in Chennai. This has enabled us to learn a lot about wedding planning. And, what better way to use it than sharing it with Chennaites?
Read on and you should be able to better plan your wedding to your liking and save tons of expenses!
Ultimate Checklist To Plan Your Wedding In Chennai!
As the wedding checklist piles up, it can lead to stress and panic. But fret not! Here are answers to your “what, when, and how” queries of wedding planning in Chennai!
- Venues – Start early
- Decor – Style Vs Budget
- Photography – Just like your Pins & Insta saves
- Bridal Makeup – Choose the one that suits your skin the best
- Wedding Wear – Shop, Shop, Shop!
- Jewellery – Invest for your lifetime
- Invites – Define your wedding style
- Gifts – Utility always win
There are like 1500+ plus venues in Chennai. However, if you detail your requirements in terms of the number of people, budget, area preference, etc., you’ll have just enough venues to shortlist and visit. Defining your requirements is probably the most important thing to do because otherwise, you’ll end up checking availability, bargaining prices only to find it not being good enough.
Also, make sure to check out the prices from various sources possible before shortlisting the venues. Because sometime you might have a friend who knows a friend in the banquet hall or mandapam who could get you some impressive discounts. And that venue you might not even have shortlisted earlier because it was beyond your budget.
We face this very often at BigFday. We have contracted discounts with almost all the 500+ venues we work with going up to 45% discounts. So we end up getting venues for our guests that they didn’t even consider earlier because it was beyond their budget.
After defining your requirements, you need to start exploring the venues immediately. How early you book a venue is important for various reasons. And then you should also decide between hosting the wedding in a mandapam or a banquet hall. Here are a few quick tips on these.
How Early Should I Book The Wedding Venue?
Usually, for muhurtham dates, the venues, especially the good ones, are booked well ahead in advance. When we dig out the data of the wedding enquiries we have got, we discovered that on an average people start looking for venues 3 months prior to the wedding date. Although there are cases where people inquire for and confirm the venues like 9 to 11 months prior. When there are only a handful of venues that fit your requirements and expectations, why take chances, right?
However, if you are not venue specific then maybe booking closer to the wedding date could work to your advantage! The probability of the venue getting another booking in such a short time is minimal. Thus you can negotiate for a lot better price with the venue.
What Type Of Wedding Venue Should I Choose?
Chennai wedding venue spectrum is really diverse with a lot of indoor and outdoor venue options. It not only covers conventional ones like Kalyana mandapams, banquet halls in star hotels, outdoor spaces but also has some unique spaces. Similarly, they cater to different budgets.
Indoor – Kalyana Mandapams Vs Banquet Halls Vs Party Halls
The major difference between Kalyana Mandapams and Banquet Halls is that the pricing is different. Mandapams/Marriage Halls has the hall rent as a fixed component and variable costs normally include catering, electricity consumption, cleaning, housekeeping etc. Banquet Halls that are attached to hotels has a per plate pricing. All the costs are included in that. You only pay for the number of plates used (Never the number of people). Party Halls are usually a mix of both. You can pay per plate if you opt for in-house catering or you can rent out the hall alone and bring your own caterer.
- Guest Count
The main factor to consider while deciding the type of indoor venues to is the guest count. Kalyana Mandapams are usually for hosting a large wedding. Of course, there are Banquet Halls in hotels that can accommodate a large number of people and Kalyana Mandapams that are meant for small crowds. So considering the next factor would help you decide. If the guest count is more like 50 to 200 or so, party halls are better options. It seems quite viable for intimate functions with a limited guest list
- Type/Quality of food
If you wish to have a highly customized menu, renting a marriage hall and hiring a caterer is of advantage. Also, you’ll be able to offer a wide range of varieties in the menu. Banquet halls typically have 15 to 17 items in the menu which is usually good enough spread to offer. Having a larger spread than that might offer a better variety but quite a good chunk of food might get wasted. So the amount should be planned accordingly.
Banquet Halls in Hotels usually have a better ambience than Mandapams. Doing a simple stage decor itself would suffice to have a very good ambience. Especially the 5-star Hotels come with its own grandeur and looks. However, except for 5 Star Banquet Halls, they usually have just enough space to do stage decor. And better ceiling height the hall has, more flexibility you get when you want to do a grand decor. In Mandapams, however, you have a bigger stage and thus it allows you to do extensive decorations.
Banquet Halls are always a good option if you are looking for standardized service. Just as mentioned earlier, the per plate price you pay at the Banquets include all the costs like the rent, food, service, housekeeping, electricity, parking, etc. With Kalyana Mandapams, you need to find the vendor for catering, servicing, etc, which most of the time comes as a package. But more people you have to coordinate and monitor, less time you spend in celebrating one of the most important days of your/your children’s lives.
Are you inviting more guests from out of Chennai? Go for Hotels as you can get better service and experience with the accommodation in rooms. Mandapams do have rooms but if its more than for a day, then food sessions become an issue.
Outdoor Venues In Chennai
A lavish lawn reception or a colourful poolside mehendi ceremony or a romantic beach wedding – outdoor wedding ceremonies are simply romantic! In fact, outdoor venues provide an open canvas for creative wedding decorations. Needless to mention, the natural scenery makes for great photo backdrops.
With a huge coastline to its advantage, Chennai is quite popular for beach/destination weddings. However, the monsoon period of July-December is not suitable for planning an outdoor wedding in Chennai. Likewise, decoration and lighting costs may be high for this type of venue. Also, you may incur an extra cost for renting chairs, tables and portable restrooms.
Couples have become ever more creative and are opting for wedding decorations that are personal and reflects their tastes. And why not? Wedding decor is one of the best ways to let your personalities truly shine on your big day. Here is a simple guide to help you find the perfect wedding decor:
- Determine a wedding theme/style/colour scheme – First and foremost step is to shortlist some ideas for the ultimate look. Basically, it is the feeling you want your wedding to evoke. For example, a royal-themed wedding in traditional style and bright colours.
- Decide on the decor budget – The choice of your wedding decoration elements will largely depend on your budget. For example, the seasonal local flowers will be used for floral decorations if you are tight on budget.
- Always keep the venue in mind – Once you have decided the decor style, consider your wedding venue. The wedding decor must essentially complement the venues existing decor. If the venue already has some striking interiors or lighting etc then take advantage of it.
Also Read: Decode Your Wedding Decoration Needs!
There are hundreds of wedding decorators in Chennai and it’s utterly important you do your homework before shortlisting them. Check out their work on their social channels like Instagram and Facebook, read the reviews etc. Having a good number of followers and engagement will give you an idea about the standards.
Your wedding album is what you will have in future to relive the precious moments of your big day. And your wedding photographer is the magician who’s going to preserve your story and rewind the day for you in pixels. Hence, it is important to choose the right wedding photographer.
Google search is a good source for your preliminary research of photographers. However, the list is going to be long! BigFday, however, can connect you the top wedding photographers depending on your requirements, budget and preferred photography style. It will help to narrow down your selections. Some of the factors to consider while evaluating them are:
- Portfolio – Each photographer is unique – their editing techniques differ, some are indoor experts, while others excel in outdoor shoots. A photographers portfolio will speak volumes about his style, quality, consistency etc. Browse through their work will give you an idea if they match your expectations.
- Client Reviews – Online reviews and a social media presence are sorts of ‘trust labels’.
- Rapport – Striking a bond with your wedding photographer is necessary if you want relaxed and natural images.
- Budget – Keep an eye on your budget! Knowing how good they are, will help to skim down the choice but wedding photographers cost money. So while choosing, try to strike a balance between quality and your budget.
How Much Does Wedding Photography Cost In Chennai?
Since the pricing depends on your requirements like if you want photo and/or video, candid and/or traditional services, it’s difficult to arrive at approximate pricing. So for a reception, if you are looking for only traditional photo and video, good photographers will cost you from about Rs.30,000 and above. And in terms of the maximum it could go up to, the sky is the limit. The expertise of the photographer, the brand name also sometimes influence pricing but only to a minimal extent. Typically, the wedding photography cost is about 10% of your total wedding budget.
Like most wedding-related decisions, there isn’t a thumb rule reply for bridal makeup too. However, the makeup artist you pick can really make or break your look. No doubt that Instagram and Pinterest can be a great place to get ideas. However, it should not be the only source! While selecting a makeup artist, you need to keep in mind your taste and style in makeup. If subtle makeup is your thing, look go for someone who creates such looks often. Referring to their work on their social pages can help here. Makeup artists also have their own signature style. Thankfully, you have the option of a makeup trial. Even if it is time-consuming and costs you extra money, its worth it. It offers you a chance to understand is the artist is able to envision and replicate the look you desire.
How Much Does Bridal Makeup Cost In Chennai?
The bridal makeup pricing depends on the skill of the makeup artist, the intricacy of makeup and hairstyle and the makeup technique you’d like. The average bridal makeup and hair-do cost in Chennai are around Rs. 15,000 but typically ranges from Rs.10,000 to Rs.25,000. Likewise, bridal mehndi packages start at Rs. 2500. You can save money or get a better deal by bundling hair and makeup services.
A few makeup artists whose bridal work are worth following on their Facebook and Instagram pages are MUA Ibrahim, Noor Ahmed, Akriti Sachdev, Prakruti Anand etc. For more details follow our blog on bridal makeup artists in Chennai.
Shopping for wedding outfits isn’t an easy task. Be it a silk saree or designer gown; bespoke suit or dapper sherwani, we expect nothing but the best. Thankfully, Chennai will not disappoint you if you are looking for rich textiles, bespoke couture and designer labels. So here are our recommendations for wedding attire shopping in Chennai.
- Silk Sarees – Chennai is probably your next best option to shop for Kanjeevaram sarees after Kanchipuram itself. T Nagar, Nungambakkam and Anna Nagar are popular bridal shopping destinations in Chennai. Some of the top shops for grand weaves are Pothys, Nalli Silks, RMKV, Sundari Silks, Palam Silks and Tulsi.
- Bridal Lehenga – From big labels to small boutiques and everything in between, Chennai has some really amazing stores for ethnic bridal wear. Kalaniketan, Neeru’s Boutique, Kay, Moksha, Kataria’s and NVY are known for their exclusive bridal collection.
- Bridal Gown – Unlike a saree, finding the right bridal gown means finding the one which perfectly compliments your body type. Refer to our blog on top bridal gown designers in Chennai for more details.
- Groomwear – Wedding trends reveal that grooms are increasingly keen to pick outfits to complement his bride. From fancy to conventional, Chennai has some great options. Refer to our blog on bespoke wedding suits and ethnic wear in Chennai for the groom.
Jewellery is an important aspect of the bridal trousseau. The antique temple jewellery collection is quite popular among the brides for the muhurtham look. The contemporary brides prefer diamond and other precious and semiprecious jewellery with for reception.
- Gold Jewellery – GRT, Kalyan Jewellers, Lalitha, Vummidi Bangaru Jewellery, Khazana Jewellers, Jeyachandran Gold House and Saravana Stores Gold Palace.
- Fashion Jewellery – If you don’t wish to invest in heavy jewellery then you can consider jewellery rental. You can try Swarnam Jewellery, Swarna Prabhu Jewellery or Sagunthala Jewellers in T Nagar, S K Jewellery in Pondy Bazaar for latest designs.
Wedding Invitation Cards
Your wedding invitation is a precursor of how your wedding day is going to look like for your guests. Whether you are looking for a designer card which is no less than a piece of art or a bespoke theme based card, the invitation makers in Chennai offer them all. From simple to natural, creative to playful, laser cut to calligraphy, there are too many options. Lotus, Kaelodos, Shubh Cards, Varda etc are some of the popular places for wedding cards in Chennai.
Also Read: Top Wedding Invitation Designers In Chennai!
Wedding Favours And Gifts
If you want to give online shopping a miss and carefully handpick the return gifts for your guests then it is indeed a great idea! are quite a rage these days. Hit up these gift stores in Chennai to order personalized wedding keepsakes for your guests.
Hassle-free and fun event planning is truly our passion! Our planning team won’t rest until we help you discover the perfect venue and host a memorable event. Enquire with us about venues with exclusive packages and top wedding service professionals in Chennai.
Also published on Medium.