2 Important Conversations To Have Before You Start Wedding Planning

Raj Desai | Updated 11/6/22

Raj Desai | Updated 11/6/22

Writer and walking encyclopedia for South Asian weddings. Designer of South Asian party goods.

It’s the moment your parents have been waiting for since the day you graduated high school—you’re engaged!!!! 🍾

Cue the beginning of a simultaneously exciting and stressful period in your life: wedding planning.

Some stressors are inevitable (ahem, overbearing parents and overzealous extended family). But others, like structuring your engagement and knocking out all of your wedding-related tasks, don’t have to be.


And having been through this process myself, there are 2 critical things that you need to talk about–*with* your partner and all the parents, not just to yourself (👁️ I see you)–before you do ANYTHING else: budget and priorities.


Look, I’m not saying that this is going to magically remove every speed bump and hiccup leading up to your wedding day. 


But if you want planning to be as frictionless as possible with your most important people, like your partner, your parents, and your future in-laws, this is the way to do it. 

1. Budget, Budget, Budget

It’s not the most fun part of wedding planning, but it is the most necessary. Kick things off with a meeting between all parties who are contributing financially and lock down a budget.

Use the overall budget and apply the following percentages to get a ballpark figure how much you want to spend on each vendor category. This will simplify your search for vendors who fit nicely into your budget.

*Miscellaneous = mehndi artist, officiant, wedding party apparel, baraat company. Estimations derived from an analysis of Indian American weddings from the past 5 years.

Keep in mind that these percentages are estimations. Your budget for each vendor may change based off of the quality of vendors in your area, *or* priorities from the VIPs (you, your partner, and the wedding bank rollers). 


For example, if wedding décor is more important than having a detail-oriented planner, you may opt for something more affordable, like a day-of coordinator or a planning concierge service, so that you can upgrade your décor package.

2. Establish Everyone's Priorities

Your mom wants a chocolate fountain at the dessert table (👈🏾 my mom at my wedding). Your future MIL wants the final say on your partner’s wedding outfits.


Your dad’s only concern is top-shelf liquor for your open bar (f* yeah, Dad!). Your future FIL can’t stop talking about a live dosa station.


Your partner’s all about finding an amazing DJ and dhol player. And you’re dreaming of a bridal baraat entrance for the books.


Everyone’s priorities are going to be different.

Take the time early on to hear what’s important to everyone (meaning the people who are payin’) because, hate it or love it, your wedding is NOT just about you. It IS possible to figure out ways to combine or compromise on each priority so that everyone is happy. 


On the other hand, maybe one of those priorities makes your skin crawl (hello, chocolate fountain) and you’re finding it hard to compromise or communicate. 


This is where a culturally competent, patient, and experienced full-service planner can be helpful. Maybe that means rethinking your budget (see how this all connects?!) so you can up what you spend on a planner and decrease what you spend for a different, lesser priority vendor (like your baraat company).

Depending on your family dynamic, these can be uncomfortable conversations to have. But if you want to avoid heated and emotional fights with your core people down the line, tackle this 2 discussions first. 


Raj Desai

Content strategist and UX writer who’s been researching and writing about weddings for 5 years. Addicted to Netflix, dirty martinis, and naps.

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