or 7 ways to cut corners and trim costs during your marriage

As with any kind of investment, marriages have also taken a hit during the recent financial crisis. Couples are likely to postpone their wedding plans more than ever. Big fat weddings are gradually turning into tiny anorexic affairs. Although I’ve also read conflicting reports about marriages actually being on the rise in some places. Maybe that joke doing the rounds that “the situation is so bad that women are actually marrying for love nowadays” has some truth in it. Whatever be the case, for people willing to walk the plank tie the knot I’ve devised a few tips for saving money during and after the marriage. And yeah, these tips are more suitable for an Indian style wedding.

With apologies to Gabriel Garcia Marquez for plagiarizing the title, here is the collection of best practices. I do not claim a copyright on these techniques, but just in case you plan to implement any of them, do invite me to your marriage. I promise I won’t hog.

Tips for a recessionary marriage

  1. Invite all your guests using email. It will save a lot on effort and resources while designing, printing and distributing wedding cards. And if you have a friend like me who can use Photoshop, you can probably pay him, or give him a invite him to the wedding as well. This “email shaadi card” trend is already gaining popularity with the IT crowd, what with every one sending one with the post script, “consider this mail as a personal invitation.” What do you want me to do? Print it out and show it at the entrance when I come to your wedding?
  2. If the pundit has agreed to agreed to a unit rate contract, then you can make do with 3-4 pheras. Of course, value for money is paramount in a recession so if you can convince the pundit to go for a fixed price contract, it will work out in your favour. Be sure to extract maximum value by running around the holy fire a couple of times more to strengthen the bond with your better half all the better.
  3. If if doesn’t hurt your ego too much, get rid of the white horse for your baaraat. Hire a mule, get it painted white and jump on it. The mule will be able to handle your weight for a longer duration and you can probably make it go round the wedding hall a couple of times before entering.
  4. Serve limited meals during the reception. Consider a choice between a couple of rotis, or a handful of rice. Prominently display Gandhiji’s famous saying – “Eat to live, do not live to eat” near the food counters. People wanting to eat more can buy an unlimited meal coupon by paying Rs 50 at the gift counter.
  5. Skip the sweets. Lifestyle based diseases are on the rise in the middle and upper class Indian households, according to a recent report by KPMG. Why should you add to the guests’ medical bill by spoiling their sweet tooth?
  6. Go for a combo engagement-wedding. Saves time on rent for the wedding hall and people, food, transportation etc. Even your guests will be impressed by this innovative double-bill feature.
  7. The Indian tourism industry is in tatters. Cancel your flight tickets to that exotic travel destination and book a ticket to that lonely ignored hill station within the country. Must I remind you to go for the Sleeper compartment in the train?

December is the month of marriages in India. Although it is still some time way, if the economy doesn’t stabilize, one may really need to cut back on spending. Like these, they can be many more ways to cut corners and save some more bucks. Maybe you the reader can contribute more of such tips and help a few adventurous couples take the next logical(?) step in their life together. So until the next recessionary cycle, here’s wishing all such souls a happily married life.