Shereene, marketing professional and event planner & sanu, dj and Musician
SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: Indian-American music fun-fest destination wedding in NOLA!
PLANNED BUDGET: $60,000
ACTUAL BUDGET: $59,000
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 266
LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana
Where we allocated the most funds:
Fun and food were our priority. We wanted our guests to have a true New Orleans experience, so we had Cajun-style food catered for our Thursday rehearsal dinner, Friday traditional Indian pre-wedding event (Mylanchi and Chanthamcharth), and the reception. Premium alcohol was also a must, so that was a splurge. The wedding day events were in downtown New Orleans, so the venues were easily walkable and convenient. Friday night we had an event fifteen minutes away, so we made sure to take care of our guests and arranged a shuttle. We wanted everyone to leave with great memories, so we had a slow-motion booth, which everyone had a blast with!
Where we allocated the least funds:
We chose very simple decor, with only personal flowers and candle decor at the reception. Our ceremony was at a historical cathedral, so we left it as is and looking at the photos now, we are so happy with that decision. I borrowed my veil and all of jewelry from my mom and my bridesmaids. I tried to be as economical as possible and purchase items that I could use again.
What was totally worth it:
The party and capturing all of the memories! Everyone had so much fun and were on the dance floor the whole time or acting a fool in the slow-motion booth. I think everyone appreciated having it in the city with all of the venues near each other so that they could have a true New Orleans experience. We hired amazing vendors and flew down a DJ and day-of coordinator. Although there was extra expense with flights and accommodations, we were put at ease knowing we had trusted friends working the two parts of our wedding we are usually working.
What was totally not worth it:
There were several arguments during the planning process that I wish we could have avoided. It’s so hard with two different families let alone very different people planning a wedding. In the end it’s about the union of two people, but sometimes you can get caught up in the things that don’t really matter.
A few things that helped us along the way:
Since both of us work in the industry, that experience was so helpful. We had all of the past weddings under our belt to help us make decisions and figure out the best solutions. Our families really made our weddings as well. Even though we had everything planned way in advance, there will always be last-minute unexpected issues, and that’s when you have to rely on these amazing people when the stress is high!
My best practical advice for my planning self:
Start early and be present. Don’t go through the motions just to get it done because before you know it, it’s done. Also, get sleep—as much sleep as possible!
Favorite thing about the wedding:
Everyone we love meeting each other and making friends.
Something else We’d Like to share:
We are Indian-American Catholics, so we really wanted to merge both cultures and for our wedding to feel like us. We are a fun couple that loves to party and have a good time. Our pictures capture exactly that, us smiling and enjoying the day. Tradition paired with musical performances of Indian drumming, brass band, street performers, and choreographed dances made our wedding truly us.