For weddings and event planning, 2020 has been unlike any other year. The ‘new normal’ we’re facing has been met with cancellation, re-scheduling, and a massive change from in-person to virtual events—and that’s just the beginning. As we prepare for the next phase, one thing is for certain: there are multiple things to consider when planning an event in the near future.

So, we invited Ambika Gupta, Event Designer and Entrepreneur, to host an Ask Me Anything session for the Malini’s Girl Tribe and help us trudge into areas that are unfamiliar. Ambika answered all questions related to planning a wedding such as finding the perfect venue, onsite logistics to ensure safety, choosing an event layout that allows for social distancing, preparing for the unexpected, planning the budget, trends to keep in mind, etc. Scroll down to read all about it!

Q. If you have a small budget, how do you make sure it’s still a realistic one?Setting a budget alongside what you expect your wedding to look like is very important. Talking to your wedding planner and understanding what can be done within your budget is important. Hiring someone with good aesthetics is important, so the ambience and different aspects of the wedding are kept alive and as you want. But the planner will help you in sourcing things that fit your budget while maintaining the aesthetic. You can hire a planner who is maybe two to three years into their career and whose aesthetic you like. So, they have a fair amount of experience at events and crisis management (you need someone who can handle adverse situations), and someone in that experience range will be easy on your pocket as well. Alternatively, if you have time on hand and you like to plan or are a control freak, a fair amount of research can be done by visiting wedding portals and isolating vendors you like in your place or destination for the wedding. You can also meet the local flower, lights and other vendors in the city and check out their reviews. But that involves a fair amount of time and effort. I would advise you to hire an event planner/ consultant who can guide you properly and knows the industry and good vendors. Trust me, you will save a lot of money by hiring the right person who can also help you save costs.

Q. I want to keep the waste generated through my wedding to the minimal, what can I do?I’d suggest the following:

  • Go for e-invites, it’s the best way to save money.
  • Use potted plants with macrame. These can be reused for house decor later.
  • Get paper origami hangings.
  • Go for Sadhya service (South-Indian style).
  • Get an NGO on board to give giveaways from recycled things.
  • Tie up with a firm like India Wasted or Robin Hood Army to recycle waste and give leftover food to the needy. India Wasted can even recycle flowers to develop incense sticks that can be used for your own home.
  • If using flowers, use Indian flowers instead of western flowers. This results in a huge cost cut.
  • Wear your mum’s saree and style it according to today’s trends (clothes cause a huge waste).
  • Opt for greens instead of flowers in any way or form to cut costs.

What’s your biggest concern when it comes to planning an event during a pandemic? Please share it with us in the comments below.

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