DATED : 13 June 2013 [Edit on 29th Jan 14]
Are you looking for cost of hosting a Wedding in Goa?
Did you know this is being searched by atleast 500 other couples every month who have just thought of planning a wedding in Goa but want to keep start point as the cost associated. If it looks like within the budget, more time would be spent on exploring the possible Hotels, venues, suppliers, wedding planners etc.
Since I face this question atleast 5 times a day over emails and phone calls, I decided to do a small bit about how costing works and what should be an approximate budget which you should consider before getting serious about the idea and investing time into research. Read on …
I am assuming you are a group of minimum 60-70 people, looking for atleast 2/3 night stay in Goa preferably all of you staying together, you would want a good 5* Resort or a very good 4* Resort or even a popular 3* Hotel closer to Beach, major wedding festivities like Mehndi/Sangeet/Ceremony/Reception etc to be planned at same location or may be one of the events outside, you may not have idea of the possible options for stay and venues, how would decoration work, are there any good suppliers in Goa, how about Photo & video … and so on, this is a typical requirement.
Without overwhelming yourself with too many ideas, lets have a close look at what are the major cost components while you plan a destination wedding in Goa.
1. Stay / Accommodation
Well this is one major element which can eat up to 50% of total budget if you are paying for everone’s stay (mostly the case with Indian families), if not you might still be paying up for the stay of close family and relatives.
Most of the good Resorts which are located right on the beach are rated as 5* and 5* deluxe for example Taj Exotica, Leela, Hyatt, Zuri, Holiday Inn etc. These Hotels have huge Inventory of 150 Rooms on an average but most of the Rooms are pre booked by the Travel Agents & charter holiday makers who travel in groups. So if you are looking for more than 60 Rooms at one Resort during Oct-March you might have issue with availability even though you are ready to pay.
5* Deluxe Resorts which are top of the line would be atleast 15000 + Tax (tax rates differ from Hotel to Hotel but could be anywhere from 5 to 18%) which could possibly include breakfast and Airport transfers by Coaches. You might even get discounts on Spa/Laundry etc as a deal.
5* Resorts (Rooms, services, facilities and quality is 25% compromised than top of line) could be anything from Rs. 9000 + Tax onwards while 4* Resorts which are not many in numbers could range anywhere from Rs. 5000 to 7000 + Tax
3* Resorts are not located on the beach and could be a walk away, Rs. 4000 to 6000 + Tax is a good price to pay.
Anything below this would be very basic
You might be interested in reading about Apartments and Villas in Goa, how do they work for weddings. Read here ..
Above rates are valid from October till March, while during April to September you may get 25-35% discounted rates.
Tip : You may do a quick Google and find several Hotel booking websites where you may come across VERY low prices, dont get much excited … these rates are generally available for just a few Rooms and Group bookings are not allowed. Rates may even have no cancellation and 100% pre deposit policy.
Another Tip : If you feel you can explore the right contacts for all the Resorts to negotiate best of deal, go ahead and start mailng/calling them. If not, rely on consolidator/Travel Agents or your wedding planner to do that for you. The Hotels as a policy do not double quote and if you have contacted first, your Travel Agent/ Wedding Planner doesnt not stand a fair chance to negotiate for you.
The Hotels offer to stay an extra Adult or 2 Kids below 12 years in same Room and charge for it.
Calculation of cost is very straight forward
Number of Rooms X Number of Nights X Budget = Cost/budget of stay (approx)
2. Venue, Food & Drinks
Deciding upon the Venue and cost of hiring venue, food and drinks form the second largest component.
Most of the 5* Resorts offer some sort of outdoor or indoor venues, however if required there are independent venues also available in different settings like sea facing lawns, semi private beach area, indoor banqueting halls.
Depending upon the Resort and menu, Gala Lunch/Dinner costs anywhere from Rs. 750 to Rs. 3500 per person, Top Line 5* Resorts have the most exorbitant prices for food which may not guarantee the quality and taste in same proportion.
Regular buffet meals could be anything from Rs. 750 to 2500 per person.
Tip : If you opt to stay at the same Resort where wedding events have to be held, there is some advantage in terms of getting a free of cost venue. Otherwise each and every venue could be on chargeable basis.
Premium venues like one above in picture are charged Rs. 100000 – 200000 for an event.
To calculate cost of Food, you must decide upon how many simple buffet Lunches/Dinners are you hosting and how many events are you planning for a Gala Dinner?
Breakfast 1 : included
Lunch 1 : Not hosting
Dinner 1 : Gala Dinner / BBQ / Themed Dinner ( Rs. 1500-2000 average)
Breakfast 2 : included
Lunch 2 : Regular buffet (Rs. 750 average)
Dinner 2 : Elaborated Dinner for Reception (Rs. 1500-3000 average)
This is per person budget excluding Tax. you can multiple by the number of guests you are expecting in every Meal to get an approximate total.
As far as Drinks (beverages like Water, Soft Drinks, Juices, Liquor, Wine, Mixers etc) are concerned, generally couples opt to pay as per actual consumption. Hotels offer special Bottle rates and do not charge per drink.
Tip : There is also an option of unlimited supply for few hours but its limited to the in house Brands and if there are not many drinkers it may come out costlier options. Resorts these days shy out allowing you to bring in your own Liquor because of licensing issues.
3. The venue setup & decoration
This typically includes setting up the venue, Mandap, floral decoration and arrangements, Welcome entrances, Stages & backdrops, illumination & ambiance lighting, Table decoration, Props, Table linens & runners, dressed chairs with tie back and most of stuff related to it.
Tip : Before you contact a Wedding Planner or a Decorator you should do some research about the style and scale of decor you are visualizing. This would ensure that you are on same page while discussing the budget and costs.
Wedding Planners work with local Decorators and Florists to deliver what you are looking for, they would give you ideas based on your preferences and taste.
Though this component work on your own taste, preferences and budget, just to give you an idea it may typically cost anywhere from Rs. 450000 to Rs. 650000 for the Wedding day and Rs. 350000 onwards for the pre/post wedding events. Completely dependent upon the venue, the scale of decor, flowers used, theme etc.
for a 2-3 days of events earmarking Rs. 700000 to 1000000 is advisable.
If you are taking up a complete Resort and planning to give it a festive look across the days, you must be talking about atleast 20-25 lakhs of budget for this part (100 guests).
Tip : Combining the functions like Mehndi & Sangeet, Wedding Ceremony and Reception Dinner is always a good idea to keep a check on budget.
More Tip : When you are opting for a destination wedding, you are already talking about beautiful aesthetics of place. Try to limit yourself to a minimalistic and tasteful decoration.
4. Music, DJ, Entertainment
Wide variety of choices available from the celebrity DJs with top professionals equipment to the local best of DJs with real good sound & setup from Goan Bands, Gazal Singers, Mimicry Artists to Laser Shows, African Acrobats, Russian Belly Dancers.
All this range from Rs. 15000 to Rs. 500000 per show.
Most of the popular entertainment you would find available locally in Goa as its the hub of Artists and entertainers. If required this could be sourced in from any part of country or even world.
Tip : Consult your family about what kind of shows are you happy with during the wedding festivities. You might even have your own friends & family performing some acts.
These days you require to obtain a PPL and an IPRS license to play any kind of Music in your Wedding/Events. Your Wedding Planner or the Hotel may help in obtaining these licenses from the authorised Agencies in Goa. This is a costlier bit and cost as per the number of guests in gathering. Consider Rs. 39000 per day for this atleast. Remember it is a must to obtain this license, failing to which your Party may be completely ceased.
5. Photography/Video, we call it Story telling
We have worked with not only Indian but top of the line International Photojournalists & Cinematographers and you may even opt for can also local talent. More and more couples are opting for this fresh approach of candid Photography and Wedding Cinematography.
Rs. 100000 to Rs. 250000 per day is pretty much standard rate these days to cover the stills & video for your wedding. Larger the team and more the experience, higher would be the rates.
Ask your wedding planner to suggest you atleast 3 options, see their portfolio and offers and decide on it.
Tip : Its better to have one team for Stills and Video since its cost effective and overall the results are much better. Also along with candid Photography you should opt for atleast 1 assistant Photographer who would do posed shots and make sure all your relatives & friends are covered.
Local Photographers & Video guys (not with candid approach but more of posed ones) using quality HD equipments would also be around Rs. 50000- 100000 per day.
Once you have done the exact itinerary of your wedding festivities, you may ask for a package to cover the entire event.
6. Transportation to Goa & within Goa
Transportation to Goa is generally paid by the guests individually so I would skip it.
Transportation within Goa may be involved from collecting the guests from Airport / Railway Station to transporting them at any outside venues, taking them for trip around to dropping them back for back Home.
You may hire individual Cars for flexibility however if the idea is to travel together you may opt for good 22/32 Air conditioned Coaches.
Cars may cost Rs. 1500 to 3000 per day (Max 80 Kms or 8 hours of running) while A/C Coaches range from Rs. 5000 to 10000 per day.
If there are multiple picking points, you would require a Transport Manager with the Wedding Planner team to ensure things run smooth.
If you are staying at a 5* Resort or a reputed Hotel you shall be forced to hire a Cab from Taxi Association linked with that Resort. They often charge exorbitant rates and this has been one of the pain points in several recent weddings.
Tip : Govt approved Taxi drop off facility at Goa Airport is much more cost effective than hiring a Taxi separately through Hotel for transfers between Airport to Hotel.
7. More costs
You must be tired reading about the costs and have already been into impression that Wedding is a BIG cost already 🙂 , well indeed it is!
There are several elements which would be present as per your preference and budget. Be it Wedding Procession (Baraat), you may ask for an Indian band, a Horse, a Vintage Car or an Elephant or may be happy with a decorated Auto-Rickshaw. Choice is all yours, come out with creative ideas to save cost here.
Beautician, hmmm I know Brides reading this must think it as the TOP priority element!!
There are good Make up Artists and Salon in Goa, you may also opt for some very good ones ex Mumbai. If you happened to visit Goa beforehand, taking up a trial is most recommended. Similar is the case with Mehndi Artists.
Return Favors or Gifts, welcome notes, customized stationary, Fireworks, Wedding Cake, Use & throw Cameras, Chinese Umbrellas, Magician for Kids, baby Sitters, Tarrot Card reader, Astrologer, Caricature Artist, Snake charmer, Live bangle maker ….list is never ending!
Believe me if you are looking to spend even more, there is a possibility of very special suppliers like
A celebrity Saree Draper
Song which is composed for your first dance, just for you! completely unique
Helicopter for Flower shower
Hydraulic remote controlled appearance
Complete Ice decor
All Gold Cutlery (No I am just kidding 🙂 )
so this list of crazy ideas also goes on ..
To wrap it up, if you decide to hire a Wedding Planner who would help you with all the information in details, get more crazy and innovative ideas, manage the suppliers, interact with your guests, be on site to coordinate everything, save you some bucks (or help you taking out worth of every penny spent), you have to incorporate the cost of Wedding Planner as well.
If I am able to impress you by now 🙂 please feel free to ask me to plan and coordinate the wedding for you! Get in touch and I shall share the details about the services and fee.
I hope the above information would help you ascertaining some ballpark figure for the overall budget and how would you like it to be spent into various major components. If you are still not too sure and wish to explore in more details, I am available for consultation without having me hired as Wedding Planner. Check details here ..
Drop in mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch!!
All the best with your wedding planning research ahead …