Booking Your Pandit (Priest)

When planning an Indian wedding, the pandit or priest, is one of the most important vendors to book. You may choose a family pandit or a local one that is well known in the community. There are certain questions you need to ask when interviewing and deciding on a pandit to make sure that everyone is on the same page for your wedding.

Here are some questions to ask your pandit:

-Does he have a contract- most don’t but it is important to have an agreement in writing to refer to if any questions arise.

-Do you have to provide travel and accommodations or will he take care of that on his own?

-Does he need meals provided to him?

-Will he have anyone with them (i.e. an assistant)? Sometimes the pandit comes with one or two assistants.

-Does he have a set program that he follows and can he give you the order of events? Each pandit follows a slightly different order of events.

-Does he follow the program exactly or is it more of a guideline? Check if he bounces around the program or if he follows it exactly. This may affect the length of the ceremony.

-How long is the ceremony? Can he do a shorter ceremony?

-Do you have to provide the items needed to perform the ceremony or will he bring everything?Ask him for a list of items needed for the ceremony and ask him what he will bring so there is no confusion on the day of the wedding.

-What is the agreed upon price? Although the pandit may leave this up to your discretion, you don’t want him to come back with a price out of your budget that he says is his “normal” fee.

-Can he perform your pre-wedding pujas?

-Consider how well he speaks English if that is an important criteria for you.

Whomever you choose, make sure you are comfortable with his services and you both understand what has been agreed upon for the ceremony. Choosing the right pandit is the hard part; after that, he will then guide you through the rest so you can enjoy your day!

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