As an introduction, let me mention that our magazine, Wedding Affair, is a quarterly, which as the name indicates, deals with various aspects of wedding and marriages along with a healthy spattering of fashion and lifestyle. It was Meher Sarid who gave me your name.
As I had mentioned over the telephone, here is a brief idea of the angle I wish to take for the article on wedding planners and the questions for which I need answers from you.
The storyline, instead of being a dry comprehensive listing of all wedding planners in the country can be a lively, interactive one. This will be achieved by quoting various individuals, on the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner (these will be high profile people who have had a wedding in the family recently), quoting funny incidents, events, in this connection and also the language used.
It would be therefore kind of you - if you could send me an answers to the following questions. Your answers can be as long as you want them to be, no word limits.
Really sorry about the delay , somehow this mail kept going to and fro , without actually reaching my mail box !!
I am going to give you a run through on all the questions , in case you need any more details , do call.
When did you foray into weddings?
My foray into weddings was quite by accident , it was in the late eighties /early nineties , I had just finished my mass communications , and had gone to USВ IВ have most of my family and friends there , while browsing forВ a specialized course in event management , I came across this diploma in wedding management being offered at ColumbiaВ University , strange though it may sound I had no clue what this was except that it sounded interesting and different , so I signed up for it .
I was staying in New Jersey , and doing this course , when by sheer coincidence I met one of the neighbours , a Spanish lady , who was aвЂќwedding coordinator вЂњ , she was looking for a person to help her with an Indian royalty theme , those days movies like вЂ FAR PAVILIONS вЂ had been released and India .. and the Raj was the flavour in the west esp in US, always ready for a challenge , something new , something innovative and different , I plunged into it!!
Soon after I came back to India , being the first person to have qualified in wedding management , and all set to launch my career as a wedding coordinator except that there was one big problem , unlike today when weddings have evolved into such a major industry , and a mega event , then nobody had an idea what the term meant , and what exactly a coordinator was supposed to do вЂ¦..so I had a dual task of both educating and implementing , I enjoyed it thoroughly , and soon established myself as the core person at every wedding I organized , a person around whom the whole paraphernalia of the wedding revolves , thatвЂ™s exactly what a wedding coordinator is вЂ¦.
What exactly does planning a wedding involve - please elaborate.
It is perhaps retrograde to think back to those cliched nostalgic days when a marriage meant a family gathering of close friends and relatives, announced by a simple wedding card, where the guests were served the traditional Indian cuisine, and gifts, if any, for the вЂњbaraatis вЂњentailed slipping in some cash into a plain envelope.
The trend today is thematic. Weddings these days have become the focal point where tradition and modernity coexist, and if you are ready to be innovative, and have the money to spend; you can have a designer wedding in any theme of your choice.
Weddings today involve large-scale and complex activities , and there are many areas that need to be ideally planned and organised at least three to four months , and if possible , six months in advance , all that is required is a little organisation and plenty of hard work .
Hence ,Wedding planning involves everything from venue selection to planning , guest list and invitations , menu planning , coordination with caterers , wedding photography , the flowers and dГ©cor , the tent wallas , the ghodi and shenai , trousseau planning and presentation , the cake and the gifts , transportation and boarding for the guests to the planning of the honeymoon.
Do you outsource some of the services or is everything provided inhouse?
The role one plays as a wedding consultant requires sourcing , coordination and supervision of all services and facilities associated with a wedding , we do source services limke catering etc , however my company , creative explosions is equipped to handle complete themes , dГ©cor and packaging , so most of the design and creative jobs are done inhouse.
What can be the cost of a single wedding - if you provide them with all the services?
The costs for a wedding is totally dependent upon the client , there have been times when we have done a whole theme and dГ©cor exclusive of catering for 10 lakhs , on the contrary at times the flowers alone have costed 14 lakhs at a wedding !!
Name some of your high profile clients.
HAVE BEEN INDUSTRIALISTS IN BOTH India and abroad , cannot give names as most clients do like to keep this bit confidential
Your favouritge wedding so far....
HAS BEEN THIS ABSOLUTELY DREAMY WEDDING WE DID IN Ludhaina , in peach and white with pearls , crystals and lace , the theme was Victorian , and not just us , but all the guests felt they had been transported to another era .. !!
7. A dream wedding that you would want to organise, given a free rein to your imagination would be (look) like...
I LIKE RESEARCHING INTO HISTORY , FOR ME THEREFORE A THEME RELATING TO REVIVAL BE IT A MUGHAL PERIOD , OR GREEK , EGYPTIAN WOULD BE PERFECT .
8.Some anecdotes, happenings, bizzare events in any of the weddings organised by you so far, that would make for interesting reading...
Several interesting bits but the craziest was my first one вЂ¦ I had decided to do an ethnic Indian theme , in the early nineties that was so original ,В I had just returned from US and I used a whole lot of wooden beds вЂњkhatiasвЂќ upside down to make a ceiling , imagine what a state of shock I WAS IN WHEN JUST TWO HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY DADIJI OF THE FAMILY ROLLED IN TO INFORM THAT A HATIA IS MOUNTED THAT WAY AT A MOUNING CEREMONY AND NOT A WEDDING !!
ThatвЂ™s when I decided to first get into the study of all our rituals and customs , India being such a diverse country with so many communities and religions , and weddings the most important event in the a FAMILYвЂ™S LIFE , its very vital to do few but very personalised weddings .
9. Your USP...
вЂњvery very persolised serviceвЂќ, for me every wedding has to be one where you become part of the family , and you organise it from the heart , and not just as another event to be performed. .
10. What is the general scenario as far as wedding planners are concerned in the country...
That's all for now. After receiving your answers, if I feel the need for clarification, I'll ask again...