Diaries

Published on November 4th, 2012

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The wedding story makers

Mumbai is gradually replacing the old mausajis who take care of details at the wedding mandap, by smart, all-involved wedding planners.
by Ritika Bhandari

Part III of the Shaadi Mubarak Diaries

When Shama and Ramith Sharma decided to get married, little did they know what lay in store for them. From booking wedding venues to deciding on a decorator, to getting the innumerable licenses for the band, instead of enjoying the memorable occasion – everything had them screaming with stress.

Had the Sharmas watched the recent Bollywood hit Band Baaja Baaraat, they would have known better and hired a wedding planner. Neha Shroff of Momente Planners says, “With today’s hectic lifestyles, it becomes difficult to plan an entire wedding. To incorporate this changing schedule in your normal lifestyle is a task. So hiring a wedding planner works as the couple and their families can then handle the details.”

Introducing a wedding planner from the first stage of the marriage preparations helps in the long run-up to D-day. While the couple relaxes, the planners wear the anxious faces as they get involved in the minute details of the wedding rigmarole. Shroff says, “With a proper budget allocation, finalising the venues and the theme and design of the wedding becomes easier. Handling the caterers, decorators, florists, entertainers, the mehndi and makeup artists to the choreographer for the Sangeet, everything is handled by the wedding planner.”

Farida Venkat of Amante Wedding Planners says, “From A to Z, a wedding planner has his hands full with the invitation designs, gifts, menu selection to trousseau suggestions. We coordinate everything from the moment the baaraat arrives till the bride’s bidaai ceremony.” It also depends on the couple to see how involved they want the wedding planners to be.

Research analyst Neerja Shah hired a wedding planner to gift herself an entire new wardrobe. “I wanted my trousseau to be unique. And the shopping part of the preparations never tired me, so I shopped with the help of the personal stylist provided by my wedding planner.” Momente Planners provide jewellery services through their sister concern ‘Utsokt’, which specialises in creating one-of-a kind varmalas.

With destination weddings being the flavour of the season, a wedding planner definitely comes in handy. But the main niggling question is the increase in budget while hiring a planner. On this, Ruchita Parelkar of SR Event Planners says, “We believe hiring a planner is a cost-effective approach for a couple. If you have dreamed of a fairytale wedding, then we come in to bring your visualisation to life. We come to couples as their friends and provide them something different.”

So what requests do planners usually get? While Farida believes that every couple is a special one and complying with their demands helps to make their dream wedding possible, Ruchita says, “We have got requests like using only white candles on the wedding ground or getting a bridal outfit which is a combination of olive green, dark maroon and white!” She remembers having to outsource invisible chains from Dubai to hold tents, as the family didn’t want a shabby tent held up by ropes.

With the hectic lifestyle that symbolises Mumbai, couples need the relaxation and breathing space provided by wedding planners. Farida says, “Every person wants to be involved in their wedding preparations and chaos. So if you share this vision with a wedding planner, they will make sure that all the elements are encapsulated and you end up enjoying the wedding.”

‘Diaries’ is a series of stories on a single issue. The ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ Diaries aim to capture the essence of the wedding season in Mumbai. Part III is the concluding part of this series.

 

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