Band, Baja, Baraat, and the Bride- In conversation with the architects of perfect Nuptials
Marriages in India are always associated with sanctity, smiles, happiness and myriad rituals. They are always premeditated and we have seen instances of parents opening bank accounts for their offspring’s marriage even before the child is born. Indian weddings are always grand exquisite affairs and have always occupied a cardinal status in our society. True that marriages are made in heaven, that’s what our parables state. However, in reality, it takes back-breaking hard work, and ingenious of a person to plan a wedding. If you have watched and contemplated becoming a wedding planner, reality may leave you bewildered as the job profile may not look like the feature of glossy magazines.
In heart-heart conversation with Shubha Kulkarni, a Bangalore based wedding planner who completed 10 years in the industry opens up about the trends prevailing in the industry, marriages in India over the years and growth of the industry. Excerpts:
I: First of all, heartiest congratulations for completing 10 years in an industry which is predominated by men. Hailing from Mysore, which is a small town, it is a great feat. How do you think has the industry evolved over in the last 10 years?
S: When I ventured into the industry, I was skeptical. I had to do a lot of market research before starting my career. The industry was not mature and the demand was low. I had to create awareness among the people about the pros and cons of hiring a planner. Since then. The market has burgeoned and the couples employ us for planning the entire wedding right from pre-wedding rituals to post marriage parties and ceremonies. We, sometimes get overseas clients too. The couple nowadays is usually working or employed and have no time to plan and organize a wedding or are unaware of rituals and customs. This is when we come into the picture. A delegation of duties to us would just ease them of their pressure and they can get more involved in the main ceremonies and create memories rather than menial duties.
I: How the marriages in India have changed over the years? Are big fat Indian weddings a thing even now? What are the prevailing things in the industry?
S: Marriages in India have partially become the ostentatious show of wealth. However, it hasn’t lost its touch. With the love for ‘everything vintage’ ascending, we can hope that this trend will change. From the plot of Bollywood flicks to tinsel town weddings, Destination weddings are the most sought after. Couple prefers Jaipur, Goa, and Kerala to get wed-locked and they are the most trending ones. However, the big fat Indian weddings are always touchstone and my personal favorite.
With India opening up to international cuisines, these exotic dishes have found the place on the wedding platter thus changing the expectations of the millennials.Thai and Burmese cuisines, milk and salad bars, Cocktail fountains and Momos Mountains are the favorites and people ask for customized bars and DJ.
Pre-wedding shoots and teasers are on the go and who doesn’t want to capture their story in 25 frames per second. These wedding teasers and photo shoot always give a Bollywood feel. People nowadays have an inclination for intimacy and are always upbeat about the teasers and trailers. Even the personalized apps are gaining momentum.
I: They say marriage is all about the bride and groom. However, there are countless people involved and their opinions and preference should be taken care of. How to do manage people amidst discharging the responsibilities?
S: If you want to become a successful planner, you have to be A1 at handling people. It’s what everything comes down to. While planning, preferences, and opinions of people are noted and are given heed to and everything is planned to keep in mind the welfare of the elderly, right from seating arrangements to food facilities, if any. We make sure all the rituals and customs are fulfilled and the duties are delegated whilst the family gets busy making memories, which the marriage is all about.
I: A preconceived notion among people is that hiring a wedding planner would leave their pocket empty. What do you have to say about that?
S: we have planned weddings costing a crore and two as well as innumerable bourgeois weddings. It all depends on the needs, recommendations and the preferences of the clients. Whether the wedding is a small affair or an occasion of grandeur, it always advisable to go to a planner. We give all the intricate details so that the clients are abreast about the cost involved. Come on, marriage is a one-time investment, most likely (chuckles).
I: With the wedding season around the corner, what’s your advice to the groom and the bride gearing up for their new life?
S: Their big day matters to us as much as it does to them trust me. We will never leave any stone upturned to pull off a great show and make it a memorable one for them.
Couples who get involved with us are always welcome, however, taking over the rein of every micro element in the marriage is not advisable. Even after months of planning, there can be last minute fiasco. But one good part will be nobody would know this except you, so let go of it and enjoy your big day.
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