Happily ever after
Delhi knows best how to celebrate its weddings and make them larger-than-life. From sprawling farmhouses to talented designers, the city offers a vast canvas for couples to paint their D-day tales on. SIMPLY DELHI brings you experts’ mantras to plan one o
SIMPLY DELHI brings you mantras to plan one of the most important days of your life
The big fat Delhi wedding has moved out of the box. Subtle opulence seems to be the buzzword this wedding season, with couples loving understated elegance. The wedding market too has eagerly embraced the change. Solo music acts have replaced celebrity dances and sophisticated, theme-based décor seems to be the unanimous choice even as destination weddings are getting more exotic. Even the bride is no more typically ethnic; she loves to experiment with colours other than reds and pinks, and wears light, contemporary jewellery.
CROSSING THE TS
There is nothing predictable about Indian weddings any more. Depending on individual budgets, couples are willing to go an extra mile to make their wedding stand out from the rest. Be it the venue, the decoration, the music or the catering, it’s all customised and executed perfectly by the planners. Wedding planner Meher Sarid says, “In terms of styling, perhaps the biggest trend shift is that people are going more for simply, classy and understated when it comes to functions such as mehendi, cocktails and sangeet. It is just the main wedding function that remains completely Indian and ornate.”
The trend of themes started almost a decade back and people are now experimenting with unique themes. “Recently I organised a pre-wedding func-
NDIAN BRIDE IN ALL HER FINERY
DECKED UP WEDDING VENUES
tion which was styled like Hard Rock Café, since the groom was a drummer. We had a 32-ft long piano bar, tall podiums, and drums sets and guitars, which people could play,” says Sarid.
Contact Meher Sarid Tel 9811050555; mehersarid.com
SPOT ON Farmhouses, five-star hotels or destination weddings—the hunt for the perfect venue begins as soon as the wedding date is fixed. The more the budget allows, the more extravagant the venue is. And sky is the limit if your pocket allows. With more accessibility, couples are now opting for more exotic locations for their destination weddings. “The rich have now started choosing places such as Cannes, Barcelona and even Germany for their weddings. I recently organised a wedding in a castle in Germany,” says Sarid. “However, the nouveau rich continue to choose places like Thailand and Malaysia,” adds Sarid.
The Imperial Hotel is one of the most sought-after wedding venues in Delhi with the city’s crème-de-lacrème choosing the space for its royal ambience. “The 1911 Lawns or The Royal Ballroom are the most common choices for wedding venues at our hotel. The wedding decorations are based on the colour themes and flower arrangements adher to the guests’ requirements,” says Vishal Sharma, F&B Sales Manager of the hotel.
Contact The Imperial, New Delhi At Janpath Lane, Connaught Place Tel 23341234 theimperialindia.com
LET THE MUSIC PLAY Sufi, Bollywood, soul, funk, retro and even EDM (electronic dance music)— the capital has brought its eclectic taste in music right down to the dance floors at weddings. Blaring loud- speakers that keep the neighbours up all night have been replaced by classy solo performances by talented singers and DJs who have an eye for 3D visuals and ears for funky beats. Famous musicians like Sunita Rao, Manasi Scott and Sonu Nigam are invited by the rich and sundry to wow their guests. “People want a ‘wow’ factor in there weddings. I prefer doing fresh setups and always stress on adding some new tunes in my playlist. I also use a lot of new technology like sharpy lights, massive LED screens etc. I make sure that I do lot of emceeing while playing to interact with the
guests,” says Gunjan Sharma, who started out as a DJ at the age of 16.
Gaurav Malvai, one of the most sought-after DJs in the city, credits this wave of music experiments in the wedding circuit to the growing number of music festivals in the country. “Music is very diverse these days. Thankfully, the new trend is to have a lot of house and electro music in the wedding set. A lot of new sounds are being explored,” says Malvai, who has played at many high-profile functions, including Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s pre-wedding events. “I have done sangeet functions where the clients had Lionel Ritchie to perform. In Venice, Shakira and Gotan Project were invited to play at an India wedding. Weddings have taken a turn in terms of music. It is not about playing Bollywood or Punjabi pop anymore,” he adds.
Contact Gunjan Sharma, Address
SHOOTING WITH LOVE
The mehndi will fade off. The clothes will be packed away in suitcases. The honeymoon will get over and the celebrations will wrap up. However, memories stored on the reel stay forever. Wedding photography has emerged as a vital component of the D-day planning that couples these days research on for days, even months. They are aware of the venues they want to be shot at, they are certain of what kind of photographs will portray their relationship aptly and they are definitely sure of which person behind the lens would be ideal to capture their big day. “Where hiring a neighbourhood photographer
to cover the wedding rituals was at the bottom of the to-do list for the parents, brides these days are sure about their photographers even before finalising their partners!” claims 26-year-old Delhi-based wedding photographer Vijay Tonk (Think Tonk). Tonk, an IIMC graduate, left his job at an advertising company to turn his passion into a highly lucrative profession. He charges up to Rs 65,000 to photograph a one-day wedding, a huge raise from a mere Rs 10,000 when he started three years ago.
It is a mammoth task for the photographers to satisfy the modern day couples, but Delhi-based lens men and women are always up to the job. “I have detailed briefing sessions with the couples and their families to understand their thought process and the requirements and then I set myself the challenge to deliver,” Tonk adds.
While Tonk prefers an outdoor setting, with sunlight pouring in and couples doused in beautiful light and pretty flowers, which gives him enough room to experiment with bokeh, Ronicka Kandhari, who has been in the wedding photography business for over a decade, loves destination weddings that give her a chance to explore new traditions and also satisfy the travel bug inside her. “My most challenging wedding was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the Royal Family. It was unprecedented to hire a photographer from India but I was privileged to be a part of the King’s family wedding. Many women in the wedding were still conservative about being photographed and would often cover their faces. I had to be very careful and respectful to
THE JAYAMALA CEREMONY
their culture and sentiments,” recalls the 34-year-old.
Creativity is the buzz word in the wedding circuit. Glossy wedding albums, coy brides and grooms, and over exposed and flashy family portraits are a big no-no. “Clients are bored with the usual ‘smiling’ pictures. We are working more on a storytelling format for them,” says Ankush Maria of Imageshastra, a company that offers customised services like candid still photography, coffee table books, pre and post wedding shoots, destination weddings, et al. Maria reveals couples are holding no bars when it comes to shelling out money. “More and more clients are now ready to travel to their favorite places to get clicked and we are happy to do that for them. We
are also seeing an increasing trend in pre-wedding shoots,” the 27-yearold adds.
facebook.com/imageshastraco Tel 9871001434 Email email@example.com Contact Ronicka Kandhari,
ronickakandhari.com Tel 9811219695 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Vijay Tonk (Think Tonk),
facebook.com/thinktonk Tel 9818126646 Email email@example.com Contact RR Photography Tel 9718471869
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD
“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” Maybe about-to-be-married bride and groom, with eyes only for each other, would disagree with George Bernard Shaw here but how much can you really argue with a dead Nobel laureate? Wedding caterers are experimenting with their menu to suit the demands of well-travelled couples, who want to impress their guests with exquisite variety of world cuisine and move away from the usual dal makhni and shahi paneer.
Food is an important ingredient of a successful wedding and perhaps nobody does justice to that fact better than United Catering Services (UCS), owned by the United Restaurant Group that gave us the legendary United Coffee House. UCS believes that food is a form of expression that offers unlimited comfort, a motto rooted in its diverse catering spread.
From street foods of Singapore, and Marrakesh to sushi platters, from smash potato bars to the unexplored Indian cuisines of Malwani, Raigarhia and Mopla, UCS offers modern and nouvelle concepts to suit every couple’s taste and style. “Exquisite food display and interactive food stations are gaining a lot of buzz as they help guests to choose dishes as per their own preferences,” says Praveen Chauhan, the man behind all the deliciousness at UCS, which charges Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,800 on an average per plate. “Street food from Teppanyaki, Mangolian noodle bars and live flambé stations are also some of the new trends,” he adds.
But celebrated chef Ritu Dalmia, who owns DIVA Catering, says wedding catering is no longer about the quantity. “People no longer want 30 types of cuisines and a mile long
PAIR YOUR WINE AND FOOD WITH THE THEME
of buffet. The shift has been to a higher quality, fresh ingredients-based menu with a lot of regional food thrown in. While international cuisine is always in demand, people are increasingly experimenting with the various regional cuisines of the country such as coastal food, live appams, Malabar
parathas and quintessential Marwari delicacies,” she says. A specialty of DIVA Catering is exotic pass-arounds like bruschetta with avocado mousse and the phyllo pastry cones.
But who declared our weddings would only serve platters of world cuisines or India delicacies? The sweet factor in our weddings is fast catching up with couples ordering magnificent wedding cakes, just like white church weddings. The Sweet Boutique started by Nitin and Ruchika Khurana, specialises in couture confectionery, offering freshly baked cakes that are a treat for the tastebuds and eyes. Their bridal cakes are exquisitely designed with natural ingredients like Californian almonds, Medjool dates and Belgian chocolates.
Contact United Catering Services, E-15, Inner Circle, Connaught Place Tel 9873812813; theucs.in
Contact DIVA Catering, M-113, Greater Kailash-II Tel 9811464051
ALL THAT GLITTERS
Think Indian brides, think jewellery. Parents of brides often begin shopping for their daughters’ jewellery years before she is even reaches a marriageable age! Of course, that one set to be worn on the wedding day is carefully matched with the outfit. And that is what makes jewellery designers experiment with new and different designs every wedding season. Bespoke is the flavour this season, with brides wanting to handpick and decide every piece of accessory with their outfit.
A new-kid-on-the-block, Zevadhi Jewels specialises in bespoke wedding jewellery of the Mogul and Victorian tradition. “From our pearls to our diamonds, from emeralds and to our rubies, each design is carefully moulded by our skilled karigars to suit the needs of the new-age bride,” says Komal Ashtekar, creative head for Zevadhi Jewels.
“Kundan jewellery signifies the regal lineage of northern India as well as the western belt. Delhi's proximity to the land of ancient Maharajas, Rajasthan, ensures that kundan never goes out of vogue,” says Mira Gulati of Mirari, a high-end jewellery brand.
Tanishq, another luxury jewellery brand recently unveiled its wedding jewellery collection inspired by the geometrical and figural motifs of
henna or mehendi which is considered to be an auspicious element of Indian wedding. Revathi Kant, General Manager, Design Innovation and New Product Introduction says, “Our aim is to design wedding jewellery that is new age, yet tells a story of India’s traditions. Inspired from elaborate heena designs and festoon decorations of Indian weddings, this opulent wedding collection is crafted in 22 karat gold.”
Contact Zevadhi Jewels Tel 9899736983; zevadhijewels.com
(ABOVE) CHOODA CEREMONY (BELOW) BARATIS DANCING AWAY TO GLORY
A WEDDING CAKE BY THE SWEET BOUTIQUE
A BRIDE GIVES FINISHING TOUCHES TO HER MAKEUP
EARRINGS FROM TANISHQ’S LATEST WEDDING COLLECTION