The wed­ding story

Micetalk - - Contents - Kan­chan Nath

MIC­Etalk gets in touch with wed­ding plan­ners, MICE agents, hote­liers, and ven­dors to zero-in on the lat­est trends in the wed­ding busi­ness


Ev­ery cou­ple wants their wed­ding to be more grand and unique than the other. Five-star cruise lin­ers are be­ing char­tered for wed­ding celebrations, and Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions like Greece, Monaco, Tus­cany, and Barcelona are trend­ing. Cou­ples are opt­ing for des­ti­na­tions that of­fer a unique ex­pe­ri­ence to their guests. Con­tem­po­rary or spe­cial acts are also be­ing cre­ated for guests as per their pro­file.


Our com­pany has been rather well-con­nected with the DMCs of Turkey and Spain to name a few. We choose our sup­pli­ers and ven­dors based on their past work and rec­om­men­da­tions. DMCs do help in ac­quir­ing the best venues and even con­nect­ing us to the right peo­ple, get­ting bet­ter rates, and more ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.


The wed­ding dé­cor trend of colours is mak­ing a come­back. Dif­fer­ent colours help re­late to dif­fer­ent sea­sons. For in­stance, the cur­rent sum­mer colour pal­ette con­sists of kale green, sage, cop­per, and white. In­ter­na­tional flow­ers are be­ing im­ported and used for dé­cor, unique de­signs, and fancy sets that are larger than life are also be­ing cre­ated.


The un­or­gan­ised seg­ment has been gain­ing favour over ho­tels. While pick­ing out a venue, we en­sure that the lo­ca­tion can eas­ily be ac­cessed by guests and that the food and ser­vice at the lo­ca­tion are top-class. Ca­pac­ity of venues and re­stric­tions im­posed by law are also made note of.


Cou­ples al­ways want a unique pre-wed­ding shoot at a lo­ca­tion which is beau­ti­ful and un­tapped. Some pet-lovers want their dogs in their shoot, some high-school lovers want the shoot in their school where they first met, while some oth­ers want them at palaces and beaches. Drone cam­eras have also be­come very pop­u­lar.


Des­ti­na­tion wed­dings are get­ting more in­no­va­tive as fam­i­lies are try­ing to pro­vide a unique ex­pe­ri­ence to their well-trav­elled guests. Des­ti­na­tions have evolved from Bangkok and Phuket to the Mid­dle East, with Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi trend­ing. Other ex­otic Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions of Vienna, Malta, and Monte Carlo are also fast be­com­ing de­sir­able mar­kets. Off­beat lo­cales of An­talya, Baku, and Bali are also on the list of trend­ing des­ti­na­tions. A few un­touched des­ti­na­tions that we have done wed­dings at in­clude Bahrain and Kota Kin­a­balu. Other as­pects such as per­for­mances by in­ter­na­tional artists, fu­sion food, eclec­tic themes and dé­cor, all make an ap­pear­ance in typ­i­cal wed­ding func­tions.


Dif­fer­ent wed­dings and des­ti­na­tions have dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments. For flights, guests may book their own or in some cases where the des­ti­na­tion does not have too many sched­uled flights per day, we look at char­ter op­tions or ties with the air­line and take com­plete charge of the tick­ets. Most of what can be pro­cured lo­cally is sourced in the des­ti­na­tion coun­try. Other dé­cor, pro­duc­tion equip­ment, and food items are de­clared and shipped, hand-car­ried or air-freighted.


There was an ini­tial re­ac­tion post de­mon­eti­sa­tion, how­ever, the In­dian economy has strength­ened and the de­mand for des­ti­na­tion wed­dings is back. The im­pact of GST is not yet known but the wed­ding in­dus­try is a fairly re­ces­sion-proof and re­silient in­dus­try and we do not fore­see too much slack­en­ing of de­mand.


Chal­lenges de­pend com­pletely on the des­ti­na­tion and ho­tel cho­sen. In com­pletely new des­ti­na­tions that have never dealt with In­dian wed­dings, the chal­lenges could be in the form of cus­toms and im­mi­gra­tion sup­port, in­fra­struc­ture to han­dle the move­ment of a large num­ber of peo­ple, avail­abil­ity of qual­ity ven­dors, ho­tel flex­i­bil­ity, and ca­pa­bil­i­ties on var­i­ous fronts such as food, laun­dry han­dling, hos­pi­tal­ity, and venues. This is where the role of a plan­ner and lo­cal ground part­ner is essen­tial.


The most re­cent wed­ding that Tamarind or­gan­ised in Bahrain was held in the month of April and catered to 1000 guests. This was as chal­leng­ing as it was re­ward­ing. There was a lot that was ac­com­plished in the four months of plan­ning from build­ing the in­fra­struc­ture in a coun­try that had never seen an In­dian wed­ding of this size to work­ing with cus­toms and im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials, the air­port author­ity, the ho­tels in­volved, and the DMCs.


The year has been flooded with trends for des­ti­na­tion wed­dings. Wed­ding teasers have been quite pop­u­lar, giv­ing clients a per­fect three-minute short film to re­live the high­lights; cus­tom hash­tags are an­other pop­u­lar trend; and wear-your-side-IDs is an­other trend that more and more clients and their guests are adopt­ing.


We pre­fer to work with ven­dors and those who can pro­vide us with the best de­liv­er­ables, of­fer de­tailed des­ti­na­tion knowl­edge, and be ca­pa­ble of tak­ing care of all ground ser­vices that in­clude trans­fers, ac­com­mo­da­tion, restau­rants, venues, lo­gis­tics, and ac­tiv­i­ties.


Clients are al­ways on the look­out for some­thing new at their wed­ding. When we talk about wed­dings in In­dia, tra­di­tional dé­cor for the mehendi cer­e­mony used to be quite the trend, but now peo­ple are opt­ing for new ideas like origami/pa­per dé­cor, dec­o­rat­ing the venue with quirky daily-use house­hold prod­ucts, lanterns, and rus­tic and vin­tage dé­cor.


Though we, as wed­ding plan­ners, are ha­bit­ual of han­dling last-minute re­quests, we are also often faced with chal­lenges that we do over­come. Among all the re­quests that we have re­ceived, there was one where we had to or­gan­ise an In­dian wed­ding rit­ual for 70-80 peo­ple within the span of half an hour for which nei­ther we nor the caterer was pre­pared. We did some­how man­age it in the end.


Wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy has taken a com­pletely new di­men­sion in the last few years. Pre-wed­ding short films that can be used as wed­ding in­vites on so­cial me­dia or be played dur­ing other cer­e­monies have be­come pop­u­lar.

Th­ese videos use all forms of shoot­ing tech­niques like aerial, un­der wa­ter, stop mo­tion, time lapse, etc.


Dé­cor is the most cru­cial as­pect of wed­dings. We be­lieve flow­ers are ir­re­place­able and are the ever­green jew­els of a wed­ding dé­cor. In terms of flo­ral dé­cor, the trends change from sea­son to sea­son. This sea­son, we are us­ing a lot of English cut flow­ers and French gar­den con­ser­va­tory looks in­volv­ing a lot of or­ganic ma­te­ri­als, dried flow­ers and roots, and dif­fer­ent kinds of green, fresh leaves and berries in our set­ups. An­other trend this year is tone-on-tone colours like beige on beige, etc. For the cock­tail func­tion, peo­ple pre­fer ex­otic cut flow­ers.


Hold­ing a wed­ding at a ho­tel is not so charm­ing any­more. Ex­trav­a­gant venues are the de­mand of the day. To meet this de­mand, Ferns N Petals has a chain of lux­ury wed­ding venues in Delhi-NCR that in­clude The Ritz, The Riviera, Ud­man, Vi­lasa, Sh­a­gun Farms, The Kun­dan, and Brij Greens.


Des­ti­na­tion wed­dings often en­tail a lot of plan­ning and ground work. Usu­ally, a lo­cal flavour is main­tained in one of the func­tions to bring in a nos­tal­gic fac­tor in wed­dings that are held overseas. For cock­tails or re­cep­tion, peo­ple love to do English, Caribbean, Florence-themed set­tings to re­tain the el­e­gance of the for­eign lo­cale.


At a re­cent wed­ding func­tion, FNP Wed­dings & Events recre­ated the grandeur of Buckingham Palace through the crafts­man­ship and hard work of more than 500 peo­ple who worked for about 45 days in an area of 1.5 lakh sqft, for a func­tion that was to cater to 3000 guests. This enor­mous space was the largest that we have ever worked in.

We once had a client who wanted a flo­ral dome of pink rose buds for the wed­ding. To im­port 7000 bun­dles of roses (each bun­dle has 100 pieces) of the same colour and size was a huge chal­lenge.


Clients are now mov­ing away from tra­di­tional group pic­tures taken on the stage to can­did pho­tog­ra­phy. They want us to tell a story through photo-doc­u­ment­ing the wed­ding. They seem more will­ing to spend on cre­ativ­ity and qual­ity.

The client's in­volve­ment to­day is far more par­tic­i­pa­tive and the level of en­cour­age­ment we re­ceive for cre­ativ­ity in our work is more than it used to be.


Pre-wed­ding shoots have be­come pop­u­lar. They have moved on from be­ing only about click­ing a few nice pic­tures of the cou­ple to­gether in an in­for­mal setup to be­ing one that tells a story of their jour­ney.

Th­ese shoots have be­come an essen­tial as­pect of any wed­ding. Peo­ple to­day don't mind trav­el­ling to an ex­otic des­ti­na­tion or a grand set­ting to get their pre-wed­ding shoots done.

To­day, cou­ples want grand and am­bi­tious themes, back­grounds, and set­tings. We, at Fo­toShaadi, take three weeks to pre­pare for a pre-wed­ding shoot, given that it is now more of a short film that we must be well-pre­pared for.

We have a cou­ple of dis­cus­sions with the bride and groom and some­times even with friends and fam­ily to ar­rive at a story and then go ahead and plan a shoot sched­ule to cap­ture the en­tire story with the cou­ple be­ing the heart and soul of it. Ev­ery minute de­tail from con­cept of the shoot and the at­tire to the lo­ca­tion and the props is planned.


When it comes to videos, the need for short crisp videos has sky rock­eted. Ear­lier, peo­ple wanted ev­ery mo­ment and ev­ery as­pect of their event to be cap­tured. Now, the de­mand for a very short video with an emo­tional an­gle is given more im­por­tance than the reg­u­lar full-length video. Ev­ery­one wants their wed­ding to be cap­tured in a cine­matic fash­ion and not merely a video record­ing of the event. Peo­ple love the beauty shots that are taken while the bride is get­ting ready. Ev­ery cou­ple wants their story to be told in a short, con­cise video. They want mo­ments with a lot of emo­tions, friends and fam­ily opin­ions about them, and how the hus­band and wife feel about each other to come through in the videos.


Des­ti­na­tion wed­dings started from far east des­ti­na­tions, but now the east­ern Euro­pean re­gion is also be­com­ing more pop­u­lar due to price and flex­i­bil­ity. Clients de­mand to do the wed­ding in the lo­cal tra­di­tions of the des­ti­na­tion, be­sides their own. Nor­mally, the wed­ding func­tions carry on for two nights or three, de­pend­ing on lo­gis­tics and the des­ti­na­tion. Themed func­tions are def­i­nitely con­ducted to make the wed­ding ex­pe­ri­ence an out-of-the-box one.


We have a list of DMCs who spe­cialise in this seg­ment and sup­port us in per­fectly plan­ning out busi­ness to ex­ceed the ex­pec­ta­tions of clients. Spe­cial­is­ing in all as­pects, ITH is able to man­age all lo­gis­tics smoothly. We speak to air­lines in ad­vance for equip­ment fa­cil­ity to be car­ried and ne­go­ti­ate on the cost.


Ev­ery change has a short-term or longterm im­pact and the re­cent pol­icy amends of de­mon­eti­sa­tion, GST, liquor ban, etc., have def­i­nitely im­pacted the in­dus­try with things mov­ing towards no-cash trans­ac­tions. It will take a bit of time to re­cover as peo­ple are used to spend­ing in a cer­tain way.


Plan­ning and time­lines are the most dif­fi­cult part of wed­dings be­sides the lo­gis­tics in­volved. Ev­ery guest is im­por­tant and ev­ery guest can have dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments.

We need to fol­low time­lines and man­age well to have com­plete con­trol of sit­u­a­tions and ex­e­cute the func­tions as planned.


Wed­dings are, to quite an ex­tent, in­flu­enced by the film in­dus­try of In­dia and abroad. The de­signer clothes that the guests and the bride and groom wear are very sim­i­lar to those shown in films.

The whole se­quence is often built around per­for­mances by rel­a­tives or the cou­ple it­self. This is a big change from ear­lier times and gives the fam­ily and guests a chance to be ex­tro­vert.


Venue is the most im­por­tant as­pect of a wed­ding. The choice of venue en­tirely de­pends on the scale of the wed­ding and the client’s re­quire­ments. Be­fore show­ing pos­si­ble sites to clients, we in­quire about the money they are will­ing to spend and the ex­pected num­ber of guests. A small gath­er­ing of peo­ple in a huge hall can make the venue look empty; sim­i­larly, a large gath­er­ing at a small venue can make guests feel suf­fo­cated. There are var­i­ous fac­tors that must be taken into ac­count while choos­ing a venue, no mat­ter how beau­ti­ful it may be. A prop­erty is often de­fined by its staff. Good and friendly staff can help a small prop­erty in be­com­ing a pop­u­lar brand.


There has been a huge im­pact of de­mon­eti­sa­tion on al­most all in­dus­tries. Clients were al­ready stressed be­cause of their func­tions and de­mon­eti­sa­tion added to their woes with trans­ac­tions not tak­ing place on time. Grad­u­ally, how­ever, things set­tled down.

The ban on sale of liquor along high­ways hasn’t af­fected us much. GST, on the other hand, is go­ing to af­fect big wed­dings. Now, the client will have to spend more for the venue. That said, the com­ing in of GST is an in­di­ca­tor of growth for our economy and the im­pact we are talk­ing about will have a neg­a­tive im­pact in the short-term and a more pos­i­tive one in the long haul.


Ear­lier, wed­dings had a gath­er­ing of about 1000 guests but now the same has re­duced to 400-600 guests on an av­er­age. Lawns are been re­placed by ban­quets. Clients are in­creas­ingly mov­ing towards ho­tels. The need for a good prop­erty is ris­ing and new prop­er­ties are also com­ing with unique and cre­ative ideas.


The In­dian film in­dus­try has been the big­gest in­flu­encer when it comes to In­dian wed­dings. Now, clients come up with var­i­ous de­mands that they see in movies. One such pop­u­lar de­mand is that of syn­chro­nised dance per­for­mances in the func­tions. This has added a fresh task to our list - ar­rang­ing a good chore­og­ra­pher. Over­all, the in­dus­try has had a pos­i­tive im­pact.


Be­ing in the in­dus­try for many years, we share a very good re­la­tion­ship with 5-star prop­er­ties all across Goa. We have good re­la­tions with ven­dors and sup­pli­ers so we know how and where to source prod­ucts and ex­e­cute what­ever is re­quired for a suc­cess­ful wed­ding in Goa. There is no such thing as an av­er­age amount spent be­cause dif­fer­ent clients have dif­fer­ent bud­gets and we cus­tomise the en­tire wed­ding based on the client’s bud­get. Ho­tels and re­sorts are gain­ing more trac­tion with peo­ple look­ing for stay, venue, food and drinks, all un­der one roof. It be­comes more fea­si­ble to get an all-in­clu­sive pack­age, es­pe­cially be­cause 90 per cent of Goa's busi­ness runs on des­ti­na­tion wed­dings.


We first look at what the client wants to achieve in terms of dé­cor and de­tail­ing and the type of venue set­ting. We then take into ac­count the num­ber of guests the client is wish­ing to in­vite. We be­lieve that the venue should be ap­pro­pri­ate for the num­ber of guests be­ing in­vited and not look too empty. The right amount of peo­ple at the venue cre­ates a good vibe.


Th­ese days, clients are go­ing in for very DIY (doit-your­self) dé­cor that is more in­ter­ac­tive with the guests. They look at more per­son­alised and prac­ti­cal dé­cor rather than larger-thanlife struc­tures. Rus­tic and min­i­mal­is­tic de­signs are also in. Cou­ples are opt­ing out of re­cep­tion stages and go­ing in for more ta­ble-to-ta­ble greet­ings.


Ven­dors are cho­sen based on cer­tain pa­ram­e­ters such as qual­ity, time­lines, and scale of work un­der­taken in the past as well as ref­er­ences of cur­rent plan­ners and their ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with them. Com­pany pro­files and artist pro­files are a pre-req­ui­site for short­list­ing a ven­dor be­fore sug­gest­ing them to a client.


We once re­ceived a re­quest for a wed­ding lunch re­cep­tion where the client re­alised that it would be hot and af­ter warn­ing the client wellin-ad­vance, his last-minute re­quest had to be ac­cepted, with an air-con­di­tioned venue be­ing set up in less than 32 hours.


Wed­ding videos and pho­tog­ra­phy help cre­ate a good wed­ding story, mak­ing the en­tire plot for the wed­ding fun for the cou­ple and the guests. Drones are now a very im­por­tant part of wed­ding videog­ra­phy, giv­ing a lot of di­men­sion to cin­e­matog­ra­phy.

Pho­to­graphs by Fo­toSHAADI

Pho­to­graph by Rimi Sen Pho­tog­ra­phy

Pho­to­graph by Pankaj Anand

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