Grandeur of a wed­ding

Birju C Gariba, CEO and Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Plat­inum World Group, elab­o­rates on the nu­ances of plan­ning a wed­ding at a grand scale, while mak­ing it spe­cial for the bride and groom

Micetalk - - Contents -

With the bor­ders melt­ing, In­dia has been wit­ness­ing an un­prece­dented growth in in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tion wed­dings and events. Plan­ning such grand jam­borees how­ever is not a walk in the park and re­quires enor­mous amount of plan­ning, mad­ness, cre­ativ­ity, a great eye for de­tail and an im­pec­ca­ble sense of ex­e­cu­tion which sounds like a new army of wed­ding plan­ners. Let’s just run by the re­quire­ments that a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding de­mands and things that have to be planned to make a wed­ding that the young cou­ple dreams of.

SHORT­LIST THEM

It all starts with cre­at­ing a short­list, which means map­ping the know-how about the des­ti­na­tions across the world, the weather con­di­tions dur­ing the month of the wed­ding, flight con­nec­tions for the guests from dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, some­times across the world, and the safety that the des­ti­na­tion of­fers. Once the stage is cleared of th­ese ba­sic de­tails, comes the task of dwelling into the do­main of ho­tels, room counts, dis­tance from air­port, gala din­ner venues, unique des­ti­na­tion of­fer­ings, ban­quet­ing sizes and lay­outs, ease of avail­abil­ity of In­dian food or set­ting up of a satel­lite kitchen and of course some idea about the bud­get at th­ese des­ti­na­tions. It may not sound big but I imag­ine the list of po­ten­tial knowl­edge do­main that one has to pos­sess would be large enough to cre­ate a ‘best wed­ding places’ direc­tory. The short­lists are it­self some­times as large as 8-10 des­ti­na­tions and then starts the process of prospect­ing in­di­vid­ual des­ti­na­tions with in­quir­ing about ho­tel avail­abil­i­ties and venue avail­abil­i­ties, given that th­ese are the pri­mary needs for any wed­ding. In­dian wed­dings are known to host about 200-250 guests on an av­er­age at in­ter­na­tional wed­dings and the big fat ones are in the vicin­ity of about 400-500 guests which means it's never easy to book all the rooms in a sin­gle ho­tel, eas­ily. The big­gest rea­son also is that our mar­ket runs on a short lead­time as com­pared to the rest of the world. And while the rec­om­mended time for such scales is at least one year in ad­vance, we see cases sprawl­ing from a timeline of six months to as low as one month be­fore the wed­ding.

GEARED UP FOR ANY DE­MAND

Once you come across the po­ten­tial so­lu­tion of rooms you have to also hope the air­line is not full on the given set of dates as only lim­ited des­ti­na­tions of­fer a direct ac­cess. There is ob­vi­ously an op­tion of char­ter­ing a flight for uber fancy wed­dings, but those are much smaller in per­cent­age. While I write this, I am re­minded about our first event in Tokyo in 2015, where our clients had given us a lead time of 25 days and the date of the event was Oc­to­ber 22-24 for which we had a brief in Septem­ber. When we wrote to our part­ners seek­ing their sup­port towards ex­e­cu­tion, most re­jected and the ones who were pos­i­tive about it, re­sponded with a prob­a­ble er­ror-of-year men­tion as­sum­ing it was for 2016 and not 2015. It took us a while to fi­nally find the right part­ners and hence, the right so­lu­tion for our hugely suc­cess­ful event. Hav­ing now done events in over 72 coun­tries, we are geared up to be able to han­dle any de­mand at any un­usual lead times. The process con­tin­ues with de­tail­ing of var­i­ous of­fer­ings and ex­cep­tional ex­pe­ri­ences that guests will lo­cally wit­ness dur­ing the wed­ding/event. All of th­ese are usu­ally done in about 4872 hours and put in a nice pre­sen­ta­tion that helps the fam­i­lies vi­su­alise each des­ti­na­tion as well as of­fer­ings with pric­ing, of course.

The process then goes down to tak­ing site in­spec­tions and fi­nal­is­ing the des­ti­na­tion and ho­tel therein. Then starts the cre­ative grill of giv­ing out-ofthe-box ideas for each of the func­tion in­di­vid­u­ally that would in­clude the­matic dé­cor ideas, entertainment, both lo­cal and global, styling, and with grow­ing de­mand in des­ti­na­tion wed­dings, pay­ing heed to the re­quest of ‘How can my wed­ding be dif­fer­ent than oth­ers?’ The dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion comes from cui­sine, dé­cor, and entertainment, which in it­self is a sep­a­rate in­dus­try. The tal­ent in wed­dings has seen a huge spec­trum across the globe, main­tain­ing a ros­ter of tal­ents across the globe and rec­om­mend­ing the right one for each wed­ding. We have seen how acts by Cirque Du Soliel and El­ton John fea­ture in wed­dings.

QUEST FOR UNIQUE­NESS

Unique­ness and ex­clu­siv­ity took us to the shores of Mon­go­lia re­cently to or­gan­ise an event and it was a com­pletely new ter­rain for In­di­ans as well as for Mon­gols to wel­come us In­di­ans.

We be­lieve this trend is still nascent and the mil­len­ni­als will be even more ex­plo­rative in their search for unique­ness.

Hav­ing now done events in over 72 coun­tries, we are geared up to be able to han­dle any de­mand

Birju C Gariba

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