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CONTENTS

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8 W O W AWA R D S 2 01 8 W I N N E R S

42 I N S P I R AT I O N An Incredible Pre-wedding Bash by MEW at the Red Bull’s Hangar 7, Salzburg, Austria

W E DDI N G PL A N N I N G 1 4 F E AT U R E Wedding Planners Share Insights on Top International Destinations 1 8 I N FO C U S Studio Neelabh’s Mega Wedding in Dubai Wins Mega Accolades 22 HAPPENING Umaid Bhavan Palace lit up by The Royal Wedding of Zubin and Aashna 2 5 I N S P I R AT I O N Pool Parties for a Pre-Wedding Function

DE COR & DE S IG N 2 8 F E AT U R E 3D Mapping in Weddings: The Decor Trend that is Redefining Indian Weddings 3 2 P H O TO F E AT U R E Aash Studio Transforms Mumbai’s Mukesh Mills for a Serene Wedding 3 4 P H O TO F E AT U R E This Magical Sangeet by Effects Tech and Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla Brings A Fairy Tale to Life

DE S T I N AT ION S 3 6 P H O TO F E AT U R E Hyderabad's Iconic Destination Falaknuma Palace and its unique features and hospitality 38 HAPPENING Milestones to Memories Plans the Star Studded MarwahMotiwala Wedding at Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah

E N T E R TA I N M E N T 4 4 F E AT U R E Live Entertainment at Weddings – The Artists Speak 47 I N S P I R AT I O N A Royal Wedding where Bollywood meets Traditional Entertainment 48 HAPPENING G S Worldwide Entertainment makes this Kolkata Scion’s Engagement A Star-studded Affair!

I N D U S T RY WAT C H 5 2 C O V E R S TO RY WEDIMPACT: The Impact of Indian Weddings on Tourism, Industry and Economy 5 5 I N S P I R AT I O N New Wedding Verticals of Esteemed Event Planning Companies 5 6 F E AT U R E WOW Experiential Celebrations Summit on Creating Heightened Aspirations 58 HAPPENING 10 Highpoints of ICWF 2018 60 HAPPENING Wizcraft MIME Global Wedding Academy Pledges to Inspire and Motivate

VENUES 6 4 P H O TO F E AT U R E The Royal Elm, Karjat decks up for a Glamorous Wedding

Disclaimer: i. ExCel magazine is published by EVENTFAQS Media. Pvt. Ltd. with RNI Registration MAHENG/2010/35733. ii. Every effort is made to ensure that the magazine’s content is correct. However, the publisher accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions. iii. All material published in this magazine is copyright protected. Unauthorised reproduction in part or full is forbidden. iv. The publisher takes no responsibility for content used in advertisements and advertorials. It is assumed the advertiser has rights to use the content. v. The publisher takes no responsibility for photographs and information published in features which comes from external sources such as PR agencies, direct sources, etc. It is assumed that the parties involved have the right to provide the information for publishing purposes. vi. Any dispute/error liable vis-a-vis this magazine is strictly restricted to local jurisdiction in Mumbai only.

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FROM THE EDITOR

68 6 6 P H O TO F E AT U R E Jumeirah Night at WOW 2018 Gives Attendees a Chance to Network With The Best in the Business 70 POINT OF VIEW Ritz Carlton Doha immersed in Colours of The Big Fat Indian Wedding – GM Erden Kendigelen speaks 7 2 I N S P I R AT I O N Marquee & Tents for an Unforgettable Wedding or Social Event

PHO T O G R A PH Y & F I L M I N G 74 P H O TO F E AT U R E The Wedding Salad Captures Harpreet – Japinder’s Extravagant Dream Wedding in Dubai! 76 I N FO C U S Recall Pictures Shoots The First Ever Wedding on iPhone X 7 8 I N S P I R AT I O N 10 Trending Photography Techniques shared by Photo-Expert Ram Bherwani

M E RC H A N DI S E & I N V ITAT ION 80 HAPPENING Celebrity Wedding Invitation Designer Puneet Gupta Brings Emotions to Life with Shoaib and Dipika’s Wedding Diary

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XPERIENTIAL CELEBRATIONS, as a platform has endeavoured to chronicle trends, developments and innovations in the wedding industry of India. In the past, the business of weddings pertained mostly to the events it delivered. In the more recent past, the most inspiring and interesting trend has been that of the tourism invigoration Indian weddings are responsible for. When one talks about a destination wedding, it is no longer only about the events hosted by the family, but also about the tourism it brings to the destination the family decides to host these celebrations in. With tourism, the trends further identified ancillary industries sparking growth due to the wedding visiting the destination. The range for these are now endless, be it conveyance management, florists and decor, renting venues, hiring beauticians, catering services, the list goes on. And then there are the spillover beneficiaries of retail, extended tourism, and this list can go on as well. It's no wonder that brands across industries, including destinations, hospitality, fashion and lifestyle are all taking a serious and focused effort in marketing to the wedding industry. The responsibility now lies in the curator of these services and offerings, to ensure heightened creativity is the eventual result. The tools are now plenty and available to all, innovative application of these will determine leaders. karishma@eventfaqs.com

82 POINT OF VIEW The Art of Creating the Rarest of Rare Designs 8 4 I N S P I R AT I O N WhatsApp Invites going Viral and keeping Guests Engaged! CORRIGENDUM

In the last issue of ExCel (Jan-June 2018), a story carried the incorrect company name of the guest author. The correct title of the story should’ve been: ‘Aarti Manocha of Milestones to Memories, 5-Steps to Ensure Successful Collaborations’. We apologise for this oversight. COVER PHOTO COURTESY: THE WEDDING STORY

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FOUNDER / DIRECTOR KARISHMA HUNDALANI karishma@eventfaqs.com

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR VISHAL NAGDEV vishal@eventfaqs.com

EDITORIAL TEAM RUTU LADAGE rutu@eventfaqs.com MADIHA KHAN madiha@eventfaqs.com

CFO & DIRECTOR JIMMY CHOUDHARY jimmy@eventfaqs.com

CIRCULATION RAMESH PATIL ramesh@eventfaqs.com ADMIN & ACCOUNTS NILESH PAWAR accounts@eventfaqs.com SAMEET ELKAR admin.mumbai@eventfaqs.com GRAPHIC DESIGN VINAYA PRASHANTH vinayaprashanth@gmail.com

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TEAM JITEN JURIANI jiten@eventfaqs.com PRATHAMESH VAIDYA prathamesh@eventfaqs.com SHIVA CHOUDHARY shiva@eventfaqs.com MARKETING SERVICES TEAM ZAFAR KHAN zafar@eventfaqs.com SANJANA BAWEJA sanjana@eventfaqs.com SHANYA SHUKLA shanya@eventfaqs.com

Experiential Celebrations-ExCel is a bi-annual magazine published by EVENTFAQS Media-A multi-channel platform focussed on the events, entertainment and experiential industry. Visit www.eventfaqs.com for more details. For subscription enquiry: info@eventfaqs.com Editor: Karishma Jamnu Hundalani. This issue contains 88 pages including covers. Printed & Published by: Vishal Vashulal Nagdev on behalf of (or owned by) EVENTFAQS Media Pvt. Ltd. and printed at VSSU Graphics, Unit # 36, Ideal Industrial Estate Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel-West, Mumbai 400013, Maharashtra, India, and published at EVENTFAQS Media Pvt. Ltd. 112, 1st Floor, Embassy Centre 207, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021, Maharashtra, India.

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W E D D I N G P L A N N I N G | F E AT U RE

WEDDING PLANNERS SHARE INSIGHTS ON TOP INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS From the many international wedding destinations, wedding planners suggest the best for a Big Fat Indian wedding. Destination weddings are a trend and everyone planning to get married thinks about how they will celebrate the union in a specific country. From the many wedding planners based in India who help achieve this dream, there are some who help you find the best destinations too. We asked the top wedding planners in the industry to enlighten us with the best international destinations for Indian weddings and this is what they had to say.

KUNAL RAI, TAMARIND GLOBAL A few of the international destinations that work well for Indian Weddings from an infrastructure and accessibility point of view include Thailand because of its value for money, proximity and superb hospitality and hotel infrastructure, UAE which includes Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, Doha and more because of the accessibility, weather, hotels and overall grandeur and if you want to venture further west Baku, Turkey, Budapest, Chantilly, Monteux are some of the great picks.

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“A few of the International destinations that work well for Indian Weddings are UAE, Baku, Turkey, Budapest, Chantilly, and Monteux.” KUNAL RAI He a d o f Ev e n t s a n d We d d i n g s Ta m a r i n d G l o b a l

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BIRJU GARIBA, PLATINUM WORLD GRROUP With the growing affluent class, the destination weddings have taken a geographic tumble spin like an atlas and today literally the world is a potential wedding destination playground. While the Thailand, Bali, Dubai etc still rule the roost the European destinations have started gaining huge traction for weddings. One of those destinations to do a wedding would hands down be French Riviera with Cannes, Monte Carlo & Nice as the wedding venues. The Sangeet can be hosted at the same venue with the Red Carpet Theme as the very popular Cannes Film Festival, followed by wedding at Monaco and Reception at the Villa Rotschild or similar. The exclusivity of hosting all functions not only in different venues but different municipalities and cities makes this a perfect venue for the rich and the famous.

“While Thailand, Bali, Dubai etc still rule the rooster the European destinations have started gaining huge traction for weddings. One of those destinations to do a wedding would hands down by French Riviera with Cannes, Monte Carlo & Nice as the wedding venues.” BIRJU GARIBA C E O & Exe c u t i v e D i r e c t o r P l a t i n u m Wo r l d G r r o u p

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W E D D I N G P L A N N I N G | FEAT U RE

BHAVNESH SAWHNEY, WEDNIKSHA The overall wedding space has seen a 360-degree change. Today destination weddings have become the new trend of the season. Weddings are no longer a small knit affair but an extravagant event with pomp and celebration. While some prefer indoors like chapels, temples, banquets and palaces, some prefer outdoor spaces like beaches, gardens, cruise, and hill tops. Some of the current preferences are Beach weddings, where we can recommend Goa and Mangalore to Bali, Maldives, or Thailand and to many more international waters. Also, the upcoming properties in Sri Lanka are magnificent. The hospitality that the hotels offer here is truly commendable and arranging a wedding in coordination with them only becomes easy from there onwards. The sea food here is unparalleled and also the local dishes are very suitable for the Indian palette. For a city wedding, Dubai is gold. It is an ideal destination with many options available for a luxury wedding in terms of vendors and venues. It is a boon that language and communication is not a barrier here which makes the entire planning process smooth. Macau is perfect for an outdoor wedding for party lovers.

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“Some of the current preferences are Beach weddings, where we can recommend Goa and Mangalore to Bali, Maldives, or Thailand and to many more international waters.” B H AV N E S H S AW H N E Y D i r e c t o r, We d n i k s h a

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W E D D I N G P L A N N I N G | F E ATUR E

PAWAN MIRCHANDANI, HORIZON WIE There are a lot of places around the world where you can say your vows but the best places which I would suggest for an Indian wedding would be Antalya in Turkey, the island nation of Mauritius, Dubrovnik in Croatia, and Dubai. As Indian weddings are all about grand celebrations and colourful ambiences, these locations suit perfectly for a big fat Indian wedding.

“The best places which I would suggest for an Indian wedding would be Antalya in Turkey, the island nation of Mauritius, Dubrovnik in Croatia, and Dubai.” PAWA N M I R C H A N D A N I M a n a g i n g D i r e c t o r, Ho r i z o n W I E

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STUDIO NEELABH’S Mega Wedding In Dubai Wins Mega Accolades STUDIO NEELABH announced the launch of its UAE operations, with a Wedding & Event Company called Studio Neelabh Luxury Weddings and Entertainment LLC, Dubai. The company started operations with a trade licence in Dubai, in January 2018. In the following month of its inception, Studio Neelabh successfully planned, designed, produced and executed a Mega Wedding featuring a series of celebrations including a Gala Dinner Ceremony for the esteemed royal families of five Emiratis; a 5-day Wedding at Palazzo Versace and an exclusive Experiential Concert featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan at the Atlantis, Palm, Dubai.  This project not only landed Studio Neelabh the accomplishment of becoming the first Indianorigin, solo event company to manage and host a Royal Event for Emiratis in Dubai, but also the highest number of accolades in both WOW Awards Asia 2018 and GIWA 2018. Studio Neelabh bagged, 3 Golds, 2 Silvers and 4 Bronzes at the WOW Awards Asia 2018 and 2 Golds, 1 Silver and 2 Bronzes GIWA Awards, and was also christened the Star of the Year at GIWA, all for the work done for this Mega Wedding in Dubai. Read more details about the events and celebrations as part of this project, here:

The client had such great trust in us, and believed in every creative concept so greatly, that our every involvement including designing the entertainment and curating the F&B experience came through for the over-all affair. We were also working closely as fashion consultants to the Bride and Groom wear, which involved all leading celebrity fashion designers Manish Malhotra, Abu Jaani and Sandeep Khosla, Varun Bahl and many more. NEEL ABH K APOOR Director, Studio Neelabh

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W E D D I N G P L A N N I N G | I N F O CUS

A Private Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Concert at Atlantis, The Palm A private Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Concert was organised at Atlantis - The Palm, Dubai, at the Asateer Tent as a special evening for over 800 guests on February 19. A Majestic, Royal Tent was customised with white fabric draping and crystal raindrop shaped golden chandeliers as part of the decor. The whole tent was designed to create an experience of welcoming guests to one’s own house, as this private concert was planned as part of the mega celebrations of the recently concluded wedding. A tunnel walkway was designed with mirrors and candles to establish an infinite look while entering the main event space. The whole tent was divided into 3 parts to give exclusivity to each zone. Zone 1 was the Front of House, the Entertainment section while Zone 2 was designed to cater for a sit down dinner with circular and long dining table set-ups. And the 3rd Zone was the outer lawn side with another F&B experience through live counters. The entertainment concept was Pakeeza: a Sufi night, and also featured top Bollywood female performers and dancers. The stage was created with a grand opera look with LED screens wrapping half the tent. The customised content on the LED screen created a magical visual treat blending in with the songs of the master performer, LIVE in concert. The tent divisions were created with shimmery sequence drapes and mirror studded walls wrapping the opposite side of the venue.  The tall white crystal floral arrangements on mirrored long arch tables not only spoke of surreal but understated luxury. 

Commenting on piecing every element of this one-of-its-kind private concert, Neelabh Kapoor, Director, Studio Neelabh said, “We turned this one around entirely in 90 hours, for which 80 hours went in setting up a space of over 36,000 square feet of carpeting area. This of course included carpeting the décor zones uniquely and the main stage, but also the tiniest details of F&B including the choice of cutlery and the placement of every last fork in the dinner setting. It’s also important to mention here, that organising an event of such scale with such magnanimous décor elements, requires a series of permission and licenses and undertaking of risk and liabilities, which we received. We learnt everything on the job, since we’re an India-based company that have recently started operations in Dubai / UAE.” J U LY – D EC E M B E R 2 01 8 | E x C e l

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W E D D I N G P L A N N I N G | I N FOC U S

The High-Profile Reception with Royalty at Bab Al Shams This event took place on February 20, at Bab Al Shams, where a barren land was converted into a venue for this high-profile event. Bab Al Shams is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, and the area is said to house one of his summer palaces. It is the most challenging venue to manage due to high security and protocol issues, but also made for the most fitting venue for the Royal guests.

A Customised, Thematic Venue Created within a Barren Arena “We created the entire larger than life set-up inside the most unique venue of Bab Al Shams, a large arena. The massive arena witnessed the most dramatic performance and lighting effects with customized thematic decoration. A dome structure was created to house a fine-dine experience with 360-degree projection inside and outside,” said Neelabh Kapoor, Director, Studio Neelabh, India and UAE. The overall set-up included a massive production of a large Galaxy, with see-through glass marques and luxury lounges with a dramatic main stage, that were all designed to create the ‘Gardens of Dunes’ look!

Speciality Catering and F&B Curation for Royalty Studio Neelabh and his team were involved in curating the entire catering setup, for which a professional and highly sophisticated culinary team of more than 90 chefs representing Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa and Hotel with The Meydan Hotel, were brought together. Explaining the unique concepts of the F&B experience, Neelabh Kapoor, Director, Studio Neelabh explained, “Culinary masterpieces were prepared by chefs de cuisines and their culinary teams representing the 8 high-end, speciality restaurants of both properties, that were relocated to the Gala ceremony venue.”

A 4km Thematic Drive-way Flanking the 32,000 sq mt. Production Space A 100 meters long food spread on each side with 8 high-end thematic restaurants were created to host the Gala Dinner Ceremony. Commenting on the mammoth production task, Neelabh added, “We were working on an overall canvas of 32,000 sq mts! That’s the reason we termed this a mega project! The space not only had to be designed, but curated as a dramatic experience right from the arrival to the venue, to the main areas of the Dinner Ceremony.”

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W E D D I N G P L A N N I N G | I N F O CUS

The 5-Night Mega Wedding at Palazzo Versace Dubai For the same big fat Indian wedding in Dubai there was a larger than life experience created! The venue for this 5-Nights, mega wedding was the luxurious Palazzo Versace Hotel, Dubai.  The wedding festivities were planned, designed, produced and executed by UAE and India-based,  Studio Neelabh  Luxury Weddings & Entertainment! Over 157 artists and performers, 500 skilled manpower, 110 chefs and butlers from India, 47 agencies and suppliers,150 skilled professionals from the Studio Neelabh team worked on the Grand Wedding which catered to over 1000 guests from a cross the globe.  

360-degree Experience for a ‘Gatsby meets Bollywood’ Sangeet The Versace ballroom was the chosen venue to create the most happening evening of the wedding — the Sangeet. A customised 360-degree experience was created utilising the entire space of the lower-level ballroom, by segregating the pre-function area to hold the lavish buffet and live counters. The Ballroom was solely kept for the headliner performances on an Oscar Awards shaped arch-LED stage with 360-degree LED screens wrapping the entire ballroom to create more depth with visuals and give a night-club feel to the ambiance.

Welcome Dinner and Youngsters Yacht Party

A Majestic Royal Wedding Reception

The events of the wedding started off with a formal, silver spoon sit-down welcome dinner, followed by a late-night youngsters Yacht Party! Exclusive experiential designs were created to give each event a very elegant and royal feel. The Yacht Party had a retro theme, with a Billionaire Retro experience through LIVE artist performances and a mix of large LED screens and special lighting playing their part to create a mobile night club experience.

A Punjabi-style ‘Baraat’ procession led to the poolside wedding dinner, followed by late night ‘pheras’.

The ‘Sajjan Khot’ – Where Traditional Indian met European Style The next day’s festivities started with a traditional Indian sit down, family lunch - ‘Sajjan Khot’ as referred to traditionally. The setup for this lunch was created outdoors, on the opulent lush green creek side lawns of the Palazzo Versace. Based on a concept of a White Green House, the space was designed on the lines of the ‘Palace of Versailles’.

Candy and Pop-up styled Poolside Mehendi

Neelabh Kapoor said, “We were involved from day one in advising and identifying the perfect destination, to the selection of the hotel, closing of all contracts, to managing the complete wedding accounts and finalising all suppliers while managing the logistics with all guest movements and facilitating of all required licences and permits. That’s what being a Destination wedding planner entails! Ensuring the delivery of a stress free experience for the family to sit back and enjoy the Grand Affair.” “The client had such great trust in us, and believed in every creative concept so greatly, that our every involvement including designing the entertainment and curating the F&B experience came through for the over-all affair. We were also working closely as fashion consultants to the Bride and Groom wear, which involved all leading celebrity  fashion designers Manish Malhotra, Abu Jaani and Sandeep Khosla, Varun Bahl and many more,” added Kapoor.

On the offset of the most gorgeous Palazzo Versace, sits the large oval pool overlooking the Marina and creek. The design demanded that it gel-in with the whole European architecture and speak a common language. So the idea of a Candy and Pop-up styled Mehendi was conceptualised to create the required balance. Large floral, origami tulips with floating white swans, a moving floral carousel made for the perfect photo-opp. J U LY – D EC E M B E R 2 01 8 | E x C e l

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Umaid Bhavan Palace Lit Up By The Royal Wedding Of Zubin and Aashna Executed By The Wedding Co. & YOLO Entertainment The Umaid Bhavan Palace, Rajasthan was chosen as a venue for the grand wedding celebration of Zubin and Aashna from January 19 to 21, 2018. All the ceremonies were executed perfectly by YOLO Entertainment and The Wedding Co. and photographed by Ra Bherwani. The fervour and enthusiasm of the wedding began right on the Jet Airways Charter Flights where in the guests grooved to the melodious tunes of Paris House Addict. From headrests to menus, everything was personalised on these charters and the guests were welcomed onboard with pomp and show. A personalised welcome desk royally dressed up along with a beautiful welcome signage hoarding at the Jodhpur airport welcomed each and every guest post which they were ushered to their respective hotels in the city. The guests were welcomed in the most royal way with garlands, dhols and tikkas. A celebratory family dinner was held on January 19, 2018 at Khaas Baug in Jodhpur amidst the beauty of classic vintage vehicles. The first day, January 20, kicked – off with The Masquerade Ball. The theme was mask it up and everyone came in wearing tuxedos and gowns. Mood boards included black, gold, purple, and red colours. The evening began with a never seen before classic and evergreen vintage car drop off for all the guests to the main porch of the Umaid Bhawan Palace. 22

As a planner keeping in mind the taste of the client and their story is most imperative. Zubin and Aashna’s wedding was a dream come true for them and us! Grandeur and luxury are what they asked for and that’s exactly what we do, always! BARKHA ATHANIA

Founder & Director, The Wedding Co.

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W E D D I N G P L A N N I N G | H AP P E N I N G

To be trusted by the family, to be able to curate and create exactly as envisioned and to be able to magnify their once in a lifetime experience is our greatest fortune and privilege being wedding planners! JUETA HEMDEV

Director, Yolo Entertainment & Weddings

The pop of champagne by Zubin and Aashna cued in none other than, the one and only world famous trio - Paris House Addict, who created a magical evening in the Marwar Hall. The Fountain courtyard was set up immaculately for the loungers who enjoyed HookahRoyal's Led themed sheeshas for the night. The Rathore Darbar was set up in a royal manner with long sit down table set ups, tall centrepieces and the Museum courtyard laid down a decadent spread that was handpicked by specialists - nothing less than a Regal Affair. Every menu at the evening was thematic and offered the best continental and European food. Masked in mystery and draped in decadence, the #A2Z masquerade ball was nothing short of magical. The Mantra for the night was Mask on, Mask Off, let’s devour and dance your socks off. The Pool side Drunch was hosted at the Umaid Bhawan Palace on the second day which was January 21st, 2018. The mood board was mirror and reflectors, shades of pink and a hint of turquoise. The function saw cabanas beautifully made up of never seen before mirror pillars reflecting the hues of the sky and pink pastel floral prints. Guests were seen sipping on their breezy Daiquiris, martinis, mimosas and many other options from the specially curated bar menu by The Wedding Bartenders. Zubin and Aashna were glamorously ushered into the party by Mirror Man and Mirror Woman. Sunburn fame, DJ Julia Bliss made one and all groove to her music. The food area was beautifully done up in shades of pink, mirror reflective tables in rectangles and hexagons with shades of pink and flowers. Giveaways of floral tiaras, rings, corsages, boutonnière were by the very talented, Floral by Shrishti. J U LY – D EC E M B E R 2 01 8 | E x C e l 23

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Working with the prestigious Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace was also an absolute regal experience with royalty oozing out from every pore of the hotel’s team and the venue itself! The GM of the palace, Mehranavas Avari and the Director of Sales, Mr. Brijesh Sharma and their team ensured that our events flowed as smooth as silk! PR ATIK HEMDEV

Director, Yolo Entertainment & Weddings

The Sangeet function, also known as the Symphony of Souls was hosted at the Mehrangarh Fort. Zubin and Aashna’s arrival at the venue, cued in the Kanchi Godhi dance troupe giving a touch of the local flavour of the city. Zubin and Aashna’s parents opened the doors of the Fort to begin the procession in true Rajasthani style with a lot of folk performers from Ghoomar to Kalbeliya and a list of local entertainment welcoming the procession in tow. The evening in the concert hall began with a larger than life family Sangeet that seemed nothing less than an award function in production value. The turning point of this evening was the singing sensation Guru Randhawa, who took one and all by storm by his power packed performance. Dj Aman Nagpal and his band set the dance floor ablaze with his popular chartbusters. The Baraat, Pheras and After Party were hosted on the third day. The Baraat procession was no less than that of any Maharaja. The line up saw a host of vintage cars, a horse chariot, horses, elephants, camels, Mashal men, the most famous Sunder Band of Jodhpur origin and Lavaszma to give a royal touch to this elaborate convoy. The groom entered the palace on a special track created mixed with Azeem O shaan with true elan. The groom watched the bride enter in her specially designed Palki on the most popular bride entry track ‘Din Shagna Da‘. Cold pyros paved the way towards the uniquely created Varmala Bridge.

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Spectacular firework show was created by MORANI Fireworks by Azan Morani that looked serene matching the tunes of the chartbuster ‘Sky Full of stars’ and designed thematically leaving one and all mesmerized. Jodhpur truly celebrated the #A2Z couple with great pomp and show like true royalty. “The best is when we actually see everything that was being planned from #A2Z coming alive and looking spectacular be the artists performing, decor, fireworks, logistics, hospitality in numerous hotels across Jodhpur city, amongst others. All teams working in sync and seamlessly on the day making it look magical. The beauty lies in transpiring dreams into reality - the magic lies in fulfilling those wishes of the bride, groom and their families!” Zubin Aashna wedding, was an extravagant wedding curated by us and our teams, and the best was when the bride, groom and their families knew exactly what they wanted and enjoyed paying attention to the smallest of details required in making this celebration the destination wedding of the year!” said Pratik Hemdev, Director, Yolo Entertainment & Weddings.

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POOL PARTIES FOR A PRE-WEDDING FUNCTION No wedding is complete without a trendy themed party!

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ndian weddings are an epitome of grace, elegance and fun, but today trends have taken over and the bride, groom, and families prefer trendy and quirky over luxury. If not all, then at least majority of the couples do! Gone are the days when haldi, mehendi and wedding were the only three functions to enjoy. The newer times call for a livelier ambience and for planners to create an amazing experience for not only the bride, groom and their families but also the ones attending the events. And one of those very trendy events is the pool party. For those weddings which are hosted in venues that have pools, this is a must. Our wedding planning expert Darshan Shroff of Momente also spoke about the trends and shared his experience why pool parties are such an active trend in Indian weddings. “As couples are looking to make weddings a more fun filled affair, pool parties have taken off in a big way. They are such a fun way to dial back on the hectic pace of a wedding. It is such a refreshing change from the constant dress-change/ attendance of the other wedding functions and gives the guests a chance to catch their breaths. Pool parties are incredibly versatile in the sense that you can arrange a multitude of themes to complement a pool. We have been organising Spa Pool Afternoons functions with massages, pool and drinking games, etc. for a while now.

As couples are looking to make weddings a more fun filled affair, pool parties have taken off in a big way. They are such a fun way to dial back on the hectic pace of a wedding. NEHA SHROFF AND DARSHAN SHROFF Directors, Momente Weddings

Recently we have also been doing a tele-gaming concept (like the ones you see on TV) as part of our pool parties, to get everyone's competitive juices flowing with exciting games!” said Darshan Shroff of Momente Wedding Planners. J U LY – D EC E M B E R 2 01 8 | E x C e l

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D E CO R & D E S I G N | FEATURE

3D MAPPING IN WEDDINGS: THE DECOR TREND THAT IS REDEFINING INDIAN WEDDINGS!

Technology helps in crafting the most unique experiences. Especially, when it comes to weddings, technology adds more meaning to the elements of design ideated by the experts. With the current trend of using the latest technologies, creating never seen before experiences in social events is now an exciting challenge for décor companies. The current trend in wedding décor especially for larger venues is 3D Mapping. With the help of this trending technique, a venue can be transformed into an exotic place and give the viewers and guests an unforgettable celebratory experience. Some top Indian wedding planners have used this trend in grand celebrations, here’s what they have to say about it: STUDIO NEELABH An Experiential Dinner at Bab Al Shams Arena Dubai played host to this mega wedding by Studio Neelabh, as part of the week-long celebrations of the Goel and Sahu Family Wedding. Bab Al Shams Arena was especially selected by Studio Neelabh to create a larger than life experience for the guests. The concept of the decor was based on the grand night sky, with the moon and a ‘Nakshatra’. A 40-meter Dome was created as part of the walkway, leading the guests into a unique space-this larger than life Dome, with 360-degree projections of a story board designed for the inside and 28

The concept of the decor was based on the grand night sky, with the moon and ‘Nakshatra’. A 40-meter Dome was created, leading the guest into a unique space-the larger than life Dome, with 360-degree projections of a story board designed in the inside and outside, to create a once-in-a-lifetime visual experience for all to witness. Neelabh Kapoor | Director, Studio Neelabh

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outside, to create a once-in-a-lifetime visual experience for all to witness. The visuals were designed with voice overs and dramatic thematic music. KNOWNSENSE 3D Mapping Technology plays graphics created digitally through high lumen projectors on any surface-be it a building facade, the walls of a banquet, the gown of the bride or a set -it is magical to experience the amazing visuals on a large canvas. The technology per se entered the Indian market 5 -6 years back but has reached the wedding industry only in the last 3 years or so. Its USP is creating any kind of backdrop anywhere. All you have to do is make a wish. You are not restricted in terms of its possibilities. You imagine a castle, a Chinese dragon, forest or a Hawaiian island-3D Mapping can bring it all for you in 1 venue. That’s the beauty of it. Feeling of an inside of aquarium in a grand Rajwadi palace, or experiencing Egypt sitting in South India. That’s the power of technology and the major reason of its increasing demand. People started out slowly on mapping with trying it out for only Varmala ceremony. Gradually they moved to an intro show on the building facade and thematic receptions, and now, we have complete sangeet shows where the bride-groom have interactive visuals for their dance, the entire family dance sequences set on 50-60 different performance visuals to the soft loops for bands, singers, dancers, performers. It has come a long, long way.

Flower Decor, colourful cloths, variety of lights, decor props may rule the market but 3D Mapping technology is a must have for the WOW factor of your wedding! Himanshu Ghosh Creative Head, Knownsense Studios

The awareness of such a technology is huge thanks to the traditional social media of having witnessed it in your friends or cousin’s wedding. Everybody wants to get it done – it’s so unique J U LY – D EC E M B E R 2 01 8 | E x C e l

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and different, we get almost 200 inquiries every season but cater to a much lesser number. Every good thing comes with a price. And if it’s a special technology, it is bound to cost a little extra on your pockets compared to the decor. It also takes time to create customised content as per the backdrop. No two venues are same or backdrops similar. We tell our event managers to give us a month to create good quality themes and visuals. But the last-minute preps in our Indian weddings give us very little turn-around time. To address this growing demand, we have made packages of different Sets along with a bunch of visuals. be it a production set or LED, you can erect it as per a fixed design and use the visuals. Yes, we can play the same visuals on LED too making sure its placement design gives a sense of 3D depth. From a bride-groom fairy-tale being visualised on the heritage building, to the waterfall for a reception in a banquet hall, from the long aquarium entrance tunnel, to all the walls of a room depicting the endless sky, people are experimenting with this technology and making the most of it. Flower Decor, colourful cloths, variety of lights, decor props may rule the market but 3D Mapping technology is a must have for the WOW factor of your wedding! WEDDING UMBRELLA I think wedding as an industry is incredibly dynamic and therefore prone to experimentation. The beauty of 3D Mapping rests on its ability to be interactive. The old form decor had its limitations in the sense that no matter how well done it is, it 30

3D Mapping allows the guests to immerse in the experience completely as the audio-visual combination allows us to entertain and enthrall the guests through storytelling as the scope for creativity and imagination is enormous. Rajesh Ravani Founder, Wedding Umbrella will always be static in nature. On the other hand – 3D Mapping allows the guests to immerse in the experience completely as the audio-visual combination allows us to entertain and enthral the guests through storytelling as the scope for creativity and imagination is enormous.

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Aash Studio Transforms Mumbai’s Mukesh Mills for a Serene Wedding Aashna Singh transformed the barren Colaba mill into a dreamy wedding venue. Aashna Singh, founder and director of Aash Studio was recently contacted by a wedding couple to transform an abandoned mill compound in Mukesh Mills, Colaba, into a wedding venue. Her first thoughts on the location were, “Transforming a space like this was undoubtedly a challenge, but I love working with new spaces and love a good challenge, so I was up for it and excited.” This was the first ever wedding that’s taken place in Mukesh Mills. And hence was a very exciting and special project for Aashna and her team. But that also meant it was a difficult space. Because everything from water to electricity, even the most basic things which are there in other event spaces, were things they had to figure out from scratch in this case.

white flowers are a natural choice, we went for something with a desi twist – lots of mogra, loose mogra, rajnigandha, tuberoses and orchids.” They played with lighting and not let the decor or the elements overshadow the space and ethos. For e.g. for the Nikkah, they created a stage that celebrated the Arabian Sea as the backdrop. They used lots of mirrors and lots of brass and gold elements to cover the spaces. For the traditional Bohri thaal dinner, they filled up the ceiling with chandeliers that looked interesting in that rustic set up.

Speaking about the bride’s brief, Aashna said, “The bride, Sarah Sham who is an interior designer and is very creative herself was really keen on whites and greens (botanicals are a big trend this year!) However instead of going with a vintage English look where

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A Beautiful Mess-my vision was to stay true to the incredible and unique location I had at hand. Unlike something “naturally beautiful” like a beach or something typical like a banquet or lawns, this had so much more that I felt I had to respect and not overwhelm. I made sure to do more to accentuate it rather than change or hide it and it was fun to play with the flaws. A ASHNA SINGH Founder–Aash Studio

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This Magical Sangeet by Effects Tech and Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla Brings A Fairy Tale to Life GMR Grounds near Shamshabad Airport in Hyderabad were lit up with the dreamlike Fairy Tale décor theme to celebrate the Sangeet ceremony of Hasini and Anuj. Even as the entire venue was decorated in a fairytale and an enchanted forest theme, the stunning bride-to-be cast a spell on friends and family dressed in a stunning princess gown designed by a Dubai based fashion designer. A magical castle was designed with entry points decorated with mirror hangings. The dining area was styled with different mirrors for illusions and creative reflections. Decorated with metallic painted mesh, the craftsmanship of the décor was not only out of the box in reference to the ideation but also a very creative choice. The venue was filled with mirror walls and flower-like mushrooms made from acrylic for a one of a kind experience. Top celebrities and Bollywood biggies including Shiamak Davar, Karan Johar, Vaani Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, and Nargis Fakhri attended the lavish sangeet.

It was a magical event and working together with Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla was an amazing experience. SAROSH PATEL Director, Effects Tech

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D E S T I N AT I O N S | PHOTO FEAT U R E

Hyderabad's Iconic Falaknuma Palace; And why it's Perfectly Poised to host an Indian Wedding Perched 2,000 feet above the city of Hyderabad is Taj Falaknuma Palace, a jewel amongst the clouds and a perfect space to host a royal wedding. It was built in 1894, and is the former palace of the Nizam, who was rumoured to be the richest man in the world at one time. The palace overlooks the twinkling City of Pearls exuding romance and grandeur that take one back to the Nizami era. Talking about the hospitality of the out-of-the-world beautiful palace, from the moment you arrive at the Taj Falaknuma Palace in a horse-drawn carriage, the butlers treat you like royalty – making it the perfect choice for getting married. The five-star luxury hotel is spread over 32 acres and allows you to journey to the gilded ages, where opulence is celebrated and savoured equally. With 60 rooms and suites that are beautifully refurbished and lovingly restored by Her Highness Princess Esra, the Nizam’s Turkish wife, each provides gorgeous views of the palace courtyard and the 400-year-old city of Hyderabad. Aarti Manocha planned a gorgeous wedding at the Taj Falaknuma Palace and she says, “The experience of working at Taj Falaknuma Palace was phenomenally good. The team was very cooperative, the venue by itself has so much to offer, it’s got beautiful venues within the palace which one could work on for various events. 36

The experience of working at Taj Falaknuma Palace was phenomenally good. The team was very cooperative, the venue by itself has so much to offer, it’s got beautiful venues within the palace which one could work on for various events. AARTI MANOCHA Founder, Milestone to Memories

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From an architectural standpoint, Taj Falaknuma is one of the most amazing structures in India. The interiors are living embodiments of Nizami luxury. And as part of our shoot, we focused on getting the regales captured equally. ANAND RATHI Director, Reels and Frames

The whole backdrop of the palace looks magnificent when we’re doing an event in the lawns. The property by itself gives a great royal feel. That’s why I feel that the venue of Falaknuma has the royalty very different from what Rajasthan could offer. So, for somebody who’s planning a royal wedding could consider Falaknuma clearly as a venue for its extremely beautiful stated elegance. The weather from October to march are perfect for a wedding there. So, thumbs up to Falaknuma which is definitely one of the best venues for a wedding”.

The venue attributed largely to the decor with regal spaces and subtle symbolism which was incorporated in the form of deeper colours, print and patterns, candelabras, and regal mirrors in an old-world charm. HEENA PATEL

Creative Head & Founder, Amaahyaaj

Anand Rathi, Director, Reels and Frames was also a part of a wedding at the gorgeous venue said, “From an architectural standpoint, Taj Falaknuma is one of the most amazing structures in India. It is shaped like a scorpion and spans in an area over 32 acres. Hence, nothing but an aerial shot could have done justice to the expanse and beauty of the palace. At the same time, the interiors are living embodiments of Nizami luxury. As part of our shoot, we focused on getting the regales captured equally”. Heena Patel, Amaahyaaj explained on her experience of working as a décor specialist at the Falaknuma for the same wedding as Aarti Manocha and Anand Rathi said, “The venue attributed largely to the decor with regal spaces and subtle symbolism which was incorporated in the form of deeper colours, print and patterns, candelabras, and regal mirrors in an old-world charm”.

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Milestones to Memories Plans the Star Studded Marwah-Motiwala Wedding at Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah The grand wedding of Mohit Marwah and Antara Motiwala was attended by the who’s who of the Bollywood. Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah, was gorgeously decked up from February 18 to 20, 2018, to celebrate the wedding of Antara Motiwala and Mohit Marwah. The Marwah and Motiwala family entrusted team Milestones to Memories (MtoM) with the highprofile celebrity and HNI guests list for the luxurious wedding of this season. For Antara and Mohit, luxury and style was the thought behind the selection of the destination. And with MtoM’s past hands on experience with the exuberant hospitality of Ras Al Khaimah – Waldorf Astoria, the selection was clear. From selecting the destination, the venues, setup, décor themes, to the food, and entertainments, every aspect of the wedding was well thought off keeping in mind the vibrant and varied personalities of the bride and the groom. In spite of the heavy guest list and high expectations, the MtoM team left no stone unturned to create high service levels and an easy approachable environment for all the guests.

First and foremost our passion is how we won this business, the entire family mentioned that they loved the passion and approach the team had, secondly, our experience, knowledge and relationships in RAK and UAE and thirdly, our flexible and adaptive way of working. A ARTI MANOCHA

Director, Milestones to Memories

The event left back great memories for not only the bride and groom and their families, but also the guests who were enthralled by the experiences created. Not to mention that Mrs Tina Ambani (aunt of the bride) and Mrs. Kokilaben Ambani also had words of praise for the entire MtoM team and the execution of the wedding programme.

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We conceptualized four major functions – Mehendi, which had a Latin American inspired theme breaking away from your typical Mehendi ceremony. For the Sangeet, Fete created a black and rose gold look which involved grand and opulent ceiling installations of floral and chandeliers. The Baraat involved a lot of fun and pop colors that signified the entrance of the groom and his friends. The wedding followed by the Reception adorned beautiful hues of purple and different shades of pinks coupled with mirror elements. MALLIK A SINGH

Creative director, Fete Events

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PARTNERS DECOR

Fete Events DMC

Sharjah National Travel Tourist Agency (SNTTA) TECHNICALS

Flair

The Marwah-Motiwala wedding was probably the most amazing wedding we have done till date. The guests were close knit, the music went on till early morning and we had a free hand to do whatever we wanted to give a never seen before catering experience.

CATERERS

Varun Tuli, Yum Yum Tree

VARUN TULI

Director, Yum Yum Tree

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An Incredible Pre-wedding Bash by MEW at the Red Bull’s Hangar 7, Salzburg, Austria Aditya Motwane, Founder & Director of Motwane Entertainment and Weddings shared, “We were looking around Salzburg for a venue for the Welcome Dinner when we were told about Red Bull’s Hangar 7. We were told that no private event had ever taken place within the museum. It was clear that this would be one of the most unique venues in the world and we absolutely had to make it happen. Determined, we tried every day for 14 days to convince Friederich Mateshitz (Red Bull CEO) & local authorities to allow us the permission.”

“We were told that no private event had ever taken place within the museum of Red Bull’s Hangar 7, making it one of the most unique venues in the world. Determined, we tried every day for 14 days to convince Friederich Mateshitz (Red Bull CEO) & local authorities to allow us the permission and finally got it.” ADIT YA MOTWANE Founder & Direc tor

Mot wane Enter tainment and Weddings

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Hangar 7 is a unique architectural work of Art - the roof is a transparent shell with views to the open sky above; it is a wonderful modern art gallery with an enviable display of “Flying Bull” aircrafts and Formula 1 Racing Cars, excellent diningavant-garde architecture and technology all blending in artistically. A completely unique venue for a wedding. “As soon as the permissions were granted we set up the venue in between visitors every day between 8am and 5pm, relying on all heavy work to only be done post closing time. Luckily with our experience of executing events in all types of unconventional venues, we were able to work around the struggles of creating a sufficient space to fit 400 people for a pre-wedding welcome night, amongst the artefacts inside. Some were moved into the hangar next door while other pieces were moved to one side as we wanted to maintain the venue for what it is and all the vessels are so impressive”, he added. Naturally no open flames were allowed with such flammable vehicles so Puneet Sikand’s team from The Kitchen Art Co. in Delhi, had to make provision for firing the tandoor’s and preparing the food below Hangar 7, in the basement. In order to keep the food warm, all food had to be brought up and kept on electric heating dishes. The Hangar looked incredible with décor done by WDC and it is surely one event we will never forget.

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LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AT WEDDINGS – THE ARTISTS SPEAK We asked top entertainers and artists how they customize wedding entertainment acts and how unique acts are conceptualized.

DJ SUMIT SETHI I was the first one to start this jugalbandi act 10 years back in India. So I have a different set of musicians with whom I jam. If I am doing a wedding function, for each function I do different acts. Like for mehndi, I jam with international dholi on cocktail. I also jam with violin and saxophone drummer. For a pool or sun downer, I jam with a trumpet and digridoo player. Usually couples have their song ready but I try and add my personal touch where we have the couple on the stage and a musician playing live songs. I then mix my song into the music. I feel it’s the most amazing moment for a couple and it has to be special. I have always been a trend setter in the live section of deejaying at weddings. Different acts, synchronised acts and those which have a great visual appeal are the trends in live. Couples are looking for a rocking evening and most memorable musical night of their life, which I provide!

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MOHIT JADHWANI All depends on what the couple and their family likes. Some people are a little reserved, so we can't have a lot of fun with them on stage. Some people leave it on us as they feel we're the best at our job (which is true :P ). I just love such people. Let us remain us and then you see. Some really weird requests like not asking them to sing and dedicate a song for their spouse. They all want the event to be interactive. But they don't want the interaction to take place between the anchor and the couple, but between the anchor and the audience. The couple's always want their performance to be after everyone else's performance, as that's the highlight of the show and that's what people wait for. But sometimes when the family and friends are too many in number, the couple's performance takes place really late and by that time the guests have already left for dinner :D What are the trends in LIVE entertainment at the weddings? Tanoura act is in trend. We get to see that at the cruise and Desert Safari in Dubai. It's not very common like belly dancers. And the different type of grand entries. That's something all couples are looking for. Destination wedding where they can have pheras on the beach. Also, they choose picturesque places for pre-wedding pictures and video as that's what gives you good number of likes on Facebook and Instagram.

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DJ PAROMA CHATTERJEE Weddings are an extremely special event in someone’s life, hence the pressure of playing and performing well is high. I like to customise the music knowing my client, for example if it is a Punjabi Wedding, I know there will be high octane energy level music and Punjabi beats. Sometimes, I choose soothing yet groovy tunes if my client just wants their guests to enjoy to the tunes of some melodious music. I give special priority highlighting the couple, as it is their big day, and choose a lovely track which brings out and best describes the chemistry they both share. Some like romantic tunes to groove on embracing each other, and some want to just break free of all the wedding stress and burn the dance floor. Nowadays, Live Entertainment is quite popular currently for weddings, as it helps in making the crowd feel involved and a part of the event and celebration. Interaction with your guests makes the whole environment extremely alive, as it is also important that your guests go back home with a smile on their face and saying that they had a great time, because people will always remember how you made them feel. Couples today like to walk around as well and interact with the crowd, rather than keeping on standing on stage for hours. Selfies is the new trend as well. I have encountered some very sporting couples as well who like to make the music fun and have asked for special dedications to be made not just for each other but their family members and near and dear ones too. So yes, with changing times, the music and entertainment industry is growing and fine tuning itself too.

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A Royal Wedding where Bollywood meets Traditional Entertainment The families of the couple wanted a Royal wedding where they could get both Bollywood and a traditional touch together and at the same time they wanted the evenings to be “Larger than life”. “We designed, conceptualised and choreographed the Sangeet like an Award Night that is just like the FILMFARE or IIFA awards and made the families perform like celebrities. Beautiful dancers, grand props and visually powerful choreography was visible in each act. The highlight was the Finale “The Bahubali Musical” where the entire movie (Part 1 & 2) was showcased on stage in 15 mins. On the other hand, the theme designed for the Wedding was “The Royal Darbar” where 100 dancers performed at the very beautiful Mughal Garden. The act started with dancers’ dancing in the water body, a huge procession for both the Bride and the Groom simultaneously and finally the Garlands were exchanged on the Grand Airawat-an18ft Huge Elephant Prop.

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G S Worldwide Entertainment Makes this Kolkata Scion’s Engagement A Star-studded Affair!

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ASER POWER & INFRA PVT LTD owner, Deepak Goel wanted an exclusive celebrity performance, never before done in Kolkata for his son, Akshat Goel, who was getting engaged with Samidha Bhawsingkha, daughter of Arvind and Sangeeta Bhawsingkha. So GS Worldwide Entertainment came up with a perfect match!

“Talent management has been our forte for years and we have been successful each time when approached with a specific requirement. Mr. Goel needed a celebrity who had never visited Kolkata for a wedding event, and that's exactly what we delivered.” J U S P R E E T S I N G H WA L I A D i r e c t o r, G S Wo r l d w i d e E n t e r t a i n m e n t

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GS Worldwide Entertainment approached Ayushmann Khurrana for a performance at the engagement. Female singer Kamakshi Khanna along with a six piece band and Ayushmann flew off to Kolkata for the first ever celebrity performance at a wedding event in the city. The ceremony was arranged at Taj Bengal, Alipore. The Bollywood star sang his hits for around an hour and kept the guests entertained the whole evening. GS team assisted the star and his team throughout by taking care of his travel, stay and other requirements. The guests at the event looked amazed and astonished by the star’s stage presence. Mr. Goel was impressed as the evening was made memorable and GS team was proud to play a part. Ayushmann had never performed at a wedding event in Kolkata before and loved the audience at the ceremony.

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“It was my first time in Kolkata and I had never performed in a wedding event here! The audience were perfect. The arrangements made by GS Worldwide Entertainment were just like it had to be and me and my team couldn’t ask for more! Loved the city, guests and I feel full of gratitude for this opportunity!” AY U S H M A N N K H U R A N A

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“Emerald Events planned and executed this wedding. The Goel and Bhawsinghka family, had the perfect chemistry, that helped us plan their most important day in a perfect way. The entertainment part was rightly taken care as the bride was really enthusiastic to meet Ayushmann. “I will have to agree that he was the right choice as no one missed to tap their feet on their special day. The entertainment was provided by G.S.Worldwide Entertainment. Selection of the artist through G.S. was a result of our first interaction with them in November 2017, where we had concluded to call Ranveer Singh for a performance. Well, both the times the crowd was awestruck and glued near the stage, everything went phenomenal. That was not all for the night, we also had Dj Rink to keep the night going and a special appearance by the music composers, Salim-Sulaiman to wish the couple the best for their future. It was surely a starry night filled with stars and an alluring ring ceremony that a girl could dream of.” NIDHI PODDAR Fo u n d e r, E m e r a l d Ev e n t s

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I N D U S T R Y WATC H | COVER S TORY

WEDIMPACT:

The Impact of Indian Weddings on Tourism, Industry and Economy

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ITH THE INDIAN WEDDING INDUSTRY on a steady rise and now with more weddings opting for organised services and planning, and the move to more cheque payments than cash, the size capturing and growth of the Indian Wedding industry is likely to continue to showcase a healthy picture.

“The pace of growth of the Indian Wedding industry is at 28% vis-à-vis the global growth rate of 17-18%.” SAMIT GARG CEO & Co-Founder E-Factor Entertainment

Much of this growth and health of the wedding industry, together with the ancillary industry and economy benefits of the Weddings industry, with a focus on Indian Destination Weddings, have been discussed at industry forums in the recent past. The session at ICWF on Weddonomics touched upon the potential of the wedding industry with its size and impact, to work along with governments to explore scaling up and deriving maximum value for a wedding event, given its tourism and in turn, economic benefits to a destination. This topic was further explored at Wizcraft MIME Explore, the conference that marked the launch of the Global Wedding Academy. Here the discussions rounded up the objectives and organised efforts of Tourism authorities in recognizing the potential of the Indian Wedding industry. The discussion also touched upon ancillary industries and avenues that get rejuvenated alongside a wedding celebration. ExCel re-caps the most prominent insights from these discussion, in the excerpts below:

“Organised payment structures and professionalism is where we see the wedding industry in India heading towards.” SIDDHARTH GANERIWALA Founder and CEO Aura Integrated Solutions

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GROWTH AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES Samit Garg, CEO & Co-Founder, E-Factor Entertainment, shared much insight on the size of the Wedding industry globally and in India, as he introduced the concept of Weddonomics at ICWF 2018. He revealed, “USD 310 Billion, is what the global wedding industry is said to be sized at; and India is said to be a mere 10% of this, with the organised sector sizing up to USD 36 Billion. The brighter picture is the pace of growth of the Indian Wedding industry being at 28% vis-à-vis the global growth rate of 17-18%. So there is much opportunity yet to tap into, and that’s what our excitement at ICWF is.” On the subject of new opportunities leading from a more organised approach of the Indian Wedding industry, Siddharth Ganeriwala, Founder and CEO, Aura Integrated Solutions, explained why certain corporate event agencies are attracted to the wedding space, “Aura took the decision to enter the wedding space with Wedding Wows in partnership with Weddingline, because we find that there is a space for our creative thought process, while retaining our professional approach since organised payment structures and professionalism is where we see the wedding industry in India heading towards.”

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“Tourism boards gives us opportunities to utilize spaces that are unusual and that would not be available or considered, and that eventually elevate the celebration.”

“One of the most flattering ways to introduce a destination to a discerning customer, is through a wedding!” SHEETAL MUNSHAW

ADITYA MOTWANE Director Motwane Entertainment and Weddings

ENHANCED TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES Speaking about the tourism impact of the Indian Wedding Industry, with the rise of Destination Weddings from India, Sheetal Munshaw, Director - India, Atout France, explained, “As a destination we are always looking to host weddings. Not just for pure revenue generation, but one of the most flattering ways to introduce a destination to a discerning customer, is through a wedding! France is a good country for this, and once a wedding is hosted here, the word of mouth it generates, is also very beneficial. It’s for these reasons that as a tourism board we have been targeting weddings very seriously for a few years now.” Confirming the benefits of Tourism Authorities looking into the Indian Wedding industry, and also partnering planners for the mutual benefit of the wedding, Aditya Motwane, Director, Motwane Entertainment and Weddings (MEW), explained, “We have planned a few weddings and social events in the South of France, more recently in Monaco, where with the support of the authorities, the Monaco Square was made available to the wedding party for the Baaraat. Tourism boards gives us opportunities to utilize spaces that are unusual and that would not be available or considered, and that eventually elevate the celebration to a point of being noticed, which in turn benefits the destination.” IMPACT ON ANCILLARY INDUSTRIES Like Tourism, when commenting on other ancillary industries that a wedding impacts, Kainaz Sethna, Director, Seven Steps, expressed a unique view, that in a wedding, nothing is considered ancillary anymore, it actually has the potential to move the destination and most of its services, “Is anything ancillary for the wedding industry anymore? From the décor to the florals, to logistics planning, even jewellery and trousseau spends are now in the purview of the wedding planning industry and huge amount of money are spent on all these. It’s all become extremely integral, and then there are also the add-on benefits of a wedding, like the extended tourism, shopping benefits from a wedding visiting a destination.

Director - India Atout France

“From the décor to the florals, to logistics planning, even jewellery and trousseau spends are now in the purview of the wedding planning industry and huge amount of money are spent on all these.” KAINAZ SETHNA Director Seven Steps Entertainment

“No brand can afford to ignore the wedding space these days, be it fashion, and now even lifestyle brands.” PARTHIP THYAGARAJAN Founder WeddingSutra

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I N D U S T R Y WATC H | COVER S TORY On the subject of industries and businesses that benefit and are invigorated by weddings, Parthip Thyagarajan, Founder, WeddingSutra, added, “No brand can afford to ignore the wedding space these days, be it fashion, and now even lifestyle brands. They all have special marketing efforts to capture the wedding market / season. Homegrown brands have adapted to this faster, but now even global brands are attracted by the opportunity and spending patterns an Indian Wedding invites, and are looking to cater to these.” For Indian weddings, its actually about a tailor-made solution that enhances the overall experience in the destination.” BEJAN DINSHAW Country Head Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority

“In the wedding space, I have always achieved more success in partnering the tourism authorities to get more value, for the experience we create for our clients.” AARTI MANOCHA Founder Milestone to Memories

POSITIVE PARTNERSHIPS Pointing out the change in attitude of suppliers within a destination on the occurrence of more Indian Weddings being hosted in the Destination, Bejan Dinshaw, Country Head, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, explained, “In Abu Dhabi we call it the Big Fat Indian wedding. And rightly so, because it’s not only the tourism board, but also the suppliers that are understanding the value of an Indian Wedding. A few years ago when there were fewer weddings, hospitality brands never understood the importance of having a separate kitchen, for instance. Now even the Emirates Palace is already equipped with this, since they are hosting so many Indian Weddings. We have a separate division under the tourism board to partner with planners and help plan a wedding, because we’ve come to understand for Indian weddings, it’s not about subsidies, its actually about a tailor-made solution that enhances the overall experience in the destination.” Supporting this thought, Aarti Manocha, Founder, Milestone to Memories (MtoM), showcased an example of a recent wedding MtoM executed in the Middle East itself. She said, “We know for the MICE space, it is usually the case of discounts and subsidies when working with the tourism authorities. But in the wedding space, I have always achieved more success in partnering the tourism authorities to get more value, for the experience we create for our clients. That goes a much longer way than discounts. Or better still when access to a unique venue is granted with a waveoff of the nominal charges, that’s when you’re encouraged to work with the Tourism authority and deliver the best to your client.” BUILDING A LARGER PICTURE The continuous development of the Indian Wedding industry to being more organised, and the initiative by government authorities and top planners alike, to work together has led to the betterment and enhancement of the destination wedding industry in India. An interesting topic broached through these discussions have been to identify this larger picture. The true effect on industry and economy, not just tourism that a large-scale wedding can bring to a destination.

“In the case of the IIFA Awards, destinations bid to host the event, because they see the long-term value well-beyond the obvious tourism impact and event expenditures. High-profile Weddings are not far behind!” SABBAS JOSEPH Director, Wizcraft International

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Drawing parallel to the hosting of an industry convention, or a high-profile event in the likes of an IIFA Awards, for which destinations now bid to host, Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft International, opined, “Destinations see the value of an IIFA Awards way beyond its most obvious tourism impacts and event expenditures. They see if for its opening up of an industry between India and the host nation, and its long-term tourism and perception benefits, well beyond the days of the event. And therefore they bid to host this event, and we get to partner that destination with the most favourable bid for our objectives of that year. It’s not a far thought for a high-profile Indian Wedding to be looked upon in the same manner.”

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I N D U S T R Y WATC H | IN S P I R ATI O N

New Wedding Verticals of Esteemed Event Planning Companies

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hennai based, renowned event agency, Aura Integrated Solutions, and Delhi based Weddingline, have joint hands to set up ‘Wedding Wows’, which pulls in the finest talent from both agencies to redefine the rapidly growing potential of the Indian Wedding Market.

Another new vertical is by Vibgyor. Vibgyor, the Experiential Marketing Agency specialising in Brand Activation, Events & Exhibitions has expanded into the weddings and social events segment. The move comes after 16 years of end-to-end corporate management and execution of experiential campaigns experiences. The new vertical is titled "Vibgyor Celebrations".

“When we saw the growing demand from clients in the South of India, we were certain that a foray into the region would be best under the aegis of a renowned regional player, and we are happy to have found the perfect like-mindedness and passion in the Aura team led by Siddharth.”

“Our aim is to become an integral part of the client family while on the job, understand the expectations and deliver on budget. Patience, care, personal touch and hard work- is our way to win hearts.” SHUMA NANDA Business Head, Vibgyor Celebrations

CHETAN VOHRA Co-Founder, Weddingline

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WOW Experiential Celebrations Summit on Creating Heightened Aspirations The WOW LAB at the recently concluded WOW Awards and Convention Asia 2018, featured the Experiential Celebrations Summit which saw experts from across Destinations, Venues, Décor and F&B segments as they dealt with the creation of value and up-selling to clients in the wedding industry.

B H AV N E S H SAWHNE Y

The discussion revolved around the topic of Creating Heightened Aspirations – Cultivating Increased Spends, through three important aspects of a social event, i.e. venues and destinations, design and décor, and F&B. The session was moderated by Wedniksha Director, Bhavnesh Sawhney and had a set of speakers, leaders of each segment.

TH R O U G H VEN U ES A N D DESTI N ATI O N S The speakers in this panel were Elena Altemir from Barcelona Turisme, Sandra Tikal from Palazzo Versace Dubai, and Anna Olsson from Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi. While Anna dealt with the question of higher pricing and limiting the decorator’s creativity, Elena spoke on elevating the exclusivity of a wedding. Sandra Tikal discussed the workings of appealing to the Indian wedding sensibilities.

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Anna Olsson, Commercial Director - Sales, Marketing, and PR, Emirates Palace “I think Emirates Palace is a dream for many interior decorators and florists. It makes for the grandest platform to be either used as is or to be transformed entirely depending on the client's budgets and requirements. I think what creates heightened aspiration of this venue and also the outdoor venues of the Emirates Palace is the fact that it is created with the utmost grandness already, so you can build the occasion to match this level.” Elena Altemir, International MICE Promotion Manager, Barcelona Turisme “We came up with the Barcelona Weddings website to assist planners in planning a wedding in Barcelona. If you have the budget for a cultural site, go for it. And if you don’t, we have over 300 wineries to choose from. Still quaint and still very European. We have professionals who will be delighted to work with you. I believe, sooner or later, Indian weddings are going to make a trend in Europe, you create a story, and your decoration is amazing. Barcelona is all about the emotion that connects with you and the key selling points are good food, location, modernism and the beauty.” Sandra Tikal, General Manager, Palazzo Versace “I think it splits into four categories, and the first is brand. Versace is a renowned brand in the world, it’s an aspirational brand. Everyone knows Versace as a fashion brand and knows less about Versace’s hospitality. The other thing about it is that we spend a lot on the authentic. Now when someone is flying in 400-500 guests for their celebration, less distraction is a good thing. Being 10 minutes away from the airport is a benefit. It is a value to have a wedding here. We’ve offered complete buyouts for a few weddings where it then became family celebrations. We participate to make a celebration. We like to talk to the family, to make sure they’re okay. It’s exciting for us as well. We try and create a family environment, so everybody feels comfortable.”

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TH R O U G H DES I G N AN D DÉCO R Mallika Singh of Dubai based Fete Events spoke about how they ensure décor creates heightened aspiration in a time when less is more.

M A L L I KA S I N GH

Mallika Singh, Creative Design Director, Fete Events “When you’re working on a wedding you’re trying to bring a bride’s vision alive. People are now looking for a very personalized approach. For example, you choose a décor where the table settings are very dynamic. You do not want people to leave without talking about your event. So there’s always something at an event which is a conversation starter. And something that makes the guests talk about it for a long time.”

TH R O U G H FO O D A N D B EVERAG E The speakers in this panel were, wedding planner Aditya Motwane, food stylist Rakhee Jain and restaurateur and celebrated caterer, Varun Tuli. The discussion of this session was around the question; what is considered of more value: Taste or Presentation? and discussed topics like unique food curation concepts, food presentation, and catering collaborations. A DI TYA M OT WANE

RA K H E E JA I N

Aditya Motwane, Director, Motwane Entertainment, and Weddings “The food business is a very important pillar in Indian weddings. We’ve all done weddings over the world and in India. The food and beverage business in India is massive and every client is looking for something different and special, and we try to help them by getting the specialist catering team. We work with all local and international catering teams to offer the best culinary experience at weddings in India and abroad.” Rakhee Jain, Director, Rakhee Jain Designs “The concept I am trying to bring in is a value-add. We create food as a part of the décor. What we have tried to do is blend the food décor with the décor of the event venue. Also, I believe the catering teams who come from overseas are so busy producing the food they do not have the time to think about how they will present it. It is a challenge for them to churn things out at the right temperature and make sure it is then presented well. We bring expertise in making sure everything is food safe.” Varun Tuli, Director, Yum Yum Tree “Being fairly new gave us the liberty to think about food very differently. We look at three types of collaborations. First is the holistic collaborations, which means there is a collaboration between the event planner and décor company as a whole. Second is between chefs. The third is with the actual guests. Sit-down is another concept which we’re trying to bring in Indian weddings. Having a sit down dinner with the Indian audience is difficult and hence we’re coming up with unique settings for the seating and food that is served at the same place.”

VA RU N T U L I

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10 Highpoints of ICWF 2018 that Concluded at The Fairmont, Jaipur

The International Convention for the Wedding Fraternity (ICWF) concluded its 6th edition this year. The event was held from July 27 - 29 at the Hotel Fairmont, Jaipur. Let's take a look at some of the high points from the event. 1. THE FAIRMONT JAIPUR In a first-of-its-kind avatar, the Fairmont Jaipur Lobby Bar extended itself as the venue for the Welcome Reception. And that's not all that was unique; the glass doors leading to the outdoor patio were temporarily un-installed to create a seamless walk-way to the terrace, lending a most exceptional vibe to the reception. And what’s better than the organisers themselves making your drinks for you? Mandeep Malhotra and Atul Nath from team ICWF, welcomed guests from behind the bar counters while they prepared their beverage of choice!

3. INTERFLORA Interflora as Associate Partner to ICWF showcased their most awe-inspiring history of supplying fresh flowers across the globe. Highlighting the relevance of floral arrangements for the wedding industry which is leaning more and more towards fresh flower arrangements for bespoke celebrations, Interflora was able to take audiences through the details of how flowers are sourced, nurtured and made available at the exact stage of their life cycle as desired by a designer. The brand also launched a ‘floral inspiration’ coffee-table book along with Tomas DeBuryne and Karen Tran.

2. KAREN TRAN Karen Tran, Founder and Floral Designer at the Floral Experiences, USA, opened the account of the exceptional and inspiring content this year at ICWF. This celebrated florist, who was in India as recently as June, for her work on the Ambani Engagement, took audiences through her life’s journey while highlighting how perseverance and passion made her realise her true potential and become a world-renowned celebrity florist.

4. YOUNG GUNS While the youth seems to be a favoured stakeholder in many industry conferences these days, the session at ICWF by the Young Guns of the Wedding Industry, packed an additional punch with an All Women’s panel. The discussion centred around the new thought process and innovations being introduced by the youth of the industry, and also circled back to the importance of passion and finding your niche and owning it!

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8 5. THE ICWF GALA @GULMOHAR The ICWF Gala took place at Gulmohar (By Taluka), a venue suited for receptions with royalty. The most fitting welcome was put together with ‘ghoomar dancers’ that led guests into the open grounds and foyers that surrounded the palace-like structures of the venue. A neat tent set-up housed round table seating and exceptional cuisines and catering. This was followed by an entertaining evening of song and dance in the indoor venue of the Gulmohar. 6. THE DESIGN LAB EXPERIENCE The Design Lab Experience showcased their exemplary experience in the world of creating fantasy and fantastic social events of scale! The Dubai-based trio: Mootassem Elbaba, Hibah Albakree, and Marwan Maalouf, generously shared insights with the audience on their process and guidelines they follow while designing spaces. The session concluded with a fitting standing ovation for the creative geniuses. 7. WEDONOMICS Wedonomics, the term and session coined by ICWF to discuss the economic effects of the Indian Wedding Industry, was also one of the highlight sessions this year. Samit Garg, the moderator, got panellists to discuss aspects of attraction for working in the wedding industry, possibilities of sizing up the core as well as peripheral beneficiaries of the wedding industry. Sabbas Joseph revealed insights into how Destinations / Economies are influenced by a high-profile event being hosted there, drawing parallels from IIFA. Siddharth Ganeriwala, a new entrant into the wedding space shared his inspiration of joining the business owing to more professionalism and accountability coming into weddings in India.

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8. GIWA As in each edition, ICWF concluded with the magnificent GIWA 2018, in which various stakeholders of the wedding industry are celebrated and acknowledged for their work in the year gone by. Studio Neelabh emerged as the highest winner, with max metals in his kitty, for this edition, thus making him the ‘Star Of The Year’ for GIWA 2018, with a fitting ‘elevated moment’ onstage to announce this coveted achievement. Other big winners of the evening included Wedding Umbrella, Touchwood Weddings, Tamarind Global and Event Tokree. (Read about all the GIWA 2018 winners, here: Studio Neelabh Wins Max Metals and the 'Star of the Year’ Award at GIWA 2018) 9. AWE-INSPIRING ENTERTAINMENT The GIWA, while inspiring for their celebration of the wedding industry, also put up an exceptional opening and closing act, with dancers on stage, in the audience and on aerial points across the ballroom of the Fairmont Jaipur. This coupled with pyros across the ballroom gave goosebumps to the audience when the show began and also at the conclusion when the ‘star of the year’ for the GIWA’s was announced! 10. HOSPITALITY While hospitality is now a given at ICWF, with newer benchmarks being set with every edition, it still can’t go unmentioned! In its 6th edition, ICWF showcased to an industry of hospitality experts what hospitality truly means with personal hosts for speakers, exceptional curated and presented food and beverage options, and the personalised gifts and giveaways that caused many to pay for excess baggage when returning home. ICWF 2018 had it all!

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Wizcraft MIME Global Wedding Academy Pledges to Inspire and Motivate The Global Wedding Academy by Wizcraft MIME, supported by the DICE Academy, was launched at a knowledge-exchange conference titled, Wizcraft MIME – Explore. Experts from the wedding, experiential, hospitality and education space came together across 4 invigorating sessions, to inspire, motivate and cultivate an energy and value for knowledge, as part of this launch. Wizcraft MIME Explore took place on August 31 at the ISDI campus in Mumbai, which houses the DICE academy for professional education and career development. As part of the launch and welcome to the fraternity and interested students, Sushma Gaikwad, Curriculum Director and Mentor, Global Wedding Academy, said, “We pledge to our students, that we will inspire you – motivate you – push you harder to learn – and hold your hand through the journey. And to the industry, we pledge to seed passion, integrity, hard work, resourcefulness, and truly groom talent for mutual growth of the space.” Speaking about the potential of groomed talent in the wedding industry, and the advantages and agility offered by the course at the Global Wedding Academy, Sabbas Joseph, Founder & Director, Wizcraft (and Wizcraft MIME), explained, “The wedding business is larger than many organised media businesses, and is still growing. We require 100,000 wedding professionals at least to manage the existing size of the business, but we don’t have them. Professionals needed to be created in the shortest of time. Wizcraft MIME looks to follow the best model, to train and groom talent that is ready for the industry. The program is designed to be a co-program with multiple electives, where students can choose among décor, design, gifting, production, and more, while working with the top 5 universities of the world that focus on the business of entertainment.” 60

Arnab Goswami, MD, Republic TV, special guest to the launch also stressed on the opportune time of the launch of the academy and highlighted the goodwill that Wizcraft has garnered in the industry, rendering them one of the best entities to have started an institute for Event Management. He said, “Everything is becoming bandwidth oriented. There is a great need of trained professionals. This is the right time to launch such an initiative, and I wish the team great success.”

Wizcraft MIME looks to follow the best model, to train and groom talent that is ready for the industry. The program is designed to be a co-program with multiple electives while working with the top 5 universities of the world that focus on the business of entertainment. SABBAS JOSEPH Founder & Director, Wizcraft (and Wizcraft MIME)

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I N D U S T R Y WATC H | H AP P E N I N G

The formal launch took place with the ceremonial lighting of lamp, and then the event dove straight into invigorating and inspiring sessions. The first of the sessions was a keynote presentation by Samit Garg, CEO & Co-Founder, E-Factor Entertainment. He took the delegation through the most inspiring case studies of projects his company has been involved in, with the session titled, ‘Think big, Dream big and Plan big’. Garg stresses that, “It is always the idea that makes everything big or small. Bigness is in ourselves!” Session two dealt with an upcoming and important subject – that of the economics and impact of the wedding industry. The session titled WedImpact, was moderated by Karishma Hundalani, Head – Brand and Content, EVENTFAQS Media, and included panellists amongst destination wedding planners and tourism board representatives, including, Sheetal Munshaw, Director – India, Atout France; Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority; Kainaz Sethna, Director, Seven Steps; Aarti Manocha, Founder and Managing Director, Milestones to Memories; Aditya Motwane, Director, MEW; and Parthip Tyagarajan, Co-founder & Director, WeddingSutra. Reema Sanghvi, Managing Director, Maximus, moderated the third panel discussion with the topic ‘Creativity Rules’. The discussion covered topics on the importance of creativity and its manifestation at various touchpoints and in multiple aspects of the wedding planning process. The panellists included, Farid Khan, Director, Wedniksha; Rakhee Jain, Director, Rakhee Jain Designs; Samit Garg; Anand Rathi, Director, Reels & Frames; and Vijay Arora, Director, Touchwood Group. The final session of the day was a combination discussion that deal with the importance of Hospitality in the Wedding and Social Events industry, and the value of Education in the space of weddings / events. While Gitikka Ganju Dhar, the host of the event donned the hat of moderator for the Hospitality discussion with Farhat Jamal, Senior Vice President, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces; Sanjay Vazirani, Chairman & Managing Director, Foodlink; and Pramod Gaikwad, CEO & Partner, ICE GLOBAL. Panellists discussed the important of partnerships and taking ownership and responsibility to finally deliver a superlative hospitality experience for guests.

Everything is becoming bandwidth oriented. There is a great need of trained professionals. This is the right time to launch such an initiative, and I wish the team great success. ARNAB GOSWA MI MD, Republic T V

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I N D U S T R Y WATC H | HAP P ENIN G

The discussion on Education as a Game Changer, led by Sameer Tobaccowala, Chief Executive Officer at Shobiz Experiential Communications addressing questions to his peers including Roshan Abbas, Co-Founder, Geometry Global and Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts was an invigorating and insightful discussion. Panellists all agreed that there was no end to the learning process, and that education in the space of event planning and more specifically wedding planning would be a great boost to the event industry. The event concluded with a vote of thanks and group pictures, leading on to live registrations for the first batch for the Global Wedding Academy by Wizcraft MIME during the event itself.

We pledge to our students, that we will inspire you – motivate you – push you harder to learn – and hold your hand through the journey. And to the industry, we pledge to seed passion, integrity, hard work, resourcefulness, and truly groom talent for mutual growth of the space. SUSHM A GAIK WAD Curriculum Director and Mentor, Global Wedding Academy

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Join our wedding planning course for an exciting career.

Call Aishwarya on 09326465589 www.globalweddingacademy.com


V E N U E S | P HOTO FEATUR E

THE ROYAL ELM, KARJAT DECKS UP FOR A GLAMOROUS WEDDING The couple tied the knot amidst the luxurious greenery and mountains beside a lake – dreamy. The Doli Diary planned a larger than life wedding at the gorgeous farmhouse, The Royal Elm. A couple, Arjun and Ayesha, chose The Doli Diary to plan and execute their wedding at this serene venue. Arjun and Ayesha’s lavish three-day nuptials created quite a splash at the sprawling property, The Royal Elm in Karjat, which is surrounded by lush greenery, picturesque mountains and a lake overlooking the property where their wedding took place. The Doli Diary planned and managed this lavish celebration of love, the preparations for which started 12 months in advance! The bride, groom and their parents were thoroughly involved in the planning process which certainly helped team The Doli Diary to channel their vision of a dream wedding into a reality! Transforming the farmhouse for Arjun and Ayesha’s wedding was quite a task and the planning started 12 months in advance; attention was given to the minute details to ensure 500 guests gracing the wedding to bless the adorable couple had the time of their lives!

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Arjun and Ayesha’s wedding was one of a kind as we got a chance to transform this beautiful ancestral farmhouse into a wedding space. To work in someone’s personal space is very different from working in a hotel or a lawn; you need to ensure that you create the grandness of a wedding without disrupting the original charm and sanctity of the space. NEHA WADHAWAN The Doli Diary

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V E N U E S | P HOTO F E ATUR E

The wedding festivities kick-started with one of a kind welcoming pool party held at Radisson, Karjat on the day one of the three day mega celebration of love. The pool party had a fun Niki Beach vibe to it with all white dĂŠcor elements done by Dreamzkraft. After this one of a kind welcome with a fun pool party sundowner, next morning, everyone geared up for the Mehendi ceremony which had a pop art theme with a fun bride entry with a floral umbrella done by Srishti Floral Art, and decor by Dreamzkraft. The entire event was an amalgamation of love, laughter and celebration captured beautifully by The Wedding Salad and Romesh Dhamija Productions. The Mehendi was followed by the Bollywood themed Sangeet which was held on the farm. This was followed by Haldi which was a small knit intimate family affair. It followed the lakeside wedding amidst lush greenery and the serene atmosphere at a chic reception later on in pastel theme. The beauty of this one of a kind wedding lies in various elements like an unconventional venue to embark the beginning of an important milestone of their life, specially curated invitations and giveaways that added a personal touch to the whole experience and of course, the smiles on everyone's faces that made it indeed, all worth it!

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V E N U E | P HOTO FEATUR E

Papa CJ

Jumeirah Night at WOW 2018 Gives Attendees a Chance to Network With The Best in the Business The evening was part of Jumeirah Group's Gold partnership with WOW Awards 2018 and exclusive association with EPEX 2018. A scintillating night was organised at the Andaz Studios on June 29th, 2018 by Jumeirah Group for the top Hosted Destination Wedding and Event Planners as part of the WOW Awards Asia 2018. With the objective of further enhancing Jumeirah’s presence at the show, the evening provided an opportunity for social event planners to engage and network with each other over some entertainment and delicacies. A flautist welcomed guests to the Jumeirah Dinner at WOW, while Papa CJ, leading stand-up comedian performed for audiences present during the networking dinner. CJ as always left audiences in splits and in great spirit, while emcee Bharat Jain ensured the smiles didn’t dip and the audience continued to be entertained.

Staying true to their reputation, our association with WOW Asia and EPEX was an amazing success for Jumeirah International. Everything from the Expo to curating our dinner event was done with extreme professionalism. The team made sure all my delegates went back with great memories and the willingness to come back next year. Having witnessed the success of this event first hand I would like to thank the entire team of WOW/EPEX for pulling off this great show. AUGUSTUS SIMON Global Account Director, Jumeirah Group

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Bharat Jain

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V E N U E S | P OI NT o f VI EW

RITZ CARLTON DOHA IMMERSED IN COLOURS OF THE BIG FAT INDIAN WEDDING – GM ERDEN KENDIGELEN SPEAKS This 3-day lavish event was the first ever Indian wedding in the history of Qatar! It was for the first time that Ritz Carlton hosted an Indian Wedding on the property. The 3-day celebrations were a first in the history of Qatar. The ladies and gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha were involved in the preparations of this wedding. It was really important for the staff to ensure that traditions were maintained throughout the three-day event. Key ladies and gentlemen from India were also involved since the beginning of the preparations, from the sales leader to executive chef and guest relations. The team even went to India to attend one of the family’s weddings to witness a big Indian wedding and meet the family. The Ritz Carlton team worked on the preparations of this event for nearly 12 months and care was taken to plan and orchestrate the wedding in detail. “We ensured that the 3-day celebrations were flawless. All the arrangements from A to Z were taken into account, from the arrival at the airport, to the design of the interior and the culinary experience”, says Erden Kendigelen, General Manager, The Ritz Carlton, Doha. 70

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The Ritz-Carlton, Doha is the perfect destination in Qatar to host Indian Weddings. First of all, the hotel is known for its brand excellence. When guests book their wedding in our hotel, they know they will have the most unforgettable, unique and memorable experience brought to life by our ladies and gentlemen. Being in the market for the past 17 years, we are the landmark destination in Qatar. The new re-imagined rooms, suites, spa and club lounge as well as the beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces make it the perfect location to host any Indian weddings. ERDEN KENDIGELEN GENER AL MANAGER , THE RIT Z C ARLTON, DOHA

Below is the conversation with Mr. Kendigelen: How can every venue in the Ritz Carlton Doha cater to Indian weddings' need? We have a great source of Indian ladies and gentlemen in our team who are familiar with all aspects and details of Indian events and guest expectations. Based on our previous experiences and equipment in hand; all the venues can be transformed in to an authentic Indian atmosphere where our guests can enjoy a warm, relaxed yet refined ambiance. What are the capacities and uniqueness of every venue at The Ritz Carlton, Doha in terms of technology and design? The Ritz Carlton Doha venue is committed to deliver the finest personal service and facilities where our guests can experience the latest technology, trending event planning and the most unique design. We are proud to cater to about 250 weddings in a year and our venues can host events from 100 guests up to 2000. From pre-wedding to the wedding celebrations, how do you think Qatar makes for a full package wedding destination? Please mark my words; No one else can deliver what we promise to deliver in Qatar! We had the pleasure of hosting the largest Indian wedding in Doha and our guests were blown away by the special attention provided from Qatar Airways, Hamad International Airport, Qatar Tourism Authority, and H.E. Indian Ambassador. Experience started from special arrival counters at the airport and ended with a personalised gift from His Highness’ office. It does not get better than that and I wish this was my wedding. J U LY – D EC E M B E R 2 01 8 | E x C e l

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V E N U E S | I NSP I R ATI ON

MARQUEE & TENTS FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE WEDDING OR SOCIAL EVENT “What is a tent? The yesteryears’ monotonous definition - ‘yarns of white, yellow and red cloth hitched on to four ‘ballis’ is history. Talk of today, tents, to be more precise are dream-catchers. You dream and they make you live your dreams. They present themselves as a plain white canvas where you are given the liberty to sketch your beautiful and even out-of-the-box fantasies. Your job done, the rest is sheer magic”, says Amitesh Taluka, Director, Taluka Events. Tents today cater to every whim and fancy the couple desires. Customisation can lend a completely different look to the wedding with the correct type of tent and the décor. Every idea and imagination can be structured into realities with unbelievable perfection, beauty and comfort through marquees. If a client wants to dance cosily on a beautiful snowy December night, aloft the lovely blue mountains, the decorators and can ensure that the marquee is perfectly insulated. Interiors of the tents ranging from sensuously lit canopies to internal temperature control ensures every bit of the warmth is maintained and the style is not compromised with. A royal wedding, where the couples walk hand-in-hand through the majestic corridor with an ensemble of lavish layout is a dream to experience and marquee tents are perfect for this occasion. Tents are now transformed into luxurious palaces keeping in mind every minute detail of royalty.

Marquees and tents present themselves as a plain white canvas where you are given the liberty to sketch your beautiful and even out-of-the-box fantasies. And once your job is done, the rest is sheer magic. AMITESH TALUK A

Director, Taluka Events

Marquees set imaginations free. Be it an occasion by the blue beauty of the beaches, the wilderness of the jungles or a barren land, marquees and tents are the best way to bring a dream wedding venue alive. 72

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V E N U E S | IN S P I R ATI O N

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P H OTO G R A P H Y & F I L M I N G | P HOTO F E AT U RE

The Wedding Salad Captures Harpreet – Japinder’s Extravagant Dream Wedding in Dubai! The HarJap wedding was synonymous to luxury and hosted at the grand Palazzo Versace Dubai.

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APINDER AND HARJEET connected over their shared love for comfort and excitement right from the first time they met. The proposal was a very serene one set at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Delhi, on a chilly winter morning at 3 am.  It took one year for Tarnpreet (bride’s brother) to plan and organise the lavish wedding celebrations. They chose Versace for its sheer elegance and luxury experience which is unmatched anywhere in the world. The 3-day festivities hosted 1000 plus guests at the Palazzo Versace Dubai on a 3 days and nights wedding pack.  The most memorable moment of the wedding was when Tarnpreet was coordinating on the walkie-talkie with the chopper pilot for the 350 kg rose petal shower. It was a lot of fun and a never ending floral shower.     For the engagement, a 17th century architectural inspired scallop handwork Ballroom gown with a 5 meter trail and conical all around was designed by Dar Sara High Fashion who worked 24/7 around the clock to create this masterpiece in less than a month. The idea was to have the biggest princess moment of Japinder's life. A true Red Carpet moment is what the bride wished for. 

Planning the HarJap wedding was such a joy. Magnificent venues, lavish buffets, unusual entertainment, several visual delights in terms of décor and unparalleled hospitality by the hosting families truly made it a wedding to remember. MANEK A AND PREETI Directors, Love Details Dubai

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Mehendi was on a yacht with a sun-kissed theme that surely demanded a yellow and henna coloured look. The happening night with 25 litre of champagnes popping all night, aerialist dancers, belly dancers, bhangra troops, glitter portrait painters, 6 feet Versace Cake, 10 carat wedding ring, ice sculptures, candlelit decor, snowfall imitation, performances by Bollywood stars such as Sophie Chowdhary, Meet Broz made this wedding a lush affair!

W E D D I N G PA R T N E R S Photography: THE WEDDING SALAD Videography: WEDDARAZZI FILMS Wedding Planner: LOVE DETAILS - DUBAI  Wedding Decor & Hire: LEBANESE DECOR - DANTEL FLOWERS  Flowers: DANTEL FLOWERS  Cake: PALAZZO VERSACE  Invitations / Stationery: VERSACE  Entertainment (Band / DJ): SOPHIE CHAUDHARY, MEET BROZ, DJ SHADOW, DJ HANI

We were very excited to host Japinder and Harpreet’s wedding as it was the first large Indian wedding we hosted at Palazzo Versace Dubai. For a hotel, there is always a challenge in creating these big events and we are so happy that Palazzo Versace Dubai was the only place that felt right to them. SANDR A TIK AL General Manager, Palazzo Versace Dubai

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P H OTO G R A P H Y & F I L M I N G | IN F OC U S

RECALL PICTURES SHOOTS THE FIRST EVER WEDDING ON IPHONE X Raonak Hathiramani captured mesmerising pictures and filmed the big fat Jodhpur wedding on the iPhone X. This gorgeous wedding in Jodhpur was beautifully shot on the iPhone X last November. From the fun filled sangeet at the historical Mehrangarh Fort, to the regal wedding ceremony which was held in the lush green lawns of Umaid Bhawan Palace, everything was captured on the iPhone X by Raonak Hathiramani of Recall Pictures. As incredible and unbelievable as it sounds, choosing a different mean to photograph and film a wedding made this the most unique project of the year. Not only the wedding video looks exceptional, the pictures came out quite beautiful too! Raonak Hathiramani, Director, Recall Pictures says, “Shooting lovely pictures of your family and friends is one of the best uses of the iPhone X’s camera. Both the lenses on the iPhone X have optical image stabilization, which means that, when you take a photo in dim light, the lens adjusts to counteract the movement of your hands. This cuts back on light streaks that normally occur in these situations, giving you clearer pictures.” 76

Shooting lovely pictures of your family and friends is one of the best uses of the iPhone X’s camera. And this wedding was completely shot on iPhone X, making it an unbelievable and incredibly great experience. R AONAK HATHIR AMANI Director, Recall Pictures

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The wedding planner for this amazingly gorgeous celebration, Ankit Bafna, Co-founder, WEDGurus–Weddings, Entertainment & Design said, “As amazing as the hashtag #icallshibsonjb, the wedding was truly fun and fantastic. Working closely with the families and especially with the most adorable groom Jay and bride Shibani who was clear and crisp helped us achieve their expectations with great convenience. However, this was not our first wedding in this royal land, the city has always welcomed us with so much warmth and working with the choicest vendors locally comes as a big comfort.”

This was not our first wedding in this royal land, the city has always welcomed us with so much warmth and working with the choicest vendors locally comes as a big comfort. ANKIT BAFNA Co-founder, WEDGurus–Weddings, Entertainment & Design

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P H OTO G R A P H Y & F I L M I N G | IN S P IRAT ION

10 TRENDING PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES SHARED BY PHOTO-EXPERT RAM BHERWANI In a casual conversation with Ram Bherwani we spoke about the trends and styles of wedding photography, while he gave us the insights on the 10 photography techniques that leave wedding photographs look wow! 1. Hi speed photography - It freezes moments in time that are too fast for the naked eye to see. Like the flowers thrown in this pic. 2. Motion blur - Slow down your shutter speed, and hold your camera still as your subject moves. You can also “pan” with the camera, moving it along to follow the subject before releasing the shutter. This will keep your subject in focus while blurring out the background, like the flowers in the foreground in this pic are in motion.

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3. Hi contrast black and white photography - Making use of shadows, lighting, and strong subjects to create powerful imagery, love the play of shadows in these pics. 4. Smoke art photography - Can be a challenging, yet extremely rewarding technique. Smoke trails create mysterious and captivating images that are intriguing, fascinating, and fun to capture like the smoke in this picture behind the subject, it gives you a very misty feel. 5. Macro photography - It’s exciting to make huge images of subjects that are tiny, capturing minute details that are invisible to the human eye. We use a lot of macro photography for clicking pictures of food which is the most important part in an Indian wedding. 6. Silhouette photography – It is a fun and unique way to create dramatic photos. The best time for silhouettes is sunset or sunrise. To create the silhouette effect, position your subject in front of the sun, and shoot into the sun. A faster shutter speed will result in darker exposure, and a slower shutter speed will create a brighter image.

10 7. Reflections can add a powerful sense of depth to a composition. While the most common reflective photographs take place over a body of water or glass. Just like the reflection of the majestic Umaid Bhavan in the car window plane. 8. Lens flare - Getting lens flare into your photographs can be an unhappy accident if it’s unplanned. But learning to manipulate light bursts is a great way to add an interesting bit of flair to your photographs. You can achieve this effect by shooting towards the sun, and using different angles to manipulate the light and create a burst of light around your subjects. 9. Wide angle creative shots - We love doing wide angle creative shots with the subjects during wedding as it shows the beauty of the location during a destination wedding. 10. 3D cinema - If you can watch your wedding film on 3D by wearing 3D glasses, you get a feeling as if you are there at the location. You have to experience this feeling to believe it.

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Celebrity Wedding Invitation Designer Puneet Gupta Brings Emotions to Life with Shoaib and Dipika’s Wedding Diary! Inspired by the realms of poetry, Shoaib and Dipika’s reception invite is a reflection of their love!

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O GET AN OUT-OF-THE-BOX invite, Shoaib Ibrahim and Dipika Kakar flew to Delhi for a secret visit to the celebrity invitation designer Puneet Gupta’s New Delhi design studio. Puneet Gupta is a favourite amongst the likes of Bharti Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Poonam Sinha and Sachin Pilgaonkar to name a few. After hours of discussion and some chit chat, the couple lost their heart to the idea of a diary. The whole look and feel of the invite had been crafted keeping in mind, Dipika and Shoaib’s deep emotions for each other. The story of the invite revolves around Dipika’s art for writing poetry for Shoaib, who in turn equally cherishes this art and keeps it alive. Inspired by the realms of poetry, Shoaib and Dipika’s reception invite was a reflection of their love and strong desire for each other. The card breaks the monotony of a typical invitation card and ventures into the neoteric concept of a diary. The emerald green invite is portrayed as Dipika’s diary which has her most beautiful creation written on it, “Zindagi ki Kitaab ko Khoobsurat bana rahe hai”. Wrapped in gold tissue paper with their initials stamped on it, the card takes one to a land of nostalgia and portrays an old-world charm to the viewer. On opening, their reception invite, the viewer can see their wedding hashtag #dodilmilrahehai on the left side flap of the invite. On the right side, amidst gold laser-cut frame lies an invitation to the dreamy reception party of the soonto-be-wed couple.

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When the bride is so creative, our work becomes more interesting. Because you get to experiment and with us, we love to experiment. We love to design new things and don’t like to repeat things. Dipika is an amazing poet and bringing that poetry into an invitation is going to be something different. PUNEET GUPTA Celebrity Invitation Designer

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My thought was that if I want something unique, which is not there in the market, I will have to get it created. The collection I saw at Puneet Gupta Invitations was impressive, nothing has been repeated, everything was very fresh, unique, and whatever I have seen on their social media and the website, is different. That’s why we decided that this is the place.

At Puneet Gupta Invitations, you get very creative designs. Some are theme-based, and some are purely creative. When we came here and saw the work, we loved it. SHOAIB IBR AHIM T V Actor

DIPIK A K AK AR T V Actress

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M E R C H A N D I S E & I N V I TAT I O N | P OIN T o f VIE W

The Art of Creating the Rarest of Rare Designs In Conversation with Ranjani Iyengar of The Pink Whistle Man Wedding invitations give the first look of a wedding and hence need to be unique and trendy. We spoke with Ranjani Iyengar, Director of The Pink Whistle Man and asked her how she creates such rare invitation designs. Here is the what she had to say Looking at your invitation designs, it is very clear that every design is very unique. How do you come up with such out-of-the-box concepts for wedding invitations? Every client comes with such interesting personalities and stories, and that usually triggers some sort of an initial idea. I then try to visualise how that end product might look before getting down to the initial sketches. But there are times when I have these creative slumps and I prefer switching to the old school method of doodling on a notebook because I feel like technology sometimes hinders the creative process. I’ve learnt to stop obsessing about ideas, at least consciously, and change my activity for a couple of days until something clicks sub consciously. I sometimes just call the client to talk about random things, and this usually triggers an idea as well. It also helps to keep re-inventing yourself. A recent course I did in New York has helped broadens my perspective. What kind of customisation requests have you received in the recent past? I have had clients who are extremely open to the wackiest of ideas. They come in with a very open mind, and the initial conversations are mostly just about who they are and how they met as a couple and an initial story line. One of the recent requests was for a golden jubilee invite and to weave a story around elements that made their 50-year run exciting. What are the trending wedding invitation card designs? I think at the core of it everyone wants their wedding to be unique and resonate with their personality. So, the trends range from a classic white card with just typography to a repurpose concept invitation. It’s becoming more about the couple and their choices. I am also excited to try out new illustrated designs to make the invites look more raw and more organic. Are young couples mostly going for quirkier options for their invitations or are they going for traditional wedding invitations? I think there is an audience for everything still. But most of the clients that come to me, want offbeat ideas. And even if we decide to go the traditional route they want it to have an element of surprise or something out of the ordinary. What do you say about the future of wedding invites? Since a lot of weddings are scaling down and becoming more intimate, couples are opting for simple, yet impactful invites. I think a lot of the couples are being very mindful of the environment as well and are switching to digital formats of invites or eco-friendly invites which is great. I personally love working on keepsake options.

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18/09/18 8:03 PM


M E R C H A N D I S E & I N V I TAT I O N | P O I N T o f V I E W

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18/09/18 8:03 PM


M E R C H A N D I S E & I N V I TAT I O N | IN S P IRAT ION

WhatsApp Invites going Viral and keeping Guests Engaged!

Megha Israni, Director, Israni Photography says, “The concept of WhatsApp invite began with an idea to remind people of their events. During peak season times, every family has so many events to attend, that a physical card comes weeks prior. Hence, we came up with an idea to start reminder WhatsApp invites. It’s a great way to disclose the identity of the to be brides and grooms. It builds in a certain excitement, its creates a certain buzz, it helps create the wedding to go viral within friends and family. WhatsApp invites can be of several types, Animation, Visual, Quirky, Story based as well as family oriented. It’s a great way to tease people and get them to be a part of the great fat Indian Wedding”.

The concept of WhatsApp invites began with an idea to remind people of their events and it turns out to be a great way to tease people and get them to be a part of your great fat Indian wedding. MEGHA ISR ANI Director, Israni Photography

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18/09/18 8:04 PM


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