Innovation : Key word for Wedding Planners

One reason why we as wedding planners enjoy this profession is the creativity it offers in the scenario of Indian tradition and culture. Indian weddings are by themselves amazingly varied in terms of different traditions and rituals spread across different states, languages and communities. As such each wedding is unique. Top make it singularly memorable and beautiful is the challenging job of every wedding planner and event manager.
Innovation not the for the sake of it. As wedding planners we look to work within the budget given to us by the client. Although it is easy for us to operate with a no – holds barred budget, it is not necessarily so with every wedding. We need to respect the financial viability of the client and look to innovate within that.
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Wedding Catering
With our own wedding catering unit, we double up as marriage caterers too. Food is a great platform to innovate as far as Indian cuisine is concerned. The variety that we have in terms of dishes and spices is mind blowing. So as wedding planners look forward to a free hand from the client where the menu is concerned and we try to fix it bringing in long forgotten regional specialities in to the gourmet spread at every opportunity.
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Wedding Menu
We believe that a sensibly planned wedding menu is more effective than an elaborate spread that leads to wastage of food. It is ensured that quality is never compromised for the sake of innovation or to make it cost effective. To us the guest should leave with a wholesome dining experience, relishing every meal with no damage done to health. This policy has stood us in good stead identifying us as one of the best wedding planners and wedding caterers in Chennai.
Wedding Decor

In India we are blessed with a brilliant variety of textiles and flowers to choose from and incorporate into the decor ideas at a wedding. Using eco friendly materials and natural fibres is something that is close to our heart and we firmly believe in it as a policy. Instead of replicating any design suggested by the client we try to add value by incorporating design changes keeping in mind the occasion and the venue details. Open air venues do pose restrictions in the use of certain ideas but the real challenge for us as wedding planners lies in overcoming the same imaginatively.
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Budget constraints also force us to innovate sensibly cutting down on cost of wedding decor by re utilising the same arrangements in a different manner to suit the next event thus creating a new look by not wasting the  props used once.
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As a wedding planner it is also best to remember that anything in the name of innovation should never interfere or be a hindrance to the performance of our age old traditions. Safety should be kept in mind at all times in any structural innovations. And aesthetics maintained at all times.

Time Sheet: Important Task of a Wedding Planner

Wedding planning is not just about putting together a list of services and coordinating them on the day of the event. As wedding planners we have a lot of responsibility in terms of the money spent by the client and to maximise the utilisation of resources without wastage.

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As event planners every detail has to  be nailed in place. Indian weddings are very time consuming and elaborate filled with varied customs and rituals. Every small detail has to be looked into to get the perfect execution. Any untoward delay or last minute hitches has to be taken into account by the wedding planner. Forethought and listing out alternate  options is of  paramount importance.

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Time is an important factor in Indian weddings due to the long schedule of rituals. As an event manager we have the responsibility of getting the client ready for the events well ahead of time so that no delays come up. This is more so in case where the clients arrive only a few days ahead of the event from far off destinations.

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A well drafted Timeline sheet will effectively prepare them mentally on what to expect in terms of the length of the event. Therefore a minute by minute programming keeps everyone in readiness and any exigencies in timelines can be sorted out later without any misunderstanding . Smooth flow of events always lead up to a positive feeling all around and makes a wedding planners job easy .

 

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Timeline has to be coordinated by the wedding planner not only with the client but also with the photographers. They need to be ready on time for shoot and they can function well only given ample time to shoot.

Similarly good understanding between the catering team and the wedding planner is a must for all meals to begin and end on time. Right from the entry time to the exit time of all service providers everything needs to be checked by the event managers.

Wedding Planning & Wedding Invitations – 1

 

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As wedding planners the first job on hand after booking the wedding venue is to  source for the right type of invitations going by the client’s requirements. In olden days when weddings took place within the village or between people living in different villages invites were merely by word of mouth or of the personal  kind.

As people settled far and wide the habit of inviting through letters became the norm. This developed further into formal invitation cards that has developed into a full fledged industry with amazing innovations and creativity coming into the wedding invites.
While the traditional ‘Manjal Pathrikkai’ still has its place sealed in the traditional hindu weddings in Tamilnadu, the invitation card has gone through amazing innovations – 3 D cards, Musical Cards, Gold and silver plated cards, E – invites, CD invites and so on. The wedding invitation is at times indicative of the opulence and grandeur of what is to follow in the wedding itself.
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The element of color and design has surpassed everyone’s imagination and there are multi card invites where each event has a card with separate details to it. Wordings in the invites too has seen a sea change over the years. While some prefer the traditional content  of parents’ inviting the guests, some couples prefer have cards printed on their behalf with a lot of humor and poetry mixed into the content.
As wedding planners and event managers we are often requested by the clients to come up with innovative ideas but within a budget. We do keep the profession of the couple in mind while creating the wedding invites.
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As Wedding planners we do need to have an eye for detail since some weddings are based on themes and right from the wedding invitation to the decor to the thank you cards we coordinate everything to bring in a touch of unique creativity.
As event managers a very important aspect that we need to pay attention to is how the invitations are going to be sent. Size, weight and shape of the invitations have a bearing on the postage or couriering of the same. So the wedding invite has to be practical to handle and easy to reach the guests.
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Creating something unique for the sake of it is fine. But to make it practically viable and financially affordable is also the responsibility of every wedding planner and event manager.

How to choose your Wedding Planner?

Wedding planning is an elaborate affair considering the types of weddings we have in India panning over all regions, religions, communities and languages.A wedding in the family is an exciting event for all since it involves putting together a number of elements to the satisfaction of all to a fixed budget. 
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For those without a budget constraint planning a wedding may not be difficult since it is  a matter of bringing together the best of things and getting it to a shape. With choices galore, the rich and the famous only need to decide on what they require and even the most unique of things can be created  since money is not a constraint. As for talent we have the best of artisans and craftsmen in India. 
 
For those with budget, time or manpower constraint it is definitely wise to appoint a wedding planner or event manager to put together all that is required without any hassles. But the choice one makes needs to be prudent else the purpose of appointing a wedding planner is completely lost. 
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There is a very common misconception that only the rich and moneyed class people can approach wedding planners since it is extremely expensive. Wedding planners are generally sought out by people doing weddings out side their home town, people without support in terms of manpower for getting all arrangements done. weddings to be performed at short notice or by non resident Indians who wish to perform the wedding back in their village, hometown or city. 

There are some who despite having the time and finance still look for wedding planners for the simple reason that they would want to source the best and make their family wedding a unique experience. 
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In such a situation who is the wedding planner best suited for you ? How do you decide on this ? There are no set rules by which a client goes. To a large extent your personal judgement and comfort levels with the wedding planner matter the most. 
 
There are three types of wedding planners. The first types gets about arranging services going by the budget given by the client and charges a professional fee for it. 
 
The second type gives you  innumerable options over a wide budget and lets you choose, which invariably increases your budget. 
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Then there is the third type of wedding planner who takes a personal interest in every project and puts his name and reputation ahead of money and goes all out to understand your needs and works creatively within your scheme of things. 
 
Honesty and accountability should be the prime traits a client should look for in a wedding planner. Honesty in terms of projects done, services offered and taking responsibility is very important for development of trust and confidence. A wedding planner should genuinely showcase his / her work alone and not undertake to do something that they have no knowledge about or not ventured into yet. 
 
This genuineness helps in bonding better with a client since expectations are not too high and the working relationship is founded on truthfulness
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Respecting the clients budget is of utmost important. In case the client has no idea of the cost involved and is asking for the unrealistic elements the wedding planner should have the patience to explain and let the client absorb reality. 
 
If possible the wedding planner should look to provide less expensive options or alternative for the same and clinch the assignment. 
 
Most important is the factor of being open to suggestions. The wedding planner at all times should  keep the views and interests of the client in mind and be open to experimenting and creating the best of what is available. The wedding planner should not force his/ her opinion on the client because it makes his / her job easy and comfortable. 
 
Client satisfaction is foremost and hence that should be borne in mind at all times. 
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Always look for a wedding planner who can raise up to the occasion with quick decisions and presence of mind to tackle any untoward emergencies. It is true that the client should be taken into confidence at all times but there will be occasions that call for quick decisions and the wedding planner needs to take a call sensibly and in the general interest of all. 
 
Being accessible is another important element in choosing a wedding planner. A real professional will always be prompt in answering, messaging, mailing or returning calls. Regular follow ups should be done by the wedding planner and not the other way around. 
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Getting updated on the proceedings and arrangements is the prerogative of the client and the wedding planner should be prompt in this. 
 
The working relationship between the client and the wedding planner should be optimum for the success of any event,. Over a couple of meetings the client should  be able to judge the wedding planner and come to a decision on whether to proceed or not
 
Word of mouth references are another fool proof way in which to go for the right wedding planner  

NALANGU

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Event Management, fun as it may seem from the outside involves  a lot of preparation in terms of understanding the various traditions of the different religions and communities spread across India. Event planning as the term denotes is simply making available all the things required for the conduct of a function well before time and in the required manner.

The term ‘Nalangu’ is used in different connotations during weddings across various communities in the South of India. As wedding event managers it is important for us to have a good understanding of the various rituals and traditions followed by each community to be able to make the necessary arrangements.

In some communities the term  ‘Nalangu’ refers to the ceremony that is held on the evening prior to the actual wedding. Here the bride is bedecked and seated and all the Sumangalis in the family apply sandal paste to her face, hands and legs. Kumkum is then applied on the forehead. Rose water and flowers are then sprinkled over her head as a form of blessing. Aarathi is then performed to end the ritual.

This is considered by some as a cleansing as well as a beautification ceremony of the bride. Whatever be the actual significance the presence of aromatic elements like sandal paste, flowers , rose water etc lends a harmonious and auspicious note as a precursor to the wedding.

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In Tamil Brahmin weddings ‘Nalangu’ refers to the fun filled game session that comes immediately after the wedding is over. It is looked forward to as an opportunity for both families to interact in a relaxed manner sharing a sense of bonhomie and camaraderie after the hectic wedding preparations. A lot of music and cheer fills the air with both parties taking sides in supporting the bride and groom in the course of the small games that are conducted.

A few decades ago this ritual was mostly skipped as most felt it was unnecessary and not suitable to current day scenario. But in recent times the young couples evince great interest in the conduct of this wedding ritual. As event managers we are often asked to bring in innovative games to make it a participative ritual.

The bride and groom are seated opposite each other on a mat on the floor and the session starts with a small ‘make – up’ session where the couple have to apply sandal paste, kumkum, powder and other beautifying elements on each other. This is followed by rolling of the coconut across the floor to each other which is followed by a tug – of – war contest to see who is stronger of the two in retrieving the coconut, exchange of rice & dal, and breaking of the appalams to the accompaniment of loud cheers and shouts.

In some sects this tradition is  a part of the wedding function and is therefore not taken out as a separate event.

These games were of significance in olden days where at times the bride and groom were not given an opportunity to meet each other before the wedding.  Such games helped them tide over their inhibitions and facilitated physical proximity. It is also said that when child marriages were the order of the day in yester years such games were conducted to entertain the child bride & groom. Now it is more of a fun filled entertainment session.

SANGEETH – Pre Wedding Events

Week long weddings were a thing of yore. Or so we thought. The trend is back again with elaborate events being added prior to weddings.These events are not  necessarily traditional in nature. They are more in the nature of socializing – of families getting together.

 

These get togethers are also in a manner of getting to know the respective families of the bride and groom. As wedding planners we are often asked to organize specially planned Mehndi, Sangeeth & Bachelor / Bachelorette parties a day or two prior to the wedding.
Event planners  never had it so good in terms of facing amazing challenges as far as these pre wedding events are concerned. For one youngsters these days expect a lot and the couple want their event to be extremely unique and not run of the mill types. So they keep looking for means to make it different be it in terms of themes,venue or even food.
As Event planners and wedding planners we are often bombarded with questions by prospective clients on how to make their event special. First of all we try to understand their taste and requirements and try to get a glimpse of the couple’s personality.In case they have an open mind with no clue on how to go about things we then take on the responsibility of providing them with ideas they can go with.
If the couple are a fun loving type with a huge gang of friends then they normally opt for a dance floor and a DJ to take things forward. If the Sangeeth is more of family with a shy couple to boot then we recommend a lively MC who can draw people out of their shells and create an atmosphere of ease and comfort.
In the case of Archana’s and Vijay Krishna’s Sangeeth it was a surprise party thrown in honor of the couple by Archana’s sister Arathi and brother – in – law Kartik. When Arathi approached us from Delhi all she said was she had fixed a theme and the left was left to us. The theme she wanted was a Lucknawi evening filled with fun and merriment.
We started of by designing an e – invite that clearly sent the message across about how the guests were expected to be dressed.
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Next we set about getting uniform caps to present to all the guests after they arrived.
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Since Archana was fond of chocolates we decided to welcome her with a Chocolate bouquet. made of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
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We organised for a Mehndi stall so that relatives who had just landed from out of town could still get mehndi done for the wedding that was to follow a day later.
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We had our fantastic MC who took over the proceedings smoothly engaging the entire crowd in games, dance and music in an amazing manner.
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Arathi had wanted a cake and we decided to have several small cup cakes in shades of blue and white icing with a cute little heart in the center arranged in different tiers with a special egg less round cake filled with  blue and white roses for the actual cake cutting.
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The guests loved every moment of the evening filled with rollicking fun.
A specially designed Mug was given to each of the guests as a complimentary gift from Haritham.
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And we had a huge Wishing Banner placed so that each of the guests could express / write their good wishes for the couple.
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A grand dinner was a fitting finale to  a fabulous evening that was filled with great memories for all.