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Love Actually – Dhwani and Pakshal’s Platinum day of love

Our initiative ‘Love Actually’ is a photo series featuring couples who actively seek ideas and inspiration from WeddingSutra. The series celebrates beautiful people as they start their lives together: because real love is timeless.

There was something about Pakshal that made Dhwani ask her friends about him when she saw him at a party in South Mumbai. But her friends were too busy having fun so Dhwani asked him out. “I thought he was quite cute,” Dhwani grins, “So I started flirting with him first.”

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The gentle flirting led to casual coffee dates and movie nights until one day they realized this was much more than a mere friendship. Still, despite acknowledging the love and affection was mutual, introducing each other to their respective parents, they never officially labeled their relationship. It was only after two years of courtship that Pakshal decided to surprise Dhwani. And he did it in style. “He asked me to marry him in front of our entire family!” Dhwani visibly sparkles at the memory, “There were gifts and candles around and he went down on one knee. I’ll never forget that moment. It is the most beautiful thing he has done for me.”

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The two were engaged in a private ceremony on the 22nd of May, 2014. As Pakshal got involved in the family business, it gave Dhwani some time to do some wedding research which is when she came across WeddingSutra, “I already knew about the website, but a friend got me hooked. Then I mailed and was thrilled to be chosen for a shoot!”

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Dhwani and Pakshal had their pre-wedding shoot at Adlabs Imagica. Spread over 300 acres, the park was the perfect setting for this adventure loving couple. Whether they giggled on the toy train or rode the horses on the merry-go-round, they looked so in love. And then, just as they thought the shoot was over, the couple were treated to a fairy tale picture session on the terrace floor of the Novotel Hotel, adjacent to the park, with the glorious Sahyadri range as backdrop. With its beautiful architecture, contemporary design, pillar-less ballroom and interlinked lobby staircase, the hotel proved itself as a wonderful venue for a romantic shoot.

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Smiling, Dhwani spoke about the thrill of wearing a platinum wedding band. “I’ve always wanted platinum bands,” she said, “It symbolizes our love. We’re simple, straightforward people and the elegant simplicity of these bands have a great significance to our lives. It’s a gentle reminder that we belong together.”

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The couple complement each other in every way, Pakshal says, even in planning their wedding, “Dhwani does all the research, decorations and planning while I execute, negotiate and make sure everything is well done. We like to balance it out.”

Before bidding adieu, Dhwani spoke about her unforgettable WeddingSutra experience, “It was great. The team was fun and very well coordinated. Most importantly, they were extremely patient throughout the day and ensured that we thoroughly enjoyed the shoot.”

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Dhwani and Pakshal tie the knot in November this year and WeddingSutra wishes them love, luck and a life full of happy adventures.

If you’re getting married in 2016 or 2017 and would like to be a part of ‘Love Actually’ write to us (weddingsutra@gmail.com) with the link to your FB profiles, wedding date and ‘How you met’ story. Selected couples will be invited for the shoots in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Location- Adlabs ImagicaNovotel
Platinum Love Bands and Jewellery- Gehna Jewellers
Make-up and Hairstyling- Johann Arora
Jacket- Mitesh Lodha

Photography- Dev Purbiya

Recent Entries

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Bride Shruti and her bridesmaids transform into ethnic fashionistas in some of WeddingSutra’s favourites

Call them the  ‘girl-gang’, the ‘mod-squad’ or the ‘cute crew’ – having her girlfriends at her side during her wedding is an unparalleled feeling for a bride as everyone gets together to celebrate one of the most important events – and transitions – of her life.

When bride-to-be Shruti shared her delight at having her childhood friends Ruchi, Sanjana, Pooja and Maitri as bridesmaids at her wedding in Mumbai in November this year, WeddingSutra decided to treat her and her entourage to a makeover so they could get a feel of what lies in store for them on Shruti’s big day! Shruti is the first in her friend’s group to tie the knot, so all her bridesmaids were excited at the prospect of this mock wedding rehearsal with WeddingSutra’s favourite panel of experts.

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The enthusiastic young women were invited to spend a day at the luxurious JW Marriott Hotel in Juhu, Mumbai. They were mesmerised by the cool and contemporary decor of the beautiful Royal Lotus Suite which hosted them for the day.  Shruti loved the spacious bathroom and latticed windows. “Oh, and it overlooks the beach! Really, what more could a bride ask for?” she remarked, smiling. But there was more to come… the WeddingSutra team welcomed the girly gang with exquisite chocolates from Fantasie and crisp, refreshing Ciroc Vodka cocktails.

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The morning began with an overcast sky, but this didn’t dull the happiness on the faces of the girls as they slipped into their comfortable JW Marriott bathrobes. Our photographer Rajesh Dembla captured all the excitement as the girls went through the chic ensembles from Aza Fashions. Every outfit was specially curated to match the theme of the shoot and had the requisite touch of glamour with intricate embroidery and shimmery details.

While Shruti chose a navy blue lehenga with silver and red motifs from Sabyasachi Mukherjee which had a vintage vibe, her bridesmaids settled for a pastel ensembles.  Ruchi opted for an Anushree Reddy creation with beautiful embroidery. “It fit me like a dream!” she exclaimed. Sanjana looked gorgeous in a mint green and pink creation by Anushree Reddy, while Pooja twirled like a star in her Aneesh Agarwal lehenga which had a cape. Maitri looked regal in her stunning mint green and pink ensemble again by Aneesh Agarwal . “I feel like a bride in this…” she whispered to the WeddingSutra team.

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It was the first time Shruti had got her make-up and hair done professionally and was thrilled by the final look that make-up artist Kumar Iyer gave her. “It was such a pleasure to have my make-up done by such a talented professional – he not only shared some amazing and handy make-up hacks but also created a look that did seem not over the top.”

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The radiant bridesmaids too were also happy with their perfectly coordinated looks done by ace make-up duo Heema and Hetal Dattani. “It was dream come true for all of us. I don’t usually wear make-up but I love the soft, shimmery look she did on all of us. I am definitely going to incorporate all the products in my daily make-up routine,” shared Sanjana.

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Then it was time for Shruti to get her hands on a range of bridal jewellery from Manubhai Jewellers. She chose a beautiful choker and ‘maang tikka’ while her bridesmaids picked  ‘jhumkas’ and ‘chaandbalis’ from the same range.

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Finally, the moment that all the girls had been waiting for arrived – the photo session! Photographer Rajesh Dembla put the girls at ease by coaxing them into having natural, casual and animated conversations – and was a pro in in making them forget there was a camera around.  The photos shot at the intricately designed ‘molecular mixology’  bar with its colourful mason jars and Ciroc Vodka cocktails was designed by Hops Cork -The Drink Lab and complemented the fun and festive spirits of the girls perfectly.

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“We loved dressing up together and this occasion was really special. We never imagined we would receive such a royal pampering,” Ruchi shared, while Maitri added, “This has been such a great experience. It felt like a dream. I had to pinch my hand to make myself believe that this was actually happening.”

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Underneath all the fun, frolic and busy vibe of the shoot was a layer of emotions that all the girls felt. The shoot not only gave them all a chance to bond and create happy memories all over again, but also made them realise that their squad would change over time as Shruti –  and soon all of them – would get married. “We still can’t imagine that Shruti, a friend we all grew up with, is going to tie the knot. For us, she is still the same simple and friendly girl who would always pull us out of trouble…” they reflected during breaks between taking selfies and discussing make-up tips.

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Shruti says she considers herself very lucky to have experienced such a memorable makeover experience with her closest buddies. “I cannot thank the team at WeddingSutra enough for this day!”

We at WeddingSutra enjoyed giving Shruti and her friends a memorable experience, and we wish them all the best!

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Location- JW Marriott, Juhu
Outifts- AZA, Altamount Road
Jewellery- Manubhai Jewellers
Makeup and Hair styling for the bride- Kumar Iyer and Laksh Singh
Makeup and Hair styling for the bridesmaids- Heema, Hinal Dattani and Poonam Solanki
Accessories (Footwear)- Himali Doshi
Bar Setup- Hops Cork- The Drink Lab
Gifting Partner- Fantasie Chocolates

Photobook partner- Canvera
Photography- Camera Crew

Let’s get ‘knotty’! The top 10 wedding-related careers that are hot right now

With the steady growth and increasing sophistication of India’s wedding and social events space, professionals from different walks of life are venturing into wedding-related services. And no, we don’t just mean wedding planning – in India, there are numerous opportunities for enterprising, creative and technologically savvy professionals.

The Indian wedding industry is estimated to be INR 100,000 crore so it is little wonder then that people with MBA, fashion, interior design and event management degrees are turning ‘wedding-preneurs’ in different fields such as high-definition videography or specialised gourmet fare which includes niche treats like molecular cuisine.

Want to marry your passion with profit in the wedding industry? Here, we present the top 10 wedding-related opportunities that may arouse your entrepreneurial instincts.

1. Wedding Photographer
The once family-run business of small studios has transformed into a dynamic field attracting the most dynamic and technology-loving professionals. Engineer-MBA Anand Rathi, founder of Reels and Frames, XLRI alumni Akash Agarwal of WeddingNama have carved a niche as some of the most successful in this field.  To build a career here requires much more than just a love for the camera – professionals should be able to offer a bouquet of top-quality services under one roof, be it high-definition films, same-day edit capabilities, photobook albums, technological innovations such as cinemagraphs and customized photobooths. Companies such as CoolBluez (started by Airline Pilot Captain Pawandeep Singh), The Cheesecake Project (founded by media professional Stuti Sakhalkar Dasgupta), Cupcake Productions (run by husband-wife duo Jayant Chhabra and Shruti Khanna), The Wedding Salad (founded by Aayushi and Kanishka) and Hitched & Clicked (comprising husband-wife duo Gaurav and Aastha) are some of the most sought-after names in this space today. Some like IIT graduate Dev Purbiya and former clinical psychologist Shreya Sen specialise in the creative arena of candid photography only. Kanupriya Sandhu: Head of Product and Marketing at Canvera explains: “Wedding Photography is a great career for someone who loves being around people and telling stories. The idea of creating photos that will become a family’s heritage is like leaving your legacy.”

Also check out- Photographers Showcase, The Canvera Photographers Directory

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2. Wedding Décor Designer
It’s not just brides and grooms who are expected to look stunning – nowadays, décor and design also play a starring role at weddings. Stalwarts in this sphere include Dhun Cordo, who has many high-profile events to her credit, ace planner and designer Gurleen Puri, creative entrepreneur Priti Sidhwani, sought-after wedding stylist Larly Bahl, A-list planner Vandana Mohan and Sumant Jayakrishnan who has dazzled many weddings with his scenography and artistic installations.Over the last few years, there has been an emergence of new-age artists and planners such as Abhinav Bhagat, Devika Narain, Vishal and Aliya of Wedding Duo. Start-ups such as Bougainvilla Design and Rani Pink are also infusing the wedding décor industry with fresh ideas. Emerging names are going beyond the usual floral setups to incorporate technology-backed bespoke installations, 3D décor and branded settings with Swarovski crystals and the like. Some key aspects needed to excel in this sphere include a creative approach, innovative thinking to cater to multiple different themes at social events, a strong vendor network and attention to detail.

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3. Bridal & Groomswear Designer
These days, a wedding is much more than just the exchange of rings or ‘pheras’ – they now include celebrations spread over three days at the minimum, and this does not even include the engagement. Needless to say, brides and grooms (and their families and guests) have to stock up their trousseau for all major events – be it a pre-wedding shoot, engagement, sangeet, mehendi, traditional marriage ritual and reception. The wedding apparel market is estimated to be around INR 10,000 crore, and savvy designers big and small are getting in on the act. Top designers showcase their bridal collections every season as they cannot afford to ignore this wedding clientele market which makes up a sizeable amount of orders in India and from abroad. With independent boutique ensembles starting from INR 30,000 to couture creations priced at over INR 1 lakh and above, brides today have a range of options to choose from. Emerging designers on every bride’s check-out list should include Arpita Mehta, Bhumika Grover, Riddhi Mehra, Aneesh Agarwaal and Shilpa Reddy while more established designers who have become top picks for fashion-forward brides include Monica and Karishma of JADE Couture, Varun Bahl and Gaurav Gupta from Delhi and Anushree Reddy from Hyderabad. For dapper grooms, popular names include Shyamal and Bhumika, Kunal Rawal, Sonam and Paras Modi of SVA and Dapper Homme. As a wedding trousseau designer, professionals would need some basic skills such as fashion design training and fabric knowledge, and then build on to it with practical experience, awareness of current fashion trends and the ability to translate a bride’s vision into sartorial reality.

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4. Make-up Artist
A make-up artist takes pride of place in a modern bride’s must-have list. With so many options available today, it takes time to zero in on the one who is just right for a bride (check out our Bridal Makeup Gallery). India’s top make-up artists including Ojas Rajani, Namrata Soni, Cory Wallia and Kumar Iyer who earlier specialised in make-up and styling for films, are now becoming the go-to names for bridal make-up. Many other bridal focused make-up artists who have carved a niche for themselves in this competitive field include Bianca Louzado, Amrita Sanghavi, Recinda Martis, Minee Khanna, Amrita Verma, Shweta Raju and Kajol R Paswwan. To succeed in this field, word of mouth publicity is extremely important, and your reputation will depend on your artistic skills with make-up, high-tech training to incorporate advancements such as airbrushing, imaginative approach for different looks, patience for long hours and a personality that allows you to build a rapport with a bride so she is confident you will have her looking her best.

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5. Wedding Tech Makers
Couples are now getting smart with their smartphones when planning a wedding thanks to apps that are designed to reduce the stress of guest coordination, information sharing, updated announcements, instant shared photo galleries and much more. Take for example, Pratik Vora and Ruchita Choudhury of WedCraze who put their tech-savvy skills to work and designed the WedCraze app which helps in wedding planning logistics.  Others such as photo-sharing app Wedding Party, Appy Couple (which allows you to design and customise your own wedding website or app), The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner and Our Wedding Planner are also available for downloads. Then there are other online platforms that make hiring entertainers easy such as HappyDemic which offers musical artists, and you can book them through their website. To flourish in this field, it’s ideal to have cross-platform development and programming skills for various operating systems, technical know-how, a visual eye, collaborative approach and good communication skill as you will be responsible for easing wedding planning for families who want to manage everything with a click.

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6. Wedding Card Designer
Gone are the days of generic wedding invites stamped with information in a poky store or bought in bulk from your paper vendor. This arena has become very sophisticated thanks to trends such as customised invites, luxury boxes and baskets, destination wedding invite packages (think beach gear and sunglasses), religious scrolls and the like.  Popular names such as Natalie Mankani of Sketch Design Studio, Itchha Talreja, Ozel Designs and Kards by Ramya Ramaswamy create works of art by marrying their creative inspirations with client inputs to create memorable invites on a range of different mediums. Some designers go beyond just the basic invites and stamp their work on wedding collaterals such as the website, marquees, giveaways and photobooks, calendars and flyers. A basic knowledge of top platforms such as Adobe InDesign and PhotoShop is a must to succeed in this line, apart from having an artistic bent of mind, knowledge of typography, layouts, graphics and awareness of emerging trends so you can serve your clients better and give them an invite with a difference.

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7. Wedding Menus & Dessert Chefs
Food and drink at weddings are a very important component of the overall experience. If a wedding is held at a hotel or resort, it’s natural to have the catering looked after by the in-house cuisine team. But there are many events where food and drinks have to be catered to from outside – be it at a farmhouse wedding or outdoor event. With tastes increasing becoming sophisticated and refined, wedding menus have moved beyond a standard list of popularly acceptable fare to include innovative twists on traditional tastes and ‘concept buffets’. Top food entrepreneurs such as Varun Tuli of Yum Yum Tree or Harsh Shodhan of Gourmet Kitchen and Studio have their pulse on what people want, while India’s ‘Pastry Queen’ Sanjana Patel of La Folie whets the appetite for standout treats and Frugurpop adds a cool touch to summer weddings with its popular frozen fruit popsicles. It may help to focus on a particular specialty if you want to enter this line – be it multi-cuisine wedding catering menus, tiered cakes, drinks or innovative treats for gift bags, and get the appropriate training and certifications.

8. Entertainers & Talent Managers
From choreographers to singers, comedians to DJs, musicians to mime artists – today’s weddings include entertainers that are picked according to the preferences of a couple. So if you have skills in any of these areas, try pitching your talent for weddings. And gone are the days of ‘all-in-one show organisers’ who would arrange entertainers and put them through a prescribed routine at weddings. There is a huge demand for professionals who can manage all aspects of entertainment at events and tailor experiences based on the tastes of a couple. It takes a while to become a much sought-after entertainer like DJ Arjun Shah (aka DJ AJ), DJ Chetas, DJ Madoc, wedding choreographer such as Divay Dua who put a couple and their friends and families through the steps. However, if you have the talent, attitude to network and skills to wow a gathering, you stand a good chance of making it big in this line.

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9. Wedding Mixologist/Bartender
When it comes to drinks and glitzy bars at weddings, modern mixologists and bartenders who muddle and shake things up with their interesting drinks and cocktails are in big demand. Exclusively personalised drinks and molecular cocktails are just some of the accompaniments that form the beautifully designed bar menu at millennial weddings these days. Bartending companies set up by dynamic, young entrepreneurs such as Hops Cork-The Drink Lab, Cocktails & Dreams and The Wedding Bartenders provide both pop-up services and exclusive bar solutions which includes everything from a floating bar to a quirky themed bar menu for the sangeet. It is essential to get the right certification and training to enter this field, as well as have passion and knowledge for drinks and trends.

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10. Unique Services Specialists
Curating personalised gift boxes as wedding favours or making sure that they are designed and wrapped to perfection –  these unique wedding services are offered by thriving, boutique firms such as Wrapstar and Sugarbox. What’s more, if you fancy a beautiful wedding illustration then The Painted Shoe by Aditi Dokania is the way to go. The company offers beautiful bespoke stationery and decorated mugs, mobile covers and notepads. There is something for the creatively inclined too! If you are too buzzed to dance and want to paint your thoughts away, then Ruchi Mehta, founder of The Paint Social, will ensure you get the best platform to express your emotions. She organises unique paint parties where guests are urged to paint their thoughts while enjoying a wedding! Needless to say, you will have to be creative to enter this line, come up with ideas and services, and work with vendors so you can execute your client’s vision perfectly or create an experience they and their loved ones will cherish.

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Also check out- WeddingSutra Favorites

Featured Wedding Trend – A Cake to Match your invites

The symbolism of the wedding cake has evolved over the years. It used to signify fertility and the bride’s purity in the old days. Some say the cutting of the tiers, husband and wife’s hands clasped together, show continuity and mutual support in their love. Guests were each given a slice as a token of goodwill. And young women were told to put a piece under their pillows in the hope of dreaming of their future husbands.

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Whatever your take on the cake is though, there’s no denying that it is a wonderful part of the ceremony and as a gorgeous photo-op, the cake needs to look incredible. You’ve used imagination and skill to create a design thread for your entire ceremony, wedding stationery and trousseau – wouldn’t it be wonderful if your cake could also be part of that theme?

Say no more! Bunty Mahajan of Deliciae, the wedding-cake experts, have taken it up a tier by teaming up with the Natalie Mankani of Sketch Design Studio.

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But what happens when a creative graphic designer meets a creative confectioner? Well, magic! The duo work collaboratively and create bespoke wedding cakes that take their design cues from wedding card invitations.

Suchit Mahajan of Deliciae explains, “We print the actual design (used on the card) the studio gives us on one tier of the cake and then work on incorporating motifs and elements of the print.” The process works both ways, with Bunty Mahajan working on the design along with the studio and piecing the images together painstakingly so that each wedding cake is absolutely unique and can never be imitated. Bunty says, “We take inspiration from Natalie’s card design ideas and then build on those using our expertise in cake design and décor. It is not so much about the baking process but about its design which makes it look exceptional.”

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Whether you want photographic floral motifs or sugar craft and other ornamentation, the team is willing to discuss design and build cakes upto five tiers high. This unique service will launch next month, in time for the festive season and they suggest you use your imagination and figure out how you can have a beautiful cake for any special or momentous occasion – not just weddings.

 

Five reasons to choose Hyderabad for your Wedding

Hyderabad is taking off as a much sought after host city for corporates, hotels and destination weddings! Much like Delhi, Hyderabad’s wealth of history, culture of gracious hospitality, heritage cuisine and easy connectivity makes it a wonderful choice as venue for a big, fat Indian celebration.

Here are five reasons WeddingSutra considers Hyderabad the perfect city for a wedding.

Good weather
Apart from two months of searing summer heat followed by the rains, Hyderabad enjoys gorgeous weather from June until March. The winter months especially are crisp, breezy and clear making it the ideal location for an outdoor wedding by day or night.

Multiple Venue Options
Hyderabad is home to the Taj Falaknuma Palace, voted the World’s Best Palace Hotel! Marriages here are hosted as peacocks prance in sylvan surroundings, authentic qawwali exponents perform at sangeets and a tour of the palace will bring the Nizam’s opulent history alive.

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Photo Courtesy- Abhishek Sarkar

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Chowmahalla Palace, literally four palaces, is another beautiful outdoor wedding venue. An experienced troupe of planners and caterers will reassure you with their familiarity with the venue and give you important ideas and tips on what works best here.

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You continue to be spoilt for choice with several other hotels in the vicinity. Maybe you’d like to get married on the lawns of the Taj Krishna and have your reception indoors in the Grand Ballroom. Your overseas guests will be delighted if you accommodate them at the Taj Deccan, only a two-minute drive away. All the hotels are connected by an overbridge so you can even take a walk to the wedding venue.

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Taj Krishna. Photo Courtesy- Camera Crew

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In addition to the star hotels, Hyderabad is home to several convention centres – sprawling air-conditioned spaces with loads of parking available. Think of these as a blank canvas for your décor specialist to work wonders with your imagination down to every last detail. The centres also have lists of caterers from which you can choose the cuisines for your celebration.

Recently, a very famous industrialist family decided to hire out a large open ground near the airport instantly inspiring many wedding planners who would delight in working with such large venues and creating dreamscapes worthy of a magnificent wedding!

In Hyderabad, with wedding venues, space and grace come together.

Connectivity
The Hyderabad International Airport has won several awards and is a state of the art facility. Most airlines have direct or indirect flights into the city from Europe, the US, Australia, Canada and the Middle East. Accessible and organized, you’ll find it extremely easy to co-ordinate arrivals, departures and welcomes of guests.

A City to Explore
An unexpected treat for your guests will be the opportunity to get to know a city that shines in ancient and modern ways. A trip to the historic Golconda Fort and the Charminar are exotic-India tick marks. Don’t forget to tell them about Lad Bazaar, the area around Charminar, famous for its handmade bangles with crystals in a myriad of colours, Hyderabadi embroidery, the khada dupatta – a stole that is made with zari embroidery and can be worn with a lehenga choli or a salwar kameez, and the pearls!

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Photos Courtesy- Abhishek Sarkar

A palette for the palate
Hyderabad is a thriving multicultural hub and this is reflected in its catering. From chaat to Andhra breakfast dishes; the famous Hyderabadi biryani to spicy chutneys – caterers and chefs are proficient at creating menus from all over the country. It gives you the chance to present a diverse spread for your guests or, if you prefer, community specific specialties for the more conservative eaters.

As for the desserts, you can go with the gulab jamuns and kulfis; or opt for ashrafis and badam ki jaalis – sweet dishes that are Hyderabadi in nature and made from recipes that can be traced back a 100 years.

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Photos Courtesy- SutraSnapperz and Abhishek Sarkar

Need we say more? Come, say ‘adaab’ to a wedding in Hyderabad.

Love Actually- Nikita and Parth’s Platinum Day of Love

Featuring our lucky ‘Imagica contest’ winners

Our initiative ‘Love Actually’ is a photo series featuring couples who actively seek ideas and inspiration from WeddingSutra. The series celebrates beautiful people as they start their lives together: because real love is timeless.

Lady Luck played her part when Nikita and Parth were chosen to join us for the informative and fun-filled ‘Destination Wedding’ theme WeddingSutra MasterClass. Not only did they win an exclusive pre-wedding shoot at Adlabs Imagica but also a complimentary stay at the luxurious Novotel Imagica Hotel! This is their story.

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A common friend played Cupid to these reluctant lovebirds, literally forcing them to get in touch with each other, three years ago. “I admit it, I was reluctant and even if I agreed, it was only because my friend gave Parth my number. I wasn’t even expecting him to call,” Nikita says. And when he did, the conversation was a damp squib. “We didn’t quite open up to each other during our first phone call. There were a lot of awkward silences between us,” she remembers. Still, they decided to meet. And that changed everything!

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“We were like a house on fire! So much to talk about,” she grins. From that moment on, the couple met often, coordinating their work schedules to facilitate romantic date nights. As the mutual attraction grew, Parth was relocated to the US on work. The realities of a long-distance relationship didn’t daunt them. “It didn’t affect our relationship,” Nikita says, “in fact, we grew closer.”

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The couple didn’t shy away from telling their parents about their significant other. “They knew about us from the very beginning,” she says. In fact, Nikita says cheekily, deciding to get married was her way of “ordering him back to India! Getting married was a good reason for us to stay together.”

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With their super hectic work schedules, winning the ‘Imagica Contest’ hosted by WeddingSutra was a blessing. “We never thought we’d win and we have been totally rejuvenated after this. We can’t thank WeddingSutra enough!”

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The couple were treated to a pre-wedding shoot with a backdrop full of the adventure that is Adlabs Imagica. The theme park is spread over 300 acres and is filled with opportunities to relive childhood memories. And Parth and Nikita did! Dreamy merry-go-round rides and thrilling roller coaster loops were part of their offbeat shoot that included some wonderful moments at the fantasty-themed park.

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The shoot took on a fairytale facet when they moved to the sprawling Novotel Hotel’s terrace floor, with its breathtaking views of the Sahyadris. They also captured some moments taking in the contemporary design of the pillar-less ballroom and the perfectly manicured gardens in this ‘picture perfect’ location.

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Momentarily distracting from the sparkle in their eyes, were the platinum wedding bands the couple wore. Nikita says, “Platinum wedding bands hold a very special place in our hearts. We love the sophistication of the design, the permanence of the metal, it’s really a beautiful ornament that defines true love.”

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Looking like a star herself, Nikita’s eyes light up as she talks about her shoot with Wedding Sutra, “It was a dream, a truly beautiful experience. The whole team was warm and welcoming. We enjoyed every moment of it!”

This lovely couple ties the knot in January next year. WeddingSutra wishes them love, luck and the happiest joyride on the carousel of life that they could ever imagine!

If you’re getting married in 2016 or 2017 and would like to be a part of ‘Love Actually’ write to us (weddingsutra@gmail.com) with the link to your FB profiles, wedding date and ‘How you met’ story. Selected couples will be invited for the shoots in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Location- Adlabs Imagica, Novotel
Platinum Love Bands and Jewellery- Gehna Jewellers
Make-up and Hairstyling- Johann Arora

Photography- Dev Purbiya

Ramit and Neha’s ‘Love in London’ Pre-wedding Shoot

Neha and Ramit have known each other since they were kids but they were no childhood sweethearts. “We lived four houses away from each other for a decade and had no idea one day we’d fall for each other,” Neha grins. Fate however, is a funny thing and despite being friends, it was only when a discussion about an arranged marriage between them happened that they realised they had feelings for each other. Neha laughs, “All of a sudden, there was a spark in our friendship and here we are today!”

Where they are is in London, for their pre-wedding shoot!

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Ramit looks at his bride-to-be, “Neha loves London. Like REALLY hard core! So when we saw this ‘Moment of Love’ contest being run by Cupcake Productions, I thought let’s try and win it. Nothing would make her happier.” The couple did win and were pleased as punch to have a dream shoot by the ace photographers Shruti and Jayant of Cupcake Productions.

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Cupcake Productions suggested a few themes to the couple and the four unanimously agreed on a striking black and red theme. They finalized three iconic locations across the city. The first one was irresistible, Shruti says, “St Paul’s Cathedral is awe-inspiring and represents a fascinating history of London. It has breathtaking wide-views and we were floored by its grandeur. We managed some spectacular pictures in the area around the cathedral as well.” Then they went to Tower Bridge, in the heart of London, across the Thames, an imposing landmark. “It’s any couple’s favourite,” Shruti says, “So we shot there and ended the day on the streets of London near Trafalgar Square because we wanted a touch of rawness to the shoot.”

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For Neha and Ramit, the experience was scintillating, like a fairytale came true! She says, “We loved the way all our special moments are beautifully captured by the Cupcake duo. Really, it was stunning!” The couple are also pleased they trusted the photographers on choice of location and concept, “The result is there for everyone to see,” they say, “Cupcake Productions seems to have this magic wand that makes your moments look timeless – it makes you feel special, in love and excited all over again. We can’t thank these magicians enough for an absolutely fun and memorable pre-wedding experience.”

Photos Courtesy- Cupcake Productions

Our Editors Pick: Exquisite bridal pieces from Manubhai Jewellers

Every wedding season involves revisiting traditional jewellery designs that have become a mainstay of Indian weddings. At Manubhai Jewellers, brides are assured of standout jewellery that merge traditional artistry with trendy accents. Here are some of their signature jewellery pieces that would make stunning additions to your trousseau.

Shine bright with these 22K gold sunflower-inspired ‘chaandbaalis’. The South Sea pearl drops add a modern vibe to this pair which is encrusted with white parabs, and keshi pearls. Wear it at your mehendi or sangeet ceremony, preferably with a bun, updo or plait that will enable you to flaunt these dazzling danglers effortlessly.

Manubhai Jewellers

White and gold come together beautifully in this 22K gold pendant crafted in the shape of a Hindu goddess. This temple-inspired piece of art features many intricate details and superb craftsmanship. The weighty vibe of the pendant – which is actually pretty light – is contrasted with a delicate pearl strand.

Manubhai Jewellers

The tinkle of ‘ghunghroos’ finds expression in these ‘jhumkas’ which once again feature signature artistry and craftsmanship of this notable brand. These 22K gold marvels are studded with blue, green and white precious stones. We recommend these for sangeet and traditional receptions – and the tinkle of these beauties will be music to your ears.

Manubhai Jewellers

Inspired by the heritage and grandeur of ‘havelis’, this 22K gold regal neckpiece featuring rectangular sections above a cascade of danglers is perfect for a bride who wants to look regal on her special day. It is resplendent with floral motifs in ‘takkar kundan’ with ‘jadau karigari’, and multiple layers radiant with keshi pearls, gold beads and colourful stones.

Manubhai Jewellers

These traditional Rajasthani ‘modiyas’ (bracelets) crafted in 22K gold are inspired by the beauty of peacock. Covered in rich, lustrous enameling and featuring green, blue and red accents, these bracelets with pretty peacock heads/beaks at both ends are versatile enough to be paired with multiple ensembles for diverse events – be it an outdoor cocktail party, mehendi or a sangeet.

Manubhai Jewellers

View their bridal jewellery on 1st and 2nd October 2016 at NSCI Dome, Worli, Mumbai.

10 Essential Shopping Stops for Fashion Forward Brides in Mumbai

From contemporary designs to glamorous silhouettes, edgy cuts to statement pieces, fashion forward Indian brides are going the distance ahead of their wedding day!

Every bride wants to be remembered for her timeless elegance with a memorable modernity. Are you the girl who wants to stand out and thinks outside the trousseau chest? Well, this is our roundup of the 10 essential shopping stops in Mumbai for you!

1. Sabyasachi Mukherjee
He’s the first word in bridal wear. The master of bridal lehengas, Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s creations feature unusual fabrics, texturing and detailing. His fusion of styles, use of patchwork with gorgeous embellishments, across a vibrant and diverse color palette evokes images of ancient and medieval ages. Subtle, stand-out and unforgettable, the ‘Sabya bride’ is a modern woman who wants to hints of the traditional in her bridal ensemble.

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2. JADE Couture
An eclectic diffusion, the Bridal Heirlooms line features contemporary cuts and intricate craftsmanship. JADE by Monica and Karishma offers brides opulent, designs in dramatic evening wear and options of organza skirts with capes and crop tops for more minimalist tastes. They have recently also launched their bridal couture collection ‘Videha’s Siya’ inspired by the celebrated love story of Ram and Sita depicted in the form of Mithila art.

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3. AZA
The most well established multi-designer network of stores in Mumbai and Delhi, AZA is a curated collection of the country’s most highly acclaimed and celebrated designers. AZA caters to a wide range of couture, diffusion and prêt collections brides-to-be with an emphasis on ‘occasion-wear’. The collection features more than 200 designers including stars of the industry; Anamika Khanna, Manish Malhotra, Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi Mukherji, Varun Bahl, Anushree Reddy, Gaurav Gupta, SVA, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Pankaj and Nidhi and more. AZA gives every bride a kaleidoscopic look at trousseau potential.

AZA

4. Manish Malhotra
With one of his most recent brides being none other than Mira Rajput at her wedding to actor Shahid Kapoor, Bollywood’s favorite designer Manish Malhotra is known for his eclectic fusion appeal – glamorous ensembles in traditional Indian colours, textures, embroideries and with exquisite craftsmanship. His collections include bridal and diffused categories to inspire the new-age bride.

Manish Malhotra

5. Gaurav Gupta
Gaurav Gupta’s reputation as a master of motion fabric and three-dimensional silhouettes precedes him. The modern Indian wedding roster of events makes room for Gupta’s contemporary, couture gowns that can be shown off at pre-wedding cocktail parties and non-traditional wedding receptions. Must “be seen to be believed”, the true impact of his creations are best experienced in person, at his whimsical, Greek inspired store in Mumbai!

Garuav Gupta

6. Jean Claude Biguine India
This international chain of beauty experts have just launched the Biguine Makeup Service offering brides to be with three key packages: The Traditional Bride, The Modern Bride and The 18K Gold Bride. Whether you choose a traditional look, or a modern one with smokey eyes, nude or firecracker red lips or the sun-kissed bronzed day look or illuminated evening look, the packages are customized to enhance facial structure and include hairdressing.

Jean Claude Biguine

7. Forest Essentials
Forest Essentials takes a leaf out of the sixteen ancient Indian ‘shringars’ or ceremonial rituals of beauty and adornment that have been performed on brides for thousands of years. Vedic scriptures list the details of a beauty regimen for brides in the three weeks that precede her big day – including caring for the hair, polishing the skin and applying nourishing masques before elaborate bathing rituals. Forest Essentials takes those traditionally formulated oils, pastes and makes them readily available to you to provide pure, natural glowing skin for your big day.

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Forest Essentials

8.Gehna Jewellers
Gehna marries concept to design with bridal pieces crafted with precious stones that make a bold statement. The attention to detail and meticulous architecture of the jewellery is what makes Gehna the preferred choice for every bride and her family. With a range that includes exquisite Azva gold jewellery and delicate platinum jewellery, Gehna is a must-visit.

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9. Lakmé Pro Stylist Studio
Founded in 1952, Lakmé is designed for and has remained the most beloved beauty brand for contemporary Indian women across the ages. True to form, with the launch of Lakmé Pro-Stylist Studio – a flagship retail store nestled in Grand Galleria, High Street Phoenix in Lower Parel, Mumbai – the brand once again shows why it knows the heart of Indian bride.

The store is a unique confluence of retail and salon, offering one-stop access to the latest products, quick salon services and Lakmé’s unique backstage and runway expertise through makeup experts. Discuss your wedding day looks or learn makeup secrets from Lakmé Fashion Week backstage experts here.

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10. Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin
Once you’ve settled on the most beautiful lehenga, the jewellery and make up, it’s time to take your feet fashion forward in a stunning pair of heels. Say ‘I Do in Choo’ with exquisite styles ranging from timeless satin heels to glamorous embellished pumps or make an ‘uber glam’ statement with Christian Louboutin’s signature glittery red soles. Get ready to be spoilt for choice between the edgy heels at the Jimmy Choo store at Trident, Mumbai and the Christian Louboutin Wedding suite in South Mumbai. Louboutin offers customization of shoes to match the wedding clothes and will discuss the perfect height of heel to maximize the bride’s comfort. The shoes are then handcrafted at their atelier in Paris!

jimmy choo and christian louboutin

Photos Courtesy- Happy Flashbacks, Ramit Batra and My digital Stories

A Kiss to Build a Dream on

“Give me what you alone can give
A kiss to build a dream on”

A kiss is a promise, a little taste of heaven, the sweet cement of love and everyone has their favourite. Maybe they’re kisses like cotton candy or butterflies or maybe they have a French accent (ooh la la). Perhaps they’re teasing little Eskimo nose-bumps or a protective pair of lips on your forehead. Maybe they’re kisses you manage despite laughing or the one under your ear lobe after you’ve been whispered a sweet nothing. Eyes closed or faraway and dreaming, a kiss is a kiss is a kiss.

WeddingSutra.com gives you a front row seat as we celebrate one of the most wonderful expressions of love, dressed up in a little Lakmé.