In Conversation with Sneha Tejwani and Anisha Bathija, founders of Occasionz Unlimited
From executing a big, fat wedding in mere 25 days, to conceptualizing a close-knit one, Wedding Planners Sneha Tejwani and Anisha Bathija from Occasionz Unlimited have seen it all in their 15-year journey. The duo give us a few of their favorite wedding hacks in a freewheeling chat with WeddingSutra.
1. Favorite wedding venue
We have been in the business for about 15 years and have positively seen a lot of great weddings and wedding venues. To pick just one would be tough because there are so many beautiful properties we love. We’re particularly fond of beach weddings because there’s so much that can be implemented and worked around. Plus, they make for great visuals!
2. Favorite wedding planned and executed
We organized a fusion wedding comprising Sindhi and Konkani Maharashtrian customs and aesthetics and it was such a great experience. There was a seamless blend of cultures and traditions and we brought in people who could explain each and every ceremony to the guests, in their local language. Weddings like these make us happy and are our favorites.
3. Most unique wedding theme you’ve encountered
So much depends on the client’s requirements but we once did a total Bollywood themed wedding with an individual focus on different eras in the history of Indian cinema. Everything, the songs, the dances, was infused with lots of drama!
4. Most quirky wedding request.
A client once wanted a wedding on a Shikara, in the middle of Dal Lake amidst much political tension in Kashmir.
5. Challenges faced in the past 15 years
Challenges are part of the game, they give dimension and form to a business. We have learned a lot from people and situations and that brought us a clear awareness of current times. Two things have changed. The emergence of social media is a double-edged sword because everything has to be so much quicker. The other evolution is that couples are more aware of what their tastes are and this inspires us to always be on top of trends across the wedding industry.
6. Biggest changes in the wedding planning process in the past 15 years.
The days of a standardized ‘banquet scenario’ at every wedding are long gone. Weddings are now organized on a larger, grander scale. Even local weddings will have a ‘staycation’ theme and are created to resemble a destination wedding.
7. A useful destination wedding tips/advice
In the early days, when the concept of a destination wedding was beginning to catch on, they were meant only to have fun, organized so guests could let their hair down and just enjoy the wedding. Today, destination weddings have taken on an extravagant identity. Everyone wants to dress up and exude grandeur via their décor, DJs and Entertainers, and other themes. We always advise our clients to keep logistics simple and less tedious. Hospitality is of utmost importance and making sure the distance is accounted for and all the loose ends are tied with regard to destination country regulations is your top priority. Nobody wants to attend a destination wedding with loads of luggage and get drained in the visa application process!
8. What part does customization play in a wedding?
Customization has played a huge role in changing the face of the wedding planning business. You don’t get the ‘wow factor’ without it. It’s not part of the wedding but in fact, is a very important aspect of the entire planning process.
9. Your Favorite décor theme for a wedding.
We like traditional decor. The décor for ceremonies like the pheras really catches our eye because it’s all about culture and tradition – from the little diyas to the innumerable marigold flowers – everything looks beautiful when tradition colors the wedding décor setup.
10. Favorite social media hacks for weddings- FB/Instagram/Youtube
We love Facebook and Instagram. We think it is the easiest and the simplest way to reach a large number of people.
11. Quickest wedding you have planned so far
The quickest wedding we have planned was a grand beach wedding that included nearly 400 guests in Goa. Thanks to a clear brief from the client and the fact that it was off-season, the wedding materialized perfectly.
12. Favorite part/ritual of a wedding (in terms of execution and design)
We love the actual wedding and the pheras. This is because we feel like the directors of the movie who aren’t permitted any retakes! It is a surreal moment where our ideas, execution and hard work is brought to life.
13. Differences in executing an intimate vs a grand wedding
Even an intimate wedding can be grand but it all depends on the client. Weddings organized on a large scale require more planning – the guest list and other logistics have to be taken into consideration. At intimate weddings, the families are much more relaxed and it’s easier to enjoy the wedding when you don’t have to stress about perfect executions. Having said that, we know grand weddings are setting the trend today in our ‘social media friendly’ world.
14. Favorite wedding technology
Clients love technology at weddings but their favorite thing is the wedding film. It is the way they preserve the memorable aspects of the wedding and relive precious moments.
15. Tips for young, aspiring wedding planners
The wedding planning industry is not as luxurious and glamorous as it may seem. Wedding planners have to be multi-taskers with good presence of mind. Things change; they sometimes may not even go as planned. At times like these, it is the job of the wedding planner to make the right decisions with utmost sincerity to make any wedding a joyous affair.