Expert Guide- An interview with Palladium Hotel’s Wedding Planner
While destination weddings are getting popular, a number of families still prefer the good-old home town wedding. Here, we speak to Agatha Gomes, the Wedding Specialist at Palladium Hotel, Lower Parel, Mumbai to learn more about weddings@Palladium and what Mumbai clients want this season.
Which are the most ‘auspicious’ wedding dates this year? And for which wedding functions are your venues most popular?
From April 2014 to March 2015, more than 100 dates have been highlighted as very auspicious, especially November 27th & 29th, December 12th & 15th and January 23rd, 24th & 25th. Many families want to host the Sangeet or Mehndi at one of our venues, while some have chosen us as their complete wedding destination for all the celebrations- starting from the welcome dinner or cocktail to the Mehndi and Sangeet, Pheras and post wedding reception.
Do you offer wedding packages?
Our per head rates begin at INR 3200 plus applicable taxes and vary depending on the special menu for the functions. We also work on a minimum revenue concept for the different venues which can be adjusted towards the food & beverages consumed at the banquet venues.
Today, clients hosting their celebrations at a 5-star venue are looking for a service where they get personal attention and where the offering is customized to their unique needs. So we like to refer to ourselves as a Wedding Mansion with 23 bespoke event spaces. And now, weddings also mean lots of guests travel in from all around the world. At Palladium we have 320 large rooms, and 23 executive suites. Most wedding guests seek excellent rest and recreation facilities too; we have a wellness floor with a state-of-the-art health club, pool & deck and a spa with rejuvenating therapies. An added attraction is the presence of the Palladium Mall, the city’s favourite luxury shopping destination.
Are the parents and the to-be-bride and to-be-groom equally involved in zeroing down on the details?
The term ‘Big Fat Wedding’ is synonymous with Indian weddings and in my experience over the years, I have found the entire immediate family (to-be-weds, their parents and siblings) are involved in taking key decisions like the venue, décor and food. Generally, the parents add a touch of tradition to both the ceremonies and the menu, and they keep in mind the special requirements of the family elders; the couple and siblings pay more attention to new and trendy themes. The youngsters are keener on ensuring the dance parties i.e. the cocktails and sangeet are organised as per their interest and style.
When it comes to food and cuisines, what are the new expectations?
Keeping in mind that an average Indian is now discerning and has gained exposure to international cuisines, the expectations are mainly focused on balancing the traditional with the international. A decade ago, it was simple to draft a wedding menu, when a live pasta counter was a special feature! However, in recent times tastes have turned global and guests are requesting for Thai, Burmese, Mexican, and Japanese and live seafood counters too. Even with traditional food, guests want specialized regional cuisines like Marwari, Gujarati and Bengali. The same goes for the cocktails, with request for mixologists who can create unique blends.
Besides spending time on the food and venue details, what other recommendations do wedding clients seek from you?
They often ask us to recommend good Salon Services. Since we have a tie up with Jean Claude Biguine, we recommend the salon for the entirefamily& guests. The bar and the cocktail offering is something that gets their attention too. And then there’s the décor and the themes of course. Black tie & gown for a pre or post wedding cocktail, mela theme for mehndi, sufi night and qawali nights are some of the popular themes this season.
Palladium Hotel: T: 022- 6162 8000 | firstname.lastname@example.org