Expert Guide- An interview with Sofitel Mumbai’s Director of Events

While destination weddings have their exotic allure, many families planning a wedding prefer the familiar comforts of a hometown wedding. WeddingSutra spoke to Vaishali Rawani, Director of Events at Sofitel Mumbai, BKC to learn more about their venues and services and their suggestions for planning a grand or intimate hometown wedding.

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Tell us about all the Sofitel BKC spaces that are perfect for a wedding, including celebration spaces and guest accommodation

Weddings are a very special cherished occasion and at Sofitel Mumbai BKC, we understand this. This is why we help plan the intimate, boutique-style wedding, an artful blend of the warmth of Indian hospitality with the sophisticated French ‘Art de Vivre’. Whether it is a traditional ceremony or a themed extravaganza, you can celebrate your Indian traditions with French flair here.

You begin by choosing a venue and banqueting options, including the Grand Salon Ballroom and the outdoor venue, Hriday. It’s tough to choose between them, but don’t worry, our Inspired Meetings team will help you decide.

The Grand Salon is divided into two sections, Le Louvre and L’Opéra. With its high ceilings and warm lighting, it was designed to host memorable wedding functions and ceremonies. The chandeliers in the Grand Salon Ballroom are meant to evoke celebratory confetti. It is a beautiful setting and brings a wonderful intimacy for a gathering of upto 300 guests.

Hridayis ‘heart’ in Sanskrit and at Sofitel Mumbai BKC it translates into a 30,000 square feet of open-air space, for a big, hearted welcome for upto 1800 guests. It is the ideal venue for a lavish wedding.

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Does Sofitel offer any wedding packages? And can couples customize these?

We offer the ‘Magnifique Wedding Package’ and yes, you can customize it to your specifications. It includes a 3-tier cake, welcome mocktails, a sumptuous dinner menu, a complimentary stay at the lavish Prestige Suite including breakfast and in-room honeymoon amenities. It also features two complimentary day-use Luxury Rooms for the family and a rejuvenating treatment from So SPA for the couple.

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Are the parents and the couples equally involved in the minutiae of the wedding prep?

At Sofitel Mumbai BKC, our Inspired Meetings ambassadors pay attention to the opinions of every member closely associated with the wedding. These ideas are then translated into actual executions of theme, setup, decor and gastronomic options.

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Based on your recent experience, what are the expectations and upcoming trends when it comes to wedding catering and cuisine?

At a wedding, guests expect perfection in every aspect. At Sofitel Mumbai BKC, from the moment a guest steps in, he/she will love the ambience, the interiors and be charmed by the warm smiles and personalized service, which we call ‘Cousu Main’. From exquisite food and beverages to botanical creations and seating arrangements we take care of every intricate detail; so all the couple and their families need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the best day of their lives.

We’re also on top of trends in catering. For example, there is an evolution past the traditional sit-down dinners and people are getting creative and want fun nuptial fare. A brunch-themed wedding is fast becoming a trend as day-time weddings turn out to be cost-effective. Beverage stations are getting very popular and one could turn a simple function into a garden-party feel, inspired by ‘The Great Gatsby’.

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What are the three most important aspects when booking a wedding venue?

The day of a wedding is the most significant in the lives of the bride, the groom and their families. Not to forget the Sangeet which is the most awaited ‘fun’ celebration. Then there’s the perfect location, theme and décor. You also need to concentrate on cuisine and seating arrangements. All these factors impact how much fun your guests have and how unforgettable your event is.

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What are your views on the new ‘Destination Wedding’ trend? How has this changed or impacted what you offer couples about to be married?

Destination weddings are a way for people to celebrate the joyous occasion in a different cultural setting, often at a venue that is naturally scenic. By that definition, while Sofitel may not provide exotic landscapes, we still offer guests the sense of an international destination.

For instance, when it comes to cuisine, we have the option of flying in one of our talented chefs from any of our properties across the globe. We can bring in hues and experiences that reflect different cultures right here, in the heart of Mumbai. And, we know couples often want to visit different destinations. So, if the wedding has been conducted at our hotel, you’re entitled to our offer of honeymoon packages at Accor properties worldwide at special rates.

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Sofitel BKC: T: +91 (22) 6117 5000 | E: H6451@sofitel.com | W: www.sofitel-mumbai-bkc.com

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