The idea of the Big Fat Indian wedding – with its big-hearted hospitality and over-the-top logistics – continues to lure people across the globe. The diaspora are pushing the trend with a consistent rise in bookings made by NRIs (non-resident Indians) for marriage ceremonies in exotic locales.
As the numbers of these NRI wedding celebrations goes up, the quest for orchestrating these ambitious, impressive events that are out of the ordinary can seem more challenging. Unless you are Rani and Harry Moriani, founders of Revel Events, one of our WeddingSutra Favorites. With their years of experience in event management, they know exactly what it takes to make your big day memorable.
Here they tell us about NRI weddings and share some expert advice guaranteed to make your celebration a grand success!
How are NRI weddings different from the traditional celebrations one sees or experiences in India?
“You’d be surprised to know that actually, NRI weddings aren’t that different from weddings in India. If anything, weddings abroad can be even more traditional because this is how we keep customs and culture alive via these rituals and ceremonies. Whether it’s the auspicious mahurat, the prayer ceremonies or anything in between, there is a tradition of adhering to the family’s rituals whether or not we understand the significance behind them.
Like the adage goes, you can take an Indian out of India, but can’t take India out of the Indian!”
What factors do you keep in mind when recommending locations for NRI weddings?
“First consider the size of the wedding. If it is a small wedding, then a huge property will not give you the intimacy you’re obviously looking for. The second factor is convenience and connectivity from the airport. I have seen some gorgeous properties that, on their own, would be ideal for an Indian wedding but the route makes the journey too long. These locations are not practical and shouldn’t be chosen unless there are genuinely no other options available. Finally and most importantly, does it all fit in their budget?”
What are the challenges in planning NRI weddings?
“This applies to weddings in general – not just NRI weddings; Indian weddings typically have to take into account the wishes of not just the couple but also their immediate families. Everyone wants to be a part of their family wedding and have a say for all matters. Getting everyone to like or agree on the same thing is a task sometimes. As a planner, it requires great skills to keep the balance among all parties concerned.”
How do you manage to communicate with couples based in different time zones?
“Thanks to Whatsapp groups now, it’s actually easier to be in touch. For night owls like us, it’s easier to be up for people in different time zones and respond according to their convenience.”
The millennial generation is known to be more discerning. Can you tell us from your experience the major difference in approaches you have noticed in this generation with NRI couples compared to the last?
“Earlier, couples would leave it to your expertise to guide them through the whole process, leaving it to you to manage it all. We had a bride who left all the decor details, everything to us and said, “Surprise me”! It was amazing and yet scary! Imagine hoping to match up to the expectations. But needless to say, they were more than amazed at the results.
Nowadays, couples are more on the ball and know exactly what they want and how they want it. They are hands on and involved in every aspect, which is good in a way, yet it’s not worth the extra stress they take on.
A planner’s job is to take your stress away, not only during the functions but also during the planning process.”
Next NRI wedding you are planning and tell us about the destination?
“We are now working on a wedding In June at Angsana Laguna Phuket. It’s a traditional Sindhi wedding with the groom originating from Spain and the bride from Malaysia.”