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India’s Wedding Industry- 10 Women Entrepreneurs Speak (Part 2)

Our earlier post 10 Women Entrepreneurs got us many emails from entrepreneurs, as well as young women fascinated with the world of weddings. A 23 year old pursuing her MBA in Delhi wrote: “Till now I was only thinking of how to prepare myself for a career in wedding planning but thanks to your post I realized there are a host of other opportunities in the wedding industry.” In our earlier post we had mentioned, beyond wedding planning and management, the wedding industry attracts many creative and talented professionals of all ages and from all cities. Take for example the increasing number of women wedding photographers in India. Kanupriya Sindhu, Head of Products at Canvera, an online photography company says: “Over the years, we have seen a change in what people expect out of wedding photographs. From the more staged-looking group photos of yesteryear the focus has shifted to more candid-looking shots that bring out the emotions and essence of a wedding. Women photographers appear to be a natural fit in the new scheme of things, bringing a more connected and personal perspective to the table. Also, during some moments like when she is getting ready in the room, many brides feel more comfortable with a woman behind the lens. The data we have bears this out. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of women photographers in the business today, as compared to, say, five years ago.”

In our second feature here, we again speak to ten creative entrepreneurs to know more about how they started and their work around weddings.

Aayushi Sachdeva and Kanishka Sonthalia, Wedding Photographers (The Wedding Salad), Mumbai

The Wedding Salad - Aayushi and Kanishka-6_LRHow we started
The Wedding Salad was founded in December 2012 after we photographed a close friend’s wedding as a gift to her. Everyone really appreciated the photos and requests started pouring in; we then decided to team-up and pursue wedding photography professionally.
What we love most about our job
Doing something you love, is really the best part of any job. What drove us to cover weddings is that each wedding is a whole different ballgame, with each experience being so different from the other. It challenges us to approach each wedding with a fresh perspective and constantly try to bring something new to the palette.
The busiest work months
November to February, when most weddings take place.
The toughest and the best part of working from home
When you’re working from home, you have the liberty to work the way you want to. At the same time, considering the fact that we have such erratic work timings, when not on a shoot, it sometimes becomes difficult to maintain a work-life balance.

Shruti SharmaMakeup Artist (Makeup When You Wake Up), New Delhi

Shruti Sharma_LRHow I started
I always dreamt of a career as a Makeup Artist. My near and dear ones advised me to pursue it as a hobby only, and continue with my stable career in a PR (Public Relations) agency. But then, I just knew I would take the plunge someday. I started doing makeup for my friends and slowly started getting paid for it.
What I love most about my job
Creating a very individual and unique look for each bride is what I find exciting! It is a physically laborious job and by end of the day I am exhausted, but it is extremely satisfying to create a look that a bride is pleased with and also I feel happy to be have played my part in the most important day of a bride’s life!
The busiest work months

Weddings in the North are an all-year affair but November to March is the busiest period.
The toughest and the best part of working from home
The best part is that you save precious time by not commuting. Having my own set-up enables me to meet with more clients at my home office. The tough part is switching to home mode as working from home is pretty much a 24/7 job.

Sowmya Raghavan, Wedding Decor Designer (3Productions), Bangalore

Sowmya Raghavan_LR - CopyHow I started

Becoming a wedding planner/ decor designer was never my plan. I went from a degree in physical therapy to organizing concerts and music festivals and finally to wedding planning. I fell in love with all the organizing, chaos and adrenaline behind weddings and I am grateful to the industry that has taught me so much.
What I love most about my job
The creative outburst with weddings is endless. This combined with an ability to gain my client’s trust gives me all the creative space I need. My job has given me an in-depth knowledge on decor, set ups, production and all the technicalities behind it. I love looking at a space and lay-outing it with the perfect mathematics and transforming it with elements that makes the event an experience. There is a great requirement of people with technical knowledge for execution. For this, one needs to have a sense of design, math, and a certain degree of an engineer’s brain. To add to this, I also love the process of selling, negotiation and strategic marketing.
The busiest work months
I am usually busy through the year. But March, October and July are less busy months.

Bunty Mahajan (Deliciae Patisserie), Mumbai

BM_LRHow I started
Baking interested me ever since I was a child. After I got married and moved to Mumbai, I started making my kids birthday cakes in different characters. I then started supplying to Clubs and started doing birthday and other cakes for friends and family under the name ‘Gold Crust’. I completed many courses at Le Cordon Bleu and in Paris, London, Singapore and New York as well. Deliciae Patisserie was formally incorporated in 2004 when Arjun Bajaj of ‘Out of the Blue’ approached us to set up a dessert cafe. I have improvised ever since and entered many of the different patisserie segments. Today, we specialize in customized cakes and wedding cakes.
What I love most about my job
From the very beginning, I have been passionate about baking. I do not look at is a job. However, what I love most is the room for creativity, both in terms of taste and design.
The busiest work months
We are busy throughout the year since birthdays are not seasonal, and we do a lot of customized birthday cakes. That said, the month before Diwali is very busy with corporate gifting. Also, November to February is busiest due to wedding cakes and wedding gifting.
Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in
Araaish Wedding Trousseau 2013, Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) 2013 and Araaish 2014.

Srishti and Kavita Kapur (Floral Art), Mumbai

Srishti_LRHow we started
My mother Kavita Kapur has more than 20 years experience in the field of Ikebana (Japanese Art of Floral Arrangements). In 2002 she started Floral Art and it has now grown into a beautiful venture which caters to large-scale custom designed floral décors and gift packaging. I studied Graphic Designing from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, but developed more interest in my mother’s business, so I joined her after completing 5 degrees under Sogetsu School of Ikebana (The Modern school of Ikebana).
What we love most about our job
We both enjoy the experience of multi-tasking- marketing, production and interacting with different clients in India and abroad.
The busiest work months
It starts with the festivals in August- Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali and Christmas, and is busy until the wedding season in February.
The toughest and the best part of working from home
To follow a proper schedule can be a challenge, but the best part is that we are more relaxed and within our comfort zone. And its easier to manage both home and work.
Wedding and festive exhibitions we have participated in
Araaish, Crescent Moon, Divalicious in Mumbai & Dubai, Times Glitter and many more

Parnika Jain, Fashion Designer (House of Marlyn), Jaipur

Parnika_LRHow I started
As soon as I graduated from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Delhi in 2012, I had a vision for my own label, but I needed to get a few essential things in order. I started with a small workshop close by my house and started experimenting with fabrics and embroideries. Soon, I started getting orders, and then I got the chance to stock on ASOS.com, one of UK’s largest fashion retailers, and everything started falling in place. Since then, I have grown and kept increasing my team.
What I love most about my job
I have always been a creative child and I love getting my thoughts on paper in any form of art, mainly through sketching and doodling. 
The busiest work months
October, November and December are the busiest.
The toughest and the best part of working from home
The best part of working from home is that you’re working from a comfortable environment. Also, my work doesn’t need to stop; for e.g. if I get a great idea for a design at 12 AM, I can quickly rush to the studio and render sketches! The toughest would be when you have a lot of work pending and at the same time family commitments. It can get distracting, but you need to know how and when to prioritize.
Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in
In November I participated in ‘The Pink Post-It’ in Chandigarh; the response was encouraging.

Reshma Morani, Jewellery Designer (ZEMA Jewels), Mumbai

Reshma Morani 2_LRHow I started
After completing my jewellery designing degree in Mumbai, I started out with at-home exhibitions for which I’d invite relatives and friends. The response was so good that it motivated me to pursue my passion further. I went on to do a post-graduate diploma from GIA, New York and from then on there was no looking back. I currently own a bespoke boutique where the focus is on personal interaction. I spend a lot of time with each bride, understand her requirements, and ensure that her vision of wedding jewellery comes to life through my designs. We also design jewellery for the mother/sister of the bride, as their daughter/ sister’s wedding is such an important event in their lives too.
The busiest work months
June to January are the busiest months in terms of designing and delivering jewellery for weddings.
The toughest and the best part of working from home
The best part of having a studio close to home is that you are just a call away and always accessible. The tough part- there is no distinction personal and work time.

Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in
I have participated in many festive and wedding exhibitions like Times Glitter, Times Glamour in Mumbai and shows in Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta. However, now I prefer doing private shows in different cities as it allows me one-on-one time with clients and potential clients.

Bianca Louzado, Makeup Artist, Mumbai

Bianca L_LRHow I started
With a double major in Chemistry and Food technology, I thought I would pursue a career as a dietician in the Health and Wellness industry. Being very inclined to fashion I entered the world of modelling which soon led me to become a VJ at channel [V]. Wanting to see more of the world, I joined an international carrier as a flight attendant, but all along I felt something missing. Through my teen and college years, I had a passion for one thing- ‘Make-up’ and it was my late father who encouraged me to pursue this dream and learn the art. A couple of professional courses later, I set up ‘Bianca Louzado – Creative Make-up and Hair Design’ in the year 2010.
What I love most about my job
Destination weddings I have to say! Where I can continue my love for travel to luxurious places like Macau, Paris, Dubai and Thailand. I enjoy interacting with people from different places, and I’m even happier when my clients become my friends for life. Also, the satisfaction of seeing my bride happy after a visible transformation is unparalleled to anything else and gives me a sound sleep.
The busiest work months
Its from October to May. However, in the other months we are busy with our other portfolios viz. TV Commercials, Editorials and Feature Films.
The best part of working from home
The best part is that my business involves two things- my phone and 24 X 7 internet both of which I can access from the comfort of my home, so I can easily alter my schedule and spend time with family.

Ritu Seksaria, Fashion Designer, Mumbai

Ritu Seksaria_LRHow I started
I never wanted to be a designer, I designed clothes only for myself and friends started appreciating my work. Then I started designing clothes for others and there was no looking back. Now designing has become the most integral part of my life.
What I love most about my job
Making a wedding outfit is like creating a memory for life. Being a part of the most memorable day of the bride’s life is the best part about my job.
The busiest work months
The fashion industry is very demanding, you can never rest for more than a few days as you are creating new designs or delivering orders for the next season. However, the months June and July are a little relaxed.
Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in
Araaish Dubai, Bridal Asia, Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) Mumbai and Parampara Kolkata. Besides these I have held independent previews of my new collection, and organised in-store events with different designers, stylists and makeup artists.

Noopur Badkar and Anisha Elavia, Bachelor & Bachelorette Party Organizers (Final Fling), Mumbai

Final_Fling_019_LRHow we started
Final Fling is the result of a common passion two childhood friends shared – Noopur Badkar, a finance graduate from Kingston University, London & an Anti-Consumer fraud expert and Anisha Elavia, a PR executive with a post graduate degree in Journalism from NDTV. Both left their corporate jobs to pursue a dream – to create fun experiences for people. It all begun at Noopur’s wedding, when Anisha with some besties planned an evening of fun for Noopur before she tied the knot. “After lots of planning and options the big evening arrived. And even though we had a fantastic evening, which we aren’t going to forget in a long long time, we just wished someone could have planned it for us. And this brought to set-up ‘Final Fling’ which specialises in pre-wedding events.
What we love most about our job
Final Fling allows us to not only plan out fun events but also to do something unique and stylish. It allows us to bring our creative side to the fore and there is a strong sense of fulfilment when we see our clients enjoy their single-hood ‘Final Fling’ style, before they tie the knot.
The busiest work months
Final Fling is a new start up and is still in the nascent phase. We are yet to explore all months around the year, but it will certainly be the pre wedding season i.e from September to March. But to have a fantastic pre-wedding bash one does not have to wait till just before their wedding.
The toughest and the best part of working from home
Both of us being foodies, the toughest part of working from home is our never dying need to indulge and experiment with our meals. Coffee breaks become longer and every little achievement is a point of celebration. On the other end, we both believe that we give our best at work when we are ourselves, and as a new start-up what better place to be ourselves than in the comfort and security of our own homes.

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