Wedding Planner Ashish Bohra shifted his nuptials from Bahrain to Goa, and replanned it, in record time
Planning a grand wedding is no easy task. Being an ace wedding planner, planning your own wedding is surely even more challenging, with the added expectation of being under the spotlight of the entire industry. But what happens when months of extensive planning comes to a screeching halt? Finding himself at a crossroads due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wedding planner Ashish Bohra, of Perfexion Events, pulled off a magnificent wedding in just days! He shifted his venue from the Kingdom of Bahrain to Panjim, Goa, and here, he shares his incredible experience with us.
Every precious moment of the festivities was captured in flawless frames by WeddingSutra Favorite – Cupcake Productions. Ashish shares, “Shruti and Jayant of Cupcake Productions have been like family to me ever since we worked on our first project together 2 years ago, and have worked on several since then. However, despite having great connections with many other photographers, I picked them to shoot my wedding because I have always been in awe of their work. I also admire their professionalism, dedication and loyalty, as they adhered to their word by coming for the wedding even when the entire country was entering lockdown. My heart goes out to them and their team for giving us the finest clicks from my wedding.”
1. Relocating a wedding just days before the big day is not an easy task! How did you, your families and guests handle the change?
“Deciding to completely shift the wedding from one country to another just days before the planned event was something we never anticipated. The fact that this would happen to my own wedding, was incomprehensible. But miracles happen when loved ones and well-wishers come together to make your dream come true.”
“After months of research and planning the most beautiful and unique wedding, we decided to host our nuptials in the Kingdom of Bahrain on March 2, 2020. It was an all-consuming task, along with managing the weddings of my other clients, and everything was on track till February 11, after which we got engrossed in planning the Jodhpur reception slated for March 15. From February 12, we started getting the news slowly of the increasing pandemic, and its repercussions on international travel and events. Over the next few days, we constantly received anxious calls from our guests who could now no longer make it, but we stuck with our initial plans. It was on the day we were supposed to leave for Bahrain that we got the news that the bride’s family would no longer be able to travel due to flight cancellations. This was when we realized we had to make some tough decisions and improvise.”
“It was an undeniably difficult time, and emotions ran high when we realized that the magnitude of our work was now irrelevant. It took a couple of days to come to terms with this reality. However, life goes on, and we decided to adapt as best as possible. We collectively decided on planning a domestic wedding before the end of March. Luck was in our favor as everyone and everything came together to make our wedding happen beautifully on March 21 at the newly opened Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Donna Paula, Panjim. We are infinitely grateful to all our artists, vendors, photographers, caterers, bands and agencies who made it all possible.”
2. What made you choose this specific location and property?
“It was a stroke of destiny that at just the right time we received a call from Mr. Vincent Ramos, who is the Area Director Sales and GM of the Taj Convention Centre, Goa. He informed us about a brand new Taj property in Donna Paula, Panjim, and asked us to visit. Without losing a beat, we landed there the very same day and immediately fixed the revised wedding date for March 21. Despite increasing COVID-19 cases and more guests backing out, we remained resolutely fixed on our plans, which thankfully panned out successfully. From March 9-12, we visited the property once again, wherein we finalized all remaining aspects including the food and decor.”
3. Tell us a bit about your celebrations.
“The initial functions were all planned and curated as per the culture and aesthetics of Bahrain. Beautiful, intriguing e-invites had been designed by Ranjani of Pink Whistle Man which had created a lot of buzz and interest among our guests about the Bahrain festivities. Hence, once the venue shift to Goa was finalized, we created a new set of designs, itinerary, invitations, wedding collaterals and much more, all in three days.”
4. Were there any major changes in your festivities as compared to your initial plans?
“With functions starting on March 19, every event posed its own set of challenges. To start with, a night before the sangeet, we were intimated about Kailash Kher’s cancellation, which we supplemented by calling Rodney and his crew of 10 who came the next morning. Taking the risk of travelling in fretful times purely as a gesture of goodwill was a measure of the bonds we had created in the industry which was very humbling.”
“Additionally, Jasleen Royal, who was supposed to perform for the wedding dinner, cancelled, which was again tackled with a last-minute solution. When the Goa government announced the imposition of Section 144 on March 20, the originally planned baraat with 101 people was accordingly changed. The beachside pheras were shifted to the terrace of the hotel. Laadi Sangeetmaker ensured stunning entries for us no matter what. I will never forget my garlanding ceremony with me and Aditi standing in two vintage cars exchanging garlands amidst pyros and flower showers.”
5. Looking back on your experience, is there anything you would have done differently?
“After months of intricate planning, all our decisions had to be altered due to completely unforeseen circumstances, and we took quick and efficient decisions in the spur of the moment without wasting a second. Today, looking at the drastic shift in wedding reality, we were incredibly lucky to have managed to pull off a grand wedding at a scale which is currently unimaginable. We were quite fortunate that we could conduct all our events safely. More than 500 people including hotel staff, vendors, artists and guests were involved in making the wedding a reality. We always used to joke that “A wedding planner’s wedding should be really unique,” and funnily enough, it turned out to be true in our case!”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Goa
Wedding Planner: Perfexion Events
Couple’s Outfits: Gaurav Gupta, Adiba Kolkatta, Rinko Patwaa, Surya Fabrics, Saroj Jalan, Anamika Khanna, Antragni Ujjwal Dubey, Tarun Tahiliani
Invites: Pink Whistle Man
Entertainment: Bhavin Shastri (Sufi Night), Rodney (Sangeet), Hiral Garg (Pheras), Jea Band, Eventsyug by Dharmesh, DJ Hysteric, DJ Ryan, Monica and Stephanie
Emcee: Pragya Tiwari, Vishaal Rasquinha
Bartenders: Drinq Company by Binny and Gagan
Choreographer: Vivek Kaushik And Laadi
Entries: Laddi Sangeetmaker, Dance Smith by Sujit Kayal
SFX and Fireworks: SK Patakawala
Light designer: Jairaj Panikar
Casino: Ace Casino by Premal
Sheesha: La Guftugu by Harish Bhutani
Hospitality Partners: Heading Weddings Hospitality by Jatin and Hari
Photography and Videography: Cupcake Productions, Safat Ali