The city of Hyderabad is an increasingly popular choice for destination weddings by families from all over the world. The Taj Group of Hotels hosted WeddingSutra Engage, the elegant luxury and weddings’ event. Their Hyderabad properties, Taj Krishna, Taj Falaknuma Palace and Taj Deccan are the epitome of Hyderabadi culture and hospitality and are adept at hosting destination weddings of all hues.
The Grand Ballroom, Taj Krishna
The theme was ‘Hyderabad- the new hotspot for Destination Weddings’ and as always, the event was a hub of the city’s prominent wedding industry folk, top bridal fashion influencers, creative entrepreneurs and some very special guests – ten WeddingSutra readers and brides-to-be, who participated and won an invitation to this soirée.
The panel discussion included the city’s finest creative minds and entrepreneurs and Mumbai’s eminent wedding planners. The rapt audience had the chance to listen to Shalini Bhupal- Executive Director Taj GVK Hotels, Anushree Reddy- Bridal Couturier, Dinaz Noria- Event Stylist, K Mohanchandran, Director- Operations Taj GVK Hotels and General Manager- Taj Krishna and Kainaz Sethna the Head of Mumbai-based Seven Steps (a division of Seventy Event Media Group). The panel discussion was moderated by Parthip Thyagarajan, Director, WeddingSutra.
From left to right- K. Mohanchandran, Anushree Reddy, Shalini Bhupal. Dinaz Noia and Kainaz Sethna.
There was consensus that Hyderabad, already the country’s MICE (Meetings Incentives Conferences Exhibitions) capital is evolving as a hotspot for social events. The reasons are evident. Hyderabad has a longstanding reputation for its cultural charm, heritage and cuisine. The last being especially important to guests at a wedding. It scores on the cost factor, maintaining a price advantage through the year. And of course, the sheer beauty of the Taj’s iconic Falaknuma Palace, Taj Krishna and Taj Deccan and the confident teams whose perfect training and vast experience at managing weddings, and impeccable service assure clients that their wedding is in trusted hands.
Shalini Bhupal, Executive Director, Taj GVK Hotels emphasized Hyderabad’s happy blend of influences, “Apart from the summer, Hyderabad has very pleasant weather all year. The climate is temperate which is a huge advantage to those who want an outdoor wedding.” Hyderabad’s rich history is another lure, she says, “Culturally, there is a mix of the Nizams, who were in turn influenced by the styles of the West; the native Andhra and Telangana culture,” and this of course is best experienced in the cuisine, “the Hyderabadi biryani and spicy Andhra food!” and fashion, “We have some brilliant designers! So you can come here to get married at one of our venues, eat our food, wear our clothes and we will give you a fabulous wedding.”
Dinaz Noria, the city’s best known event stylist is familiar with every great location Hyderabad has to offer. She described a picture book worthy collection of palaces, forts and temples suitable for destination weddings, “This city offers destinations of all kinds. If you’re looking for some Telugu culture, in addition to the forts and temples, there are resorts and luxury hotels.” The cherry on top? Getting around Hyderabad is easy, so there’s no precious time wasted in commuting.
Hyderabad’s potential as a destination wedding option really revealed itself with the Taj Falaknuma Palace, Kainaz Sethna of Seven Steps said, “All these years one didn’t realise how much one can do with a venue like Hyderabad. The Falaknuma Palace presents a very viable option to Rajasthan. It is a dream wedding venue.” But in addition to the well-known places, she said there were many other venues being discovered and shared “thanks to WeddingSutra Engage where we connected and interacted with the city’s top wedding and creative professionals.”
From left to right- Parthip Thyagarajan, Anushree Reddy, Dinaz Noria, Kainaz Setha and K. Mohanchandran
Between the Taj Krishna and the Taj Deccan, close by, K Mohanchandran, the General Manager, Taj Krishna told the audience that guests have access to “Over 400 rooms, 15 acres of space, and several banquet facilities on offer, not to forget the various halls for wedding related functions.” Mohanchandran cited easy connectivity to most Indian cities and overseas, mentioning Hyderabad’s award winning airport. Echoing a theme at the event, he reiterated, “that pricing across segments was not exorbitant – whether it is the rooms, the food, or the transport. All of which make Hyderabad one of the best locations for a destination wedding in India.”
After the panel discussion, it was time for Anushree Reddy, bridal couturier, to bring her experience to the audience that included ten very excited brides-to-be. Her latest collection is called ‘Wedding Chronicles” and the designer tipped her hat to the modern bride who she acknowledges as very aware of current trends in fashion, know what colours work with them and what styles they’re looking for. She explained that in her line of work, she often creates for the bride’s sister, mum and friends as well, “so that there is synergy in what they are wearing, I try and give them a complete look right down to the shoes. I guide them to go with styles that are not repetitive and design according to the occasion. For example, I make garments mehndi and sangeet friendly if those are the functions I am designing for.” As a nod to the traditions of Hyderabad, Anushree said she used zardozi in her creations, “so there is a local feel to the garments.”
Then it was time to turn to the buffet table. Nitin Mathur, Executive Chef of Taj Krishna, Nitin Mathur, tracked popular wedding menu trends, “While people are increasingly health conscious and the salad bars are getting longer, there is also a great demand for large dessert counters. People want everything – from cupcakes to glass towers and macaroons and wedding cakes. Live counters and single ingredient tasting counters are also increasingly popular, along with multiple cuisines being represented at the wedding buffet.”
Chef Nitin Mathur, Executive Chef- Taj Krishna
Finally, Jamie Walker, brand ambassador for Diageo introduced the importance of a good bar. He had a few basic tips, “Always make sure you have enough alcohol so you don’t run out!” but stressed the importance in hiring a great bartender, “You need a bartender who is polite, well versed with mixology, and can rustle up some interesting cocktails and mocktails. He should also be responsible and not serve more alcohol to someone who has probably had enough. A good bar will have people enjoying themselves and if they drink responsibly there are no embarrassing moments for the hosts.”
Jamie Walker, Brand Ambassador- Diageo
The event was also host to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for providing a special touch to the wedding – albums, décor and even holograms of the bride and groom.
Wedding Planners and Brides-to-be check out the Canvera photobook collection
At the venue, tastefully designed by Dinaz Noria, invitees mingled with industry experts and panelists. The conversation was thrilling and enlightening and Anushree Reddy was definitely the belle of the ball, with all the women wanting her opinion on their trousseaux.
WeddingSutra Engage concluded with a dinner that allowed guests, entrepreneurs and panelists to relax and consolidate a day of learning and networking.