The WeddingSutra Grand Engage hosted on 2nd May 2019 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai was an event designed to assess current trends, create new conversations, encourage original ideas and forge productive connections. With an aim to take the Indian wedding industry to the next level, many key professionals in this sphere shared their perspectives with guests and other participants. The platform proved to be a rich and meaningful one with priceless observations and useful information on a range of topics. Here is a glimpse of all that unfolded at WeddingSutra Grand Engage 2019.
Madhulika Mathur and Parthip Thyagarajan
Destination Weddings come with a chance to take a holiday and experience another culture. That’s why it isn’t a surprise how the luxurious and dazzling city of Dubai has become a popular option for hosting nuptials away from home. At WeddingSutra Grand Engage 2019, Kiran Bhandari (Director of Dubai Events India Office) shared opportunities, ideas, and challenges of hosting a celebration in the City of Gold. “We have 1,15,000 hotel rooms in Dubai, in over 700 hotels, across all categories. In the next 12 months, we will have 25,000 more rooms coming up making it 1,40,000 rooms in Dubai alone which gives you a choice of any price point at any level of excellence that you’re looking for,” he said, highlighting the city’s extensive inventory before going on to talk about the unique experience that the city has to offer.
Kiran Bhandari, Parthip Thyagarajan, Sahiti Gaddam, Sudhagar Subramaniam, Kunal Munshaw, Pooja Wadhwa, Jueta Hemdev, Prateek Hemdev
Present at the event were Sudhagar Subramaniam from Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai (Complex Director of Corporate Sales at Marriott International), Pooja Wadhwa and Kunal Munshaw (Partners at Avant Garde Consulting who represented JA The Resort, Jabel Ali Beach, Dubai) alongside Sahiti Gaddam (Director of Sales and Marketing of Taj Dubai The Palm). The delegates of three of Dubai’s most luxurious hotels shared unique offerings of their properties which added another layer of interest to the discussion.
Sahiti Gaddam, Sudhagar Subramaniam, Pooja Wadhwa
The team even welcomed one-on-one meetings with wedding planners & other guests at the Dubai Experience Zone.
Networking at the Dubai Tourism Experience Zone at WeddingSutra Grand Engage 2019
Raymond, a brand synonymous with trust, quality, and excellence set up a showcase of the trends that they have in their stores this season at the Experience Zone. The brand has been a style inspiration and influencer for grooms fashion and has emerged as a preferred choice for top design houses across 55 countries. Today the label has over 1,100 exclusive stores spread across 380+ cities and an expansive network of more than 20,000 points-of-sale in India. With such an extensive network of outlets, Raymond has truly secured its place as a market leader in the space of festive styling.
The Raymond Experience Zone
With an aim to make the event more enriching, WeddingSutra Grand Engage 2019 collaborated with Forevermark whose team introduced guests to the world of diamonds. The session polished the attendees’ knowledge on the world’s most beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced diamonds. Through this intriguing and informative MasterClass, they got an in-depth understanding of the different aspects of these dazzling gems as well as different standards of clarity, color, carat and more.
The unique session conducted by Sachin Jain (Managing Director of Forevermark) imparted useful tips for purchasing diamonds as well as it’s scope in the space of weddings, corporate events giveaways and occasional gifting.
Masterclass with ForeverMark
Presentation by Sachin Jain at the Masterclass with Forevermark
Parthip Thyagarajan, Madhulika Mathur, Sachin Jain
The event also saw an experience zone created by Evolis, a global leader in card printing, that offers hotels a convenient way to customize and print modern stationery and collaterals. From buffet tags and luggage tags to price labels, ID badges, and more, their collection blends aesthetics and functionality perfectly. They gave the guests present there a firsthand experience of their wide range of personalization and printing solutions.
Buffet Tags by Evolis
Luggage Tags by Evolis
Networking at the Evolis Experience Zone
Dialogues That Inspired
Through the course of the day, WeddingSutra Grand Engage 2019 unveiled ideas and opinions of industry leaders on three distinctive topics. The first two discussions were divided into two segments, thus giving the event a chance to host five insight-rich expert panels.
Food has always been the focus at Indian weddings, but today, millennial couples are craving menus that go beyond the ‘tried and tasted.’ The first discussion titled Wedding Food Trends & Millennial Guests threw light on the secret to pleasing the new-age palate.
Rituraj Khanna, Devika Sakhuja, Parthip Thyagarajan, Sonaakshi Raaj, Madhulika Mathur, Innayat Khubchandani
Innayat Khubchandani, Sonaakshi Raaj, Rituraj Khanna
The first talk moderated by Parthip Thyagarajan (CEO and Co-Founder of WeddingSutra), saw wedding experts and social media influencers dish out what’s being served when it comes to modern wedding cuisine, personalized flavors and innovative presentations. The panelists for this segment were Devika Sakhuja (Founder of Devika Sakhuja Wedding Design), Innayat Khubchandani (Founder of Innaz Communique), Rituraj Khanna (Founder of Q Events), and Sonaakshi Raaj (Founder of Sonaakshi Raaj Label).
The second part invited thoughts from the culinary experts of Taj as they shared their experiences and learning of laying out an impeccable wedding spread. The session was moderated by Deepanjali Pandey (Consulting Editor at WeddingSutra) and offering their perspective as the leading professionals in this industry were Anirudhya Roy (Executive Chef at Taj Lands End, Mumbai), Rohit Sangwan (Executive Sous Chef at Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai), Shyam Longani (Executive Chef at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Goa), Sujoy Gupta (Executive Chef at Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur).
Shyam Longani, Rohit Sangwan, Deepanjali Pandey, Sujoy Gupta, Anirudhya Roy
Through the second segment of the day, India’s leading wedding planners lifted the curtains on wow destinations and venues that are increasingly attracting NRIs and well-heeled millennial couples! The discussion titled Destination India: Top Choices, Offbeat Locales, and Timeless Weddings explored all the locations that offer an extraordinary setting or a unique Indian experience.
Parthip Thyagarajan, Pramod Lunawat, Prerana Saxena, Alisha Shirodkar, Deepanjanli Pandey, Aarti Mattoo, Neha Seth Arora, Chetan Vohra
The first part of this discussion moderated by Deepanjali Pandey, got some of the top professionals of the wedding industry talking about the shifts and trends that this generation has been spearheading. Aarti Mattoo (Managing Director of Momentum Experiences & Events LLP), Alisha Shirodkar (Marketing Director of Tamarind Global), Chetan Vohra (Founder of Wedding Line), Neha Seth Arora (Co-Founder, Partner and CEO of Var Vadhu), Pramod Lunawat (Founder and CEO of Marriageuana), and Prerana Saxena (CEO of Theme Weavers Designs) were the panelists at this discussion.
Pramod Lunawat, Aarti Mattoo, Chetan Vohra
Moderated by Parthip Thyagarajan, the second talk on this topic gave the audience a glimpse into the best that the country has to offer from a hospitality viewpoint. Sharing their experiences and learnings were Mehrnavaz Avari (General Manager of Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur), Shaun Cooper (General Manager of Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa, Coorg), Varun Nigam (General Manager of Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur), and Vinod Pandey (General Manager of The Gateway Hotel Ambad Nashik).
Shaun Cooper, Varun Nigam, Mehrnavaz Avari, Christopher Viegas, Vinod Pandey, Parthip Thyagarajan
The final discussion titled The WOW Factor in 2019 Weddings: From Minute Details to Magnificent Vision talked about the details and vision that goes into creating a wow wedding celebration. The top wedding planners revealed what’s trending with millennials – offbeat locations, standout entertainment, eco-friendly touches and Insta-worthy decor that get thousands of ‘hearts’ on Instagram. The talk explored creative ways of bringing about a balance between trends and traditions and gave the panelists a chance to share unique instances from their wedding planning trajectory. The participants of this talk were Ambika Agarwal (Founder of The A-Cube Project), Mareesha Parikh (Creative Director of Swaaha Wedding Management Co.), Neha Mehrotra (Founder and Director of Foreign Wedding Planners), Rishi Rochlani (Founder of The Wedding Designers), and Vikram Mehta (Owner and Founder of Mpire Weddings). Guests thoroughly enjoyed listening to the diverse challenges and experiences of these wedding planning experts. There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes at any wedding, and the WeddingSutra Grand Engage 2019 showcased all the different fun, challenging and planning aspects via industry leaders.
Vikram Mehta, Parthip Thyagarajan, Ambika Agarwal, Mareesha Parikh, Neha Mehrotra, Rishi Rochlani
Mareesha Parikh, Vikram Mehta, Ambika Agarwal
Guests and panelists
Rishi Rochlani, Innayat Khubchandani, Neha Mehrotra, Parthip Thyagarajan
Representatives of Various Taj Hotels
Arpita Gandhi & Aarti Mattoo
Pooja Anita Dadlani & Sonakshi Raaj
Sachin Jain, Parthip Thyagarajan
Parthip Thyagarajan, Janki Desai
Venue Partner: Taj Lands End, Mumbai
Event Partners: Taj, Dubai Tourism, Raymond
Experience Partners: Forevermark, Evolis, Panasonic Lumix
Production Partner: DNH Artists
Hospitality Partner: The HNL Desk
Decor Partner: Floral Stems
Furniture (Panel Discussions/Sessions, Experience Zones): Elements Design & Co.
Emcee: Bhavna Bhatia (WeddingSutra Grand Engage), Vishaal Rasquinha (WeddingSutra Photography Awards)
Mixology and Liquid Partner: The Wedding Bartenders, Hops Cork
Security: Star Protection Private Limited
Event Photography: The Wedframe, Israni Photography
Event Videography: Israni Photography, Orange Kat Films