Ruchika Arora Bansal of Plush Events ventured into the wedding planning industry in 2014, and since then, she has delivered impeccable wedding services to her growing list of clients in India and abroad. Offering end-to-end wedding services, Plush Events factors in the taste, budget, and personalities of clients very meticulously when planning events. Here, Ruchika shares her experiences and interesting insights about the business of planning weddings.
1. What motivated you to start a wedding planning company?
“P3P Ventures, our parent company, had been in the event industry for over a decade now. We were already doing the corporate side of it and were very big in the international artist management sector; however, weddings remained untouched. After I got married, I truly realized all that goes into a wedding and what the entire family had to go through. That’s when it clicked that it was something I could do by myself. I got married in 2012, and within two years, I introduced Plush Events under the guidance of P3P Ventures. The biggest motivator in my journey was my husband, Utkarsh, who is spearheading P3P Ventures.”
2. What were the challenges you faced early on in your career? Did you have a support system and who was your biggest inspiration?
“I consider myself lucky because Utkarsh was already a part of the event industry, and I have a fantastic team! One challenge I faced was being new in the wedding space and creating a concrete place for myself. With the backing of our parent company, we got impaneled at hotels. We had a grand opening and started getting business through word of mouth. Utkarsh and my team pushed me out of my comfort zone to experiment with ideas for weddings because when we started, we were only handling decor and artist management.”
“The entire wedding fraternity is my inspiration! When I look at someone’s work, it just motivates me. If I spot something at a wedding that interests me, I make it a point to take notes. So, every day is a learning experience.”
3. With so many wedding planners in the industry, what makes you stand out and why?
“I think I would be perhaps the youngest woman wedding planner in the industry at the moment. A lot of people say it’s a man’s world out there, but women are really killing it with their talent, and we’re getting there on the top every day. That is something that makes me stand out. Also, in a short time, we’ve been able to associate with a lot of other event companies which are the stalwarts of the wedding industry and are doing projects with them.
4. How does planning traditional weddings in India differ from those of NRI clients in the US, Dubai, Australia, London, and Norway?
“The best thing about working with NRI clients is that they are very particular. For example, if we have a contract signed with them with specific terms and conditions, package details of decor and wedding planning services, they wouldn’t ask us to do anything extra until and unless we wanted to go that extra mile. When we work with Indian clients, the list is never-ending. You may sign endless contracts, but something or the other keeps coming up till the very last minute.”
“When I do NRI weddings, my clients typically focus on the color story. For instance, they stick to off-whites, powder pinks, and a lot of greens for an enchanted garden theme. On the other hand, they also like to include traditional themes by playing with marigolds or incorporating maroon and gold shades with floral elephants. Indian clients are ever-changing in terms of what they want, especially millennial couples. Their decor is more on the flamboyant side with prominent and colorful decorative elements.”
5. How do you cater to the requirements of millennials?
“I enjoy working with millennial couples as they understand your thought processes and have the same mindset and want everything done professionally. I have had couples who have prepared a presentation or a list for a meeting with us, and are extremely precise about what they are looking for, which special guests to attend to, and even what they want in the room basket, which makes the planning process very smooth.”
6. You’ve styled a lot of weddings. Which has been your favorite, and why?
“I recently did a white wedding where the bride was Christian, and the groom was Sikh. The mother of the bride was an artist and she was very particular about how she wanted the wedding to be. The ceremony wasn’t held in a church, so we ended up doing their wedding on a lawn at The Palms Club, Gurgaon. We made a tall wooden cross in front of which the vows were taken. I had complete control over the planning process. They told me that the wedding was my baby and left all the designing to me. When the clients trust us, our confidence level grows!”
7. How do you add a personal touch to make every wedding special?
“From a wedding planning perspective, we end up giving our clients small surprise giveaways from our side, and these gifts are typical to their culture and background. It is a way to express our thanks to families for allowing us to be a part of their celebrations.”
“When it comes to decor, we add elements either at the welcome corner or the entrance area. It could be something small for the couple such as their caricature or a printed customized guest book. Each event has unique elements that vary from culture to culture. We understand a couple’s story, where they are coming from, and then propose the idea of adding that particular element to the event decor or occasion.”
8. What advice do you have for young, aspiring wedding planners?
“I am not old enough to be giving that advice. But, go with the flow. Nobody can climb the ladder very fast. I have been learning all this while and am open to learning in the future too. That is the good bit about being a young person entering this industry. You always end up giving more than your hundred percent if you’re new.”