Our series ‘Young and Inspiring’ showcases fresh, exciting new talent powerhouses from the design, fashion and event domains who specialize in creating dream weddings for couples with stars in their eyes.
Despite spending about a decade in the hospitality industry, switching gears and taking up the role of a full-time wedding planner seemed like the most surprising, yet natural progression in her career for Neha Seth Arora. A well-known name in the field of wedding planning, she spent a large amount of her time at the Hyatt hotels orchestrating weddings for the hotel’s clients and her inclinations towards this area led her to found her own company. A co-founder, partner and CEO at Var Vadhu, Neha Seth Arora tells us about her journey.
1. How did you stumble upon wedding planning and what kept you in the field?
“I started my journey as a hotelier with Hyatt where I handled a lot of larger-than-life weddings and that’s how I realized that this was my true calling. My love for organizing gorgeous happily-ever-afters grew over the years and I thoroughly enjoyed focusing on the details of planning, conceptualizing and executing these events. Being a part of big budgets weddings for HNI communities really encouraged me to explore this field further.
During my tenure there, I worked very closely with Seventy Seven Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and one fine day, Manoj suggested that we do something together. After several long and interesting conversations over multiple cups of coffee, I finally took the decision of moving out of Hyatt and pursuing my passion by entering the wedding industry with Var Vadhu.”
2. As an expert in the wedding planning industry, how do you blend the hottest and the newest with that which is timeless and elegant?
“It all begins with understanding the client’s requirement and as a wedding planner, I ensure that I understand everything about not just their tastes but also their needs. Once you have heard them out, while conceptualizing, you need to let ideas run to you freely. At a wedding that we recently organized at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai we constructed an extremely innovative hanging mandap that was smothered with Indian flowers. Here, while fresh blooms brought in an ageless charm, the creatively built structure became a trendy talk point of the wedding and received immense appreciation from the client.”
3. What is the single most important element of a successful wedding celebration?
“Planning realistic timelines and sticking to it I think is what makes or breaks a wedding. This is closely followed by focus on a few key elements that give the celebration its wow factor.
Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime affair and more often than not, couples and their families wish to celebrate it in grand style; and while there are several areas that need attention, these two are the things that will determine the success of such an occasion”
4. What are the aspects of planning their wedding that the two kinds of brides mentioned below should focus on:
i) One who wants to be as involved as possible
ii) One who wants to be as little involved as possible
“Brides who want to be involved in every area of their wedding need to first focus on creating a set goal. After this we can get together and create a plan that brings equilibrium between their ideas, it’s functionality and the budget. We expose our brides to a lot of options so selection and feedback become another area that requires their attention. We constantly update them on developments on their wedding plan so that they can mold things as per their taste. That said, we do keep just a few things under wraps because we love to surprise them on their wedding day!
For the bride who wants to be as little involved as possible devising a clear brief is the key element. We design a brief plan for our couple that helps us to get the details of the things that we need from them all the bride needs to do is sit down with us and go through all the pointers after which we can take complete control.”
5. You have collaborated with Wizcraft to launch the Global Wedding Academy. What is the idea behind this and how is it different from other wedding planning courses?
“Global Wedding Academy, in association with Wizcraft is a platform where we invite budding wedding planners to explore the detailed and technical know-how of this industry. With an aim to bridge the gap between what the industry wants and what the industry doesn’t have, the academy came up with an 18-week course that can be taken online as well as offline. Certified by MESC, we have a list of experts on our faculty, detailed course material, all this supported by robust infrastructure. The students will also be exposed to an immersive learning experience through live interactions, field experiences and supervised internships. In short, this course takes you several steps closer to being a wedding wizard.”
6. What does it take to be a good wedding planner?
“The ability to be true to yourself, educate yourself on what needs to done and learn how it can be achieved is what helps you become a fantastic player in the industry. Besides this, you need passion, organized work methods and most importantly, knowledge of the art of adapting to change. Since this is a very dynamic and fast-paced industry, one must also have the capability of taking quick, creative and innovative decisions. If you have all these ingredients in your basket, the wedding you plan is surely going to be a master recipe.”
7. What are the things that inspire you?
“It’s the feeling when I see the glow and happiness on the faces of the couples with whom we work that keeps me wanting to work for more. It inspires my creativity and helps me deliver the best to my clients each time. Another thing that I find very motivating is when couples feel involved in their wedding. When they put their heart in my art, it encourages me further to settle for nothing but the best.”
8. A celebrity whose wedding you would want to plan and why?
“Alia Bhatt, simply for the fact that she is young, full of life and a very energetic soul. She is one of most talked about brides-to-be in the nation. Planning her nuptials would give us that extra edge and keep us on our toes to deliver better-than-the-best results, and give her a dream wedding.”
To book Var Vadhu to plan your dream wedding click here.