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.
From planning weddings for the silver screen to orchestrating those for its stars, the founders of Shaadi Squad have been behind the best of both. Based out of Mumbai, the team has earned itself the reputation of being one of the best in the industry thanks to the breathtaking festivities that they have orchestrated in the last four years.
Tina Tharwani, co-founder and head of business development & client servicing at Shaadi Squad, speaks to us about creating magical weddings and everything that makes such an occasion special.
Tell us about how you realized that wedding planning was your calling, your initiation into the industry, and journey of becoming a celebrity wedding planner?
“Before Saurabh, Manoj and I stepped foot into the wedding planning industry, we were deeply involved in film production and our years there exposed us to the commonalities between both these fields. Be it larger-than-life setups, food, and beverage solutions, venue scouting or more, the two coincide on several fronts. Therefore, even though we were foraying into this exciting new business, things seemed quite familiar, except that now our clients’ experiences would be for real, not reel! This was precisely what led to us establishing Shaadi Squad in late 2015.”
How do you get couples to effectively share their vision, ideas, and inspirations for the wedding day?
“Understanding a client’s vision is a process that has no fixed format. There are some couples who have a clear image of what they want and come with a very concise brief, while there are others who have absolutely no idea or are overwhelmed with the plethora of options available to them. Talking to them and posing questions is the only way to help them visualize their wedding better and gauge which are the elements that have to be incorporated at all costs as well as identify those that are absolute no-nos. Usually, we either ask them to remember the details that they liked at weddings that they have previously attended, have seen on social media or in movies, or have read about in books or magazines. This is of incredible help when we’re trying to find a direction and chart a plan.”
How do you add a couple’s personality to a wedding?
“In most cases, we strive to create an ambiance that reflects the couple’s joint personalities. Choosing a venue that they relate to the most (a beach, city, mountainside or something else) and carefully planning the decor (be it elaborate or minimal, royal or rustic, etc) all add up to a celebration that resonates with their style. Paying attention to finer elements, too, makes a world of a difference. The type of music that plays in the background, the selection of cuisines and its presentation, or even the time of day when the wedding takes place, all may seem like passive nuances, but in reality, are details of great consequence.”
As an expert, what are some trends that will soon be driving the industry?
“There are quite a few international trends that have been making in-roads to India due to the kind of global exposure this generation has. While weddings here are known to be larger-than-life events with hordes of relatives and loads of decor, there has been a recent shift towards minimalism. Modern-day couples can be seen ditching the conventional palette of reds and yellows, and opting for softer colors along with subtle elements. They also desire an intimate affair and prefer spending their big day with those who matter most to them.”
“Another big trend that is slowly catching on is that of food carts as a substitute for the traditional buffets. These carts are often spread across the venue and have chefs making their dishes right before the guests. This also leaves room for customization and allows everyone to have their food made to taste!”
“Lastly, with people becoming more aware of the environmental consequences of their actions, eco-friendly practices are gaining traction. Couples today are more discerning about the amount of waste produced at weddings and are seeking greener solutions. From digital wedding invites to upcycled decor, this trend of having a sustainable approach towards weddings is in vogue and for all good reasons!”
You have worked with some of the top celebrities, namely Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas. What was it like to plan their weddings and how difficult was it to keep the details under wraps?
“Whether she is a celebrity or not, a bride is a bride. On the day of her wedding, every girl is only living some of the happiest, most anticipated days of her life. Therefore, usually, there is not a sea of difference between planning regular nuptials or a celebrity wedding. The pressures with regards to confidentiality, however, may differ from client to client. Some may want to go all out and be in the news while others may be keen on concealing their wedding from the public eye. Each wedding, regardless of its scale, comes with its own set of challenges and with high-profile weddings that welcome known names, security is a factor of great importance. Hence, as planners, we need to be a little more vigilant about news leaks. Putting together a wedding requires us to work with several vendors; therefore, when it comes to keeping details under wraps, we only partner with those understand and respect the client’s privacy.”
You have planned some of the most beautiful and famous weddings in the world. Can you tell us about some of them?
“We consider ourselves fortunate to have organized numerous nuptials with distinctive themes and decor at various locations including Mumbai, Goa, Oman, Khimsar, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Delhi, Kerala, and Italy. The first wedding that we ever planned was in Oman, a little more than three years ago before it became the hotspot that it is today. In Khimsar we organized several functions amidst the dunes which was an experience unlike any other. Italy, of course, needs no words for its beauty and the know-how that it brings along. Every celebration and destination has offered us some unique experiences, and the culmination of it all is what keeps us in high spirits through this journey!”
What has been your most memorable wedding planning experience?
“Well, at the risk of sounding cliché, we have had numerous memorable moments with most of our clients, so it would be difficult to just choose one!”
All our brides and grooms would be eager to know what you think is the secret to having an amazing wedding! Can you give them a few great tips?
“The secret to having an amazing wedding is to have it the way you want to, essentially. That said, these tips might help the couples tide through this journey better. The first tip is that couple’s should keep a mood-board ready or do thorough research to know their likes and dislikes, especially when it comes to decor, invites, food, and more. Secondly, know your budget and ensure that your planner is also aware of the same. To make things foolproof, always keep a 10-20% contingency budget. Lastly, keep your guest-list ready and handy, together with their phone numbers, addresses, and email ids. This will help you significantly when it comes to logistics, food, and even planning.”
To book Shaadi Squad to plan your dream wedding click here