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. Bhavnesh Sawhney and Farid Khan of Wedniksha are entrepreneurs with their fingers on the pulse of everything that falls within the realm of wedding planning. The two come from distinctly different backgrounds but have created a team that is driven, creative and resourceful, as well as a company that has become synonymous with excellence and perfection.
Bhavnesh hails from the field of jewelry designing where for many years he dealt with many international celebrities. His sense of creativity and aesthetics enables him to bring to the table lots of unique wedding themes and services. Farid, on the other hand, has been associated with Wizcraft – India’s leading event planning and execution company – for over 14 years. He conceptualized and executed prestigious national and international events like the Commonwealth Games, IIFA Awards, the South African Of The Year Awards, to name a few. Together their partnership has been an immensely creative and impactful one in the weddings industry. Here, they share what went into their success stories and insights that go into creating that perfect wedding.
Tell us about your initiation into the industry and how you realized that wedding planning was your calling?
Bhavnesh: “Having a background in jewels and craftsmanship, creativity and innovativeness, I’d say, was something that was in my bloodstream! When I met couples and families, the disparity between their expectations and reality in the wedding planning industry became very apparent to me. I wanted to bridge the gap and curate some of the most beautiful weddings that would leave my clients with memories that would last them a lifetime. With my experience and passion, I knew it was possible. That’s how the foundation was set for Wedniksha, a company that crafts dreams. Today Wedniksha has managed some of the biggest weddings in the country, and the world. The feelings of happiness and victory that we get upon receiving compliments from couples cannot be expressed in words.”
What’s the one thing every bride and groom should do before they start planning their wedding?
Farid: “While weddings are a time to celebrate and enjoy, all the festivities can get chaotic in a matter of minutes if proper pre-planning on various aspects is not done. It’s important to have clarity of thought and a fair understanding of budgets to ensure one does not go overboard and has the best options that are well within their reach. Be it the destination of the wedding, hospitality or entertainment, there is no dearth of choices available to fit every budget; but clarity is a must. Also, hiring a wedding planner is always a good idea so that everything is synchronized and the events flow smoothly without you having to intervene. A wedding planner helps to ideate and prioritize rightly and makes sure that minute details are taken care of.
As an A-lister, Sonam Kapoor’s life is under constant media speculation and scrutiny. While planning a wedding for a celebrity like her, how difficult was it to keep all the details under wraps?
Bhavnesh: “Sonam Kapoor’s wedding was special and was in the news for some aspects. The families preferred a close-knit affair with only their nearest and dearest attending. Therefore, while planning, we had to be very careful since there was a lot of anticipation that surrounded the occasion. Curiosity and queries kept building up right till the last moment. However, Wedniksha has curated some of the biggest weddings over the globe, and we have a team of experts who maintain strict decorum when it comes to keeping things best under wraps. There is no denying that orchestrating a wedding which had the eyeballs of the world was a challenge, but we made sure that everything was as hushed as possible.”
Besides Sonam’s wedding, the other nuptials that you planned which garnered a lot of attention was Adel Sajan’s cruise wedding. What were some of the most memorable moments from those celebrations?
“Adel Sajan’s wedding was another affair that we created with flair and precision. It was a lavish celebration on an international cruise with Bollywood entertainment and the best services that resulted in beautiful moments and everlasting memories. The ideation, planning, delegation of responsibilities, overall execution, and every other aspect – no matter how big or small – was discussed in great detail.”
“The challenge while curating a wedding in the middle of the ocean was to ensure that everything was procured in advance, so a lot of effort went into the pre-planning to ensure that guests were taken care of for the duration of the journey. Every function was thematically driven, and the idea was to evoke memories of the movie ‘Dil Dhadakne Do.’ From the decor to the dress codes, it was made to match the aesthetics of the film while creating a unique vibe that was fit for a wedding.”
What separates both of you and Wedniksha from competition?
“We do not consider anyone as a competition; each one has their unique strength and innovations to offer. Internally we ensure that we are ahead of the game by keeping pace with new technology and innovation in existing trends. For the very same reason, we often take up opportunities to be part of distinguished panels at renowned wedding conferences globally. Some of the themes that we have spoken on are new trends and client procurement.”
As an expert in the industry, what does the industry look like five years from now to you?
“Five years ago, nobody could have imagined the weddings industry the way it is today. With technology and innovation, multiple domestic and international vendors and specialized services, today clients have lots of options. Today they are extremely educated and knowledgeable about the offerings available, making it imperative for any company to be on par with everything that is new and be cost-effective. While trends keep changing, the core of a celebration stays the same. Five years down the line we may see more options regarding destinations and venues, easy travel options, lenient international regulations, weddings with a distinctive technological side – especially with augmented reality tools taking on the entertainment front.”
What is your favorite aspect of wedding planning and why?
“There are various elements close to my heart, and we try to give a unique touch to each one. It’s interesting to know the stories of the bride and groom and learn how their experiences have been woven into a beautiful bond. We enjoy letting their tale be at the center of our concepts and putting the final product in front of the guests in an entertaining manner with elaborate musicals and choreographed performances with pre-recorded scripts.”
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