Destination weddings are trending these days among high-net-worth Indians residing here and overseas. Move over, we say to the Russian oligarchs of yester yore. Indians have now arrived on the luxurious global landscape, and we are here to conquer and shine.
India is now firmly entrenched into this scene. It’s now seriously hip, happening and cool for Indian couples to say “I do” amidst artistically curated settings, delectable international cuisines, exotic floral and scented candles, and a cosmopolitan guest list. Not to mention the array of international artistes who are called in to perform at such weddings, including the likes of Beyonce, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Martin of Coldplay and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Bollywood superstars, too, have jumped on this bandwagon—from Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan to Katrina Kaif and Jacqueline Fernandez.
The Wedding Design Company, founded 15 years ago by Vandana Mohan, is by far the ultimate player in this field. Their prestige is unmatched, as is their professional handling of a couple of hundred to a thousand-plus guests at A-lister weddings at any destination you desire. Whether it’s Turkey, Vienna, Florence, St. Tropez, the whole world is your oyster.
Mohan is a superstar who has cracked the glass ceiling efficiently and most exquisitely. She is a committed professional, having carved out a niche for herself with passion, dedication, drive and focus. On establishing herself as a successful wedding planner, she said, “Actually 15 years ago, we were novices and learned on the job. I followed my inner instinct. Today, the number one driver, in terms of choosing a destination wedding planner, is experience.”
Each location has different variables, requirements and vendor suppliers unique to that particular setting. The job of a wedding planner lies in the art of enhancing that particular location, in adding the local flavour, the essence and the signature of the spot to the wedding festivities.
Arti Mittal is the founder and facilitator of a niche-driven and personalised boutique wedding planning firm called Treasured Occasions. She said about her process of curating the perfect wedding for her clients: “I feel it is very important to get connected to the family, because a wedding is a very emotional and intimate time in life, for both the bride and the groom. And by the time the wedding takes place, the emotions are on another level.”
For Treasured Occasions, it’s more about working within a certain budget, whether it’s lavish or constrained. For Mittal, passion trumps business. She said, “I do about one to two weddings per year. For me it’s a passion and it’s not only about making money. I am particular that the budgets should not go haywire.”
The well-known Gautam Vedi of Aura has been at the helm of many iconic weddings. He talked to us about one of his favourite projects: “I did the wedding of the prince of Jodhpur, Yuvraj Shivraj, the son of the Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur at their Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur. It was fantastic as Jodhpur is a very exciting venue.”
Having done weddings all over the world, he enjoys several wedding destinations in India. He said, “My royal favourite is Rajashtan, along with Goa, as well as Andaman and Nicobar for a beach wedding theme, which can actually turn out to be intimate and offbeat.” His specialty lies in décor and he is a master of it.
What all three wedding planners—Vandana Mohan, Arti Mittal and Gautam Vedi—agree upon is that everyone who is planning a destination wedding outside their home city should take into account variables like weather, connectivity to the venue, travel time, and most importantly, the budget, and proceed in a planned way.