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WeddingSutra hosts another ‘Bridal Beginnings’ event at Zoya’s store in Khar, Mumbai

After a successful launch of ‘Bridal Beginnings’ event last month in association with Zoya, WeddingSutra and Luxury Consultant Nisha JamVwal hosted the next in the series at Zoya’s store in Linking Road, Khar. The evening saw brides-to-be view Zoya’s exquisite collection of international designs, traditional and fusion polki and kundan jewellery while sipping on delish mocktails specially created by ‘The Wedding Bartenders‘. Guests were treated to fine aperitifs prepared by Moveable Feast and all the brides-to-be won surprise gifts from The Beach Company.

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Nisha JamVwal and Ojas Rajani

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Nisha JamVwal and WeddingSutra Editor Parthip Thyagrajan were personally present at the event to meet and greet the brides-to-be and talked to them about the latest Zoya creations. And while Jewelry was the focus of this event, brides-to-be also got to spend time with and ask lots of questions to the styling and makeup expert Ojas Rajani.

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Photos Courtesy- Picture Perfect India

Recent Entries

Nidhi and Abhinav’s Long Distance Wedding held in Lucknow

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“Someone somewhere is made for you’… we’ve all heard this saying at some point in our lives,” says Nidhi, her voice laced with romance. “Like every girl, I too was dreaming about my ‘someone’ and was wondering where and when I would meet him someday. And one fine day, in the winter of 2011 I met my future husband far away from my motherland India. Like me, he too had moved to the US, and here we were neighbors living a few minutes away.”

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In the first meeting itself both of them felt the ‘connect’. Says Nidhi: “The fact that we were neighbors spiced up our love story. I was pursuing my M.S from University of Hartford in Connecticut and Abhinav was working as a Software engineer at Tata Consultancy Services in East Hartford. After realizing we share much in common we spent more time getting to know each other, well before we tied the knot in India on January 20, 2014.”

Long Distance Wedding Planning
Nidhi says that she always dreamed of having a Palace wedding and was on cloud nine when her dreams started to come true. “All thanks to my hero, my first love and my best friend– my father! Indeed, it is very difficult to plan a big event in India if you’re based abroad, but thanks to so much help from my family and friends, everything turned into a reality”, she says. “Abhinav and I never wanted a very intimate or fusion wedding—we love traditional Indian weddings complete with all our community rituals and culture, and all of it happened thanks to everyone’s beliefs in its significance.”

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Biggest Challenge: Although Nidhi’s native is Ranchi, her family has been residing in Vadodara for more than a decade. And Abhinav is from the land of Nawabs, Lucknow. “Planning a long distance wedding is tough, but things get more difficult when the two families in India are living in different cities”, quips Nidhi. In their case, time management, location preference and coordination were the biggest challenge.

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Two Cities: Managing guests flying down from across the globe and from various parts of India was a task in itself. “We have friends and family everywhere and we wanted to have our ceremonies in Gujarat and in Lucknow too. Since I love the Vivanta by Taj in Lucknow, we decided to do all the main functions there. We hosted our pre-wedding functions including the engagement in Vadodara and four days later we flew in to Lucknow for the wedding celebrations.”

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The Palace Wedding at Taj, Lucknow
The one venue which mesmerized Nidhi was The Vivanta by Taj at Gomti Nagar, which she states, is no less than a magnificent Palace, with a space and setting she always visualized for her dream wedding. “And fortunately for us, we managed to get a booking during the peak wedding season, in January. I know many brides who would prefer to get married in the evenings or at sunset but I am a big fan of late night North Indian weddings and our wedding continued well into the night. I love it when family members stay awake for the ceremonies singing songs and teasing each other. And who can forget the ‘Jootachupai’ (hiding shoes) rasam by my sisters- it was too much fun.”

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On the eve of the wedding, the Baratis came with the Dhol, Shehnai and Fatake, and this was followed by the Jaimal, Dinner and the Pheras. “I was watching the fireworks from my room, eagerly waiting to see Abhinav. Finally, my bridesmaids came to my room and I was escorted to my Doli. Yes- Doli! Like I said, I love rich, traditional elements and my entrance in a Doli donning a very traditional red lehenga, made it just the way I wanted it to me. My friends later informed me that this was truly one of the most beautiful ‘bride’s entry’ they had seen and I was happiest to hear that!”

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In search of the Perfect Lehenga
Talking about wedding lehengas, Nidhi says that she tried searching for Lehengas online but found it difficult to make a decision without trying it on first. “Thereafter, I started emailing photographs to my sister a month before the wedding when I hit panic mode! And the search continued at home for the perfect ‘red’ wedding lehenga and the yellow saree for the Saptapadi.”

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Long distance wedding planning, she reiterates, is a challenge because one does not have the luxury of overseeing every detail and one has to rely on the internet and on family. After rejecting more than 10 lehenga patterns, Nidhi finally picked a pattern around two weeks before the wedding. “It had gold zari work all over it, making it very heavy but it was so beautiful that it made bearing the extra weight worth it. Like I said, things are different when you look online, or on video chat but when you actually try it on, you get the real feel,” says Nidhi. She advises brides-to-be to keep looking and trying till they find the perfect outfit. “It’s your big day so don’t compromise. You can adjust in some other areas of the functions but not on the outfit,” she says.

The second main outfit for the evening- the Saptapadisar. “It’s our tradition to wear a yellow color sari during the Pheras. At night, when I had to sit for the seven vows, dressed in a beautiful yellow silk sari and laden with gold and my mom’s nathani (nose ring), I felt truly blessed. Yellow is my favorite color, and, keeping my preference in mind, my mother (who is a designer) specially designed a yellow sari for my Haldi Rasam. Wearing my mother’s nose ring and the sari she designed made me feel more connected to her,” says Nidhi, looking back on the celebrations.

Perfect Pictures, Perfect Makeup, Perfect Wedding Planning
Just like how it’s important to find the perfect wedding dress, it is equally important to find the perfect photographer, says Nidhi who is thankful to Mumbai based Rajesh Dembla of ‘Camera Crew’ for freezing the most beautiful moments of her life and making her one happy bride. “Rajesh Dembla, you are extremely talented. Cheers to Camera Crew!” she shouts out.

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Besides the professionals who captured the wedding ceremonies, one of Nidhi’s dearest friends, Rahul Orra, also a photographer,quietly captured some magical moments. “Rahul is a generous genius, who believes in the concept of ‘pay by heart,’ which goes to show how beautiful and respectful he is towards his art. Thank you Orra Photography for secretly capturing my moments and making me look so pretty,” says an emotional Nidhi.

“Last but not least, I would not have looked so beautiful had it not been for Makeup Artists Rupesh and Nilam. The Mumbai based duo did a great job and I am thankful to them for making it all the way to Lucknow,” says Nidhi who is so impressed by their work that she’s already pre-booked the duo for her sister’s wedding.

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Nidhi shares her tips and advice for recently engaged couples:
Plan in advance- If you are based abroad and the wedding is in India, keep some cushion time to deal with the delays or last minute changes. So if possible, plan atleast 10-11 months before.

One of my very close friends, Jeetu said to me when I got engaged, ‘Focus on the marriage and not on the wedding. You will panic, and there may be times when things will not turn out the way you want it to be but don’t stress about not getting it right always. Think of the big picture and the joys of starting your new journey with your loved ones. You are planning to grow old together, you are going to have babies together, and most importantly you are going to foster this love throughout your life. So don’t sweat the small stuff.

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For our blog post series, ‘Long Distance Wedding’ we’re featuring couples living abroad who planned a wedding in their hometown in India. We want to hear your story, how you shortlisted venues and your experience with the wedding planner (if you hired one) and other vendors. Write to us at editor@weddingsutra.com with your wedding photo and required details (below), and we’ll get in touch if you’re selected to be featured.

Name of Bride and Groom
Where you’re based or where you were based when planning the Wedding
Where (venue + city) you got married and when (date)

Photos Courtesy- Camera Crew

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With WeddingSutra On Location- Manika Verma

As part of our initiative WeddingSutra on Location, we invited four brides-to-be for a unique experience at Satya Paul in Juhu, Mumbai. Starting with a style consultation, followed by a makeover and a photo shoot each of the participants got an opportunity to interact with some of the best names in bridal and wedding services. Here in the first of the four-part series, bride-to-be Manika Verma blogs about her experience with WeddingSutra on Location at Satya Paul.

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“For every bride-to-be looking for information on where to shop or who to get in touch with, the internet is always a great resource, but it throws up such a long list of options that it often leaves her in a dilemma. Here’s where WeddingSutra comes to her rescue. I see WeddingSutra as a bible for Indian brides-to-be, a one-stop source for ideas and inspiration, and tried-and-tested wedding services. The best part is that real brides share their experiences and offer a practical perspectiveby revealing their approach to the special day, beautifully illustrated with breathtaking pictures. It always helps to know that there are others who have been through similar experiences just like what I am going through as a soon-to-be bride.

It was while reading these experiences that WeddingSutra on Location caught my attention and I wrote to WeddingSutra. A few weeks later I was invited to the Satya Paul store in Juhu on a rainy morning and it sure was a memorable experience.

The Satya Paul store was bedecked with some beautiful outfits and for someone like me who is usually very relaxed when it comes to dressing, it sure was a wow showcase. The ensembles weren’t too loud and blingy, the highlight was the intricate embroidery and interesting color combinations. Later, I realized they weren’t heavy to wear and it made my heart leap out in joy.

Keerti from Satya Paul and Anshu from WeddingSutra patiently helped me to look through outfits as I flitted through the gorgeous lehengas on display. After a few trials I finally zeroed down on a pink ensemble with a dash of lime green. The lehenga had specially crafted ornamental motifs and an elaborate border, teamed with a heavily embroidered blouse and dupatta.

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Next, I had a consultation with makeup expert Recinda Martis. I rarely use makeup and I usually dislike heavily made-up faces. But Recinda made me comfortable enough to try the bold smoky look. After which hairstylist duo Sangeeta and Ishita Khanna took over. They gave me a soft, feminine hairdo and accessorized it with a choker. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I was astounded by the transformation that had taken place within a short duration of one hour.

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Photographers Amit and Priyanka Barot were shooting the makeover, capturing our moments of indecision and gladness.The modern bride prefers not to go with typically posed pictures, neither too casual to pass off for an everyday selfie. Amit was able to strike a balance between the two and made it look easy too. I am not comfortable around cameras, but the duo put me at ease.

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The WeddingSutra on Location experience was not only about choosing the right lehenga and posing for the camera, but a tutorial on creating a look that works for me and a perspective from the best talents in the business. We wrapped up by late afternoon and much to my surprise, I still had the energy for office work. Thank you WeddingSutra for this amazing experience!!”

Manika’s Look
Recinda felt that Manika’s simple look and casual style could be transformed to a glamorous one by simply accentuating the eyes. Since Manika had chosen a colorful lehenga, she decided to balance the look with minimal use of color on the face. She began by creating a base with the Lakmé Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse, and brushed on some Lakmé Absolute Face Stylist Blush Duos. She then applied the Lakmé Absolute Colour Illusion Eye Shadow in Black Pearl and the Lakmé Absolute Kohl Ultimate on the upper and lower eyelids, and smoked them out. Adding on a few coats of the Lakmé Absolute Flutter Secrets Dramatic Eyes mascara gave the bride-to-be fuller, dramatic eyes. Recinda finished the look with the Lakmé Absolute Gloss Stylist in Pink Pout.

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If you’re getting married in 2014 or 2015 and would like to be a part of WeddingSutra On Location*, write to us at weddingsutra@gmail.com with your name, link to your FB profile and wedding date. Selected lucky winners get a complete ‘Bridal Wardrobe Look’ consultation on how to pick the wedding outfit complimentary to your body type & personality, and experience the look you prefer with a trial makeup and photo shoot in the makeup look.

*Location and Date – to be decided, City – Mumbai

Manika@WeddingSutra On Location
Outfit – Satya Paul
Jewellery – Azva (available at Waman Hari Pethe)
Makeup – Recinda Martis for Lakmé Absolute
Hairstyling – Ishita Khanna
Shoot Management – Anshu Kalwani & Tejal Karlekar
Photographs by – Amit Barot Photography

Love Actually- Nisha George and Zachariah Pinto’s Platinum Day of Love

Our initiative ‘Love Actually’ is a photo series featuring engaged couples who actively seek ideas and inspiration from WeddingSutra. The series celebrates the beautiful people in love as they start their lives together. Because real love can only begin, never end. Over coffee, a makeover and a photo shoot we get to-be-weds to tell us how they met, show us their platinum love bands and talk about their day of love.

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Nisha and Zachariah met at the EMDI (Event Management Development Institute).  Says Nisha: “I came to Mumbai four years ago to study at EMDI, where I met Zachariah, the boy of my dreams and a person who is just like me—both of us love the company of dogs, we have an addiction for tattoos and we love to dance!” Zachariah tells us about their first meeting: “We met at the EMDI fresher’s party four years ago. We were introduced to each other through our classmate and I ended up dropping her home as we both lived in Bandra. Post that, slowly and steadily, we got to know each other well. I moved back to Doha after completing studies at EMDI and our relationship had been through some tough phases due to the long distance. But we have held up beautifully only due to the support we have given each other all these years.”

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“There wasn’t any formal proposal, we just knew within a few months that we were meant to be with each other”, says Nisha. She adds, “My uncle was the first person from my family who met Zachariah. He liked him immediately and happily gave me the nod of approval. My parents are extremely fond of Zachariah and they truly believe he will keep me happy. I also love my new parents and look forward to an awesome time together.”

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The couple had an official engagement ceremony where “We had our dogs bring in the rings for us in baskets around their necks, we had photo booth signage for family and friends to take pictures with, and it was special for us as we both officially asked our best friends to be our bridesmaids and groomsmen”, says Zachariah. After this fun celebration, the couple soon got busy planning the wedding celebrations which is taking place on 1st November in Goa. The theme for the Church wedding is ‘Vintage Classic’ and for the Reception it is ‘Bling’.

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Nisha works with an Events & Weddings company so she’s quite experienced with the task of managing weddings. “Of course planning one’s own wedding is quite different. Thankfully, I do not have any stress points yet as everything seems to be going on smoothly. But on D Day I do see myself on walkies with the team to make sure everything is as planned as I’m very particular when it comes to detailing and precision!”

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WeddingSutra wishes the young couple a long and happy ride together.

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If you’re getting married in 2014 or 2015 and would like to be a part of ‘Love Actually’ write to us (weddingsutra@gmail.com) with the link to your FB profiles, wedding date and ‘how you met’ story. Selected couples will be invited for the shoots in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.

Photographs by- The Photo Diary

In Conversation with NikashaTawadey

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An aesthete with a passion for arts and crafts, NikashaTawadey set out to be a psychoanalyst and then found her real calling in fashion design.  Founded in 2006, her eponymous label ‘NIKASHA’ has made its mark with a clear signature style, creating contemporary silhouettes with her interpretation of traditional craftsmanship. DLF Emporio along with Ensemble unveiled Nikasha’s newest bridal collection ‘Rani’ this month. Nikasha speaks to WeddingSutra about her collection and what soon-to-be-married clients want.

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‘Rani’ by Nikasha
It’s a delicate collection, inspired by the landscape of traditional and rare colour combinations, an inter-play of precious embroidery and archived romantic prints including the jasmine bud, cherry blossoms and Siuli. It has an inherent joie de vivre with a nice mix of light and heavily embroidered silhouettes.

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Favourite Shades
My favourite shades have always been pastels tones of pinks and yellows, at the same time I’ve loved the brightness of reds and greens. I love creating contrasts of colours in my outfits.

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Favourite Silhouettes
This time I have tried to make the Kacchi top which is an Indian-ized version of the Peplum to go with lehengas and shararas. It’s a change from the typical lehenga-choli combination. Personally, I like to wear palazzos and dhoti pants.

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Bridal trend
Today, brides like to look simple yet stylish;so as a designer the challenge is how to give her a look she can relate with. And when you are designing a creation that is light and not heavy or laden with embroideries and zaris, how do you make the bride ‘stand out’?So a chic lehenga accessorised with timeless jewellery and hair styled with jasmine flowers- simple yet so ‘bride’ like.

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The most important tip for all brides
First and foremost, have fun at your own wedding. Secondly, be comfortable in what you are wearing and don’t let your outfit tire you.

What to wear for an outdoor wedding (daytime)
My simple advice: Go for unique colour combinations that make you stand out. And avoid the bling!

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Behind the Scenes- WeddingSutra on Location@Satya Paul

We hosted our last WeddingSutra on Location at ‘Satya Paul’ in Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai. The four  brides-to-be selected for the ‘big day’ rehearsal were Malika Tejura (Stylist), Rashi Shah (budding entrepreneur), Manika Verma (Marketing Manager) and Ana Kapur (Commercial Operations Project Manager).

Captured by Priyanka & Amit of Amit Barot Photography, here are some of the behind the scene moments showcasing their transformation into beautiful brides with exquisite Azva jewellery and traditional yet vibrant ensembles by Satya Paul. Ace Makeup artist Recinda Martis helped complete the transformation with beautiful makeovers using the Lakmé Absolute range.

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Keep logging on to www.weddingsutra.com/blog, as we will soon feature more photos of each of the brides-to-be and what they had to say about their exciting experience with WeddingSutra on Location at Satya Paul, Mumbai.

Location- Satya Paul, Juhu, Mumbai
Makeup- Recinda Martis
Hairstyling- Ishita Khanna
Jewellery- Azva (available at Waman Hari Pethe, Dadar)

Photos Courtesy- Amit Barot Photography

Grand Mercure Shrem Resort, North Goa – a beautiful new addition to your Wedding Venues Hotlist

Smita and Nitan Chhatwal inaugurated their new resort Grand Mercure Shrem Resort in North Goa with a celebration honoring 25 years of their marriage. The Chhatwals are based in Mumbai and Nitan Chhatwal is the MD of Shrem Group with interests in real estate, mining, finance and hospitality.

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Smita and Nitan Chhatwal                                                   Grand Mercure Goa Shrem Resort

The two day celebrations felt truly special for two reasons- the gracious couple were celebrating their anniversary with their loved ones at Grand Mercure, Nitan Chhatwal’s second hotel property in Goa, the other one being Novotel Goa which is a five minute drive from Grand Mercure.

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The staff at both Novotel and Grand Mercure pulled out all stops to ensure all the guests had the most comfortable stay. While Pawan Mirchandani, the MD of Horizon W.I.E. (the event and wedding management firm) and his team worked tirelessly to manage the hectic celebrations at the Marquee and the pool-side.

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The highlights of the celebrations included long and leisurely afternoon brunches, and glamorous evenings with high energy performances by DJ Sumit Sethi and ace artists like Vishal-Shekhar.

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Nitan Chhatwal spoke about how the resort by Accor is designed as a place for both families as well as business travellers seeking relaxation. “We are also confident that this will be the new hot-spot for social events and destination weddings in Goa. Many guests have already spoken about this place to their friends and wedding enquiries have already started coming in. At present, we have over 121 rooms and for those who need a bigger inventory there is the Novotel next door. The Grand Marquee can easily accommodate over 400 guests, so it is perfect for large celebrations, while the banquets and pool-can host the intimate ceremonies.” What about the possibility of having a mandap by the beach, something which most couples want, we asked Chhatwal. “Work is in progress, and in some months, it should be possible to organise beach-side nuptials”, stated Chhatwal.

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Aaryamann Chhatwal and Krishani Chhatwal

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Hotel Novotel Goa Shrem Resort

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Two days of celebrations and it was time for us to leave Goa. Our stay may have been short, but thanks to the warm welcome, flawless service and fun-filled events, memories of Mercure will stay with us for a long time.

Photos Courtesy- Love Dope Studios and Nitant Sabharwal

India’s Wedding Industry- 10 Women Entrepreneurs Speak

WeddingSutra readers who are familiar with the workings of the wedding industry would know this- beyond wedding planning and management, the wedding industry has a host of opportunities, which attracts a wide range of creative and talented professionals of all ages and from all cities, to serve to the bridal and wedding clientele. The fact that the industry is fairly disorganised means you don’t need to open a full-fledged store or office to start a bridal or wedding related offering. According to Chetan Shah, Founder of Gharse.in, a large number of home-based women entrepreneurs registered on his website contribute directly or indirectly to the Rs 100,000 crore plus wedding related business- be it clothes, jewellery & accessories, make-up and styling, invitations, gifting & creative packaging, décor & catering, photography or any other services. Here we speak to 10 wedding entrepreneurs from three different cities- Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad to know more about how they started and their work around weddings.

1. Anushree Reddy, Fashion Designer, Hyderabad

Anushree ReddyHow I started
Being a fashion designer was never part of my plan. A full-fledged business student with an MBA in tow, designing was merely a hobby which I began to pursue and one thing led to another. Being self-taught and learning on the job I realized this is something I really enjoy and which comes naturally. That’s when I gave it a serious thought and started my own label.
What I love most about my job
Being immersed in tons of fabrics, embroidery swatches and sketches is my comfort zone, and I can spend a lifetime doing the same thing every day. I love the dynamic nature of fashion which ensures work never gets mundane.
The busiest work months
July to November is clock-blocked as that’s the peak festive and bridal season. In summer, I am usually busy with the Fashion Week.
Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in 
Design One and Bridal Asia.

2. Shelina Kukar and Camelia Punjabi, Accessories Designers (Art Apparel), Mumbai

Shelina & Camelia - Copy (2)-horzHow we started
We are school friends and we started working after getting married as we didn’t want to be housewives!
What we love most about our job
Both of us enjoy working together as it doesn’t feel like work.
The busiest work months
May, June & July are slow, but it starts getting busy by August and September. And then October and November are always very busy months.
The toughest and the best part of working from home
The best part of working from home is that you can still be a stay-at-home mom and be around your children.
Wedding and festive exhibitions 
Earlier, we participated in shows like Delhi’s Bride & Groom and Bridal Asia, but we now prefer Araaish and IMC’s WE Couture.

3. Alpana Kapoor, Jewellery Designer (Mallika by Alpana Kapoor), New Delhi

Alpana KapoorHow I started
I have always been fond of jewellery but didn’t think of doing anything around it, professionally. A few years ago, my daughters were of marriageable age, and I started looking around for jewellery. I realized there was a niche in the market that was untapped- beautiful, well-priced jewellery.
What I love most about my job
I love creating new designs using inspirations from antique jewellery that is so deeply rooted in our heritage, along with my muse- the modern Indian woman, to create something spectacular, contemporary and different.
The busiest work months
August to March
The toughest and the best part of working from home
Best part of working from home- no overheads so lower prices which benefit my clients and I can work at my own schedule. Toughest part- I don’t get walk-in clients.
Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in
IMC WE Couture Mumbai- August 2014 and S&S Trunk Show, Ludhiana, September 2014

4. Falguni Mehta, Jewellery Designer, Mumbai

Falguni MehtaHow I started
I come from a jeweller family background. I was always attracted to antique jadau jewellery and used to tinker with them to make it unique and wearable with different outfits, from jeans to sarees. Giving design inputs and seeing my designs turn to reality inspired me to become a jewellery designer.
What I love most about my job
I love to see my creativity and design come to life, especially when I see the jadau pieces on someone.
The busiest work months
August to January is the busiest period, but nowadays, many of my clients don’t wait for an occasion or festival to buy jewellery.
Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in
Bridal Asia; IMC Mumbai, Delhi & South Africa; Design One, Mumbai & Delhi; Yatra, Hyderabad; Araaish, Delhi; Cotton Council Exhibition, Chennai; Prana, Kolkata; Style File, Kolkata.

 5. Monisha Ajgaonkar, Wedding Photographer (The Photo Diary), Mumbai

Monisha 1How I started
When I was studying at JJ School of Arts I felt I was not learning much there, so I spent a lot of time on Youtube to learn more about photography and I also freelanced with magazines and event companies. I then made the transition to wedding photography and I now run my own company The Photo Diary which offers all photography and cinematography services.
What I love most about my job
I love meeting new people, creating new memories, travelling and good food.
The busiest work months
November and December are the busiest months- when we are shooting weddings, corporate events, gigs and fashion portfolios as well.
The toughest and the best part of working from homex
The toughest part is that I can’t call clients home and the best part is I can play loud music and lie in my ‘thinking’ sofa and edit.

6. Minee Khanna, Makeup Artist, Mumbai

Minee Behind the sceneHow I started
The flair for buying Makeup Products and observing the looks of models and celebrities in glossy magazines got me to take my brush and try different looks on family and friends. I started creating different looks and enjoyed working on different faces. This is when I realised how creative Makeup can be!
What I love most about my job
The glow that shows on her face after she sees the transformation, gives me immense pleasure and hunger to do better each day.
The busiest work months
November to March and May & June are the busiest months with brides.
The toughest and the best part of working from home/studio
The tough part of working from home, I would say, are the days I am free as I miss using my brushes and the range of makeup products. The best part is that it gives me enough time to manage my personal work and pursue my other interests.

7. Aditi Dugar, Bespoke Catering (Sage & Saffron), Mumbai

Aditi Dugar and her partnerHow I started
I started in 2012. I come from a family background where food and entertaining aesthetically has been the centre focus always. I inherited my passion from my mother who has been a brilliant cook, and I always used my passion as an excuse when I started pursuing different stints with chefs at my favourite restaurants all around the world. After short stints in London, Thailand and Dubai, I started organising small and well thought-out and creative dinners for friends and family. I later met my partner Flora Hilleary, who is a very trained and creative chef. We did a few amazing pop up restaurants together and we are soon opening a very innovative food studio and kitchen at Laxmi Woolen Mills, Mahalaxmi, called Sage & Saffron. It’s a bespoke catering & event firm and we aim to use our space as a canvas where we can express ourselves in many ways.
What I love most about my job
I love that creativity has no limits

The busiest work months
It is busy for us all year round, as we have never restricted ourselves to menus and the type of work we take on

The toughest and the best part of working from home/studio
It gave us great freedom to explore without having any strain of fixed overheads, and it has prepared us to take challenges with an open mind that we are now ready to take.

Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in
I have not participated in any exhibitions till now as we only want to cater to smaller social events or intimate pre-wedding functions. Later on, we would love to participate when we can handle the scale.

8. Payal Gupta, Jewellery Designer (Paayal by Payal Gupta), New Delhi

Paayal GuptaHow I started
I joined a jewellery design course out of curiosity and there was no looking back from there on. A 3 month design course became 6, then 9 and I eventually landed up doing a full-year course studying design, gemology and diamond grading.
What I love most about my job
It would be the design element. Putting a piece together and having it appreciated, is the most gratifying part.
The busiest work months
From August till March!
The toughest and the best part of working from home
The toughest part is disciplining oneself during work hours. The best part, of course is that there is no place like home. You have the comfort of your own space and sometimes even flexible work hours.
Wedding and festive exhibitions I have participated in
Araaish Trousseau, Mumbai; Bridal Asia, Delhi; Savoir Faire, Kolkata; IMC, Mumbai

9. Rozina Vishram, Fashion Designer (Rozina), Mumbai

Rozina VishramHow I started
I entered the fashion industry unexpectedly. I started out designing my own clothes and for family and friends as I was always fascinated with good design. It was just a hobby which turned into a profession.
What I love most about my job
Experimenting with different techniques of embroidery such as Resham, Mukesh, Gota is what I love most. Although, I must admit it’s tough and challenging sometimes. I’ve spent countless hours in the workshops with my karigars trying to master this field. But I learn something new everyday, it’s a learning process that never stops.
The busiest work months
I’m busy all year round since I only design made-to-order creations. But August to February is the busiest period.

10. Aanchal & Sanjana, Fashion Designers (Bubber Couture), Mumbai

Bubber SistersHow we started
As long as we can remember, we have always been fascinated by art and creative expression. We both enrolled for a three-year course at SNDT Polytechnic, Mumbai. The course was challenging but extremely rewarding, and we left with diplomas in Apparel Manufacture & Design as well as BA’s in Sociology from Mumbai University. Menswear particularly fascinated us, so we worked with Arjun Khanna for two years. After some valuable work experience, we launched our label in April 2011.
What we love most about our job
We are identical twins (a lot of people say we are able to read each other’s minds) so a seamless division of labour and responsibility is possible. That said we also bring a slightly different set of core competencies to the table.The moment when we enter our creative studio, the rest of the world is shut. We’ve created a little slice of nirvana in the heart of South Mumbai where we draw inspiration from classic antiques, royal influences, colours and a wide range of fabrics. We also enjoy spending time on Instagram and connecting with the creative community at large.

The busiest work months
The busiest work months are September through February. We try and take part in as many relevant exhibitions pre-Diwali to showcase our work and latest collections.

Wedding and festive exhibitions we have participated in
Araaish Trousseau, Ruchika Bazaar and Crescent Moon in Mumbai. Jalsa, Delhi.

Photos Courtesy- Abhishek Sarkar

Real Brides pick their favourites at Lakmé Fashion Week

WeddingSutra and Lakmé announced a competition for WeddingSutra fans last month, 3 Brides-to-be could win an invite for the Lakmé Bridal Masterclass at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW)! The 3 winners, Ushma, Tanzila and Khushboo earlier blogged about their experience at the Masterclass, in the second-part they blog about the bridal collections at Lakmé Fashion Week, and what they loved most!

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Ushma Bhojani
The highlight of the Lakmé Fashion Week experience for me was a personal guided tour with the WeddingSutra team after the Lakmé Bridal Masterclass. We had an opportunity to check out the gorgeous bridal creations at the designer stalls and interact with some of the designers. One creation that caught my attention was a long, flowing turquoise anarkali suit with gold embroidery by Harshita Chatterjee Deshpande. Another outfit I fell in love with was a coral pink sari gown with champagne pitta work by designer Sonaakshi Raaj. It had a beautiful sheer neckline, and a sheer back with a hint of delicate champagne pitta detailing. It was a beautiful fusion of east meets west.

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All in all, it was aninspiring experience. Thank you WeddingSutra and Lakmé for giving me a chance to be a part of this wonderful beauty and fashion show.

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Tanzila Potia:
I was left so inspired by the Lakmé Bridal Masterclass that I mentally began to make prep notes to myself, when the WeddingSutra team said that they would accompany me to the designer stalls to check out the bridalwear collection at Lakmé Fashion Week. As we carefully sifted through the various designs, I spotted an unusual piece in Shehla Khan’s collection. I loved the play of contrasts in the gourd and pale peachy-pink lehenga with sequins and cutdana work in champagne gold.

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Another designer whose collection I really liked at the LFW Gallery was of Delhi-based designer duo Armaan Aiman. While they design both Western and Indian wear, it is their traditional anarkalis and A-line kurtas that are most impressive. The use of bright happy colour and classy gold embroidery gives their collection a classic and timeless feel, making their clothes suitable for every occasion. One bridal outfit that caught my attention was from their winter/ festive collection 2014. It was a red anarkali suit with gold, applique handiwork. Though it was heavily embroidered it looked very elegant and wearable too. It seemed perfect for a pre-wedding function. The most appealing thing about their collection was the minute detailing and meticulousness in the craftsmanship of every single piece. They were extremely warm and willing to customize their design to suit a bride’s personality and preference.

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The whole experience of attending the Lakmé Bridal Masterclass has been absolutely great and very informative. I am now clear about the different looks that I want for each of my wedding functions. I feel confident and better prepared for my big day, having checked out the latest trends that were showcased at this makeup and fashion extravaganza.

Khushboo Gala:
After the Lakmé Bridal Masterclass the WeddingSutra team accompanied us to the LFW designer stalls to view the bridal collections showcased on the ramp. I tried on a gorgeously versatile shatter-sequinned outfit by Astha Narang which I felt was perfect for the cocktail function. It was stylish yet subtle, and could be accessorised to suit multiple occasions. Astha’s collection looked heavy at first glance with its intricate work and rich fabrics, but after I held it I realised it didn’t weigh much. The designer has kept in mind the flexibility that a bride would need to dance and enjoy her big day without feeling like she is carrying a big weight on her shoulder. I felt her collection was perfect for a sangeet or cocktail.

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Another designer whose creation I really liked was Arpita Mehta’s. I fell in love with her play of colour. She has used unusual hues and mirror work. I chose a lime green choli and palazzo pants with a net jacket in thread pearl and mirror embroidery– a perfect outfit for the haldi or mehendi.

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This entire experience at LFW has given me the much-needed clarity to help me with trousseau shopping. And I now have a clearer idea of who to visit and what to look for.

Photos Courtesy- Amit Barot Photography

The Arabian Tale- Karishma and Satpreet

by Mili Ghosh

Wedding photographer extraordinaire Milli Ghosh shares the beautifully captured memories of the last wedding of the season she photographed in Dubai.

Karishma and Satpreet’s wedding in Dubai was a blast before we wrapped up the last wedding season. The events were planned by my favorite wedding planner Rimjhim Bhagchandani and coordinated to perfection with every little detail thought of and executed. I started discussing the shoot plan with Karishma months before the wedding and we carved out time for a sunset shoot in the dunes- something that puts all the events and festivities in perspective.

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The festivities started with a very intimate yet vibrant Mehndi at Karishma’s villa where close friends and family mingled and danced into the wee hours. The second event was the masquerade theme Sangeet at the Majlis Al Mina in Mina A’Salam hotel. A huge masquerade backdrop with ethnic decor set the stage for performances by friends and family followed by a dance floor oozing energy and fun. Again, Rimjhim aunty perfected the ambiance.

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The Wedding started off with Satpreet’s baraat at Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah with Karishma arriving in an abra (traditional Arabic boat) from her room to the mandap. Perfect co-ordination of Karishma’s outfit with the decor, which had a mix of white and mustard. 1000 balloons were released as Karishma got off the abra. A beautiful twilight wedding ceremony followed Karishma’s arrival.

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The Reception was held the day after at the grand Johara ballroom and had a Gatsby theme. Vintage typewriter for guests to type in their wishes to the newly weds, a huge Gatsby backdrop for the photo-booth, and a stage elegantly displaying Karishma and Satpreet’s wedding logo. DJ Sash kept the guests dancing to some groovy numbers and remix songs.

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After four days of hectic fun, I am not sure how Karishma and Satpreet found the energy to meet us at the Bab Al Sham’s resort for a twilight photo-shoot in the dunes. The resort lent a very oasis-like feel and it was fun shooting in the narrow alleys and sunlit terraces. I could not wait to shoot Karishma’s reception outfit against the neutral colors of the sand dunes. The lighting was perfect, and we clicked away as the sun set in the distant horizon.

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Event Planning: Rimjhim Bhagchandni
Hair & Make up: Preeti Chotai
Bridal Couture: Rabani & Rakha

Photography & Cinematography- Mili Ghosh (Memories In Motion)

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