Mar 12, 2014 Destination Weddings
Flor Do Mar, India’s first floating Restaurant & Lounge opens in Goa
In the middle of the serene Chapora Bay, with open to sky decks and the most breath-taking views of Morjim stands ‘Flor Do Mar’ (flower of the sea in Portugese) a unique lounge which has been described as the ‘perfect formula’ for an evening to cherish in Goa. So if you’re getting married in Goa, and are looking for a venue with scenic views and a casual and stylish vibe your search could end here! This splendid spot for sundowners has a covered bar area and two open decks for alfresco dining and could be a venue for a pre or post wedding party or an intimate wedding celebration too. Anju Dutta, who runs this beautiful destination,tells us that many couples have evinced interest in exchanging their vows here: “For those with a not-so-big guest list—50 to 150 guests who want a setting that is refreshingly different. So your guests stay in hotels close-by or anywhere in Goa, there are boats waiting to take them at the jetty, they arrive after a comfortable two minute boat ride, the ceremony is held before sunset and the celebration ends with a memorable dinner”, explains Anju Dutta.
Anju and Gautam Dutta of Flor Do Mar
Flor Do Mar is an unforgettable experience for those seeking culinary delights. Their very talented Chef Bina Thakur (a former Ad executive) has put together a carefully crafted continental menu with a Mediterranean touch- butter garlic prawns in white wine sauce served with freshly baked ‘poie’ (Goan bread), mushroom stew in brown sauce with buttered rice, squid butter garlic with white wine sauce, fish in fresh mango sauce with basil, rock fish with shrimps wrapped in banana leaves.
When South Mumbai based Anju and her husband Gautam Dutta (a retired Army officer) were setting up this place they were thinking not only about super food, exotic cocktails, exemplary service or a chic ambience. They were thinking of a space that could literally transport you to a different world to celebrate your life’s most precious moments. Says Gautam, who brought Ferretti’s Riva yachts to India: “Indians are usually water shy. But through our different projects we are looking to encourage Indians to enjoy the sea. What is heartening is the response we have got not just from youngsters but even elders who are now looking for newer experiences in leisure, celebrations and fine dining.”
Flor Do Mar, Morjim Beach Road (near Morjim Church), Bagwada, Morjim, Goa 403512
Mar 11, 2014 Precious Platinum
Bollywood’s leading actress, Vidya Balan, has always created an iconic statement with her traditional style. This season, Vidya Balan dons a distinct look with the vintage meets modern range of precious platinum jewellery by Ranka Jewellers.
Considered a typical Indian beauty, Vidya has distinct features to carry off almost any ethnic wear and here she is seen seamlessly blending in the modern with the tradition with aplomb. The new range of vintage inspired jewellery in the modern precious metal platinum follows the design hook of ‘Nouveau Traditions’, a balance of the old world charm and modern outlook taken from the design aesthetic direction of ‘Luxury Archaeology’. The precious metal’s inherent qualities modestly reflect its beauty on Vidya’s striking appearance.
The platinum jewellery range available at Ranka Jewellers ranges from finely crafted earrings, pendants to rings, bracelets, bangles, necklaces for women and chains, bracelets and rings for men. They also have a wide range of platinum love bands for couples that symbolises the beautiful emotions surrounding the journey of endless love.
Mar 9, 2014 Destination Weddings, Wedding People & Planners
For the ultra-rich, a wedding is a grandiose event that brings together their near and dear ones, as well as their large circle of influential friends and connections- and the task of putting it all together is assigned to a wedding management company. Among the ‘star’ wedding management companies in India is E-Factor, run by 40 year old Samit Garg who is based in Delhi NCR. Wedding Planners in India are often referred to as the ‘dream merchants’ or individuals who accede to all the impossibly romantic or plain idiosyncratic demands of the rich and famous, but Samit Garg puts it differently: “making a wedding guest happy when he or she comes to a celebration event managed by my company is my job”. And when you get talking to Garg you realise that making such guests happy can be challenging. He explains: “Almost 60% of the guests attending the next wedding or social event we are managing have attended one of the recent events we managed. They are discerning, well-traveled and have witnessed different dazzling themes at many destination weddings. Now the challenge is how do we make them ‘happy’ or give them a refreshingly different experience? They may not even know the name of the company who managed the wedding, but what do we do so they go back with fond memories and talk about the beautiful celebration that was put together by the host? There is no clear answer here, because you have to do different things to please different guests. ‘What different concepts or ideas can I work on’? I ask myself this question all the time and this is what gets me more excited about my job every day.”
Samit Garg decided to venture into a career in Event Management when he realized what really made him happy was when as a college student in Lucknow, he would put together events which his friends and fellow students would enjoy. “Watching others have fun and enjoy continues to be the mantra today, but obviously if you have to build a profitable wedding management company you need to possess many other skills other than living by this mantra.”
E-Factor is synonomous with magnificent weddings, so Garg may have achieved what so many entrepreneurs interested in the wedding space would like to achieve- work behind the scenes as Wedding Planners, Stylists, Caterers or Photography Directors at a wedding where the guest list comprises political bigwigs, transnational tycoons, film stars and socialites. But having achieved this, like every other business owner who has built a successful business empire, he has challenges of a different kind. He is uncomfortable talking about these challenges on a public post though. “You must understand” emphasizes Garg, “weddings are an extremely personal affair, as an individual who is almost ‘part’ of such families for a few months or more there is a lot that happens in this personal celebration that cannot be shared, and while it’s easy to document all that goes into managing an event management company with corporate profile clients, there is nothing that is documented on what goes into scaling up a wedding management company.” Indeed, the very articulate CEO has to keep a low profile; after all, every time he has managed a very high profile wedding he is deluged with requests from the media wanting all the details on the wow wedding. And while we have briefly interacted with him for many years, and he is always super prompt with a response to our emails, he earlier politely declined to give a detailed interview, until we met him at Galaxy, the integrated entertainment and hotel complex in Macau. The invitees at Galaxy, Macau included select wedding industry professionals and all eyes on this ‘destination wedding’ focus meet were on Garg. Fellow wedding planners sought his views on how to scale up their wedding management business and The Galaxy, Macau officials wanted to know what more they need to do to get more Indian families to host their celebrations there. “The Destination Wedding market is growing, and will continue to grow but International Resorts and Tourism Boards must understand that it is very difficult to offer wedding clients what is offered in India. After all, hotels in India like the Taj Group offer the most exemplary service, and to match their service for a traditional wedding is quite a feat. And then there are more complexities- we receive invitations from the world’s most beautiful palaces and resorts who are keen to get a slice of the Indian wedding pie, but how can we ignore the cultural factors- Indian families are not comfortable in all places, no matter how luxurious or beautiful it is; then there is the ease of travel of course. Having said that there is a huge interest which brides and grooms evince in wanting to travel to newer destinations, most of our conversations with families in the initial phase is around international destinations, so we have to keep ourselves abreast on the newest options.”
By now Samit wants to talk and not be interviewed. So we get talking and the man is at his humorous best. Next day, it was time to leave Galaxy, Macau and we left the magnificent resort happy to have had the most amazing stay there with some of the wedding industry’s most dynamic and interesting personalities.
Mar 6, 2014 Destination Weddings
Wedding Planners can choose to visit one of these places- Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Phuket & Khao Lak, Pattaya & Rayong, Krabi and Hua Hin. Industry Symposium to be held in Bangkok on 27th March
Thailand, the most popular international destination for Indian weddings has announced the dates for the next Wedding Planners Fam Trip- 24th to 27th March. They will also be organising a half-day Wedding Industry Symposium on 27th March in Bangkok. The aim of the trip would be to assist Wedding Planners to visit different destinations and venues in Thailand, which are perfect for an Indian Wedding. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has tied up with Thai Airways, to offer Wedding Planners a special fare*. All stay arrangements in Thailand will be taken care of by TAT.
Wedding Planners can choose one of these routes for the FAM trip and during their stay in these places, can visit select hotel properties. The dates of the trip are 23rd March (depart from India) and return to India on 28th March.
Route 1: Bangkok -Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai-Bangkok
Route 2: Bangkok -Koh Samui-Bangkok
Route 3: Bangkok -Phuket-Khao Lak-Bangkok
Route 4: Bangkok -Pattaya-Rayong-Bangkok
Route 5: Bangkok -Krabi-Bangkok
Route 6: Bangkok -Hua Hin-Bangkok
If you’d like to be part of the Fam Trip and Industry Symposium, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your Company Profile by 11th March, 2014. The itinerary and final selection will be done by 15th March, 2014 and Wedding Planners will be informed via email.
*Participants selected for the FAM trip will have to bear the Tax and Fuel charges of the Thai Airways Ticket given by TAT for both International and Domestic Sector.
Photos courtesy- Picture Perfect India
Mar 6, 2014 Destination Weddings
Couples who host a Wedding at over 200 Participating Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Asia Pacific will enjoy a free Honeymoon– anywhere in the world
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), the award-winning loyalty program of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, has announced an exciting campaign that will allow wedding couples and honeymooners to treat themselves to the trip of a lifetime. For every wedding booked at participating Starwood hotels and resorts in Asia Pacific, SPG will reward couples with Starpoints redeemable for their honeymoons at any Starwood property in the world. The offer is valid for weddings booked from 10 March to 1 July 2014. Weddings are required to be hosted by 1 March 2015.
Throughout the eligible 4-month booking period, couples who reserve wedding venues at participating Starwood hotels and resorts are eligible to earn three Starpoints for every USD1 spent. A maximum of 150,000 Starpoints can be earned per wedding. There is no minimum spending requirement. Starpoints can then be used to redeem free accommodation at any Starwood hotel or resort globally.
Additionally, SPG will award 20,000 Starpoints to referring entities or wedding planners who successfully recommend wedding couples that host their big day at Starwood hotels or resorts.
With 150,000 Starpoints, newlyweds can treat themselves to honeymoon at their dream destinations, including a romantic 18-night getaway at a SPG Category 4 hotel such as the Sheraton Fiji Resort in Nadi, Fiji; bask in the beauty of The Royal Begonia, a Luxury Collection Resort, Sanya, China, or another hotel under SPG category 5, for 11 nights; or live it up in luxury for 7 nights at a Category 6 hotel, such as The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand.
With over 200 participating properties in the region, Starwood offers a range of settings to cater to unforgettable weddings of all flavors.
Ocean Oasis- W Retreat & Spa, Maldives
For an ultimate wedding, abandon the expected and experience the new W underwater wedding at W Retreat & Spa-Maldives.
Ocean Haven Pool- W Retreat & Spa, Maldives
For luxe romance, celebrate the extraordinary day at the Cloud Nine Chapel of The St. Regis Bali, where sparkling crystal chandeliers and magnificent ocean views create a magical and unmatched moment.
The Oceanfront Cloud Nine Chapel- St. Regis Bali Resort
For a large wedding, host a grand party at Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central or an exclusive hotel buyout at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa.
Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa
Mar 5, 2014 Precious Platinum
From the statement necklace as seen on Jennifer Lawrence, to Sandra Bullock’s ear cuff and Anne Hathaway’s stud earrings, leading actresses and actors chose to showcase their jewels in naturally white platinum settings that truly enhance the brilliance of diamonds and colored gemstones. Platinum is the precious metal that never changes color nor fades. It’s the ideal choice for life’s most unforgettable moments.
Jennifer Lawrence in Platinum by Neil Lane
- Platinum necklace with carved rock crystal, and 100 carats of diamonds ($2 million dollars)
- Platinum and 10 carat diamond stud earrings
- Platinum and diamond ring set with 3 fancy colored diamonds ($1 million dollars)
Sandra Bullock in Platinum by Lorraine Schwartz
- Platinum and diamond cluster earrings ($1.8 million dollars)
- Platinum and diamond bracelet
Kate Hudson in Platinum by Neil Lane
- Platinum and 10 carat diamond drop earrings
- Platinum and faceted crystal ring
- Platinum bracelet with sapphire and diamonds
Anne Hathaway in Platinum by Neil Lane
- Platinum and 100 carat diamond bracelets ($1 million dollars)
- Platinum and square cut emerald and diamond ring ($250,000)
- Platinum and diamond stud earrings
Jessica Biel in Platinum by Tiffany & Co.
- Platinum jewelry by Tiffany & Co.
Mar 4, 2014 Fashion & Bridal Wear
Here’s a chance for you to receive a Style Makeover from Raymond and WeddingSutra.com. We will be at The Raymond Shop, JK House, Breach Candy, Mumbai on Saturday, 8th March 2014
Three lucky grooms-to-be will get a Complimentary Wardrobe Consultation, Hairstyling Session and Photoshoot with our expert team. To say ‘I Do’ to this exclusive opportunity write to us* at email@example.com with the following:
a) Your Name (Brides-to-be are welcome to nominate their Grooms!)
b) Wedding Date
c) Link to your FB profile
d) Contact Nos.
*All entries will receive a Raymond Made to Measure Experience Voucher worth Rs 1,500. Terms and Conditions apply.
Click here to see photos and read about the experiences of Grooms-to-be at our last shoot at The Raymond Shop
Mar 4, 2014 Wedding People & Planners
When Mumbai’s ace Event Stylist Gurleen informed us about the Wedding Studio at the lobby level of JW Marriott, Juhu, we were happy to hear about what might be one of the first of its kind studios in India. The Wedding Studio, conceptualized and executed by Gurleen is a wedding inspiration place. She says: “Its interiors reflect the vibrant wedding experience. And at a practical level– its the space where the Marriott teams, our teams or other wedding planners & decorators on the Marriott panel conduct their meetings with clients. So we can interact with them not always at a ‘restaurant’ or ‘office’ but at a ‘studio’ to personalize their dream wedding.”
Many assume that Gurleen of Mumbai-based Gurleen M Puri Associates is a Wedding Planner. However, Gurleen is not a Wedding Planner but an Events & Wedding Stylist. “Its a conscious decision to stick to the creative elements of a wedding– we of course do have our affiliations with companies who take care of wedding logistics & management but ‘Gurleen M Puri’ focuses on the style story- after all, every one of our clients look for a unique theme, chic designs, and the most ‘wow’ décor for the big day.”
Says Pavithran Nambiar, General Manager of JW Marriott: “Our hotel has successfully set a benchmark for the other hotels in the city and is one of the most preferred wedding destinations for HNIs, Corporate and Bollywood celebrities in Mumbai. And while the Wedding Stylist/ Decorator and the Wedding Planners may have their hands-full with new demands we always get requests for novel menus and innovative set-ups. Or how each of the functions can be held at very different set-ups which can be transformed for the Mehendi, Sangeet, Pheras or Reception. Our Grand Sangam ballroom is best suited for large receptions or cocktail parties whereas the alfresco salt water pool section is ideal for weddings and smaller functions. Whatever be the scale of the event or the number of events taking place here, clients know we can help them execute their elaborate or complex events with ease. And that we are here to offer them the personalized service to make their dream wedding come true.”
The Wedding Studio, Lobby level, JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai.
Photos courtesy- Dev Purbiya
Feb 28, 2014 Fashion & Bridal Wear
Stylist Nisha Kundnani of Bridélan conceptualised this bridal shoot and ace candid wedding photographer Sharik Verma captured the great Indian wedding picture, and when we saw their labor of love, we knew we had to share the beautiful story- the subtlety of Indian colors, the richness of its traditional textures, shimmering jewels and the warm glow of the tropical sun. Nisha writes about the inspiration for this shoot, and the styling that is steered towards the effortless rather than laboured.
“It’s a people shoot; featuring individuals straight out of a classic Indian family who value culture and modernity in equal measure. The pictures tell a sunshine story: on a pleasant afternoon, the bride poses for a nuptial photo shoot. These would soon become the most memorable memories of her life.
She is dressed traditionally and yet, has a nonchalant air about herself.
Simplicity, beauty and elegance are at the heart of this. Ditto for the photography style. This is a new age modern family but they understand the value of ‘family portraits’ as opposed to ‘selfies’. As Sharik Verma explains, ‘Wedding pictures go down generations. But it is only elegance that stands the test of time.’
There’s one valuable styling lesson that comes as hands-me-down from our mothers and grandmothers and that is ‘to look elegant’. This visual story spells the same core values:
Sabyasachi Mukherjee for the bride and groom:
For Bride: The lehenga is subtly traditional and the colours – peach with ivory and teal makes it look modern and glamorous
For Groom: Bengal’s most respected craft – Kanthawith khadi in a beige colour. A pink pocket square adds the little dash of colour.
Tarun Tahiliani and Kotwara by Meera & Muzzaffar Ali for the girlfriends:
The young 20-something best friends of the bride are wearing chikankari and lace by Tarun Tahiliani and artist designer duo – Meera and Muzzafar Ali.
Raw Mango & Ekaya for three generations:
Raw Mango’s graceful pastel colour chanderi sari worn by the cute pixie bride’s sister
Grandmother in a heirloom ivory Raw Mango sari
Bhabhi in traditional Banarsi beige sari by Ekaya Silks
Rajesh Pratap Singh & Varun Bahl for the men:
Grandfather in Rajesh Pratap Singh’s pin tucks light blue kurta with a silk quilted Nehru jacket
Well-tailored short bandhgala with Jodhpurs by Varun Bahl in linen worn by groom’s brother
Styling- Nisha Kundnani for Bridelan. Bridelan is a wedding wardrobe styling service for Indian brides and grooms getting married in India or overseas. For more visit www.bridelan.com
Wedding Planner- Roma Kundnani
Jewellery- Anmol Jewellers, Mahesh Notandas Fine Jewellery, Gehna Jewellers, Jaipur Gems, Aquamarine, Suhani Pittie.
Hair and Makeup- Ambereen Yusuf
Photography- Sharik Verma
Feb 28, 2014 Fashion & Bridal Wear
Smita from London got married to New York based Abhishek and the celebrations were held at Zeebop by the Sea and The Leela, Goa. Here, Smita writes about her search for the perfect Wedding Lehenga.
Soon after our engagement in Feb 2013, we started our search for the ideal wedding venue. We decided it had to be somewhere in India so our family elders could attend. We also wanted it to be a holiday cum getaway for everyone including us. Goa therefore was the unanimous choice!
Since I live in London, I only had a few days to shop for my entire wedding trousseau during a trip to India in May (wedding in Nov). It was highly unlikely I would make another trip before the wedding. After facing disappointment at India’s top designers as their ready-made Lehengas were not ‘long’ enough (I am 5’10”) and any alteration would spoil the original look, I visited famous shops in Delhi like Frontier, Ushnak Mal but I didn’t like what I saw there. I then turned to a shop in Chandni Chowk on a friend’s recommendation. While they had a few sample pieces to show, none was anything like I had in mind. I wanted a traditional red with intricate gold work. So I ended up designing my own Lehenga. I picked the perfect ‘red’ colour. A green and mango border in velvet with gold work all over. And a green velvet blouse to break the monotony of red. I also had little gold round beads put all over.
The Lehenga arrived a few months later, I saw photos of it. It was not perfect so I asked my mother and local tailor to improvise and add a bit. I tried it on a few days before my wedding and voila it was lovely.
Our search for a venue and vendors was influenced by logistics and costs as it usually is but most of all by the attitude and response of the people. We were managing this process remotely so it was that much more important we could trust the vendors to deliver, most of whom we had never met and would not meet until the wedding. It is for this reason that we picked The Leela over many other hotels even though it was not the most economical. Ankit Bhargava of Regal Weddings was our Wedding Planner. And photographer Payal Kumar captured the special moments, her passion and willingness stood out sharply compared to other photographers we spoke to. Looking back, we are so glad we made these choices.
Having had a wonderful wedding, I think clothes and make-up can only do so much. The best thing a bride can wear is her smile.
Photos Courtesy- Payal Kumar (All Things Nice)