Urmi and Priyanka from Surat never thought while growing up that they will get married on the same day. When the two sisters got married this year, for the family it was more than a joyous and fun experience, it was a special celebration too; in 1994 Urmi had met with a tragic generator fire accident leaving everyone shattered, both emotionally and physically. We caught up with Urmi, the spirited young woman, who talked to us about the fairy tale wedding in Surat and how to live life to its fullest.
- Two sisters got married on the same day. Tell us more.
It was of course a dream like moment. We never thought it would happen this way. My sister Priyanka was getting married to Ross and all of us were preparing for her wedding. Just two months before Priyanka’s wedding I met my to-be-husband Taral and it was decided that we should also get married on the same day.
- Being siblings, did you and your sister exchange notes on Wedding Planning all the time?
The funny thing is we did not have any arguments. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. My sister had left it all to me and our mother. She said, “I know I am putting my wedding-related responsibilities in the best hands!” I had to force her to give her opinion and feedback. Fortunately, she loved everything we picked.
- The wedding not only was larger than life but also a mix of cultures, right?
It was full of magical experiences, not only for us but for all the guests and every time I see the photographs captured by our Candid Photographer AvantikaMeattle I smile, laugh or have tears in my eyes. My sister has fallen in love with this extraordinary man who always makes her feel precious. This was the first time in my family two cultures were coming together. We didn’t think it would be so easy to make Ross and his family to feel welcome. But they blended so well, all the more impressive since it was their first time in India. We all had the best times of our lives.
- You have been through an experience which left its scars and what I found most inspiring was that uninhibited beautiful smile on your face. Tell us a little about your journey.
So far, my journey has been great with God’s blessings. There have definitely been many ups and downs, but if life was smooth and happiness filled only, we would not value it as much as we should. There is always a period in everyone’s life in which they have to start learning to appreciate life. For me, that period started at a very young age. Right after the fire in 1994, our lives completely changed; nothing was the same anymore. There are times I still wonder how beautiful I would have looked if I didn’t have these scars; it makes me feel sad temporarily, but I can’t stop living and enjoying, because of that one experience. We all have to learn to live again. My father always taught us to see the better side of everything. It’s amazing how love and care by your family members can do wonders. My family gave me the strength to be strong and positive. I am a very spiritual person so faith in God played a major part in keeping me happy and positive. I have been living and working in the US since sometime, and I think society has a major role to play in making you who you are. Maybe if I would have stayed in India, I wouldn’t have been as confident as I am –despite all the love and support of my family. America taught me that no matter how different I am from the majority,I can still live life to the fullest. Here, people taught me to see beautiful side of me, with my scars. If it weren’t for my family, faith in god and all my experiences here I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.
Wedding planner: Evolution Events & Entertainment
Guest Celebrity Blogger- Sujata Assomull. ‘The wedding market is a primary driver of fashion and trends.’
Sujata Assomull has a 360 degree perspective of the Indian fashion industry, which she has been part of for nearly 15 years in a range of capacities. Till recently, she was the Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazar India, before which she has been features, fashion and lifestyle editor with leading fashion magazines including Elle and Verve. She was also the Communications Director of the Murjani Group, handling corporate brand building on Gucci, Jimmy Choo, La Perla, CK Jeans and French Connection among others.
Having your own personality and holding on to it is very important—whether you are a person or a business venture. Wedding Sutra has imbibed this philosophy in its fabric and showcases the perfect blend- high street fashion and affordability, spectacular celebrity weddings and real weddings.
WeddingSutra started out by getting the best experts in the industry to share tips and advice with brides; later on, they kept improving their content by adding features on a range of subjects- fashion and beauty, décor and wedding planning, relationships, travel and people. Their interviews with real brides & couples on how they went about planning their wedding and styling themselves help readers with loads of ideas and open up many new possibilities.
The Internet has revolutionized the way you shop. Today, luxury brands like Burberry have been using technology and internet very cleverly. Right from the latest updates to what you’ll get in the store—everything is governed by technology, making the whole experience very interactive and interesting. Books are being made available only on Kindle, ventures that are completely online are picking up in a big way. But WeddingSutra thought about all this twelve years ago. The wedding market is huge in India and is a primary driver of fashion and trends and they highlighted the need for providing specialized wedding content for the brides-to-be.
The founders are doing a great job of putting together informative and interesting ideas so accolades and wishes for many more years of celebratory content.
Ace Jewellery Designer Poonam Soni blogs about what makes WeddingSutra special and unique.
Quality and exclusivity is what our brand shares in common with WeddingSutra.com . When I first met Madhulika Mathur and Parthip Thyagarajan, the founders of WeddingSutra, twelve years ago, just before they launched, they came across as very endearing and enterprising with the seething desire to turn their dreams into reality. And that’s what they have been doing very successfully over the last twelve years.
When you are a medium-sized brand trying to expand, the only way to do it cost-effectively is through the internet. WeddingSutra was amongst the first lifestyle brands to realize the power of the internet and use it to the maximum potential. For me, Wedding Sutra is a very personalized concept that gives you an excellent view into the world of weddings—across communities, lifestyle-groups and cities. Of course, they realised right in the beginning, that a huge number of internet users, across ages, are only too eager to see Celebrity Wedding pictures. Little wonder, their sections ‘Celebrity Brides’ and ‘Celebrity Weddings’ get the highest traffic. And then many to-be-brides are keen to know what other brides wore, which is why the Real Weddings section is equally popular.
Weddings are one occasion that brings families together. And with Wedding Sutra, even the boundaries do not exist. They bring together people from different walks of life who are excited to read and know more about the special celebration—Weddings. This mass appeal combined with their exclusive photographs is what makes WeddingSutra unique and special.
My message to Madhulika Mathur and Parthip Thyagarajan- keep dreaming and keep realizing your dreams.
Dr. Blossom Kochhar, the internationally well-known Beauty and Aromatherapy Specialist, was WeddingSutra’s Beauty Expert when we just launched. She blogs about her experience with India’s first wedding portal.
When I was first approached to write for WeddingSutra, I had little idea what it actually was, since I didn’t access the internet then. My office staff showed me the website and helped me surf through it, I didn’t spend too much time on it, because surfing was an all-new experience; but I found the concept quite innovative so I agreed to come on board as the Beauty Expert.
It was a wonderful experience to write/ answer for WeddingSutra because I got to read about the skin concerns/ queries of to-be-brides from all over India, and abroad. While many magazines had a Beauty Q and A column, very few websites offered such a facility– in fact, even India’s top beauty brands did not have their own website. So WeddingSutra users would write in with so many queries– skin and hair related problems, grooming, make-up and styling. And quite often when I traveled outside Delhi a young woman would come up to me and say: “I enjoy reading your column on WeddingSutra.”
A few months after WeddingSutra was launched, many other women and beauty portals got launched, I wrote for a few of them– but to the best of my knowledge, only WeddingSutra survived. I don’t have too much knowledge on internet-based businesses, but perhaps, one of the reasons why WeddingSutra continued to grow in popularity is because of their level of interactivity with readers. The content was crisp, the pages very well designed and visitors were encouraged to ask questions.
A lot has changed since then– WeddingSutra has continued to grow and evolve– all beauty brands have an active presence online, and I am very internet-savvy, a big change from the earlier years, when my secretary would give me a printout of the emails from WeddingSutra.com.
When you spend twelve years in an industry that’s probably as old, there is no dearth of fun and excitement, tensions and challenges. Each day at WeddingSutra has been a phenomenal learning experience. As we celebrate another milestone, over the course of this week and next, some of the most respected names from the world of beauty, fashion and media, will share their memories and experiences of working with us.
Chasing their Entrepreneurial Dreams: Parthip Thyagarajan and Madhulika Mathur
We are kicking off the celebrations by sharing our valuable experiences and some advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. What makes us tick, how did we survive the downturn, and why is chasing your entrepreneurial dreams still so underrated.
Enjoy what you are doing
Don’t go after a business idea because it will pay your bills. Being an entrepreneur is a huge amount of hard work, you will be spending a good part of your day with it, so you had better enjoy it immensely.
Follow your heart
Surround yourself with good mentors, listen to their advice, hear what your customers are saying but follow your heart. Pretty much in line with what the world’s most successful entrepreneur, Steve Jobs, said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And more important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
When you launch your business in times of economic crisis, running it cost-effectively gets entrenched in your DNA. And this principle has guided us through all the ups and downs of internet and media industry over the last decade.
Building the Market
You can’t wait for the market to mature. In the first few years, we were not only marketing WeddingSutra or weddings we were also selling the concept of advertising online. The advertising agencies and media buyers knew how to evaluate other mediums. As much as they love your business and storyboards, bottom line was Internet was new and scary. We had to sell internet as an advertising medium to them.
Pick your Business Partner well
It’s worked incredibly well for us, but mostly because we bring very different skills to the table. It is not that we don’t butt heads but mostly it’s a complete respect for each other’s ability. In the early days, when everyone’s doing everything, there are likely to be more disagreements. But if you can get through that with trust that you are in business with a very smart person, very soon the roles will get more defined. So pick your business partner carefully. Someone, who shares your values, vision, passion; has financial stability; and brings completely different skills to the table.
Jan 11, 2012 Marriage & Wedding Trends
By Jaspreet Soni
Home décor items may be a popular wedding gift, but if your close friend is getting married, you want to gift them something unusual, a reminder of all the fun or naughty conversations you’ve shared! Here are 10 fun and naughty wedding gifts that are sure to make the couple chuckle with delight.
Couple Clone Dolls
No one can escape the laughter when they see their own 3D caricature in the form of bobble heads. All you have to do is provide the photograph of the couple and choose the setting in which you want them to be, the bathroom, over the moon, or on the beach; there are quite a few options available, each of them a riot!.
Personalized Magazine Cover
A personalized cover of Vogue magazine or a crispy headline with photos on Time magazine cover is a nice way to surprise the couple. Provide a photo, write a headline and have 3 copies shipped to you –a magazine cover where you can slip in the actual magazine and two prints that can be framed or pinned. If you’re feeling adventurous, blow these up and paste them all over the wedding venue. Expect the guests to feel amazingly privileged.
Couple clone dolls and a personalized magazine cover
If you are thinking of something more enigmatic than photos, then how about an animated movie with the couple and some loved ones as characters playing their part? ExcitingLives brings to fore a group of professionals who work with you to develop a story, favorite music and develop a hilarious movie around that concept.
Romeo and Juliet Tribute
Get Shakespeare to write a love story for the couple – we hear he works at ExcitingLives these days. For all those who are hopelessly in love, the world’s most romantic play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ forms the most amazing read with the characters’ names replaced by names of the couple throughout. Even the back cover can have the picture of the couple. This wedding gift is certainly for keeps.
Pop Art Lichtenstein
WHAAM! Pop Art of your favorite picture in Lichtenstein style can set any wall afire in a very unique way. Just look up the term in Google and you’ll know why this is a hot favorite the world over with its vivid colors and trademark benday dots. The only thing better than this gift is actually two of these, lending a character to your interior décor in a manner few can achieve!
Ok, so we got the folks over at ExcitingLives to create a special hamper just for our dear readers, and here it is – the Levitation Kit. A collection of all things boozy for the couple who like to get high in style! The kit includes cutest little charms for wine glasses, designer bar set and beer accessories, funky bottle stoppers and shot glasses, daaru cushions with A to Z of drinking illustrated, beer soaps, and then some true drinkers’ must haves. This levitation kit makes the most exciting and memorable gift ever.
The levitation kit hamper from www.excitinglives.com
Wedding couple caricature
Treat the couple with their own humorous exaggerated sketches in a fantasy setting and no one can stop them from grinning ear to ear. This gift is a keepsake because the caricature will look a lot like them but at the same time have the striking abnormalities to keep reminding them of you.
One of the naughtiest wedding gifts is adding sweetness to the newly wedded couple’s life by gifting luscious chocolates inspired by Kamasutra. The chocolates are shaped in different kamasutra positions and are a sure fire way to keep the couple giggling the entire day.
Spicing up the romance between the couple is a great idea by gifting the exciting edible lingerie. They come in assorted colors, flavors and styles; you name it and the stores have it. But make sure you know the couple pretty well because naughty items can sometimes offend too.
Photo Jigsaw Puzzle
You think life’s a puzzle and enjoy piecing bits of life together? When you are looking for something to add that personal touch and enjoyment to the gift then photo jigsaw puzzle says it all. Challenge, curiosity, and uniqueness are what make this gift truly adorable. You can pick a picture of a treasured time of couple’s life and get it turned into a jigsaw puzzle.
Left, a picture converted to Lichenstein style pop-art poster. Right, the photo jigsaw puzzle.
Jan 2, 2012 Marriage & Wedding Trends
As I sit on my desk writing this next post for you with a slice of oreo cheesecake, it got me thinking about, what else but, wedding cakes. We’ve featured some stunning wedding cakes from celebrity weddings on our blog, and here I narrow down my five favorite celebrity wedding cakes from 2011.
1. On top of the list is Kate Middleton and Prince William‘s spectacular wedding cake created by renowned pastry chef Fiona Cairns. The eight-tier fruit- cake, decorated in cream, white icing and 900 delicate sugar-paste flowers, had newlyweds’ initials, C & W, stenciled into the cake’s bottom layer.
2. Loved the elegant six-tiered wedding cake at Kate Moss and Jamie Hince’s wedding created by London baker Peggy Porschen for their garden wedding reception. The ornamented traditional white cake was surrounded by yellow roses at the base.
3. George Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush and hubby Henry Hager enjoyed a four-tier tres leches cake; with each layer of sponge cake soaked with three different kinds of milk and topped with whipped cream icing.
4. Prince Albert of Monaco and his new bride Princess Charlene’s five-tier wedding cake decorated with Proteas, the South Africa’s national flower makes it to our list for its sheer size. I haven’t seen a bigger wedding cake.
5. The fun rock n’ roll wedding of Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton had an equally funky tiered vanilla cake, made by Jay Qualls owner of Maples Wedding Cakes from Nashville, in brushed leather color finished with hot pink frosting, Miranda’s favorite color.
Tags: Celebrity Wedding Cakes
Dec 26, 2011 Marriage & Wedding Trends
The Heart Bandits, a Marriage Proposal Planning company, was contacted by a very excited Sameer who needed help proposing to his girlfriend Nisha. Nisha wanted a public proposal, but Sameer wasn’t sure how to bring it all together. He ended up deciding that he would take her on a date to the beach and surprise her with a very artsy proposal.
On the proposal day, Sameer and Nisha were enjoying a relaxing day soaking up the sun, when an artist set up two canvases right in front of the couple. The artist, who was of course in on the whole thing begun painting and marvelling over his own masterpiece. Finally Sameer told Nisha that he was going to talk to the artist and make sure that he wasn’t painting them! When Sameer approached the artist, he was raving over his work and Sameer called Nisha to look at it. Just as Nisha realized that the paintings said, “Will you marry me?” in the clouds, Sameer got down on one knee to propose!
Dec 22, 2011 Marriage & Wedding Trends
So you’re a groom who loves cars, and like every groom you want to treat your bride to something out-of- the-ordinary, and give her an experience that exudes luxury and elegance. How about combining your love for cars with the grandeur of the moment? When you enter, make a splash with a luxurious stretched limousine and take your bride in style.
Shining wedding limousines with privacy partitions to kick start the just-married romance, fiber-optic mood lighting to give you goose bumps, leather upholstery to add to the plush status, electronic recliners to make you feel like King and Queen, and an exclusive bar! What more can you ask for?
One name that stands out in luxury rides hire service is LAC Auto Designers Pvt. Ltd, a design, customization and production house that specialises in mobility needs. They offer not just cars but the complete experience of luxury, exoticness and wow. To take it one step ahead, they even have an in-house designer who customizes design of the interiors to the theme of your wedding. Dress your car’s interiors and exteriors to complement the celebratory or romantic mood and you are ready to paint the town red!
For more information call +91 9899996421, 9810122622 or log on to
Dec 16, 2011 Marriage & Wedding Trends
Sarthak Shah’s parties were always unique and the themes most interesting. After he got engaged, it was time for Wedding Planning and he spent a lot of time thinking of the visual communication. Obviously, he wanted a very creative invite, so he got in touch with Sindoor Couture Designs known for their good work in the field. Sindoor Shah who runs Sindoor Couture Designs shared with him the idea of a business card holder, she tells us more: “For each of the functions, there was a separate card, with detailed gold foiling at the back of each insert. It had the ‘wow’ factor which Sarthak was looking for.” Sindoor explains why brides, grooms and their families are moving away from jazzy and bulky invitations to more creative concepts.
1.Bulky and hardbound cards are usually much more expensive
2.Lesser paper means less wastage, and is more eco-friendly
3.Packaging the invitation in keepsake boxes or holders serves a dual purpose- the boxes or holders can be used later.
4.And most importantly, unusual invitations stand out!
Sindoor Couture Designs www.sindoorshah.com