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Love and Laughter

Model, actor turned Executive Producer Shaana Levy met Mumbai Entrepreneur Uraaz Bahl through a common friend, and when the strikingly handsome couple decided to tie the knot it didn’t take them too much time to finalize on their wedding venue. The warm and vivacious person that she is, she wanted a place that is royal and pampering, her heart was set on a Jodhpur wedding and the magical weekend wedding was held at Umaid Bhawan Palace.

The Kenya born daughter of a Swiss-Hungarian father and Gujarati mother and London bred Uraaz (who happens to be Parmeshwar Godrej’s nephew) started off their wedding planning by chronicling their romance and courtship on an elegantly designed website, and after finalizing a few more wedding details, they got in touch with Vishal Punjabi of The Wedding Filmer to capture their celebrations of love. Vishal Punjabi was thrilled to hear about their wedding theme: “The wedding theme wasn’t inspired by a color, place or film; the theme was titled ‘laughter’ . Because that’s all you see when Shaana Levy and Uraaz Bahl are together: the widest of grins, hidden, shared jokes and uninhibited displays of genuine affection.”

Their friends came in from as far as Mexico, and some had flown close to 48 hours to be present for the intimate 150 people affair at the majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace. Their ceremony was a spiritual one, that took the best from their multiple faiths and the goodness of their friends. The guests couldn’t stop gushing about the elegant and awe-inspiring décor and how gorgeous yet natural Shaana looked in a Sabyasachi lehenga and statement jewels. We don’t need to tell you more– you can see much more in the dreamy wedding highlights film titled ‘Happily Ever After’

Wedding Details
Location- Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Wedding Planners- The Wedding Design Company/ Backstage Productions (Vandana Mohan)
Make up and Hair – Namrata Soni
Entertainment- DJ Gaurav, DJ Sunny, Freddy the Sax Player, Bamboleo Band
Wedding Cake- Confiserie Sprüngli
Photography- Bikramjit Bose, Tom Kelly, Rahul Sonkusare
Wedding Film- The Wedding Filmer

Mallya Wedding in Bali will be an intimate affair, Vyas bros to perform@ Sangeet

Laila Mallya and Samar Singh at a brunch
the duo hosted at a South Mumbai lounge

If you’re presuming Vijay Mallya is hosting an epic bash for his daughter’s wedding, you’re mistaken. Laila Mallya and Samar Singh’s destination wedding in Bali this week-end will be an intimate affair, with less than 250 guests. The wedding venue, as we had reported is the Ayana Resort and Spa (click here to read more). According to their friends the program for the three-day celebrations have all been worked out as per the couple’s wishes, and it’s a family and friends only affair. Delhi-based Wedding Planner Vandana Mohan is managing the event and decor. The Sangeet is on the 19th, Bollywood’s ace choreographer Masterji Rajendra is choreographing the family’s dance performances and singer Sandeep Vyas, a favourite perfomer at big, fat destination weddings and his brother DJ Sanjeev Vyas will be there.


(From left to right) Rajendra Masterji, Wedding Planner Vandana Mohan, Sandeep Vyas and his DJ brother Sanjeev.

Rajendra Masterji has choreographed the sangeet performances at many bollywood family weddings, like Ash-Abhi, Rinkie Khanna, Karishma Kapoor and Ridhima Kapoor. Sandeep Vyas and his DJ brother Sanjeev are much sought-after for their high-energy dance numbers@ Sangeets.

Samir Jain hosts daughter’s wedding in Udaipur, Sajjan Jindal’s daughter weds in Delhi

Two business tycoons hosted their daughter’s wedding in February. Tarini, elder daughter of Sajjan Jindal tied the knot with Vikram Handa. Trishla, the artist-daughter of Samir Jain, Vice Chairman of The Times of India group married Miami-bred, Stanford graduate Satyan Gajwani. Ace Wedding Planner Vandana Mohan managed the Jindal wedding. The pre-wedding celebrations were at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives and the wedding at the Jindal farmhouse in Delhi. The Jain wedding at Jagmandir, Udaipur, was around the same dates as the Jindal wedding, and was co-ordinated by 360 Degrees, the event management division of The Times of India group. Some of Delhi’s A-list bridal specialists and wedding vendors were contacted by both families, and they had to take the tough decision to figure out which wedding to go to. We presume many VIP guests faced a similar quandary!

When Tanvi, the younger daughter of Sangita and Sajjan Jindal got married in Florence last year, WeddingSutra published reports on how the Florence media went ga-ga over the Maharajah style wedding. Back in India, the wedding generated a lot of interest too. Many WeddingSutra visitors are enquiring if we’ll be featuring elder sister Tarini’s wedding photographs. But the bride and groom wish to keep it private, and so we have no pictures to share. We’re still trying though! Media moguls Jains also guard their privacy fiercely, so here again we have no pictures or details on the Trishla- Satyan wedding.

Fashion enthusiast Tarini ran Muse the erstwhile store in Kala Ghoda, she now lives in Abu Dhabi where Vikram manages his family business; Trishla, a poetry and literature graduate from Stanford, is Meera and Samir Jain’s only child. Her first solo art exhibition was held last year, and besides wielding the paintbrush, Trishla takes keen interest in spirituality writings and has over-seen the launch of Times weeklies Times Crest and The Speaking Tree. Satyan relocated to Delhi some years ago, he works with the Internet division of the Times of India group.

Trishla Jain (left) and Tarini Jindal

Janakpuri to Sainik Farms: BBB shows Big Fat Weddings in Delhi

Band Baaja Baraat (BBB) is a fun movie—for those who enjoy romantic flicks or like anything to do with shaadis. When we heard about the latest release by Yashraj Films with two Wedding Planners in the lead role we were excited, hoping they make a fun yet realistic portrayal on the life and times of people in the shaadi business. The film doesn’t disappoint. They are bang on when it comes to insights on how all families (wedding clients) behave—what they want (or don’t want to), their unreasonable demands and the big bollywood obsession. Equally interesting, are the insights on why so many youngsters want to be a part of the shaadi business—happy, childhood memories of weddings and the chance to eat yummy, delicious shaadi food.

Bittoo (Ranveer Singh) and Shruti (Anushka) are both from middle class families, and like all ambitious youngsters they have big dreams and aspirations. Fresh out of college they embark on a career in Wedding Planning. Shruti’s hard work and creative skills, and Bittoo’s sharp understanding of Dhanda (business) help the duo carve a niche. They quickly establish a name as the budget wedding planners in Janakpuri but Bittoo reminds Shruti that organising weddings in the budget of Rs 2.5 to Rs 5 lakh will take them nowhere, and they need a “high jump” to Sainik Farms. Luckily they gain a foothold in the space of big, fat weddings and they organise the Rs 2 to Rs 5 crore glitzy celebrations at farmhouses. But like life which cannot be a fun, happy celebration always, the film also makes a shift- to focus on Bittoo and Shruti’s differences and their relationship.

There is of course the filmi angle and the lead duo are projected as the super-creative, super-talented, super-efficient professionals. He has the ability to dance and entertain like Shahrukh Khan and manage clients as skilfully as Event magnate Wizcraft. She has the style sense of Manish Malhotra and the creative skills of decor queen Gurleen Puri. Together the duo create magic like India’s ace Wedding Planner Vandana Mohan—all this in a span of less than three years. The music is average and the sets and decor are just so-so. On the fashion front, we quite liked Anushka’s mix of Indian dresses- from dhinchak to rich and elegant worn in her official capacity as Wedding Planner at all the different locales.

Wedding Belles In Mauritius

The Grand Mauritian and Intercontinental Mauritius played host to the wedding of Amit Puri and Prita Jiwrajka between 26th and 29th November. The welcome cocktail party was held at the Grand Mauritian poolside, and what a welcome it was with an amazing fire show & dance! The ladies were dressed in their finest cocktail gowns– and it was a truly fashionable event!  The Paris House Addicts played the opening set for the party- an incredible fusion of violin, saxophone and percussion followed by DJ Zubair from Dubai.

The sangeet was held at the Intercontinental where both families put up a great entertainment show. The bride was truly ‘a desi girl’ with her well choreographed dance along with her friends; and the groom and his best men out-did themselves by making the guests gasp ‘OMG’ by dancing to the tune of Usher. Well-known duo Sajid-Wajid performed at the sangeet followed by a closing set by DJ Bosco who played until the early hours of the morning.

The wedding was a lavish affair held at the beach and poolside of the Intercontinental.  The mandap was elegant and placed at the end of the pier so that all the guests could look out towards it. The sacred ceremony was marked by a stunning display of fireworks.

The guest list included Suresh & Kavita Chellaram, Mahesh Jethmalani, Ravi & Madhu Ruia, Queenie, Esther & Raju Daswani. Mumbai-based AKA: A Klass Apart, managed by Divya & Neha Chadha handled the RSVP & Hospitality  and wedding logistics for the Puri family.  The décor for the events was handled by Delhi-based Vandana Mohan.

Daddy’s Big Day

The most successful Wedding Planners in India, are those who understand the mind of the Big Daddy. And who have ample experience in organising Big Business conferences and events. Parthip Thyagarajan of WeddingSutra.com wrote this article for Times of India Crest

Mumbai’s la-di-dah circles still talk about the dream wedding Parmeshwar Godrej organised for her eldest child Tanya Godrej Dubash, over a decade ago. Parmeshwar, for the circle was the superwoman- super stylish and talented, highly enterprising and ambitious, and a supermom who organised an affair that oozed style and elegance. Today, supermoms don’t receive credit for hosting the Great Indian Wedding. Quite often it’s an event management agency and the super successful Dads who bask in the glory. Not surprisingly, agencies who have experience in organising large business and trade conferences are leaders in the wedding management space. They may not understand the mind of the mom, but they sure know what the bride’s daddy wants. The teams work round-the-clock over several months, to organise for him a world conference scale event, so his VIP guests experience magic in a fairy tale setting.

How can any article on the Great Indian Wedding be complete, without a reference to UK based Lakshmi Mittal who showcased the Great Indian Wedding to everyone around the globe. For his daughter Vanisha’s marriage to Amit Bhatia over 1,000 guests from all over the world were invited with 20-page-thick silver-cased invitation cards. Events over five days were staged in some of France’s most famous settings.

Many celebrities including Raveena Tandon have got married at one of the Palace Hotels in Rajasthan, but the celebration hosted by US Hotelier Sant Chatwal for his son Vikram’s marriage to Delhi businesswoman Priya Sachdev was most talked about. Chatwal and Delhi-based Wedding Planner Vandana Mohan gave hundreds of guests, a never-before wedding experience spread across three cities.

South Mumbai businessman Vinod Nayar was suddenly in the limelight, when news of his son Arun Nayar’s marriage to Liz Hurley was finalised. After the much-hyped wedding in Jodhpur, Nayar was scheduled to host a post-wedding party for the who’s who in Mumbai, but word went around about the huge misunderstanding between Nayar senior and junior in Jodhpur because of which the much-awaited party in Mumbai was cancelled.

‘Bawa Villa’ a home in Khandala received national media coverage all because Shilpa Shetty got married there. The villa owner, Hotelier GS Bawa, was not distantly related to Shilpa Shetty, but Shilpa was like a ‘daughter’ to him. Bawa’s daughter Kiran Bawa was soon recognised as the ‘best wedding planner’ who in typical desi style didn’t manage a  wedding as a profession, but as a gift for someone she and her family loves.

When Swatee Jayaswal’s wedding was fixed with Bangalore’s Lalit Tayal, Nagpur business magnate Manoj Jayaswal hired Ahmedabad-based Red Events which specialises in international destination weddings to organise for approximately 700 guests, a luxury wedding experience at the Grande Laguna and the Banyan Tree in Phuket. All the Jayaswal family members glittered in the most expensive, ornate and colourful lehengas and sherwanis—the picture perfect photographs showed that the Big Indian Family can afford to host a Big Fat Wedding anywhere in the world.

Vandana Mohan – Wedding Planner for Prince Shivraj Singh’s Wedding

It’s dubbed as the Wedding of the Year. Prince Shivraj Singh, son of former Jodhpur King Gaj Singh, is marrying Gayatri Kumari, the princess of Askot (Uttarakhand) on November 18 this year. Buzz is that Richard Gere, Madonna, Kate Winslet, Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar, Prince Charles and a host of international celebrities and top Bollywood stars will be there at at the royal residence and palace hotel Umaid Bhawan. The Royal family have chosen Delhi’s Vandana Mohan, who also happens to be their family friend, as the Wedding Planner. Mohan’s other highly publicised assignments include the Priya Sachdeva- Vikram Chatwal wedding and launch of the fashion bible Vogue.

For the Chatwal wedding, Vandana Mohan managed decor, logistics and hospitality across three cities and 14 hotels. This included overseeing fourteen hospitality desks at each hotel and a fleet of 70 private cars for the three-city tour. Fifty thousand kilos of flowers were shipped in from Holland, Bangkok, and Calcutta, 3,000 candles burned and 65,000 meters of fancy fabric were used for the drapes!

The Vogue launch with creative inputs from Milan’s Paola Ricotti and production designer Sumant Jaikrishnan was on the scale of a Hollywood production. It included a restrospective of Ferragomo’s Maharani collection from their museum in Florence, a fashion show where 25 leading designers displayed their best creations alongwith collections from Valentino, Marc Jacobs and Galliano. And an after-party for 300 guests at the ‘baradari’ a large expanse overlooking the Mehrangarh Fort. The majestic Umaid Bhawan, one of the largest residences in the world was also the venue for the big fat Indian shaadi of Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar. Shivraj Singh’s Wedding in November will be special for Jodhpur not only because the Prince is marrying; it is also a celebration of his recovery since he met with a near-fatal accident in 2003 and has fully recovered after many years.

Who is The Wedding Planner to Bollywood Superstars?

Delhi’s top wedding planners Geeta Samuel, Meher Sarid, Vandana Mohan are more in the news vis-a-vis the prominent wedding planners of Mumbai– Aditya Motwane of Percept, Gurlein Manchanda Puri and Martin Da Costa of Seventy. The reason is obvious—while loads of money is spent in Mumbai, Delhiites truly enjoy themselves at the big, fat wedding and their city designers set the trend for bridal wear and wedding décor.

Talking of Mumbai, if we asked you to name one or a few Wedding Planners who cater to Bollywood— can you name even one planner? In all probability your answer is ‘don’t know’. Interesting na, considering that Bollywood weddings get talked about for long. So you’ll remember the designer who did the clothes, the bride’s makeup artist or the mehendiwallih but you won’t know the name of the Wedding Planner. Abhi-Ash, Sanjay-Manyata, Aamir-Kiran, Fardeen-Natasha, Hrithik-Suzanne, Kajol-Devgan, Twinkle-Akshay, Madhuri-Nene— perhaps, none of them even hired the services of a professional wedding planner. They took the help of their friends to put together everything and being networked with event management walas they had plenty of resources on hand.

We don’t know if Shilpa Shetty-Raj Kundra have hired a professional event management agency to manage the affair at Khandala and Grand Hyatt—but the woman who has emerged as Shilpa Shetty’s unofficial Wedding Planner is the hugely ambitious Kiran Bawa—almost unknown in the business and social circuit till a few years ago, the franchisee of VLCC in Mumbai and daughter of the owner of Hotel Bawa International, Kiran shot into the limelight when she teamed up with Shilpa to launch Iosis, the upmarket Spa. Kiran and Shilpa have plans to open many more spas and salons throughout India.

Not only is the wedding being held at Kiran Bawa’s home, Kiran has been Shilpa’s spokesperson too. So here’s the input from Kiran, on Shilpa’s picks and the Spa services for the wedding guests at the wedding venue.

Clothes
Shilpa and Raj both chose Delhi based designers. Shilpa’s clothes are all by Tarun Tahiliani. Raj has chosen Shantanu and Nikhil. At the mehendi Shilpa wore a very un-traditional hot pink Swarovski crystals kaftan. For the sangeet she chose a Anarkali churidar kurta. Her wedding saree is a traditional bunt saree, in burgundy and red. For the reception, she’s wearing a saree which looks more like a gown with as many as eight thousand crystals stitched to it. Raj is wearing a black short sherwani with pants.

Music
Shilpa and Raj danced to Teri Ore from Singh is King and the choreographer for the Sangeet was Ganesh Hegde. Daler Mehendi also performed at the function. A Hawaii-themed mehendi ceremony preceded the sangeet.

Wedding
The Wedding with 150 guests was a mix of Punjabi and Bunt traditions. The sehrabandi, chuda and kalire ceremony was held and Raj arrived in a chariot to the wedding venue. The wedding was solemnized in the traditional style of the Bunt community. Spa and beauty therapists from Kiran’s spas and salons were present to provide massage and styling services to the guests.

Food
The lavish buffet at the wedding comprised Hyderabadi and Awadhi dishes from Mumbai’s A-list caterer- Sanjay Vazirani who runs Foodlink.

Watch this space for more information on the Grand reception for 400 guests at the Grand Hyatt!

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