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A cool hitch

Hire a wedding planner and you can put up your feet and relax



NOT A KNOTTY AFFAIR If you leave it to the planners

A wedding in a palace complete with glittering chandeliers or a shimmering fairytale theme. Horse-drawn carriages, dancers, sheeshas and cabanas for a Moroccan- style sangeet. Las Vegas and Elvis or ancient Egyptian mysticism for your golden wedding anniversary. Want to live your dream wedding or anniversary? A small but growing group of exclusive wedding planners make dreams come true.

Think The Wedding Planner meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding. These planners are involved from the word go. First, they discuss the theme of the wedding with the bride and her family, right down to the colours and the flowers they’ll use. Want it all in shades of pink? Or perhaps a lotus theme for everything — from the invitations to the décor? No problem.

Then the venue has to be settled upon, which can be anything from a palace to a five-star hotel to an open field in the rural hinterlands where an entire air-conditioned mantapa (complete with toilets) will be set up.

All of which means discussions, discussions and more discussions. “Brides have much stronger ideas about how they want their wedding to be today,” says Vidya Singh, who along with her partner Rekha Rangaraj runs Sumyog, a wedding consultancy. “We try to find a balance between what the bride wants, what her parents want and what we have in mind as well.” Then there’s all the logistics, from fixing accommodation for guests and making travel plans for the honeymoon to engaging priests, ordering garlands, the silverware, arranging cooks and flying in special sweets or drinks.

“Twenty years ago, a lot of what we’re doing would have been taken care of by the extended family,” comments Rekha. “But the Indian family system has changed and the brides’ parents can use all the help they can get.” Often young college girls are hired as hostesses to greet guests, usher them in, give them the tambula bags etc. The girls earn some pocket money, and the bride’s parents are a lot less harassed during the wedding.

“With a wedding planner around, parents get a chance to really enjoy their daughter’s wedding rather than being rushed off their feet,” says Saraswathi K. Kumar of Event Art.“The actual wedding tends to remain more traditional, but we can really experiment with the parties such as the mehendi and the sangeet and get everyone involved,” says Lakshmi. And so, they make these events all about having some fun, whether it’s getting friends and family together to put up a skit about the couple or getting everyone from the bride to her grandmom dancing to the tunes of a DJ.

At a designer wedding, could designer clothes be far behind? Most wedding planners work the bride and groom’s wedding outfits into the theme, right down to the colour-coordinated garlands they wear. And it doesn’t have to be all ghagras at the mehendi or sangeet anymore, says Sidney S.S., a designer who has turned wedding-planner.

A bride might stick with a sari complementing the décor for the wedding, but don’t be surprised to see her dancing the night away in a designer backless number at her sangeet.

And it doesn’t end with weddings. Most planners are happy to take on wedding anniversaries as well, and those are done on no less a lavish scale. “At the end of the day, weddings and anniversaries are so much fun,” says Lakshmi Krishnaswamy. “And as the wedding planner, you get to share in the joy of the occasion. There’s really nothing better.”

DIVYA KUMAR

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