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THE WEDDING INFLUENCERS

Wedding fraternity is a vast – growing sector, which comes up with new and innovative ideas, now and then. The masters of the fraternity always think out of the box and leave behind the threads, that the others can take inspiration from. Read about the success stories, inspirational views and more from the masters themselves, who have influenced the wedding game.​

THE KING OF WEDDINGS​

RITURAJ KHANNA 

CEO, Q Events by Geeta Samuel

Creativity, hard work, passion and perseverance ~ these are the mantras on which the gentleman thrives! Starting from the roots, he has risen as a creator and as a mentor to the wedding industry. Rituraj Khanna and the team at Q Events, specialize in creating spellbinding sets, right from scratch. The dust at the ground magically transforms into a visual spectacle which mesmerizes the guests and leaves a lasting impact on their minds.

Besides, being a leader in his field, Rituraj Khanna is a man who believes in making the wedding industry progress along with him. Right from guiding the upcoming vendors in the industry to propagating the feeling of camaraderie amongst the junior and senior members, he moves in unison with the wedding fraternity.

However, success was not served on a platter to him. He talks candidly about his humble beginnings, “I belong to a small and quaint town of Mussoorie. As a child, I was in the alcohol business, which we had to close down due to prohibition. Henceforth, I lost my father when I was just eight years old and our mother single handed, brought me up along with my five sisters. I studied at Wynberg Allen School and we also owned Mussoorie Modern School. We shifted to Dehradun and I gradually opened a knitwear manufacturing unit, called Orchids Designer Knitwear. However, destiny had some other plans as around twelve years back, I came to Delhi and became a part of Q Events, which was started by my sister, Geeta Samuel. I became increasingly focussed on destination weddings and now, travel has become an incessant part of my life! During all these years, I have had rock solid support of my wife Minakshi, my sons Nishchaie and Krish and daughter-in-law Shriya.”

Q Events is unarguably, one of the leading wedding companies of India and is growing from strength to strength. Their forte lies in optimum utilization of spaces as they literally build entire sets and towns with minutest of detailing. Design is their core strength and to match up to it, the production house is equally big and probably the biggest in the country. Reaching the pinnacle had its own share of ups and downs. Rituraj Khanna states, as a matter of fact, “Our events field is full of obstacles and that is precisely what makes us stronger. We have to fight out the weather conditions, the labour issues, transport problems and more but its fine. A true wedding planner always has solutions up his sleeve.”

Going on further about the clients requirements in the modern times, he elaborates, “Everyone wants something out of the box, so we always have our thinking caps on. People want a Cinderella themed wedding, an enchanted forest, Santorini, Paris, Benares or Morrocon setups, movie themes like Baji Roa or Bahubali. You name it and we build it! For smaller events, we have plethora of theme ideas as well –Spain, Great Gatsby or perhaps a magical garden. The options are endless.”

Talking about the need of the industry coming together and working as one unit, he goes on, “I think collaboration in today’s world has become important. Competition is healthy and one should not lower their standards by copying the designs of others. Last but not the least, be truthful to your clients and to yourself.”

 

All about the Talent

TARSAME MITTAL

TM Talent Management Co

Entertainment and talent management is one of the biggest segments of the wedding industry. Everyone wants to top the list of the best entertainment quotient at their weddings and keeps looking for something new or unique. Not just in the weddings, in fact, entertainment is a pre-requisite in corporate and private events along with music festivals and concerts. From the biggest artists in India to upcoming bands and rock projects, one person manages it all with sheer flawlessness ~ Tarsame Mittal!

Tarsame Mittal founded the TM Talent Management Co. with an aim to transform the way talent is perceived in the country. The idea was to establish a 360-degree solution for any musician who might be successful or who is just starting a career in the music industry. Today, TM Talent Management is one of the most preferred talent management organisations in the Indian music industry.

It represents 26 musicians from the Indian music & live entertainment industry, including some of the most prominent names like Ajay-Atul, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Amit Trivedi, Arijit Singh, Hariharan, Rekha Bhardwaj, Sajid Wajid, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Bhardwaj, Vishal & Shekhar and Zubeen Garg.

Apart from artists’ management, the company has also versioned several initiatives in music business in these years including:

  • Bollywood Music Project (BMP) – a 2-day, multi stage & genre music festival that features over 60 artists in from the music industry and has successfully completed 3 editions in the past 18 months.
  • All About Music – an all-inclusive B2B conference for the music industry. In its debut year, It brought together over 85+ speakers & 1000+ stakeholders, making it one of the most memorable music conference.
  • Music Plus – An interactive music communication portal serving as an all-inclusive information hub for the music industry and music lovers.

Talking about the entertainment industry, Tarsem Mittal has many plans up his sleeve. He clearly states, “Every industry has a slack or off season and during that period, the company has to plan & strategize for the upcoming season. It is essential to analyse the market and improvise on future aspects of the company as a whole along with the people associated to it.”

Further talking about the USP of his company, he continues, “It’s still in a developing space in the market with various different verticals attached to the company. Our USP includes total transparency between our clientele, artistes & the people we associate with on a day to day basis. How much ever mainstream it sounds but at the end of the day, we believe that the customer is the king of the market as we are in a servicing industry and fulfilling clients need is one of our primary concerns.”

The current market trends not only demand a talented artiste or musician but also lays equal importance on presentation and uniqueness, which would make the event memorable and etch it in the minds of the audience.

 

Plating unrivalled culinary experiences – 

PUNEET SIKAND 

CEO, The Kitchen Art Company 

An artistic obsession for food is the driving force for Puneet Sikand, even after 35 years in the culinary business. Puneet, always was interested in cooking since childhood and  fearlessly tried different combinations on his own. Earning a Distinction in cookery at Pusa Institute of Hotel Management & Nutrition, Catering College Delhi, he was selected by almost all the hotels that were there for recruitment. This encouraged him to pursue his career as a chef. Having trained from their Kitchen Management Programme and worked at the Oberoi and Hyatt Regency in Delhi, Puneet was awarded the distinguished silver medal of Honour from the Indian National Culinary Federation.

As the creator and founder of TKAC, he has revolutionized the culinary landscape. He set up the Delhi-based premium catering company, over two decades ago with an idea to satiate all six senses by bringing delectable cuisine right at your door step. Known for its opulent gourmet artistry, TKAC, under his guidance, has been whipping up a global gastronomic odyssey in many part of the country & abroad.

The Kitchen Art Company was the pioneer in introducing world cuisine in off premises catering. Ever since the inception, it has been their constant endeavour to bring in creative menus with emphasis on style of preparation & how it is displayed.

He is admired by the industry and looked upto for advice and guidance by the young guns who wish to make a mark in the catering and allied services. His dictum always states that catering is an art and an artist does not rest until every presentation is a masterpiece. If you abide by this golden rule, then the sky is the limit for you.

​Idea that created TKAC

A passion to understand and recreate food.

Obstacles faced and overcome

In retrospect every, obstacle was a teacher, which made us masters.

The USP

The Kitchen Art Co. currently enjoys top position amongst caterers in India, not by sheer volume, but by being the only caterer to provide “honest” quality and recipes with creativity.

A word of advice

Hold your own price-n-process, don’t get swayed by short-term trends, focus on value catering and service using tested ingredients and recipes served by elegantly trained waiters.

The most significant food trend of 2018

‘HEALTH’, you will find people around you who are on a  diet, trying to eat healthy, going for farm-to-table lunches, growing their own garden herbs, buying as much organic as they can afford, trying new millets and consciously avoiding junk as much as possible. ​

“Cooking is a language through which all the following can be expressed:

Harmony, creativity, happiness, beauty, poetry, magic, humour, and culture.”

THE ESSENCE OF LUXURY

FNP FLAGSHIP 

by Meeta Gutgutia

The most important element in any sort of décor in the world is ~ flowers! From the desi-Kolkata gendas to the imported Hydrangeas, the flower choices can make or break any setup. Gone are the days, when the vendors used to place any sort of flowers for packaging or decorations at weddings. Today, the wedding décor companies are particular about each type of flower used for decorating various arenas. One such floral company is FNP Flagship, which has upped the ante of the flower game in India. The first-of- its-kind luxury flower house in the world, Flagship by FNP is a floral destination that orchestrates extravagance and style. This exquisite floral boutique translates the floral artistry into effortlessly stylish blooms and lifestyle décor. Everything is an inspiration here and each day is a blessing to create and present something fresh. It caters to the imagination of elite clientele and offers a mélange of floral services and delights.

The high-end store has an assortment of floral and décor services specially curated for the exclusive clients. While the store deals in bespoke range of décor services, it also offers flower ornaments, handpicked selection of gifts, exotic flowers, wedding garlands, trousseau packing collection, ornate floral accessories, home décor and much more to tickle your senses.

Highlighting the importance of conceptual creations, Meeta Gutgutia, founder of FNP Flagship, asserts, “I believe that concepts are not found in books but it is we who make them. Every morning is a blessing to create, deliver, acquire, inspire and eventually spread the beauty that the eyes have gathered.  The joy is in finding hand-picked products and flowers as it effortlessly comes right from the heart. This compassion has been passed on to the team as each one is a star, added in Flagship’s valued acquisition.”

FNP Flagship is a name to reckon with, not only in the décor segment but also in the field of bespoke gifting and trousseau packaging. Their floral arrangements can light up the mood of all and sundry, maintaining the luxury element intact. Whether it is floral arrangements or premium gift hampers or trousseau packing trays, Meeta Gutgutia knows the nerve of the client and does not fail to impress them in one stroke of genius. Talking about the changing trends, she points out, “People are moving towards much simpler and detailed designs as they are more aware of what they want also, dark colours are done to death and now, the shift is more towards white and pastel shades with blend of bling.

Décor has gone to being personal for memorable moments, so uniqueness and customization are things that have become synonymous. One has to be unique in order to stand out and be in running. Also, gifting has drifted from just being about the look and feel to being utility based.

Be confident about your designs and keep it detailed and simple. If, you are able to visualize your design, the clients will be more than willing to take it further.”

 

DREAM ON WITH

 DEVIKA NARIAN 

Devika Narian & Co.

​The new era has seen an increasing dramatization of the weddings with the festivities looking a  more like a Hindi movie script, rather than beautiful personal story. From over-the-top décor to bizarre entries for the bride and groom, the wedding industry has seen a paradigm shift in the last few years. However, the trend is now drifting again towards creating memories and that’s where, the Devika Narain Company comes in!

Devika further interprets the changing trends, “For the last decade, weddings have been about showmanship, grandeur and have had a theatrical essence to them. I have seen the shift in focus from “grand” to weddings that make-you-feel-good. The essence is now on how guests feel, what they do and how their overall experience is. I believe the focus of a wedding should be on family—it is the only time multiple generations of a family are together and that should drive the ethos of a celebration. Millennial brides have their own stylish tastes with a visual dream of their wedding. They want to be able to let their hair down & attend their own wedding like a guest.”

She continues on how the Devika Narain Company is making the brides’ dreams come true, “Every wedding at Devika Narain & Company is bespoke. We do things a little differently as each detail is custom made to suit our client’s aesthetic and is handmade on a fresh slate. Our designs speak of personal stories with lots of attention to detail. A huge part of our design process is spent in understanding our clients better. We ask questions, their likes and dislikes and then weave an entire story around them. We ensure we’re on the same visual page before as the client, before we start designing. We design for the eclectic bride, the one who is not afraid to dance at her own party.

People plan and design the most beautiful weddings and completely overlook the needs of the guests, they are hosting it for. We try to overcome it by planning the wedding from the perspective of someone attending it.”

One could see her passion for curating poignant wedding moments, in the picturesque yet endearing nuptials of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma in Tuscany, Italy. It is rather interesting to know that the journey of the company started on the dining table of a small rented apartment with the simple goal of creating spaces that were personal and uniquely Indian. The company started in 2015, specialising in destination weddings.

Devika divulges, “After experimenting with jobs at journalism companies, I realised that I was destined  for something else. I realized that my unusual combination of interests and skills was a strength and I sought a creative life. Four years into the working as a planner for another company, I decided I wanted to do something of my own. Weddings, for a long time, had all been about showmanship and, I wanted to change all of that and be able to create weddings that were personal and truly brought people together to celebrate.

I spent my time trying to understand the psychology of spaces and see how they can contribute to celebrations and not just make a difference but also give back to society- at the same time, I try to coach the best team of designers in the world! This philosophy, a lot of hard work and a master stroke of luck has brought us a lot of acclaim in the recent past.

Today, we have a team of young designers, work with local artisans and craftsmen to tell personal histories through spaces and celebrate the heritage of the Indian subcontinent with a modern sensibility. The vision is to create events that personify subtle luxury “

What sets her apart are the tiniest of details in her thinking and work which deliver the impossible mix of grandeur and subtleties. She advises the same to the upcoming wedding planners, “I cannot stress enough on the importance of attention to detail. Tiny details make or break the deal, and this is not specific just to décor! Being on the same visual page as the client really helps in getting the ball rolling.”

One the final note, she point out, “There will always be competition, but doing your homework about the client’s wants and needs will always keep you comfortable in this game.

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY

HARPREET BACHHER

The Wedding Story ​

Ask any quintessential bride or a groom, for that matter, to mention the most important aspect of their wedding and without a doubt, the answer would be “photography and filming!” The previous decade had a selected lot of prolific photography and filming studios, which went by the traditional methods of making the bride and groom pose, along with their families to get the perfect frame-worthy shot. But the trends have changed and how! The modern day couple seeks to get their love story captured in the camera as if it were a real life scene. Candid photography and pre-wedding shoots have become the need of the hour and well, a new generation of storytellers has emerged that takes pride in letting the pictures tell the story! Meet Harpreet Bachher, founder of The Wedding Story who tells us his story, this time, with a paper and pen.

“I’m a qualified architect – and from that ‘reputable’ profession, I became a photo-journalist for The ‘Times of India’ and started writing and photographing. I guess story-telling was always a passion.

Back in 2011, I was a fashion and lifestyle photographer and one day, I had a former model come up to me and ask if I could do her wedding photography. The girl wanted some nice images of her wedding and couldn’t find anyone good to do them so she took her chance in approaching me for the job. I remember being offended at the offer then. I laugh at it now.

At that time, wedding photography wasn’t considered as the best option for a talented photographer. The industry was besotted with fly-by-night operators and professionalism wasn’t one of the virtues that was needed in someone who wanted to be a wedding photographer. To be honest, clients were used to the same old traditional photographers doing their same old boring stuff. No one had known anything better.

I sensed an opportunity to shine in this virgin territory. I could do some nice images here and show off my talent as a fashion photographer who would be known to do ‘different’ wedding images. Digital cameras were the latest craze then and I remember I had bought a new camera just before the wedding.

As I was finishing photographing my first wedding shoot, I remember there was a moment during the bidai when the bride’s father had tears in his eyes and was struggling to hide it from the world. A photograph didn’t quite do justice to the moment and because my new camera had video shooting capability, I immediately switched to the video mode and shot a clip of the emotional moment.

Later, as I met him to say goodbye, I got talking to him and he narrated a beautiful childhood incident of the bride that had made him all teary eyed during the farewell ceremony. Only a father could narrate it the way he did and I don’t think even the daughter knew that those memories of her childhood would bring tears to her father’s eyes on the day of her wedding.I quickly grabbed by tripod, an assistant and got the parents together and asked them to narrate this again on camera. As we got filming they told me a lot more about their daughter. I had no clue that this was a love marriage and that it had been a struggle for her to convince her parents about her decision. By the end, I had recorded the whole journey on film. But this was only one side of the story. I was curious to know the bride’s side. I decided to film her story as well and asked her to step aside for ten minutes before the reception.

 

By the end of the evening I had filmed a real life wedding story that I would later edit and present to the family. We scheduled a date for the screening and by the end of it I had become a part of their family forever. I had given them memories for a lifetime. Memories that were woven together from her birth to the day she tied the knot. Memories that no amount of treasures could equal. That was the birth of THE WEDDING STORY.

It was also the birth of a storyteller – Me!

Real life storytelling would become my signature style in filming weddings. If I could successfully weave a story into traditional wedding footage, it would naturally become a legacy film apart from showcasing the memories of the wedding day. Moreover, if the video footage was candid and more cinematic, it would naturally generate greater aesthetics and increase the value of the whole film.

Over the years, as we bettered our technical skills and camera resolutions, I begun to increasingly understand the importance of emotional quotient. The so called great Indian weddings are all about maintaining your cool. They can be unnerving and stressful but if you have a great equation with your client, they will trust and understand your vision even in trying situations.

This is not just a profession. It’s an experience. It’s a trust. A faith that the families put into your capability as a technician to give them something that they and their future generations will cherish for a lifetime. I can’t imagine doing anything else in life. I get to travel to the best places on the planet, live in fabulous properties, meet such warm families, eat great food, dance and party with souls in love and capture and film their most precious memories. I’m paid to have fun in life and that is simply wow!”

WORD TO THE WISE

To anyone interested in being a part of a wedding film unit, I strongly advise a course in body-language, etiquette and patience. Only when you truly connect to the families and the planners involved, will you be assured of a great wedding film. It doesn’t really matter how talented you are as a photographer, the primary concern is connecting to your clients on a humanitarian level. Last but not the least, believe in team work. Be a team player – It’s easy to be a brilliant technician yourself but the trick is to be a brilliant team player – A leader that inspires others to give their best.