The first time I heard about a wedding planner was when I saw the Jennifer Lopez’s romantic comedy ‘The Wedding Planner’. It seemed a very western concept. It felt elitist. Not any more. Wedding planners are very much part of our Indian weddings and they are here to stay.
The concept which was introduced in the last couple of years has become a huge hit among the wedding fraternity in keeping with the lifestyle changes and the convenience that comes with a wedding planner is embraced with wide arms. Not without reasons.
Previously weddings happened within the courtyard of one’s house. Also being in a joint family all the members would chip in and each member would be assigned a specific task. However, with more nuclear families and globalization and higher disposable incomes there is a paradigm shift every where. It was only a matter of time before it encompassed the wedding scenario.
As Vijay Bhatt of Exotic Events, Delhi says, “People have busy schedules and they do not have the time to interact with the various agents of the wedding be it the decorators, caterers, wedding hall organizers etc. It is here the wedding planner comes useful. We have a team to coordinate and it is our job to ensure a hassle free wedding.”
Mr. Rajkumar of Simplivent, Chennai states, “As far as the South is concerned, the concept is slowly gaining acceptance. The response is encouraging.”
He further explains that with more cross-cultural weddings taking place and with high influence of movies, increasingly people are looking at having weddings which are unique while retaining the traditions of the wedding ceremony.
So a ‘mehendi’ ceremony which is very ‘Northern’ is incorporated in a traditional South Indian wedding because it is ‘hip’; even ‘tattoos’ are in – especially for the children and teenagers. Even the older generation welcomes these inclusions, adds Rajkumar.
The best part of a wedding planner is that it is done professionally. So you can expect a standard to be maintained and obviously a wedding planner is more creative and aware of the latest developments and trends in the wedding circuit.
Hence, you get an added advantage of an expert’s opinion on the wedding trends of the season especially if you are keen to ‘keep up with the joneses’. As a result of the experience, a wedding planner will be able to keep trouble at bay and even if they do occur, he or she will be more than capable of handling it.
Yogesh Aseria of Celebrations, The Concept Shop, Chennai feels, “A wedding planner is a solution for those who have to manage a wide cross section of people arriving at a particular destination for the wedding. More so, if even the bride and groom are from different places.”
He cites an example of how his company arranged for wedding in Chennai between the groom (from Bangalore) and the bride (from Mumbai). The wedding was happening in Srirangam and the reception in Chennai because both the respective party’s relatives were from this place.
“Instead of depending on the relatives for arranging the wedding they decided to hire a wedding planner. Needless to say the wedding progressed without a hitch.” says Yogesh proudly.
Rajkumar however feels that for a wedding planner to be truly efficient there has to be minimal interference from the wedding families. Given the nature of our Indian culture, where a wedding is not between two individuals but between two families,
There is bound to be countless suggestions and recommendations.
While these improvisations are welcome, they might not be practical and if one thing a wedding planner surefire knows is what works and what do not.
So it makes common sense to let a wedding planner do his or her job independently while giving a guideline on the specifics of the wedding. After all, success of a wedding planner is only as good as his or her last wedding arrangement. It is an industry that thrives on word of mouth referrals.
A wedding can be planned on any budget. It takes a competent planner to keep in mind the budget while recommending the wedding proportion. A good planner is somebody who can organize a wedding within the specifications of a budget. For this the planner needs to have an assortment of services that can cater to any kind of weddings.
So for this reason always ensure that you communicate clearly your expectations and your budget considerations. If need be put in paper to make it official and accountable.
Unlike a wedding contractor, who mostly looks after the catering and decorations, a planner goes beyond this to oversee the wedding preparations right from the invites to the decorators to the caterers to the music arrangements to the reception committee to arranging for accommodations… the list is endless.
Of course this comes with a fee. But, the good part is that for a price you get a string of benefits unencumbered. Most of all being you get to enjoy your wedding with someone else to worry over the details.
In short, a wedding planner is a one stop shop for all your wedding arrangements.