The age of the wedding planner is well in.
In today’s times where everything is fast paced and events are high-scale it does not suffice to just hold a lifetime event like a wedding with the usual paraphernalia of wedding, reception, a little naach gaana, some rasms or functions and the bidaai (farewell of the bride ceremony) and leave the outcome to the mercy of the creativity of the family members.
What if the clicking of the still photographs threw up funny poses or the pandal looked lack lustre because the choice of flowers was bad, the raita having the touch of extra salt that would make the event more namkeen than usual or the mother-in-law of the girl not extended the desired extra courtesy required at such trying times?
Would not Guptaji, whose daughter’s wedding went off so well last year or Maakhan saab’s engagement ceremony for his son remembered for the food served, be the hot topic for nitpickers to cast a cloud on the festive proceedings? – leave alone the ominous overtones that forebode of disruptions to a sad ending.
The movie Band Baaja Baaraat in 2010, starring Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh is closest to what the modern scenario is when it comes to wedding planning.
Professional at heart making weddings his or her business the wedding planner saves you the headaches of planning, providing and execution and allows you the peace of mind just as the lucky general rests assured that he has only to enjoy the success of the venture without much thought of how the battle will be fought, in the safe knowledge that he has an army that understands his wishes and need for ultimate victory.
What does the wedding planner do?
For a start he gets to understand the financial ceiling to the whole affair that serves as the basis of what is to be organized and how. The budget could be from five to seven lakhs upto a crore depending on the lavishness that is desired by the parties concerned in middle to upper middle class clientele.
In the case of the very to hugely rich it could be start anywhere from beyond ten lakh to a couple of crore depending on the comfort level and desired extravagance.
Next come the lists of invitees with mention of the special and the very special, the activities or functions involved – the nuptials, the reception (this could or may not be included), the food to be served, the accommodation and collection of invitees from the airport, railway station or wherever, the venues involved, names of the persons available to assist and intimate family members. All these are collected and naturally – put on computer.
The add-ons in the form of flower arrangements, pandal decoration, garlands, rings, gifts, dresses for the occasion and various functions, the panditji or priest who performs the rituals and his team of assistants, list of items for conduct of the various functions, etc.etc. A huge list and with a lot of activities to take place.
Hydraulic or revolving stages, the jazzy decorations, the gifts, special chocolates, floral arrangements, bouquet deliveries, the invitations and videography, uploading on websites are but some of the personal additions of the client that form a part of small to medium scale wedding extravaganzas that the wedding planner takes care of with professional ease.
And mind you, planned and delivered without questions asked – but for a small price.
Fees charged could be a fixed non-refundable deposit of fifteen to twenty thousand and about ten to 15 percent of the wedding budget. For a grand scale lavish wedding it could be a flat fee of a lakh or two, sometmes even more.
But when it comes to the super rich and jet setting crowd the sky is the limit. More and more layers are entering this guaranteed mega bucks earner, never mind the headaches involved. Looking to this growing demand for celebrating success in life through such lavish displays and capitalizing on the opportunities provided by the nouvae-rich, a US based company has even provided a software that is sold to wedding planners and individual customers.
Shaadi-e-Khaas as it is known as focuses on the big fat Indian wedding and its various aspects in tow. It is a complete package that outlines the events, guests’ travel dates, accounts, hotel reservations, guidance on how to get to the venues, uploading of wedding pictures and the entire itenary of ‘filler’ activities that go to make it a grand affair. A special and attractive feature is the reminder at every stage of the way to get things moving and on time.
Indians have always loved weddings and consider it as the fun time in their lives when cares are thrown to the wind and one indulges in days of fun and merrymaking. It is the high point of one’s life when being the bride or groom, one commits the event to memory to reminiscence in later days and if already wedded, takes it to let loose and recapture the freer moments of earlier days. Of course you also have the ones who take it onto themselves to share their wisdom of marriage and its meaning to an audience, which is least interested in listening.
If there is anybody who has the stress it is the one under whose guidance the whole affair has to get through incident-free.
It is the professional demeanor and unfazed attitude of the wedding planner that gives the confidence and moral boost to the one who entrusts the job.
After all if this management guru were not to be by his side, God alone knows what could go wrong.
Worse, if there was a crisis and all fingers pointed to him, as the father or uncle of the bride,…….whew!