A List of Wedding Resources You Should Commit To
Say I do to a grand opera house wedding, Sabyasachi’s favourite make-up artist,
trousseau-matching tattoos, surreal wedding flowers, #MehndiForMen.
If you must send a paper invite for your impending nuptials, pick one that grows into a marigold plant, a spray of wildflowers, a patch of purple vegetables. We’re phools for Plantables’ seed paper that is biodegradable, 100% wood free and made up of waste cotton scraps. While they have a bunch of pre-designed wedding templates, we prefer their striking, solid coloured seed papers that can also be used for thank you notes and wedding itineraries.
What if your mehendi designs were conceptualised by one of India’s buzziest graphic designers? On your behalf, we asked nicely, and Shweta Malhotra agreed. When she isn’t busy designing digital covers for international magazines or collaborating with leading brands, she can lend her contemporary aesthetic to design your wedding – invites and logos, henna design templates and thank you cards.
Petals Deas, ex stylist at Vogue India, built a business out of her impeccable taste. She and her team create luxe flower arrangements, personalised stationery and gift wraps, that will elevate your invites and back presents. Also ask if they’ll do your boutonnieres and corsages.
Typographer Zeenat Kulavoor, who has conducted Urdu calligraphy workshops at art galleries like Tarq, is just the pen pal you need to make before your wedding. She has collaborated with brands like Goodearth and GQ India, and designed typography for Ankur & The Ghalat Family. See her multilingual lettering wedding cards here.
Still haven’t found a venue? Chill the duck out and follow us to this Byculla pond, which can be the view for your ‘I do’. Situated on the sprawling property of antique furniture dealers at The Great Eastern Home, this room can house 250 guests and allows alcohol at the premises (as long as you apply for a one day license). You can also rent their non-antique furniture as decor props.
25-29, Dr Ambedkar Road, Byculla East, 23770079, Instagram: @thegreateasternhome.
A maze of rooms in a heritage building filled with plants, natural light and swings feels like just the place to host a pre-wedding brunch. Yes, Ministry of New’s day job is that of a co-working space, but it more-than-often moonlights as a venue for shoots, events, whisky tastings and parties. Hey, if it’s good enough for Deepika Padukone, it’s good enough for you.
“Sometimes when you whisper a secret in a crowded room, nobody hears it,” a friend once told us, which is a great analogy for Mukesh Mills, a venue that isn’t even on social media – gasp! Imagine six acres of land placed right on the water’s edge that makes the sea appear like an infinity pool, bang in the middle of Colaba. The outside is perfect for winter wedding al fresco scenes, while the two inside air conditioned halls with vertiginously high ceilings, are more suited for noisy, hands-in-the-air sangeet nights. FYI: MukeshMills has previously posed as the locale for innumerable Bollywood film and ad shoots and international embassy events.
When air and train travel shut down during the pandemic last year, Kanika Gandhi not just meticulously researched villas-to-rent around Mumbai, she also visited each one to ensure they were in ship shape. This includes tiny details; for instance, homes where the upholstery looked run down or the lighting wasn’t great, were rejected, so you can expect no last minute surprises at these villas that are great for intimate wedding parties. Pangea Travel, which recently planned Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor’s Ranthambore safari, also tailor-makes the best luxury honeymoon itineraries.
What would you say to tying the knot in India’s only surviving opera house? Say I do, because we called and inquired on your behalf – they are open to it. Both the lawn and the glorious auditorium can be rented out; we recommend hosting a gig inside and bringing guests out to the garden for dinner and drinks. Bring your own caterer and alcohol license.
Art director Priyansha Jain’s spanking new InOrdinary (launching end of October ‘21), handpicks objects from contemporary makers and antique shops around the country. As a wedding service, she works with couples to curate, but also conceptualise and commission bespoke gifts that are both, endearing and enduring. In addition, Priyansha and her InOrdinary team can also create trippy decor designs for your venue.
In a Bandra studio filled with fat cats and fabulous art, Lekha Washington creates chairs that invoke the moon and lights with more arms than a Goddess. You can commission a special sculpture or installation for your wedding that you get to take home, or pay to have one of her existing ones at your event and return it right after. Psst: her stunning Moon installation that made its debut at Burning Man 2018 is also up for grabs.
We think of Nazneen Jehangir and her team as the nasturtium ninjas: they can transform the dreariest space into what looks like a Venetian garden in the blink of an eye. They recently packed over 400 hundred trees, plants and flower arrangements into a 1,000 square foot space – and still had room for the bride, groom and guests. Efficient and imaginative, they will help you brainstorm a floral theme, walk you through designs and handle your entire space production without breaking a sweat – in fact, they’ll come out smelling like roses.
9870955128, Instagram: @libellule_lifestyle.
Architectural Digest India’s favourite contributor, Priyanka Shah’s fantasy botanicals are not for the faint hearted, but then neither is your rager of a wedding. This creative director is a genius with flowers, creating weird and wonderful arrangements and sculptures, throwing prickly fruit, spiky corals and gleaming crystals into the mix.
Think of Srila as the creative contractor for your wedding. The fact that she is a seasoned producer, interior designer and discoverer + talker-upper of Indian artisans, means that she can liaison with different departments to translate her contemporary Indian aesthetic to everything from invites and decor to table settings and back presents. PS: she’s also the babe behind Baro.
Over the past 12 years, Mumbai-based wedding wizards Nitya Bagri & Ketan Sawant have planned over a 100 weddings in India and across the globe. Whether you’re planning a Bombay city wedding or a destination one, they send experts from every department to ensure that your big day encounters no bumps. A New Knot offers nose-to-tail services that range from venue recommendations, decor, RSVP, guest and hotel logistics to hospitality, security, and permissions. Couples, if you are feeling overwhelmed, here’s what Nitya and Ketan recommend as step 1: “Focus on the love, and let us handle the rest”.
Multiple testimonials reveal that Palkan Badlani and her team can command every aspect of a wedding, including the couple’s nerves. Keep kaam and relax for Palkan has years of professional experience in hospitality (Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Grand Hyatt Mumbai). She and her hyper efficient team will handle your wedding or milestone event’s decor, logistics, RSVPs, invites, F&B, entertainment. They also have a super list of recommendations for any other service you might need in India as well as Budapest and Sri Lanka, where they have planned multiple weddings. Kandy crush!
If a luxe, small wedding is your thing, call the people over at Panodrama. Their events (they do non-wedding parties as well) look and feel handcrafted, featuring al fresco brunches with sprays of baby’s breath pinned to wicker chairs and tres elegant wedding set ups where see-through chairs are decked out in peach silk couture. Borders do not restrict them; they’ve planned events in Dubai and Dehradun, Prague and Goa.
You know these planners will be hyper efficient, when we tell you that Seven Steps is a wedding division for Seventy EMG, one of the country’s largest event management firms. This means they can bring the arms for large scale, and the charms for intimate parties. Of course, they have a page that documents their celebrity weddings and events, in case you need starry testimonials.
Three filmmakers walk into a bar…. and end up planning Anuskha Sharma and Virat Kohli’s wedding. Say hello to Shaadi Squad, headed by a triumvirate of Bollywood creatives-turned-wedding planners who’ll deliver your dream nuptials, just like in the movies. Whether you want a big fat destination wedding or an intimate family affair, Shaadi Squad promises to make it happen, ensuring that “not a single hair, flower or chair will be out of place on the big day.” We believe them.
When Ambika Gupta turned a Pondicherry boutique hotel into a Van Gogh-inspired playground for a couple who were fans of the artist, it was featured in The New York Times and Architectural Digest and reposted by The Van Gogh Museum. This is Ambika’s strength – weaving the couple’s personal stories with spectacularly executed design, and special attention paid to details. The A-Cube Project is based out of Chennai, but the bespoke wedding design company (also featured in Forbes India) has planned and created weddings across the world, including Bangalore, Kerala, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Goa, Udaipur, Jaipur, Coorg, Mumbai, Andamans, Bahrain, Thailand & Serbia. Phew!
Imagine a concierge service that sends IV Therapy drips to your home, office or hotel, so you can acquire a glow while you multi-task. REVIV’s Vitaglow and Glutathione IVs are specifically recommended for clear, bright pre-wedding skin (they also have post wedding IV Therapies that help with hangovers!). If you’d rather turn off your phone and get yourself into a treatment room, skip the anywhere-IV-service and visit their lovely Worli facility, where you can also inquire about special booster shots for immunity and energy.
We’re over the moon that Chand now does home visits. Credited with regularly laying the foundations of fake lashes for celebrities like Jacqueline Fernandes, Malaika Arora and Aamir Khan, Chand is skilled, efficient and reliable. We’ve used his eyelash extension services when he worked at Novalash, but also after he turned faux lash freelancer. Caller EyeD, please?.
Brides, If it’s wedding season then you should know that Dolly Draper > Don Draper. Deepika Padukone and Neeta Ambani can vouch for her, this Insta-blue-tick artist whose 250k followers know that she has 325 ways to drape a sari.
If saris are as daunting to you as they are to us, we suggest you call Jabeen ben. Her cheery, maternal demeanor is utterly calming, and she can tuck you into perfect pleats and a dreamy pallu in two minutes flat. A professional draper for over two decades, she has a bunch of drapes in her repertoire, and can also do your hair in a pinch.
She’s who the big boys call. This NIFT graduate has a certificate in innovative pattern cutting from Central St Martin under her pleats; plus she’s a master draper who works primarily on editorial shoots, but will make an exception if she vibes with the bride. Her intricate but unfussy drapes can be found in campaigns for Satya Paul, Tarun Tahiliani, Aseem Kapoor, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Paro by Good Earth and more.
To look like a boss who just stepped out of gloss, get in touch with Pushkin Bhasin, whose hair artistry has been repeatedly featured in magazine editorials for Harper’s Bazaar and Elle India and shoots for designers like Tarun Tahiliani and Ashish Soni. His talent ranges from clean and chic to super innovative; personally, we’d love to wear this XXL style, bringing BIG bouffant energy to a small do.
This Ukraine-born Paris/Mumbai hair and make-up artist recently created stunning looks for Harper’s Bazaar’s proud cover featuring Indian Olympians. A gold medal for her, and the next winning look for you! Maniasha brings out her brushes for brides just as soon as she does for the long list of celebrities and labels she works with, including Milla Jovovich, Radhika Apte, Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier and Chanel. Ooh la la!
You know those photos you earmarked as references from the Sabyasachi campaigns? Mitesh probably worked on that shoot. One of the most sought- after hair and make-up artists in India, he’s also a really nice guy, and the best person to have around when the wedding jitters hit. Ask nicely though, and book way in advance: he’s super selective with bridal projects.
You would be right to blush if make up wizard Shaan RSVPs to your wedding. The brush behind Bollywood’s top actors, Shaan does only a select few weddings a year – when he isn’t on movie sets – so DM, ask sweetly and bat your eyelashes while you’re at it. Don’t forget to put on mascara before you do.
Lekha Shah, a student of Vidal Sassoon, Toni & Guy, Sharon Blain, Central Saint Martins, has worked on weddings all over the world, prettying up brides everywhere from Udaipur to Istanbul. She’s cool, hip, efficient and super skilled – plus, she has the best make-up collection you’ve ever seen, whether you want to stay dewy-natural or go full on glam. She even brings her own director’s chair for you to sit in, just so you feel extra special.
Prabhleen Kaur is super selective, but if you’re lucky enough to convince her to do your mehndi, you can expect designs way out of the norm. Her minimal, imaginative designs include little plants practised on her dad’s palms, motifs for Masaba’s shoots and even an Edward Scissorhands theme. She practice traces her designs on paper, advocates #mehndiformen, and has worked on a ton of editorial shoots. #CoolGirlAlert
If you don’t need your mehndi madames to be so starry, get in touch with Bhumika. She isn’t active on Instagram which is kinda refreshing; she travels for weddings, and keeps things old school and awesome.
This nail artist’s Instagram profile feels more Halloween than haldi (featuring XXL talons and frightening colours), but she’s capable of keeping it super chic too, we realised, when we spied her pastel nail art on fashion sage Anaita Shroff Adajania’s Instagram stories.
Shikha, who has styled shoots for brands like Tribe by Amrapali, Warp N Weft, and Wedding Sutra, would love to style the most important day of your life. Say yes, and she’ll suck the stress right out of your big day, by shopping & putting together looks for you and your partner, as well as family and friends. PS: This is especially useful for your non-Indian friends coming in from out of the country. Shikha offers nose-to-t(r)ail services, from planning out your wedding shopping itinerary and scheduling appointments, to recommending ensembles, accessories, jewellery, coordinating fittings and offering that all-important wedding service — on-time deliveries.
Head bored? Hemant and his team can skip the usual saafa – if you like – and offer traditional headgear from every Indian state. Hemant’s deft turban tying services are routinely used by politicians and movie stars.
PHOTOGRAPHERS & VIDEOGRAPHERS
Picture a bride dressed in all her finery…floating on the surface of a swimming pool. A pair of soul mates laughing while lying across a heap of disco balls; a top angle picture of a flaming shot inside a bride’s mouth; a lockdown couple wearing bubble helmets, fingers barely touching. It’s evident, after one quick scroll through their Instagram page, that House on the Clouds is not your usual shaadi photographer and filmer. Founder Siddharth Sharma and his team are clearly storytellers, who don’t rely solely on grand settings (yes, they shoot intimate events too). It is their ability to fuse breathtaking visuals with your emotions and stories that really makes their work sing. More click bait here.
Founder Karan Chawla “finds nazaares everywhere”, mostly in slickly produced fashion films for brands like Shantanu & Nikhil, Torani and AM:PM. He does wedding videos too, and offers a range of fun concepts and services including aerial videography, animated video production, 3D videos and more.
Photographer Monisha Ajgaonkar’s bylines, awards and love know no bounds. She started out as an editorial photo maker for publications such as Rolling Stone India and Times of India, before launching The Photo Diary and turning wedding photographer – she’s done over 500 weddings – for prominent business families like the Hiranandanis, Deoras and founders of Raw Pressery and Magarpatta City. Monisha approaches weddings with love, sensitivity and inclusivity, qualities that are evident in her special LGBTQIA-related projects commissioned by Ogilvy, and featured in publications like BBC, Grazia, Vogue and Vice. Her short films have also won awards in festivals across the world.
It began, as most good things do, with a friend’s wedding, which founder and filmmaker Vishal Punjabi was asked to document. And now The Wedding Filmer is a large team of directors, producers and cinematographers who promise to turn your wedding into box-office-hit material, turning out videos that are emotional, fun, and super slick. Yes, please.
YOU approaches every wedding like it is their first, “because each one is unique”. This team of photographers and videographers – they’ve also shot fashion campaigns – brings an elegant, editorial sensibility to their images and videos, delivering wedding memories that are rich in texture and colour. They’ve shot their share of celebrity weddings, as well as destination ones across India, Thailand and Sri Lanka. We personally love the YOU crew – we met and just clicked! – for their ability to capture gorgeous framed shots but also spontaneous moments.
CATERERS & COCKTAIL SHAKERS
Include this tannin salon to your pre-wedding beauty rituals. All Things Nice founder & sommelier Nikhil Agarwal is usually standing by on their vino hotline with personalised recommendations, which is what makes ATN > your corner wine shop. Browse and pick from their stellar international wine collection that gets updated almost every week.
One of our favourite Mumbai restaurants now caters weddings, so prepare to recreate that Lady and the Tramp spaghetti kiss using a bowl of their delicious cacio e pepe. Everything on Americano’s menu is available in addition to a few off-the-book specials. You may now kiss the chef.
If Marie Antoinette decided to update her food philosophy and live in the now, she’d probably get her dessert at An Ode To Gaia. This, India’s first luxe plant-based patisserie – they just opened at Jio World Drive, BKC – makes French entremet, macarons, tarts and other dessert clean, chic and cruelty-free, but also super delicious. Their vegan, sustainably-made multi-tiered wedding cakes prepared with ethically sourced, top quality ingredients are perfect for the couple that cares about the planet.
In addition to getting your guests happy high, International Martini Grand Prix winner Ankit Negandhi and his bartenders can also make sure your bar is stocked with interesting liquor.
9773133220, Facebook: @BarwingsBartendersAcademy.
Chocolate barks studded with rose petals and strawberry bits? I do…want some. These are lovely to have in your welcome guest baskets or to accompany your wedding card or to send to those you didn’t invite because you’d rather spend your wedding budget on something other than one single party for 2,000. Other wonderful things are also born when BSS chefs combine modern techniques with traditional mithai recipes. Customisations available.
Nicole Mody’s black pepper and cherry mini cheesecakes are a perfect accompaniment to your wedding invite – she also makes them in lemon, raspberry, Lotus Biscoff and other flavours. Also check out her sourdough chocolate chip cookies and mini lemon loaf teacakes, perfect for party favours.
Malika Rahat Khan doesn’t do fondant, but that doesn’t make her wedding cakes any less glamorous. Just recently, she whipped up a two tier, gorgeous white hazelnut cake, the bottom tier sandwiched with salted caramel and buttercream, the top tier featuring homemade strawberry jam, the entire confection covered in white roses. She also makes a chocolate, vanilla, strawberry version that she loves, and is open to customising based on your taste.
9833498943, Instagram: @debbiesindia.
One of our favourite party caterers – they work really well for intimate affairs – assign the most wondrous design installations to different niches across your venue, that are at once beautiful and bountiful. Imagine a grotto that offers bunches of lilies and ice cream bars dipped in dark chocolate and popcorn parfait; a feathery booth where goat cheese yuzu and beetroot mousse is laid out on black rice soil; savoury pancakes with sourdough ice cream are set among flaming candles worthy of a Madonna.
9821051065, Instagram: @edd_india.
Take a leaf out of Marina Balakrishnan’s aromatic all-vegetarian Keralite offerings: banana leaf sadya meals lovingly laid out for intimate weddings only. She grinds the coconut for her avial at home and blanches its vegetables, so that they don’t overcook or lose their nutritive value. PS: your guests will want to drink her sambar by the gallon, and they should. Read the full #bpbReview here.
Don’t forget – your engagement / wedding invite needs a plus one too. Enter SR Foods, a Mumbai institution best known for creating artisanal, handcrafted Indian sweets that can be sent along with your card. While the SR team recommends their excellent Mamra badam pista mithais, we’re also eyeing their baked gud sandesh and boondi trifle jars. In addition, their catering capabilities (Indian and international, specialising in Rajasthani cuisine) swing from intimate affairs to parties of 2500+ guests. We recommend asking them to set up a string of chaat counters (hygienic, delish) at your mehndi or sangeet. Sev the day!
Masque founder Aditi Dugar also brings Sage & Saffron to the table, her decade-old catering company that can lay meals for a single table as well as a thousand. Their expertise covers multiple cuisines, but you should know that their Thai food is just top notch. PS: they’ve also recently launched Epic Scoops, an artisanal ice cream delivery. That there just made our hearts melt.
If you want to skip the ladoo routine, try instead Salted Almond Rocks and Toasty Hazelnut & Creamy Milk chocolate bars by the super cool artisanal brand Wacao. Vegan-friendly, small-batch and sugar free, this chocolate is made using organic, locally sourced cocoa beans from the Idukki hills in Kerala. Healthy enough for your Gen X gym buddies and yummy enough to appeal to your most old-school uncle, they make the perfect gifting option for your wedding. We love Wacao’s unusual flavours like Berry Blast and Sinful Dark, packed into bars that contain real chocolate, no artificial preservatives and less than 50 calories. Talk about a dairy tale ending!
Deepa comes with the best Bollywood moves, innovative skit ideas + props to match. She can command a dance practice and get everyone in line and sync, without being too naggy or mean.
This professionally trained troupe of dancers is so lovely and enthusiastic, they’ll ensure that each sangeet practise evening turns into a fun little party. They’ve choreographed big wedding performances with costumes, props and the works; participants with two left feet will be reassured to know that they’re also super patient.
In addition to choreographing weddings dances, they also help plan flash mobs and run ‘Dance Krossfit’ classes – sometimes on the beach! – that allegedly allow you to get super fit and have fun at the same time. Hey, it’s been known to happen.
It makes sense that the fitness and dance studio that taught Bandra how to do a headstand, is now offering to be around when it falls head over heels in love. Tangerine’s very fun team of dancers preside over and choreograph wedding dance rehearsals (not restricted to just Bandra residents), teaching routines that range from Bollywood and hiphop to modern ballet. May we also recommend founder Tanvi Mehra’s excellent yoga class to soothe your pre-marital nerves and get in ship shape?
OTHER FUN SERVICES
Presenting a ‘forever commitment’ that’s way more fun than marriage. Enter industrious inker Utsavi who specialises in contemporary Indian tattoos, and can custom-design one based on the embroidery of your wedding ensemble or the design of an heirloom family jewel you are about to inherit. If you need prompts, enquire after Dori, an ornate tattoo collection made up of motifs collected and embroidered on clothes and handkerchiefs by the women in Utsavi’s family. Border-Line has created wedding tattoos for couples and also for brides & mums, and will even show up at a bachelorette party to give each guest a stamp of approval.
Borrow the King’s convoy for your wedding and you are guaranteed to make an entrance. Kings of Car Hire rents out luxury and vintage automobiles, which are great for baraat, just-married or getaway cars. You can also hire helicopters and private jets for general baller-wedding bada**sery. Here’s a Lamborghini to match your sangeet playlist. Make sure to drive it ironically.
Mazher is the man behind the music acts at Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao’s wedding, as well as several music festivals across the country. He can source Sufi singers, poets from Benares, qawwali acts, jazz trios, bands that play Pearl Jam covers…pretty much anything your heart desires.
Let Salad be the first (inter)course for your wedding night, or for any night, really. This new female founder-led company out of Delhi makes non-toxic, chemical-free, vegan, eco-conscious condoms that claim to be so thin, you’ll barely feel them. “We’ve lab tested and bedroom-tried them for ultra sensitivity,” founder Aruna Chawla tells us. These are made from natural rubber latex sourced from the only sustainable rubber forest in India, and 15% of all profits go towards enbling sex education in schools. Besides being ultra thin, Salad condoms are also ultra fun, featuring 70s-inspired techni-colour packaging limned with stars and geometric shapes. Share in your circle.
A Cypress green avant garde corset leather belt whose only desire is to hug you tight, is just the kind of embrace your wedding guests need. We’ve procured this precious thing from And Also, a vibrant digital store that sells a rainbow of accessories, perfect to tuck into your welcome baskets, to give out at bachelor parties. While you browse their Damn Girl line for other sexy belts and restraints, also know that they handcraft 24kt gold plated jewellery and also sell stationery; their Do It For Yourself diary is a good reminder not to lose yourself as you prepare to attach yourself to someone new.
It’s our pleasure to introduce you to MyMuse’s digital intimacy store, where you can shop thoughtful, high-quality bedroom products. Their Grand Gesture Kit makes for a super fun couples gift or wedding present, featuring products to elevate your bedroom experience: Glow, an arousing massage oil; Glide Jelly, an all-natural lubricant; Spark, a scented soy wax candle; and Pulse, a sleek, sexy massager.
Think of Shazé as a treasure chest that you can dip into for all kinds of wedding gifting – for the happily wedded couple and from them as well. Their Hosting Range for instance, features a galaxy of glassware, decanters, brew ware & bar tools that are perfect for two people moving into a new home. Meanwhile, their cufflinks, watches, perfumes and jewellery are strong contenders for your best man and maid of honour gifts – back presents for those who’ve had your back.
Want your wedding guests to leave you glowing reviews? Leave them with glowing skin first. Enter Rasula, a gorgeous amber coloured bottle that you should definitely slip into your guest welcome kit. Inside the bottle is a supercritical anti-ageing face oil called Timekeeper, backed by IIM & CSIR researchers, nominated as the best face oil for the Vogue Beauty Award 2021 and made with organic, ethically-sourced rosehip from the Himalayas. A marriage of science and nature that might just outlast yours.
When you add this artisanal granola to your destination wedding guest gift basket, know that it’s been served at breakfast buffets and put in room hampers at five star hotels across the country. My Mom’s Love granola comes in three variants – original; a vegan version sweetened with Omani date syrup; and a cacao orange; they’re all free of grain, gluten, preservatives and refined sugar.
Asorté’s elaborate artisanal cheese and grazing boards are right out of a Caravaggio still life. Here, gourmet cheese and accoutrement (fresh fruit, crackers, nuts, honey, dips) sometimes occupy two-storey platters; worthy of being a centrepiece. Vegan and keto requests are taken.
This loyalty program curates the best restaurants, bars, organic produce vendors, cheese and meat suppliers, chocolate and bread makers, and alcohol stores and gets you 15% off each time you order. Best guest gift ever.
Click here for 46 more couple, guest and back present gift ideas for your wedding.