KARACHI: Muharram may have brought the wedding season to a halt but event planners are set to resume their business once the first ten days of the month are over.
The Express Tribune explores what it takes to turn wedding into a memorable experience.
Frieha Altaf, the CEO of Catwalk Productions, started her event planning company in 1989 and it took her almost a decade to become a wedding planner in 2000. Altaf believes, “Event management is a difficult task and wedding planning is a one-time pay.”
Tahir Shamim, CEO of Parfaire Wedding Planning, Event Management and PR Company, which was established in 2008, says, “The concept of wedding planning is still very new (in Pakistan) and not understood properly by the majority. It is gradually picking up now, I think, as people are willing to experiment and have started to have more faith in their planners. I think it still has a long way to go.”
What does it cost to hire a wedding planner? “It all depends on what one wants. I ask my client what they would be comfortable in spending. After getting the budget, I make a presentation of what I can provide.”
“My stage starts from Rs25,000 and goes up to Rs150,000 and my wedding starts with Rs250,000 and goes to Rs1 million,” said Shamim.
Altaf said, “It depends on the budget a family has.”
What sets the work of professional wedding planners apart is their aesthetics, which are reflected in various themes like Bollywood night, truck art or colour-based themes. Shamim believes that, “When a wedding planner is hired, he or she is expected to create something which isn’t conventional.”
What are the current trends in wedding planning? Altaf says, “Theme wedding and colour wedding are ‘in’ now a days. The valima is becoming more westernised (with the) bride and groom receiving the guests. Mehndis are still traditional.”
Talking about the evolution of Pakistani weddings, Shamim says, “Twenty years ago, the wedding marquee couldn’t conceivably be in any colour other than a mixture of red and green. Over the years, not only has the marquee turned blue, white, green and turquoise but has come in beautiful textures of velvet, net and more. The marquee now comes with panelling that can be decorated with long hanging mirrors or flowers. They can be centrally air-conditioned. Lounges and chandeliers are also added to add elegance and class to the wedding.”
Planners share memorable events
A wedding with a Kashmiri theme
Lotus planted in Lahore Canal Lake three months before the wedding
Black swans used as a part of the theme
120 waiters dressed in Kashmiri outfits
Kashmiri tea served
Kashmiri handmade candle stands
Kashmiri box and Kashmiri shawls as giveaways
Attended by 5,000 people
A wedding with a Bollywood theme
Fish bowls with black “moor” fish in them
Petals and candles in crystal bowls on the mirror glass tops on every table
Prints of family members dressed in Bollywood style framed across the hall
Arranged the entire event in 90 minutes
Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2010.
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