This month’s Silicon Valley NACE meeting was a very exciting one indeed. We had the pleasure to work with Chef Ranjan Dey of New Delhi Restaurant and other amazing local Indian wedding vendors on an informative and interactive event that focused on the Indian wedding market for the coming year.
Indian weddings favor the bold and beautiful, and we could not have picked a better South Bay location other than Villa Montalvo at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA. This grand estate has hosted some of the most beautiful weddings in the area, and we were thrilled to be working with them for the first time as a company.
Working with Ranjan, we developed a vibrant program, sampling various elements that make up a full-fledged Indian wedding event. As you may know, the Indian and South Asian wedding culture is a world all unto itself, with many different religions, languages, and observances all blending together across the board. There is a definite delicacy to the approach of planning such an affair, and Ranjan made the most of his time in covering the bases of working within this particular market.
While Ranjan was perfecting the content of his presentation, we were playing with drape, light, and color. There were simply too many options to narrow down, and we kept jumping from color palette to color palette as new ideas came to mind. It was during a brainstorming session with Arushi Sinha, the Publisher for Indian Weddings Magazine, that we were finally able to nail down a color pattern.
Arushi foresees blues and purples as the up and comers for Indian and South Asian weddings in 2014. She says this trend is following the craze of peacock-themed wedding design, which we saw a lot of during the end of 2012 and throughout 2013.
With shades of regal blues and vibrant purples flashing through our minds, we set out to detail the remainder of the event. Selfishly, I set forth on my two main requirements first: henna and sarees.
I have a confession: I’ve always had an affinity for sarees. The bold colors, the intricate beading and applique, the movement of the shawls and skirts… they took my breath away. I was plotting from the beginning- this was my chance! I shamelessly asked Arushi for an saree vendor referral and she graciously complied.
Insert Vaijayanti Baldua of VAMA Bridal Couture in Palo Alto. This lovely style guru not only permitted me to live out my dream of draping myself in a saree, but also provided stunningly gorgeous models to mingle in our crowd on the night of event and show off just how sexy and beautiful Indian bridal wardrobe design can be.
As a souvenir of the event, our favorite henna artist Rachna Bhatt of Henna and Beyond did sample henna designs for our guests, complete with glittered final touches. She was the highlight of the networking portion of the event, and guests stayed in line at her table even after the dhol player has processed everyone into the Villa Room for the remainder of the program.
Entertainment is truly a category of its own when it comes to Indian weddings, and Ranjan made sure that it was well covered for our event. By enlisting the help of Sonic Village Entertainment, the event boasted not only a dhol player, but Bhangra dancers and guest disc jockey DJ Jimmy Love.
Local Indian wedding planner and all around awesome person Mita Rajmachikar of Mita Productions took on the role of designing and rigging a gorgeous traditional mandap for guests to marvel and take pictures in during our cocktail networking hour. Professional pictures were snapped by local photo and video talent Vijay Rakhra of Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema, and Avant Planners kindly provided the serving staff needed to pass around New Delhi’s delicious heavy appetizers.
To top off the design elements, my tried and true florist diva, Beth Covey-Snedgar of Sassy Diva Designs provided some funky and fun centerpieces that kept guests talking all night. Silicon Valley ADJA members Robert Kusters, Norm Anub, and Mike Bowns not only provided the audio equipment necessary, but lit up the room with gorgeous pattern projections and a custom made gobo. Last but certainly not least was Jenny Do of 1,000 Fine Events who made my drape dreams come to live when her team not only executed but built upon my “perfect-world” drape sketch.
Overall, it was a fabulous event. We want to thank everyone who came out and participated from the bottom of our hearts, and we cannot wait to create some stunning cultural designs in 2014.