The love story
It isn't often that you see a wedding photographer arrive dressed in a tuxedo or a sherwani while at work. But that is one of the many things that make Nishant Ratnakar one of the most sought-after wedding photographers in the city. "I spend a lot of time making friends and telling a wedding story with people who matter the most," says Ratnakar, 35. Once a photojournalist, Ratnakar quit his job to do wedding photography full time in 2009, when candid wedding photography was relatively new in the country.Photo:Nilotpal Baruah
"I look at every wedding as a documentary project and the bride and groom as its protagonists," he says, explaining his style. He specialises in mixed weddings and enjoys every bit of the colour and chaos that comes with it.
"It is quite interesting to see foreigners attending Indian weddings. I once shot a wedding in Chattisgarh, where the bride was an Indian from Argentina and the little town was filled with Spaniards," he says.
Website nishantratnakar.com; Price Rs 75,000 onwards
Henna on your candles
Either OrrPhoto:Nilotpal Baruah
It was her love for henna coupled with her experience in the hotel industry that led Shruti Saha, 40, to come up with a brand that is the right mix of decorative and functional. Either Orr is now a popular name in the wedding decor industry in the city and outside. Huddled in a small room in her home, Saha works with mehendi artists who emboss intricate patterns onto candle shells with delicate precision. "I've always had a love for mehendi designs and wanted to find a way to preserve it for more than a few days," says Saha, owner. "Being in the hospitality industry, I realised the value of candle shells. They are economical and can be reused," she adds. Either Orr does candle designs in both traditional and contemporary designs. They also customise wedding logos and put together hampers on request.
Tel 9845177162; Log onto facebook.com/Either-Orr-Candle-Art-163980570465409/; Price Rs 375 onwards.
The Mogra CollectivePhoto:Nilotpal Baruah
If attention to detail is what you are looking for when planning for your big day, look no further than The Mogra Collective, the newest wedding planners in town. Detailing and colour schemes are a few of the things that come naturally to Karuna Reddy, 32, who has years of experience in production and events. Think stunning table decor, handmade party favours and perfect picture frames and they will make it happen.
"I've worked in the wedding scene in the past and have a background in production and art direction. I've always loved weddings and the little details that come with it," says Reddy who curates everything that goes into a wedding right down to concierge services, social media handles, hashtags and more. Besides prewedding and wedding services, Reddy also offers styling for brides and is already working on her first few luxury weddings.
Website themogracollective.com; Tel 9867609848; Email karuna@themogracollective. com
Naadia MirzaPhoto:Nilotpal Baruah
It was at the early age of 16 that Naadia Mirza stepped into events and has never looked back since. "After doing about 5,000 birthday parties you have to up your game," she says. With a florist father and creativity in her blood, weddings were the next natural choice. They specialise in themed weddings and go the extra mile in putting a little quirk into everything they do. "The idea is to make weddings fun and affordable," says Mirza who has executed everything from a Mad Hatter themed engagement party to a Royal Mughal wedding all the way to her own suitcase wedding.
"We also once did a 'loo chronicles' theme where there was a message placed on the pot in every guest's room. After a while, we saw people going back to see what was written next," she says. Dotted i is another of Naadia's ventures. Dotted i offers a bunch of products and services to make a bride's journey to the altar more fun. Think naughty dare to do cards, kinky whistles, tiaras, flighty tarts and cookies. They also do bachelorette hampers which have everything you need for the party, bachelor party cakes and beer hampers.
For gifts there's also a first night hamper called the Knotty Affair made up of quirky things such as a naughty dice game, candles and an eye mask with the words 'wake me up with a kiss' inscribed on it. Price Rs 10,000 onwards for the hampers.
At naadiamirza.com; Price Rs 1 lakh minimum billing.
Under the Bougainvillea
The Courtyard House
If old Bangalore is where your heart truly lies, here's a way to go back in time and get married in the midst of lush green, surrounded by bougainvilleas. Once a family home of Divya Ganerwal (Founder, Kitsch Mandi), designed by renowned architect Krishnarao Jaisim, the rustic, open-planned farmhouse turned event venue a year ago. It has since, hosted several intimate weddings with nature-centric minimalist decor, candle lights, floor seating and a lot of merry making. In the architect's trademark style, the space is done in red bricks with stone floors and a lot of natural ventilation that does away with air conditioning altogether. You could well mistake it for a destination wedding venue, and that too in the comfort of your own city. "The venue can host a floating crowd of up to 500 people," says Era, 25, property manager. "We also help out with lists of vendors but guests are free to make their own arrangements," she adds.
At Carmelaram Road, Janatha Colony, Gunjar Palya; Tel 07899282303; Price Rs 1 lakh onwards.
Hangover be gone
Wedding Survival Kit
Fun and raucous as Indian weddings can sometimes be, you are often caught worrying about an early morning function the next day. In the market for over a year, most Bangaloreans are now familiar with Morning Fresh, the anti-hangover drink you can get at most city pubs and retail outlets. To deal with the wedding fever, Morning Fresh has introduced a Wedding Survival Kit that addresses all your morning needs after a wild bachelorette or cocktail party. "Most Indian weddings have late night parties followed by morning functions. So this is a freshness kit that helps you recover and look your best," says Mitali Tandon, 26, founder. The kit comes with two bottles of Morning Fresh in your choice of flavours, a customised hip flask to keep the party going, funky band-aids for minor injuries and shoe bites, chewing gum, a customised eye mask, antacids, non-caffeinated mulberry leaf tea bags and a goodie box.
Website drinkmorningfresh.com; Tel 42470888; Price Rs 750
All that jazz
Temple TreePhoto:Nilotpal Baruah
Started in 2006, Temple Tree stationery is a one-stopshop for all your last minute wedding needs. From trousseau boxes, thamboolam bags, saree trays and gift boxes, everything is available off the shelf in several patterns and fabrics including brocade. Graphic designer Sonali Maniar, 49, realised that there was lack of retail options in this space and began with taking smaller orders, until she opened two stores by the name Temple Tree. Besides ready-to-buy options, they also customise boxes, bags and trays based on colour schemes and the theme of your wedding. They design wedding cards and work in coordination with wedding planners to suit your needs. "For the cards, there are no standard templates. We work closely with the to-be-wed couple to design it based on their requirements," says Maniar. "An interesting invite we did recently was a black and gold card celebrating a couple's partnership ceremony," she adds.
In addition, Temple Tree also does customised hampers, candles, trinkets and wedding favours for prewedding functions and bachelorette parties.
At Whitefield and Indira Nagar stores; Call 8884854388; Price Rs 500 onwards
Rings & Roses
When Rosemary Ratnam, 71, returned from a stint in the gulf, she attended a wedding which left the hosts frazzled after a spell of rain. She thought of a way to take the whole stress of planning a wedding away from the family and thus, Rings & Roses, one of the city's oldest wedding planners was born. Catering to small and medium scale niche weddings, they provide end-to-end wedding services, often making the most impossible tasks happen. "Our USP lies in our vast experience in this industry (over 19 years) and staying ahead of time," says Anjali Ratnam, 30, the second generation in the business. "My mother opened a space for our props and The Bridal Boutique for apparel and accessory needs of Christian brides," she adds. Another venture under Rings & Roses is Bungalow 7. Nestled in the rain tree lined streets of Richards Park, Bungalow 7 is a Victorian era colonial bungalow in the midst of 10,000 sqft of outdoor garden space. The heritage building was carefully restored keeping the architecture in mind, and is nothing short of magical for pre-wedding ceremonies and small niche weddings. The front lawn becomes the main function area with a stage and the backyard doubles up as dining and pantry areas. You could choose to rent the whole bungalow or a part of it for smaller functions.
What more? You could opt for an entire package that includes minimal seating arrangements. The venue can house a crowd of 300 floating guests.
Website ringsandroses.in; Tel 9663824415; Price on request
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