It is the wedding season and wedding bells are ringing for three busy entrepreneurs in the City of Joy — Kirti Bhoutika of SugarPlum Cakery, Tavishi Kanoria of Citrine — The Multi-designer Store, and Pepsi Kalwani of UD Events and More. One of them is a chef, another a designer apparel entrepreneur and the other, a decor expert, and one similarity among our muses is that their entrepreneurial ventures are all related to the busy wedding season. While Kirti just tied the knot two months back, Pepsi and Tavishi are gearing up for their D-day.The Telegraph caught up with these three bridepreneurs who have been busy making a mark in their clients’ wedding diaries, for a special shoot and to know the behind-the-scenes moments of their dream D-day. Excerpts:
This frame is a mix of colours and trends, an amalgamation of traditional and contemporary choices for various wedding functions. (L-R) Tavishi wore a crimson red raw silk and velvet lehnga with an ash-blue blouse and gold net dupatta from Ekru. Designed with paisley and floral motifs, it has maal, zardosi, tikki and thread work, complemented with a diamond polki and emerald jewellery set with minakari detailing from Mahabir Danwar Jewellers. Kirti’s pink silk lehnga look in jharokha design from Palki is embroidered with fine zardosi work. The simple yet striking look was completed with jadau necklace set with mina and stone setting from Mahabir Danwar Jewellers. Pepsi’s look was styled contemporary edgy in an ochre silk lehnga from Palki, designed with velvet patchwork, aari and sequin detailing. The look is adorned with a diamond-polki choker set from Mahabir Danwar Jewellers, designed with pearl detailing in a versatile cascading design.
How did you arrive at the decision to get married?
Tavishi: We met in 2013 but lost touch with each other for a couple of years in between. Finally, in 2021 my fiance remembered my existence and messaged me on Instagram. When you know, you know. And also, our parents wanted it.
Kirti: I always wanted to get married since I was a child. After getting financially secure, the next big thing was to settle down with my love. I met him around four years ago and he was too nice to be true. There was no why with him, it was why not. As soon as he got financially independent, we decided to get married. Pepsi: This was the most difficult decision of my life! (Laughs) It took the maximum time. Eight years of knowing each other, four months of saying yes and now getting married!
All three of you are somehow related to the wedding business through your entrepreneurial journey. How was it planning your own?
Pepsi: Too impromptu and nothing planned! It is like going with the flow. I am a pro at it and I know I will get it done. Things I tell my clients, I am telling myself now!
Kirti: I had a blast. I was involved in the tiniest of the details of the wedding from the decor to the invites, everything. My parents were angry about this. They wanted to do something, too. But being an entrepreneur you know that you are a control freak.
Tavishi: We still have some months to go for the wedding but our parents are all pros. They have got all our cousins married and we are like the last of the lot. It is going to be a big fat Marwari-Punjabi wedding. A function with a lot of celebration. I am just looking forward to having fun.
Wedding trends pre-and-postlockdown have changed a lot. What trends did you follow or discard?
Pepsi: I want to keep it to my inner circle and my inner circle is approximately 1,000! We initially thought it will be intimate and then people wanted to be a part of it... so everybody wants to come.
Kirti: For me, it was a mix of both. There were some intimate functions and some very big ones.
Tavishi: How do you say numbers in a Marwari-Punjabi wedding? People are flying from north, south, east... 500 from one side... you cannot cut off the guest list... everybody is a part of the journey!
Kirti: All three of us started with the idea of having an intimate destination wedding but since we are so socially active, so many people have been a part of our circle, it becomes difficult to cut out the guest list.
Pepsi: I might have gate-crashers!
Kirti: More than being sure of trends I wanted to do, I knew trends I did not want to do. I didn’t do a hashtag for my wedding. I did not have a dress code. We didn’t have a pre-wedding photoshoot. I wanted to focus on enjoying my day. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have a back dancer for my shaadi. I wanted it to look like a shaadi and not an event. It was very personal.
Tavishi: I know that some things shouldn’t be there and I want to keep it sacred. Like on the wedding day, I don’t want any alcohol because those feras are sacred. There is no end to the number of trends that are there. Do what your heart says and do what your family says. It has to be something everybody is comfortable with.
Kirti: The one trend I did not want to do is to dance in front of the groom on the wedding day!
Pepsi: Don’t overspend going after trends and following celebrities. Know your boundaries! Pay attention to enjoying the wedding instead of stressing about it. Not everything has to be D.I.Y. I know that one of my mottos is, “Why buy when you can D.I.Y?” And I stand by that for most things. However, there are some things, especially when wedding planning, that is worth outsourcing. The idea is to not get lost in the details and lose sight of the spirit we want to create… I know social media running so many trends really confuses you but I am someone known for not going with the flow and I wanted it to be minimal yet classy.
Has the meaning of ‘wedding’ changed for you from the time you thought about it to the time you are getting married?
Kirti: Getting married is the most emotionally taxing and draining thing that I did in my life because those last few days with the family actually made me believe in family. Crying and laughing at the same time for so many days! I didn’t know how deeply emotional getting married would be unless I did it.
Pepsi: The age where a family plans to get the daughter married… my family wasn’t like that. My parents were totally okay with me taking this decision after so many years. People say to get married and settle down. But I didn’t want to get married to feel settled. I wanted to be emotionally and financially ready. All I need from marriage is a lot of love. The concept that people have is that a marriage needs compromise but for me I back calculated. I knew there were a few things I can’t compromise on and I had the manual ready.
Tavishi: For me, I always thought I would get married to a stereotypical Marwari guy who checks all the boxes. I had to get married at a point. But my husband is a Punjabi and he is absolutely the opposite of everything I dreamt of and the meaning of marriage just became love and fun. Things I never thought could be synonymous with marriage.
Pepsi: For me, my priority was I wanted to work. ‘Allow you to work’ wasn’t working for me! I have met someone very different. So, if both of us are working, the idea is to fight less and spend quality time together.
How did you decide the decor?
Pepsi: I love details. Everything might not be grand but has to be well-curated. Everything I had dreamt of… I had a Pinterest board. Everything I have been saving from my Facebook days... an album of everything I want. Minute details will make it grand and I am very particular. This is the only thing I am sure of right now, the decor and aesthetic! (Laughs)
Kirti: For the decor, it was a big fat Indian wedding. For the Mehndi, we kept it Rajasthani because the entire event was Rajasthani. We had a lot of colourful kathputlis. The Sangeet was disco vibey. It was more subtle and pastels. Wedding was all pink and red. Tavishi: My friends and I have many mood boards on WhatsApp. We are going to keep it chic and elegant. Classy colour palette and lots of fresh flowers. A lot of counters that will make the wedding memorable, something to take away apart from the memories.
How did you decide your D-day look?
Kirti: When I started shopping for my wedding day, I wasn’t too sure about what I wanted. The moment I put the red lehnga on, I was sold. I was also sure that I wanted intricate work but not too heavy.
Tavishi: I haven’t started my search yet. I am really looking forward to the D-day look. I thought of a look but I am not going to reveal it now, I want to keep it a secret. It is something I have to be comfortable in.
Pepsi: D-day look has to be all red. From the time I ever thought of marriage, red was always the colour on my mind.
How did you balance the traditional aspect of a wedding and the contemporary choices you made?
Tavishi: It is about balance. We did not want to let go of the rituals.
Pepsi: The idea is to focus on relevance. In most cases, examining individual practices and reconsidering the value of each part of the wedding day is important. To strike a balance between the old and the new, we should create something meaningful that symbolises our unique story and the timeless concept of love.
Being extremely busy entrepreneurs, what has the transitioning phase been like for each of you?
Kirti: I have had to be okay with not working. I have been an overworker all my life. People were saying to rest for a while. It was getting difficult to know that I had to let some things go for some time to enjoy this aspect of my life. When I wasn’t there for some time, my business wasn’t growing but my business was running. It can run without you but it can’t grow without you. I am just taking a few steps back and absorbing the moment of my life.
Tavishi: I think an entrepreneur can get married only when they have a great support system at work.
Kirti: Yes, a team!
Tavishi: We have been blessed with a team. My designers sent me the stock and my parents handled the accounts. That’s what is making it so easy. Because we are getting married during the wedding season, it was more difficult.
Kirti: All three of us are related to the marriage business... it is even more difficult. When I got married, there were at least eight more weddings of people I know. Peak work season for us.
Tavishi: my team has been so considerate since I got engaged. If we leave the team for a while they become independent.
Pepsi: Focus on accomplishing what only you can do and delegating the rest. Decide what is important for you and be willing to compromise on the rest.
Kirti: I had to prioritise the wedding when it was four days away but my husband could prioritise work when the wedding was four days away. I think that is a disparity that will take some time to go. As bride entrepreneurs, we are guilty of taking time off work but they don’t have to.
Pepsi: Planning a wedding can be as stressful and time-consuming as a full-time job. Unfortunately, just because our mind is focused on our big day, doesn’t mean we can drop our professional responsibilities. Don’t try to take care of wedding planning while you’re in the office — carve out a few hours when you’re at home. Get organised. Ask your partner to put in the work. Planning a wedding is a team sport. Rally the troops. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again — planning a wedding is not a solo operation. Ask your friends and family to step in.