RADHIKA NATHWANI ON HER WEDDING PLANNING BUSINESS, ADVICE FOR COUPLES GETTING MARRIED AND HOT TRENDS

by MITA MISTRY

Wedding planners take a lot of the pressure off from couples getting married, whether they opt for a UK-based or destination wedding abroad.

Bristol-based Radhika Nathwani set up a wedding planning business with her partner Shindy after they noticed a gap in the market to cater for a younger generation.

Since then, the hardworking couple has helped create memories that will last a lifetime. Their business, Radhika And You, specialises in meticulously planning luxury, style-led Asian weddings.

Eastern Eye caught up with Radhika to talk about the business, wedding planning tips and hot trends.

Tell us about the services you provide?
Our couples have busy lifestyles, so we help in minimising the stress away from them when it comes to wedding planning. We tailor our services to each couple’s individual requirements; whether they require full planning support or on the day coordination only, and we will ensure their dream wedding is brought to life. Our services include wedding planning, destination weddings, wedding day coordination and design.

What has been the most memorable wedding you have worked on?
Each of our weddings is very special to us as we build close relationships with our couples and, often, their families too. One of the most memorable was a wedding weekend for 300 guests in 2018. The level of details was insane – from the extravagant floral installations across the wedding venue, through to a funfair for the children with multiple rides. There were also two DJ setups for the reception in different parts of the venue, to accommodate the varying musical requirements of guests. We felt as if we were working with a family and not a client.

How do you cope with the high pressure that weddings bring?
It’s essential to be fully prepared and keep calm in high-pressured environments. This is all done in advance to ensure that on the wedding day nothing phases us. We work with talented suppliers and are the key contact in the run-up to the wedding and throughout the day. It’s important to keep level-headed and mindful of others, as you need to appreciate they will have a different way of working and communicating.

How do you personally cope with the demanding schedule?
I ensure I have something to eat before I go to the wedding venue in the morning as we are typically working 16 to18 hours a day. I stay hydrated all day as well as try to have a short break to eat when possible to keep me energised and the brain fuelled.

What advice would you give couples with a lower budget?
When you start to plan your big day, first, outline your guest numbers as well as your budget for each element of the wedding. This will help determine the key costs involved. Think about what’s most important to you as a couple; whether it’s having beautiful flowers, the entertainment or a specific venue. Also, think about things that aren’t a high priority in your wishlist. This will help allocate your budget accordingly. Utilise your loved one’s support and their network of contacts, and help where possible. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the support you have around you.

Are there any common mistakes couples make when planning a wedding?
Sometimes, couples will often listen to the advice of too many people, which gets very confusing for them as different people will give different views and advices. I tell our couples to focus on what they would like to do and what works best for them, their vision and budget.

What are popular wedding trends right now?
There are a few key trends in the wedding industry at the moment. Personalisation is definitely the way forward for weddings, by couples adding their personalities into their big day rather than opting for a cookie-cutter approach to their wedding. The visual element of the wedding has become a lot more important.

Tell us more…
We are seeing more weddings with wow-factor ceiling installations and beautiful designs for the flowers and décor. Also, statement welcome features are becoming more popular. Finally, more couples are opting for intimate weddings and having their nearest and dearest, keeping the number of the guests under 250.

What inspires you as a wedding planner?
I’m inspired by my parents, as they have worked really hard over the last 35 plus years to build their own business and it has shown me that you can achieve your dreams if you work hard. I would say the entrepreneurial spirit runs in the family and that’s what has encouraged me to follow my dream to become a wedding planner. I love taking inspiration from my travels; whether it’s food, culture, patterns from local fabrics or architecture. There is inspiration everywhere and I love bringing back ideas from my travels for our clients.

Why do you love the job you do?
There are many reasons. One of the best feelings is when I see our couples smiling and being stress-free on their big day, we know what we are doing behind the scenes is working. It’s such a satisfying feeling when you see all your efforts come to life on that day. Being a wedding planner enables me to be creative, which has been a strength of mine since childhood. We get to work at beautiful venues with some fabulous suppliers from the wedding industry.

www.radhikaandyou.com