We talk weddings, bridezillas and Egyptian tombs with the most sought-after wedding stylist in the city today, Dinaz Noria
What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
The wedding season’s up ahead, so things are getting busy. I’m working on a couple of big projects, one in Sri Lanka and of course, the other one is here (Ram Charan and Upasana’s we hear). So this month is going to be a lot of prepping.
Do you still remember your first assignment?
Of course. It was over a decade ago. I had done the storefront display for the Mussadilal group which they liked. So they came back and asked me to replicate that as a backdrop for a wedding. And so it began.
Since then, how much has changed?
Over 14 years, the scene has changed exponentially. The most notable change is that the South Indian weddings have come of age. Where there was once just a phoolwallah, bandwallah and a mandap, now there is a huge market. People have become more involved and more socially conscious.
Yes, the South Indian wedding have also assumed the shape and scale of the great Indian (Punjabi) wedding, hasn’t it?
Absolutely. But it’s still not as exuberant or showy. The South has different sensibilities. They are more nature-oriented, classy and understated.
Any bridezillas along the way?
I’ve planned weddings for a number of gorgeous ladies, some demanding, others not so much. But never anyone who was, you know, an unpleasant cow (laughs). But generally, NRI brides are very conscious and more particular whereas brides here are more relaxed, they leave it to us to do the best.
What is theme of the season?
Without a doubt, destination weddings. More and more people are realising its a lot of fun. There’s no agenda expect for you and your guests to enjoy yourselves while the rest is taken care of. With close family and friends, they make for great memories. Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia are trending.
Did you ever imagine that you’d be here today, as one of the most sought-after wedding planners in the city, if not the country?
Never, ever, ever, ever. I didn’t think I had a single creative bone in my body. But of course, I had an extremely fertile imagination even then.
None. It has been a great, great journey. I’ve learned so much. I’m living my passion, so doesn’t feel like it has been that long. If you can consider it a regret, it is not having the time to develop a hobby.
What about your job do you enjoy the most?
I think I enjoy the ideation part, that is, the creative process. I’ll be sitting in an airport lobby somewhere, dreaming up something, probably making a silly sketch. One month later, I’ll see it happen. It’s a tremendous high.
Has there ever been a difference of interests between your clients and your creative sensibilities?
I take up clients based on availability and if we have similar sensibilities. Because sometimes, I do get some unusual requests. At the peak of the themed weddings season, for example, I had one prospective client want me to design a mandap after the Egyptian Pyramids, like the tombs! It was ludicrous. Similarly, there was one who wanted a cricket pitch! Thankfully, those are few and far in between. I have been lucky in that most of my clients leave it me to do what’s best.
What are the things you should know if you are venturing into wedding planning as a career option?
It’s a great option. But kids today are taken in by managing academics, who equip them with no useful skills. No two weddings are alike, so most of the learning happens on the floor. You need unbelievable reserves of energy, ability to weather anything, face unusual challenges and think laterally. And most importantly, you should be able to handle people.