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As Deepika, Ranveer tie the knot, a look at the backstage armies that plan fairytale weddings

It’s the year of celebrity weddings and saving the best for last are the two upcoming Bollywood weddings. Actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh will tie the knot over today and November 15 at a luxury resort in Italy’s Lake Como. Early in December, actor Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas will get married in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Behind the beautiful pictures that we’ll see, there’s a small army working to ensure these couples get their fairtytale wedding.

“A high-profile wedding would need approximately 150 to 250 members from the planning team,” said wedding planner Gurleen M Puri, who organised the weddings of author Twinkle Khanna and actor Akshay Kumar, as well as actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan. “Celebrity weddings require the utmost organization, care and diligence. The logistical challenges include maintaining privacy for the couple, coordinating the needs of a high-profile guest list, and efficient and fool-proof arrangements for all aspects of the wedding.” Wedding planners said a luxury wedding can cost clients anywhere between ?2 crore and ?20 crore.

Events like these require from three months to a year in terms of planning, depending on the location and number of guests. “Usually, the bride and bridegroom are extremely involved,” said Aman Anand, director of Kickstart Entertainment, who organised the weddings of designer Masaba Gupta and producer Madhu Matena, and also Mira Rajput and actor Shahid Kapoor. “Shahid Kapoor and Mira were hands-on from scratch. They were respectful to their parents, got their opinions but ultimately they made all the decisions. During Madhu and Masaba’s wedding, there was a lot of feedback from Neena Guptaji and their families, but Madhu went with whatever Masaba wanted,” said Anand.

The venue is of primary importance and the first item on the agenda. Last year, cricketer Virat Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma’s wedding was at a luxury retreat near Tuscany in Italy. The retreat is the second most-expensive holiday destination in the world, according to Forbes, and a week’s stay will set you back by almost Rs 1 crore. Puri said Italy, Spain, France, Thailand, Indonesia, Mauritius and Dubai are popular choices for those who want a foreign destination wedding. Within the country, Rajasthan with its palaces and Hyderabad’s Taj Falaknuma Palace get Puri’s vote. “Sometimes clients are certain about the venue as they have visited the place and want to get married in there. It makes our job easier. Otherwise, we give them options and lock a place according to their preference – beach or mountain, India or abroad,” said Anand.

“The biggest challenge while handling a celebrity wedding is to ensure nothing is leaked,” says Bhawesh Sawhney of Wedniksha, who organised the weddings of Sonam Kapoor and politician Praful Patel’s daughter, Poorna Patel. “Despite being under the media’s glare, it’s an intimate ceremony for the couple and they want to enjoy it. Privacy is our utmost concern. We share information with the key people involved,” said Sawhney. Non-disclosure agreements are signed by all those working on the wedding, including vendors, and staff present at the wedding are usually not allowed to use their camera phones.

First Published: Nov 14, 2018 00:42 IST