Weddings in India are the very definition of a booming business. It’s an undisputable fact that every year vendors, suppliers, caterers, designers and a host of other professions rake in millions from the ‘Big Fat Indian Wedding’ phenomenon. Nobody knows this better than Nilma, the proprietor and creative head of event styling company ‘With Love, Nilma’. So when it came time for the wedding planner to plan her own wedding, it was an entirely different experience.
Let’s rewind a bit to the beginning; where their story first began. Nilma and Abhineet had known each other for about ten years but it wasn’t until their mutual friends got married four years ago that they got to spend a little more time together. Out of the blue, in their friendship they found everything they had been looking for in a life partner. They found a shared love of food, fashion and lazy Friday nights. Perhaps they don’t always agree on how much FIFA is too much FIFA but at the end of the day, they were best friends who did everything together.
Today this partnership even extends into their professional lives, Abhineet heads his production house Yellow Umbrella alongside Nilma’s event business. Though of course the inevitable workplace disagreements break out on occasion they make a conscious effort not to let these issues follow them home. They consider the key to a successful and conflict-free marriage lies in finding a balance of opinions, to be practical when facing a challenge and learn that sometimes letting go is actually the best weapon in your arsenal.
They had their reservations about going into business together and many concerned friends posed the question ‘But what happens to the company if you break up?’ Today, they know that the way to deal with the challenges of being partners in and out of the office is to communicate. When they fight they fought like a couple, something that they really had to work on taming in a workplace environment but Nilma’s composure complements Abhineet’s short temper which helps them power through even the worst disagreements.
Nilma’s vision board for her wedding was one of minimalist elegance that was visually contradictory to the typical Indian wedding. She was aiming for an event that was understated yet captured their design ethos. The Courtyard House gave them the opportunity to play off the natural elements and earthiness to create a relaxed backyard vibe for their reception where everyone could really let their hair down and celebrate their wedding without restraint.
To them, compatibility is everything – after all this is a person with whom you intend to spend every day of your life. So even if it is an arranged marriage, take the time to spend time together, share your ideas and thoughts, it’s just as important to appreciate each other as individuals as it is to appreciate them as a spouse.
Nilma also adds in a lesson she’s learnt in her years as a wedding planner, ‘Don’t look at the wedding as your marriage.’ You can’t throw money at a lavish event and hope that it reflects in your relationship; all the luxuries in the world can’t stand in for true connection. One of her favourite memories from the wedding day was at the end of the reception when she could knock back a few drinks and dance the night away with her friends and family. When it comes down to it, you won’t remember your wedding for all luxuries you bought but for the moments of joy that you created.