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Designing a dream wedding

Published: 4th Nov 2020 6:39 pm

Kajal Aggarwal and Gautam Kitchlu’s wedding has been the talk of the town since the past few days. The couple got married at a star hotel in Mumbai in presence of their immediate families and close friends. “Planning a wedding entails so many moving parts and added to that the pandemic definitely was a challenge. However, we strictly followed covid protocols which meant we had to have a very small wedding, got all our guests tested and created a bubble for everyone who was a part of our celebration,” said Kajal.

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She added on social media, “We are very grateful for all our loved ones that were able to attend and those who joined virtually from afar were terribly missed and we hope to see you all soon.”
From the Southern actor’s haldi, mehndi, gaur pooja and pre-wedding satsang to the wedding itself, everything was conceptualized beautifully. And the woman behind it was Chennai-based luxe event designer Ambika Gupta and her team at The A-Cube Project.

Random connection

Ambika did not know Kajal or her entrepreneur beau from before. “It was Kajal’s stylist Ami Patel who connected us. Ami was working with my other high-profile clients as well and we have worked together in the past. One day we were randomly chatting when she mentioned that she was styling a big South Indian star, so I just asked her to connect me with them if they haven’t already hired a wedding designer,” shares Ambika.

She soon got a call from Kajal’s sister Nisha, who was impressed with Ambika’s work at a recent pandemic wedding. “We vibed instantly. However, she asked me how I would manage it from Chennai since the wedding was going to take place in Mumbai. But I assured her that I have done weddings worldwide and that she can trust me,” adds Ambika.

Meeting the family

Ambika flew to Mumbai on October 3 and met Kajal’s family. “I had done my groundwork by then and suggested them the vendors. A funny incident occurred —one of the vendors they approached asked them why they were copying Ambika’s work! So that set the ball rolling. Though they had already signed me up, it let them know my credibility,” shares Ambika, adding that she became very close to the family by the end.

Simple and personalised

The event designer shares that Kajal asked her to design a down-to-earth wedding. “She told me that it was her parents who were throwing the wedding so she didn’t want it to be over-the-top. She herself is a simple person who doesn’t like ostentatious things and prefers empty spaces. Her house is also very minimalistic. So I understood where she was coming from but as she was a celebrity I had to balance the entire thing in the right way,” she shares.

Ambika made sure that Kajal and Gautam’s big day was special and personalised. “In terms of decor and everything else I wanted them to connect with it. One day when they look back, it should all mean something to them. So I got them to fill a questionnaire that could help me understand more about them and what they like. Gautam would peep into Kajal’s answers and the whole thing was adorable,” remembers Ambika.

In their Punjabi meets Kashmiri wedding, they included #Jeelakarrabellam – a tribute to both Gautam and Kajal’s individual relationships with South India. “Since Gautam’s family is from Kashmir, the entire theme was ‘Shikara’. The venue was done with pyramid structures and the flowers reminded everyone of the flower market in Kashmir,” shares Ambika.

Pandemic planning

Safety was their top-most concern as Kajal has many elderly people in her family. All the guests were tested for coronavirus, and only those who tested negative could attend the wedding. All her other friends, colleagues and family were sent beautiful hampers.

Shoot nahi hai, shaadi hai

From cake-cutting and popping fruit champagne to an impromptu flash mob and everyone in the family dancing — the post wedding activities were heart-touching and full of fun. Nisha even dedicated a sweet poem to her sister and Ambika turned emcee for the event.
“One of Kajal’s close friend created this #shootnahihaishaadihai as a joke, and to remind ourselves that it’s a wedding more than anything else,” shares Ambika.

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