Dreaming of a fairytale wedding but dunno a thing about how to plan your wedding decor?? Read on as we talk to our favourite decor artist and budding wedding planner Shyamlee Thevar for the latest in decor trends, ideas and inspirations!
Dream weddings aren’t made in heaven really… All you need is the right guy, some gorgeous wedding decor and voila – there you go! Here we’re talking to leading decor artist and planner Shyamalee Thevar about her work, trends and more in the wedding decor space…
We love your work in the wedding decor space! Please tell our readers about your brand and how it all started?
This brand started officially 1.5 years ago, but personally – I have been a part of this industry for over 11 years now!
Having worked as freelancers with different event companies and wedding planners, there came a point where we felt that our style of designing and end product needs to have its own identity. That’s when we took the plunge with my own brand name – Shyamalee Thevar Events!
Besides, the constant feeling to start a brand that would provide quality experience not only in terms of decor but also other aspects like hospitality, invite design, entertainment, light and sound design etc – keeping the client budget into consideration.
This was a very important consideration to me.
What or Who are your inspirations?
Rather than who, we prefer ‘what are our inspirations’! We get primarily inspired by cultures, places and the world of fashion.
We also follow a lot of international event and wedding trendsetters to better understand what mediums, colours and elements are they indulging in and how the same can be applied in our environment and infrastructure.
So our Mehendi look last year was inspired by a mix of Mexican – Carnival look and feel with elements like vibrant tassels, buntings and ribbons.
We adapted these elements to an Indian occasion – used ribbons to dress up the cabanas , used tassels for doing up ceilings and walkways, and used cones and ice buckets for centerpieces. While our Sangeet was all about de-glamorizing it!
People always do glitz and glamour, where we wanted to do exactly the opposite yet retain the magnanimity that comes with it. Gold was replaced with silver, sheen was replaced with hues of lavender and crystals was replaced with lights.
And for us, wedding and reception was all about subtlety and softness…
with abundance of florals in shades of pink, lots of candles and simplistic structures.
What differentiates a wedding planner from a decor artist? 3 reasons why decor artists are doing so well?
A Decor Artist solely designs the decor/lighting of all the functions that are to take place at the event. They are responsible for transforming the look of the place, coming up with design options, getting them produced and executing them onsite.
A wedding planner on the other hand; is someone who will overlook, suggest, plan and coordinate between the client and all the other vendors on-board for the wedding! Right from hospitality, logistics, guest management, entertainment and artist management to sound light and technicians and even peripheral vendors like makeup and hairstylists, choreographer etc.
Usually one is independent of the other; however, our company offers both these services under one roof! This in-turn becomes a one stop shop for clients.
Since we are primarily designers; it gives us the added advantage of being able to design, produce and plan not only the decor but all the other services that come under the roof of wedding planning itself – right from your invitations to entertainment to light and sound etc.
When you start with a client – what are the 3 things you must know before you start designing anything?
The three most important factors, not only for the designer but also for the client are – the venue, guest count and elements/themes for every event!
You must consider each event’s venue in terms of their holding capacities, indoor or outdoor, prevailing or expected weather conditions, layout etc. – not just to plan the design but also to get a fair idea of the expected budget.
What factors should one keep in mind while designing a destination wedding?
Availability of infrastructure at the destination is most important! Having worked almost pan India; the one thing we always consider is what are the existing major infrastructure available with that particular city.
For example, some cities are all fun and entertainment quotient (like Goa) – so we make them the major highlight of the event.
While some cities are all about big structures and florals, then we weave a story around it – using big structures with lights, or using florals in abundance cause as that place is the hub for it!
At the end of the day, a design can only come to life when produced to the T using economically efficient and abundant resources that exist locally.
Tell us about the most stunning wedding decor you did last year?
Last year there were 2 weddings that were really special to us! The first one was a 2 day pre-wedding bash held in Goa, O Hotel which had a fun sundowner and an afternoon brunch.
One of the coolest couples that we met, they wanted an experimental Music Festival look and feel for the sundowner and we did this with psychedelic colours, neon tubes for the DJ console, an optical illusion look photobooth and more!
Even their bar console was a comic strip dialogue between Batman and Ironman – a favourite of the bride and the groom!
Everything from funky dialogues, signages and neon colored lounges shouted out Goan cool!
For the brunch, we used a mix of pastels and summer colours to create the perfectly chic laid back atmosphere – seating in tepees with rugs and long tables with cushions.
The entire space was filled with lots of games for the guests to have fun and enjoy!
The awesome Taj Falaknuma and the Taj Krishna provided us great backdrops to work with. Spread over 2 days and split between the 2 venues, this was one of the very challenging yet absolutely grand weddings that we pulled off in just a months time!
When you have an already existing beautiful location, how does one add more to it and yet maintain the grandeur of the venue?
We made sure each and every function had to be different and be treated differently. The welcome dinner had a complete Moorish theme where we treated the loungers with Moroccan Lattice cutout panels.
Huge Moroccan arches formed the grand walkway and a stunning entrance!
For the mehendi, Delhi bride Prachi wanted a fun colorful feel and we did this with colourful strings from the the ceiling and from champa trees..
While the games and tables had typical Delhi vibes all over and the bridal seating and photoboth were kept floral. For the sangeet, the palace was lit up in purples and blues with a play of lights.
The next day’s haldi ceremony had a subtle traditional look complete with yellow and white marigolds!
The pheras and the reception were held at the Taj Falaknuma, where deep reds and dark pinks were the colours for the mandap and the pheras set against the stunning palace backdrop!
What’s new for Shyamalee Thevar as a brand?
Finally becoming a full fledged wedding planner and realising our aim to design elements beyond decor. That is what’s new for us.
We have entered into designing and producing hampers, e-invites, conceptualizing entertainment and couple entries. The constant endeavor is to bring newer and fresher content to the table!
What are the latest trending themes in wedding decor?
We believe in what Gianni Versace said “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live!”
We believe that every couple should set their own trend based on what they like, places and events that were special to them, colors, words and characters that are nostalgic for them.
This is your wedding – so it should tell your story. As designers, we keep this in mind when designing the storyboard. Though this is a much more challenging way to go about designing; the results always turn out to be something that we are proud of!
In case the couple does not have any specific likes and would like us to come up with something; then we give ideas based on the venue (indoor, outdoor, lawn, ballroom, poolside), the time of the day when the event is happening (day or night) etc – we pick elements that we feel are right for the occasion and space and treat them further with detailing and voila – the final dish is served!
Your most memorable wedding decor ever?
It would definitely be the Indore wedding of Shruti and Pawan – spread over 3 days with 5 functions in 3 separate spaces that had to be redone every 12 hours – what an adventure!
On Day 1 we played with floral prints and fun colourful elements… and on Day 2 it was contemporary Indian.
The sangeet was all about glitz and glam and Day 3 was an all-in-all Royal affair!
We still remember, a very tired but excited bride walking towards us during her phera break, giving us a warm hug and telling us how the decor was way beyond her expectations!
We also had a guest come over and tell us as to how instead of looking forward to the food that each function had to offer; everyone was more excited to see what new decor would they get to see every day!
This wedding taught us a lot about how important it is to have the right production house and team forming your backbone, and when a client gives you the freedom to design – it becomes even a bigger responsibility to do full justice to the same!
Any particular decor element that’s your favorite or signature style?
Our styles and favourite elements change from year to year!
2016 was all about floral prints in mehendi; huge amounts of crystals in the sangeet, and royalty at the weddings.
Last year our mehendi was all about tassels, ribbon cabanas and floral photobooths.
Our sangeet was all about lavenders and a huge play of lights in shades of purples and blues.
People are so bored with the same old genda phool decor at mehendi functions! What else do you suggest?
Good Question!! There is so much more to Mehendi than genda phool, in fact we do everything but genda phools on Mehendi! This function is usually all about fun, so the decor has to be more engaging and interactive than being just another background.
We use a lot of fun and bright colors and fun lively elements like pineapples, kettles, buckets, fun words, emojis. We also do a lot of fun games – could be a huge tic tac toe, break the can, ring the bottle etc.
And who can forget the DJ Booth , dance floor and the bar – we treat these with whacky out of the box fun prints. Every nook and corner has to be treated, not just in the larger picture but to its minute details!
Roses, Juhi or orchids? What’s your favorite when it comes to floral decor?
Our love for florals is different for different occasions. Roses and Carnations are our everlasting best friends for any given day and occasion!
When it comes to Indian setups we go ga ga over Tuberoses. But our ultimate favourite are Hydrangeas – we can never have enough of them!
One place where you would love to plan a wedding next?
Cities and their venues form such an important backdrop to a wedding. We have had some amazing destination weddings held in Goa, Indore, Khajuraho, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Would love to plan a wedding in Jammu Kashmir – we think it would be such a beautiful canvas to paint onto !!
We just loved talking to Shyamlee Thevar and can’t stop drooling over her wedding decor ideas – from mexican carnival mehendi to the vibrant use of flowers, candles, ribbons, buntings and more! Let us know in comments what you loved the most!