Creative Head at Marry Me (www.marrymeweddings.in), Candice Pereira is known to pull the strings necessary to deliver that dream wedding—whether you’re talking about an intimate shindig or big fat Indian affair—she’s done it all. Read on to find out about contemporary wedding trends, how best to modernise your affair, why you need to hire a wedding planner and what it means to stay true to your personality and style this wedding season.

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What is your signature style?

We cater to weddings of all sizes, our smallest wedding has been just two people—a very, very private wedding, and our largest till date has been 4,000 people. We cater to different tastes, preferences and styles, however, our signature style is classic meets modern, traditional with a twist. We keep abreast of international trends and love including them in our weddings, while still keeping the core of the wedding as traditional as can be.

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When would you recommend a couple approach you to plan their wedding?

We recommend a couple come to us when they want something different. When a couple is looking for a really, special, fun, personalised wedding with attention to detail—that’s when a couple should come to us.

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How involved should a couple be in the planning process?

We love it when couples are involved. We love getting to know them and making their wedding special and making the wedding truly about them and their personalities.

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If a couple is planning on a really small and intimate wedding—would you still recommend they hire a wedding planner?

Definitely! Whether you plan to have a small wedding or a large wedding, it’s still important to hire a planner if you want a unique celebration, one that will be talked about for years to come and one with special attention to the tiny details.

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What according to you elevates the style of a wedding?

Our beach weddings are definitely the most fun weddings we have planned. These have been on the beaches of Goa, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the likes. Your choices and décor need not be over-the-top, everything can be minimal but still of the highest quality. This is what really brings out the style in a wedding.

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What are the current hot wedding trends?

The current trend with Indian weddings is firstly to keep it intimate. Forget the big Indian wedding with thousands of guests. Today, couples want to keep it small (under 300 guests) as far as possible.

The current look that is trending with Indian weddings is the rustic-vintage look. Perfectly laid-back, this look can be glammed up as and when necessary. It’s totally non-fussy and effortlessly stylish. Another trend is customising everything—from the napkins to the coasters, car signage to the cake, everything is personalised.

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What are some of the ways you have customised weddings to fit the style and personality of the couple?

We have done a lot of fun stuff! The groom enters with his boys on bicycles or on Segways dressed in marigolds. The bride wears a vintage sari passed on through generations, with the design of the weave incorporated on the stationary, the cake and so on. A couple riding away from the wedding in a pink Vespa—we love doing something different, it’s what gets us really excited!

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How do you create the perfect balance of the modernity that the couples want with the traditional and ritualistic aspect of the wedding?

It’s nice to do something different, something completely out-of-the-box and unconventional. However, it’s always nice to do that with events other than the wedding. With Indian weddings, you have so many events, you really get the chance to experiment and get adventurous. However, it’s best to keep the wedding itself traditional and classic.

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Have you noticed any significant new traditions or rituals that have now become the norm at modern weddings?

Couples today want to include bits and pieces from their cultures to make the wedding more interesting. An exchange of vows in addition to the pheras is one such example.

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Do you handle professional services, contracts and payment processing as well?

Yes, in addition to conceptualising and coordinating the wedding, we also are involved in negotiations, contracts and so on, which form a very important part of the wedding panning process.

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Which was the most unique wedding that you’ve ever planned?

The most unique wedding has been one we did for just two people—the bride and the groom. It was extremely private, where a couple from the UK wanted an intimate but an über luxurious Indian wedding. In spite of this sounding really strange and almost unreal, it was one of the most special and meaningful weddings we’ve ever planned.

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Which is the most beautiful destination in India to host a wedding, in your opinion?

This would definitely have to be the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad.

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One common mistake couples make?

When planning a wedding, it’s great to be involved but a couple should not make the mistake of being overly involved and micro-managing everything. At the end of it all, you have to let go and have a good time. Little things may not go according to plan, but no one will know this except you.

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What is the key element to ensure that a wedding goes off effortlessly?

I would definitely say—a great wedding planner!