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Skills for the New Age Wedding Entrepreneur These key skills are essentials for wedding entrepreneurs today, but when supplemented by refined taste that lends itself well to curating ideas for every budget, they make for an exceptional bouquet of services

By Aditi Garg

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A lot goes into creating the best day of someone's life.

Adapting dreams nurtured from a young age to the realities of execution requires certain finely-honed skills and attention to detail that can indeed give the best of managers a run for their money.

When it comes to Indian weddings, these challenges are further amplified. Even as disposable income increases, the glitz of big weddings is almost passé; the demand is now for bespoke weddings, with personalised, customised touches that exude class and unique character.

From proposal planning (which includes partnering with luxe vendors, gourmet restaurants with a view, engraved favours, playlist synchronisation and guest coordination), advice on designer wear and turnaround per vendor, to wedding design and promotions (hashtags, online publishing of clips, printing) and landing a coveted spot on a favoured celebrity makeup artist's client list, wedding planning is a management marathon. Indeed, the continuous evaluations, and pitching for funding bear an eerie resemblance to the high-pressured venture capital world, and the corresponding stress level is arguably the same.

Today, a wedding entrepreneur has more of a cross-functional role than ever before; with exposure and the proliferation of different media platforms, the customers are highly exacting about what they want.

If you can master the following skills, your wedding startup and entrepreneurial journey is probably sustainable:

1. Digital Marketing: Not only do you have to promote your own brand across all digital platforms, you have to be able to subscribe to Google alerts for the most trending weddings of the year. While poring over thousands of resources for the right flatlay and wedding design inspiration, remember that customers come first. Especially to all the wedding favours websites that you have bookmarked. Creating and promoting original content will stand you in good stead in making a mark.

2. Networking: Adding someone on LinkedIn does not a connection make. A Wedding Entrepreneur needs a comprehensive database of vendors, caterers, celebrity managers and personal service providers such as make-up artists and fitness trainers, from all walks of life. Hobnobbing has its place, but building long lasting relationships of value will help source quality and provide the right cohort of professionals for the wedding budget. Having key resources on your speed dial also ensures that last minute changes and ordeals are smoothed over quickly.

3. Process Management: Reminding vendors of iterations, delivery timelines and negotiating in real-time is a full-time job. The countdown to a wedding for a wedding planner starts long before even the couple are fully in the zone. Organisation and superior coordinating skills are an art in themselves, and truly decide the fate of the mega project that is a wedding.

4. Decision- Making: Armed with tools such as Pinterest, Instagram and the latest issue of Vogue, the new age couple want everything, even if it doesn't go together.

Innovation is also as much about what not to do, and as a wedding entrepreneur, you are called upon to explain what does not work and why; a process of elimination that comes with experiencing multiple weddings. This perspective is priceless, but also means demonstrating strong decision-making skills and clarity of thought.

5. Communication: A wedding entrepreneur is treated as a therapist, spirit guide and personal shopper rolled into one. Not only are you called upon to negotiate with rebelling, union-contracted labour, but also often to arbitrate with the couple's families! From intervening when the to-be mother-in-law's outfit clashes with the event décor, to comforting a hysterical bride when the florist messes up, it is best to master diplomacy, tact and a zen mindset. Not only will your inner peace and communication skills then withstand these suddenly escalating situations, but will also make all the difference in turning the corner with a carefully ministered idea or solution.

These key skills are essentials for wedding entrepreneurs today, but when supplemented by refined taste that lends itself well to curating ideas for every budget, they make for an exceptional bouquet of services. Mastering all of these skills is practically a business degree in itself, and specializing in any one means that the competition is blown out of the wedding venue. It may also be the sincerest way to be happy for someone else's romance; this is easy when the backdrop is the canvas with the artistic display of your skills.

Aditi Garg

Founder, Adirag Enterprise

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