Sandra and Cheryl have a bagful of ideas for the most elegant wedding

Dressed in immaculate white – Sandra Sousa-Menon and Cheryl Almeida were in Bangalore for an event they had organised.

The event co-ordinators who work together at WWhite Events & Celebrations, an event company, and Golden Aisle, a wedding planning service, are based out of Goa, “We started out by planning weddings, with Golden Aisle and then went on to organise corporate events. Goa is a beautiful venue and is known as a holiday destination but it is also becoming an increasingly popular spot for corporate events as well,” says Cheryl.

Sandra continues, “Yes, they are usually packaged as a conference and a holiday. It is also a very competitive market, and sees a turnover of not less than 150 to 200 crores per annum. And it is a cycle that continues throughout the year, although the wedding industry is seasonal.” When asked what they do, in unison they answer that they are in the business of creating memories, “Sandra has a great eye for detail and I am the talkative one, so when you put that together it’s a great team,” says Cheryl, who met Sandra at a wedding after which the two became thick friends and colleagues.

Goa stands alone, with élan in the wedding department, Sandra explains, “While in the rest of the country the set up is a lot grander, in Goa people like to keep it simple and elegant. It is a lot less commercial, but then again destination weddings are usually small, intimate affairs with only close friends and family in attendance. The local weddings in Goa are much bigger with over 1,000 guests and more fanfare.”

Goa’s beaches lead the destination wedding favourites followed by Jaipur palaces and Kerala’s backwaters. “Goa is such a westernised place, it is perfect for our NRI clients who come from the UK and Australia. A lot of them who choose to get married in Goa are Hindus and opt for a traditional wedding that stretches over five days with the sangeet and the works,” says Sandra.

And is the dreaded Bridezilla a myth? They laugh and Cheryl says, “Till date we haven’t had to deal with that. In the rush of getting married and under the pressure of the perfect wedding, women do tend to go nuts, but that is where we come in.” Sandra concludes by saying, “The best part is that the couple and their family become our friends and they keep in touch. Most of them also come back to us when they have another event or function to plan.”

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