`Ardhanginni` - a one stop shop solution for weddings abroad

New Delhi: Traditional jewellery from various parts of India, ethnic designer wear for trousseaus, henna artists, wedding planners - all this and more with an Indian flavour will be available at Ardhanginni, a three-day wedding fair starting July 15 in Hammersmith, London.

"Ardhanginni- The Indian Wedding, Destination and Lifestyle Show" will bring together big names in Indian couture like Neeta Lulla, Rohit Kamra and Masaba Gupta along with jewellery brand Amrapali under one roof.

"There is a lot of curiosity among people living abroad. I have a lot of clients in and around London. I get a lot of queries for saris, kurtis and more. People are also intrigued by Indian accessories and heena," Neeta, who will be displaying saris, tunics and kurtas at the exhibition, told reporters.

"There`s a lot of hard work that goes into organising such kind of an event . I think there is a branding that`s already there, there is a clientele that`s already there. It is a good approach to reach a larger spectrum of consumers in London," she added.

Cicila Raj, the promoter of Ardhanginni spoke about how the idea evolved.

"In last couple of years, we have seen an increase in NRI movement in India. A lot of NRIs come to India either to shop or get married. A lot of people from other countries also come to India to get married. That is when it came to our minds to try and do something like this," Raj told reporters.

Last year, Hollywood couple Russell Brand and Katy Perry tied the knot in Indian style in Jodhpur and there are reports that even Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt want to get married in the traditional Indian way.

At Ardhanginni, one will get a taste of various Indian products in terms of jewellery and clothes, as also a variety of accessories. Apart from that, people from the hospitality industry, wedding planners along with henna artists and invitation designers will be present their offerings.

Well-known invitation card maker Raveesh Kapoor and heena artist Geetanjali - who was roped in for Indian American entrepreneur Vikram Chatwal`s wedding with Priya Sachdev - are among those who will showcase at the fair.

"I visited a couple of shows in India as well as in London and I saw that the wedding exhibitions in London are offering beautiful stuff but majorly by London-based vendors. I feel that there is an untapped market that has got a lot to offer and that is when the idea came to my mind to take the entire India and present it under one roof," said Raj who wants people to also venture into different parts of the country other than Delhi and Mumbai.

"When NRIs come to India to get married or to shop, they restrict themselves to Delhi and Mumbai. There is a lot of potential in Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune but people don`t go there because they don`t have the right database or right contacts. This exhibition is meant to create awareness and give exposure to what India has to offer," she added.

"The wedding industry in India is growing at nine percent and is also increasing in size and splendour. The objective of the show is also to introduce India not only as preferred destination, but also a platform to network with Indians living in the UK and open the doors for potential business with the UK community," said Raj.

Minal Bhatnagar, CEO of Foreplay Events, which is handling the show, said the exhibition will help in making wedding arrangements simpler.

"When a particular family comes to India hunting for the right location, wedding planner, fashion designer and jeweller, it`s a huge process so the idea is to create a one-stop shop and make the process quicker and faster. Moreover, the chances of being cheated is less as you are in direct contact with the concerned people," said Bhatnagar.


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