Women In Weddings: 25 Experts Who Have Revolutionised The Wedding Industry

Women In Weddings: 25 Experts Who Have Revolutionised The Wedding Industry

From Bridal Beauty To Décor, The Wedding Sheroes Selected By Khush's Editor-In-Chief, Sonia Ullah. 

ARTICLE BY : Nupur Sarvaiya & Suhani Lotlikar


Ever-changing might just be the word to best describe the wedding industry. What was once an at-home ceremony at the bride’s home, a temple or a church to commemorate the union of two individuals, today the milestone occasion calls for a lavish celebration. Whether couples choose a larger-than-life destination wedding or an intimate affair in their backyard, weddings are now customised to the T in keeping with time-honoured traditions and some new ones representative of a couple’s relationship. 

Bringing about this evolution are the change-makers behind these celebrations, from wedding planners and bakers to designers and jewellers. The list is endless when it comes to bringing a wedding to life. But like most industries, it was once dominated by men. Fast forward to 2023, a roster of women are making waves in the wedding industry with their unparalleled talent and countless hours of hard work. 

Launched in 2013, Khush Wedding takes pride in raising the bar for intellectual, well- researched wedding content. The magazine, too, is helmed by a woman—Sonia Ullah, the Editor-in-Chief. Under her guidance, every edition of Khush has become a go-to guide for the South Asian bride to receive latest updates, trends and best picks across all aspects of planning the big day. 

On International Women's Day 2023, we are tipping the hat to some of the best women in the business. The names and categories were put together in-house and shortlisted by Sonia Ullah. From trendsetting bridal makeup artists, veteran designers and jewellers, to décor, cake, photography and planning experts shattering the glass ceiling with their unique skills, there are many familiar faces and lots of surprises. So without further ado, onto the #WeddingSheroes…

1. Aashni Shah of Aashni & Co. 
A former film student with no prior experience in fashion retail, Aashni Shah opened a multi-brand boutique Aashni & Co. in the heart of London in 2012. With the launch of the Aashni Wedding Show in 2015, she created history for curating the first commercial wedding event in London that brought top Indian couturiers in the city under one roof. From Sabyasachi and Anita Dongre, to Gaurav Gupta and Manish Malhotra, she had them all at the ultra-luxury wedding shopping extravaganza.

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2. Timmy Kader of 1SW Events  Hailing from a fashion background helped Timmy Kader to focus on the minute details to create a mammoth impact when she started 1SW Events. Timmy’s family founded one of the first fashion stores in the UK and she also boasts bridal wear and jewellery designing experience to her credit. Today, as the co-founder of the luxury wedding planning and décor companies, Timmy has revolutionised the wedding industry, formerly a male dominated industry. Her signature style combined with personalised services to organise bespoke celebrations and destination weddings has made Timmy one of the most sought-after wedding experts in the UK. 

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3. Parvy Rakar of Destination Snob 

Over the last decade, Parvy Rakar, the Founder and Creative Designer of the luxury wedding and event planning company, Destination Snob has conceptualised and executed celebrations of various styles and sizes across the globe, from Mexico and Turkey to India and Dubai. The award-winning planner’s extensive knowledge and expertise is known for taking them up several notches by personalising to the T.

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4. Gini Bhogal of Gini Bhogal | Makeup & Hair Artist
A list of bridal beauty pioneers would be incomplete without Gini Bhogal’s name in it. The London-based celebrity hair and makeup artist has revolutionised bridal beauty game in the UK. She was one of the first artists who made professional beauty experiences accessible to brides at their home and wedding venues many years ago - a service which at the time was limited to salons and studios. Thanks to her understated yet impactful aesthetic that she’s perfected in the last 25 years, Gini has become a go-to artist for brides. Gini is most renowned for not just creating a one-of-a-kind look for each of her brides, but also helping them with the pre-bridal skincare regime. 

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5. Vandana and Vedika Mohan of The Wedding Design Company 

Vandana Mohan is considered the “master wedding planner” for a reason. India’s first-ever woman event planner who started her journey 28 years ago, she’s now the first choice for high-end, royal and celebrity weddings. She was behind Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s much-talked about Lake Como wedding and also Prince Shivraj Singh and Princess Gayatri Kumari’s big day. Along with her daughter Vedika, Vandana makes every wedding memorable and unique. 

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6. Veena Nagda 

Bollywood's favourite celebrity mehndi artist, Veena Nagda has been the henna artist of choice for the stars. She was the mehndi artist at Varun Dhawan and Natasha Dalal’s wedding in January 2021. Veena also flew off to Lake Como to apply mehndi on Deepika Padukone’s hands for her wedding to Ranveer Singh in 2018, and did the artwork for Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Kajal Aggarwal on their special occasion. 

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7. Dolly Jain 
Meet Dolly J, the sari draper styling Bollywood brides. Mermaid to Coorgi, Dolly is renowned for her unbeatable skill to drape the six-yard in more than 360 ways and holds a Guinness World Record for draping a sari in 18.5 seconds. Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, and most recently, Alia Bhatt are only some of Dolly’s many famous brides. 

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8. Namrata Soni of Simply Nam 

Celebrity makeup artist, hairstylist and the founder of sustainable beauty line Simply Nam, Namrata Soni needs no introduction. Namrata has been on Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Janhvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan’s speed dial for years. The Mumbai-based beauty pro, however, specialises in bridal makeup. Her expertise has taken her places, from the UK to Turkey, counting a slew of brides among her clientele.

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9. Mrinalini Chandra of Kaliras By Mrinalini Chandra
Inspired by India’s rich heritage and culture, Mrinalini Chandra’s prowess for jewellery design led her to take handcrafted finesse to a new level. Today, the creative is known for lending her brilliance to craft out-of-the-ordinary, love story kalires for brides. Mrinalini has designed bespoke kalire for every Bollywood bride, from Katrina Kaif’s unique kalire with bird charms and customised messages to Kiara Advani’s kalire with all sorts of thoughtful elements like stars, moon, the couple initials and butterflies.

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10. Ami Patel of Style By Ami  

Stylist to the stars, Ami Patel is the woman behind the enthralling red carpet and casual looks of a number of A-listers in the Bollywood industry. With her background in fashion editorial, Ami has a keen eye for creating most memorable looks and wedding trousseaus. You can also credit the celebrity stylist to curate bridal trousseaus for Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt and most recently, former Khush cover girl Athiya Shetty. 

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11. Tanya Ghavri of Dhoom Dhaam Weddings Trunk Show

Tanya Ghavri is a sartorial star and her clientele is proof. Katrina Kaif, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sara Ali Khan, Disha Patani, Janhvi Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shraddha Kapoor and many more, Tanya Ghavri has lent her magic to with her styling to almost every A-lister. The celebrity stylist and founder of much-awaited Dhoom Dhaam Weddings Trunk Show is considered one of the best fashion forecasters and stylists in the country. 

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12. Devika Narain of Devika Narain & Company 

Wedding designer, planner, writer and full time optimist, Devika Narain has changed the landscape of the wedding industry as we know it. Since the launch of her company in 2015, the creative has been known for her high-profile destination weddings, executing celebrations as large as 1,000 guests. But Devika rose to much stardom after designing Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli’s much-talked about Tuscany wedding in 2018, which featured Insta-worthy plastel décor and even a deconstructed mandap. 

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13. Zehra Jagani of Zehra Jagani Photographer
Zehra created a storm in the wedding photography world when she first started out. Being among the first female photographers in the business, Zehra brought a fresh style and aesthetic to the table. Her work can be described as soulful and soothing, covering editorial and portrait style aimed at capturing every special and candid moment during a celebration. The talented photographer goes above and beyond the task of clicking images to create dreamy artworks that look straight out of a magazine.

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14. Kiran Mandalia of Cake Boulevard

A true trend-setter and creative pioneer, Kiran Mandalia started her journey as Cake Designer followed by the opening of Cake Boulevard in 2014. Since then, she has been creating some of the most show-stopping wedding cakes in the UK and provides a time-lapse sketch to all her clients so they can get a beautiful visualization of their unique centrepiece. Her passion for never recreating the same cake is justified when you see her couture creations, making her one of the industry’s best cake artists. Kiran has truly stirred up the art of wedding cakes as an educator for cakes and has won many awards with her astonishing, bespoke and intricate cake presentations.

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15. Ekta Solanki of Ekta Solanki Couture

Ekta Solanki is one of the first women to design modern South Asian bridalwear in the UK along with a bespoke experience. Since 2004, her couture creations have been offering a sensual and romantic option for bold and beautiful brides around the world. Designer Ekta’s consistent hard work has earned her a spot as one of the must-know names in the UK.

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16. Ritu Kumar of Label Ritu Kumar and Ri Ritu Kumar 

Designer Ritu Kumar, famously known as the first female designer of India who opened her retail store, is one of the most renowned names in the Indian wedding industry. Her signature handcrafted block print designs today have been worn by many celebrities and brides around the world. Her notable contribution to both the fashion and weddings market is truly commendable.

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17. Anita Dongre of label Anita Dongre 

With an ever-growing list of awards, designer Anita Dongre is rightly one of the biggest Indian bridalwear designers in the world. She was also the first Indian female designer to open a flagship store in New York, taking her brand to the international market. Today, the synonymity of her name with the Indian fashion industry itself is proof of her grand achievements.

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18. Madiha Latif and Kinza Latif of Zuria Dor
The emerging sister designer duo behind the elegant and regal vision of Pakistani bridalwear brand Zuria Dor is on our watchlist for their exclusive creations. Every piece from the design house is handmade, which means no two pieces are ever the exact same. Taking on limited orders ensures their attention to detail to create masterpieces for each of their brides. Given their focus on intricate craftsmanship and a fresh take on classic styles, the designer duo is considered as two of the most wanted courtiers in Pakistan. 

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19. Bunto Kazmi of label Bunto Kazmi

Bunto Kazmi’s designs have put Pakistan’s traditional design aesthetics on the international radar. Her creative take on heirloom techniques is a true work of art, offering a one-of-a-kind bridal wardrobe to brides. Famously known as the ‘pride of Pakistan’, the designer is one of our personal favourite women in weddings.

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20. Karisha Pithwa of Crème de la Cakes

Karisha of Crème de la Cakes is one of the UK’s most renowned luxury cake artists to look out for. Her spectacular, bespoke cake designs have been celebrated as far as the Middle East, creating many show-stopping, head-turning, delicious moments. She has also been featured on Channel4 and Netflix’s Extreme Cake Makers for her larger-than-life creations.

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21. Poonam Ball of Madhu’s 

Keeping her family’s generational recipes alive with her exquisite skills of modern presentation, Poonam Ball is applauded for her consistent drive to perfect the art of North Indian cuisine. The lawyer turned female chef and the Creative Chef and Marketing Director at Madhu’s achieved her dream of making the fine dine restaurant a luxury experience for Indian food lovers in the UK and Europe.

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22. Shalini Gupta Patel of Red Dot Jewels
Changing the scene of South Asian bridalwear jewellery in the UK, Shalini Gupta Patel bridged the gap between the Indian and the UK market. Her vision to bring traditional jewellery designs from South Asia and to make them accessible for the brides in the UK is a successful first of its kind. She reintroduced the beauty of kundan jewellery bringing back the old world charm in traditional bridal looks and set off a trend amongst brides in the UK in the times when it was all about gemstones and Swarovski sets. 

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23. Pavan Ahluwalia-Dhanjal of Pavan Henna Bar 
As one of the only mehndi artists to establish the beauty of mehndi beyond weddings, Pavan has given the art form a whole new meaning. She holds not one but two Guinness World Records for being the fastest henna artist. She was also one of the first henna artists to popularise the art with her counter at Selfridges. Not just serving brides from all around the world, Pavan’s bespoke designs have also been seen on the runway for shows of designers like Manish Arora. Her unique and modern tattoo-like designs has won her the British Empire Medal in 2018. 

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24. Ambreen of Ambreen Makeup
Ambreen is one of the most innovative and trend-setting makeup artists in the UK for South Asian brides with a portfolio of over 15 celebratory years in the industry. She was one of the first makeup artists to collaborate with the international beauty favourite, M.A.C. to create a South Asian bridal collection. Her makeup education platform is a remarkable feather in her hat of achievements along with her incredible team of talented artists showcasing how beauty is within all and for all to indulge in.  

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25. Sunita Shekhawat of Sunita Shekhawat Jaipur

Driven by heritage, heirloom and handcrafted designs, Sunita Shekhawat’s jewellery is a sight for sore eyes. Her design aesthetic has been applauded by royal icon Rajmata Gayatri Devi and has today become a household name for meenakari jewellery designs. The designer’s strive to celebrate heirloom, regal designs makes her one of the most authentic female jewellery designers for brides.

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Tags : International Womens Day 2023  Women In Weddings  25 Women In Weddings To Know 
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