Brought up in Dallas, US, Prashi Shah’s own wedding seven years ago set the tone for her professional career in the years to come. With family roots in the textile business and a degree in design from the Fashion Institute of Design in New York City, Prashi joined hands with her brother Pramel, a business graduate, to launch their own firm specialising in wedding décor.
Now having designed over 1,000 weddings, the duo constantly face the challenge to be original and look for something new and unique to excite guests with. With offices in Dallas and Houston, and a new one soon to come up in India, they also dabble in custom bridal couture besides wedding-design services. In fact, their background in textile gives them an added advantage when it comes to conceptualising gorgeous wedding details. “Mixing a variety of colours, designs, patterns, and embellishments can make a huge difference in your overall event design, from wall drapes to tablescapes,” says Prashi.
Recommending all brides and grooms to choose a wedding designer “whose creativity you love and who has a creative mind that can transform any space,” the duo are jet-set travellers who source and produce textiles, embellishments, and décor items from all over the world. Though challenges are aplenty, they do find ways of getting around: “We once had to design a floating princess bed for a mehendi party,” recalls Prashi. “The royal canopy was custom-fabricated to float above a circular spa overlooking a golf course.” The result, as you can imagine, was breathtaking.
Their favourite wedding theme, they admit, is the ‘royal Rajasthani Maharaja theme’. Prashi recalls a stunning afternoon ceremony recreating a true royal wedding for an Indian princess: “The ceremony was held in a European-inspired chateau with a 100ft tent draped in vibrant shades of fuchsia, teal, and purple. Guests were greeted with custom-made turbans and jewelled pearl necklaces. They sipped on afternoon signature cocktails by the 18ft garden waterfall dripping with fresh floral blooms in the centre of the tent. Two 10ft fresh orchid peacocks were placed at the entrance of a private villa to welcome the bridal party prior to taking their seats in front of the uber-glamorous mandap, which consisted of over 10,000 flowers. The aisle carpet was hand-painted with the bride’s and groom’s custom-designed logo adorned with Swarovski crystals.”
Having worked with both Indian residents as well as NRI couples, Prashi notes that the trend in the US is to make each event unique and create an unforgettable experience. “That means a beautiful ambience with great décor, along with wardrobe styling and, of course, cuisine,” she says. In India, however, the trend still seems to be focused on “wardrobe, jewellery, and cuisine,” in that order. “While wedding-related events in India are always over the top, we find that the décor is still very standard for each event,” rues Prashi, adding with a smile, “We look forward to launching a Mumbai office very soon to change this trend!”
First published in the July-August 2014 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Bride