Indian wedding planner to bring 'Bollywood feel' to Norfolk

Sumitra Srinivasan, Norwich

Sumitra Srinivasan, of Shubham Event Planners Ltd, who is starting her own business as a planner of Indian weddings in Norfolk. - Credit: Danielle Booden

An events organiser in Norwich is setting up her own firm specialising in staging weddings for Indian couples.

Sumitra Srinivasan Shubham Event Planners Ltd, Norwich

Sumitra Srinivasan, of Shubham Event Planners Ltd. - Credit: Danielle Booden

But Sumitra Srinivasan, from Cringleford, has hit on a few snags because of Covid - yet is hopeful of launching the business when restrictions on weddings lift.

Mrs Srinivasan, who runs Shubham Event Planners, is finding the current limited numbers at weddings tricky because Indian ceremonies usually involve hundreds of people.

Sumitra Srinivasan Shubham Event Planners Ltd, Norwich

Sumitra Srinivasan, Shubham Event Planners Ltd. - Credit: Danielle Booden

And she is also finding some key elements to a traditional 'Haldi' wedding - such as an abundance of jasmine flowers and a venue able to host a ceremony for several days - difficult to find.

However, she plans to make it a success because she said there weren't many organisers in Norfolk of Indian weddings. She's already found an Indian priest and someone who can provide the right music and dance options.

"Music and dance is very important, it does give it a Bollywood feel and it makes it easier for the families to get involved with each other and have a conversation.

"Norfolk is untouched by Indian weddings, nobody is catering for the Indian community which is growing," said Mrs Srinivasan, married with a daughter and who first came to live in Norfolk in 2004.

Indian wedding

Jasmine flowers in an Indian wedding ceremony. - Credit: Getty Images

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She was wed herself through an 'arranged marriage' - although she said this is quite different from how it used to be. Men and women meet using a special website involving the parents, she said.

Indian wedding

A turmeric paste is applied to a bride's face. - Credit: Getty Images

Bollywood movie

Song and dance are intrinsic to the Bollywood movies. - Credit: Supplied

Mrs Srinivasan specialises in organising 'Haldi' weddings which is where a paste made with turmeric is applied on the bride and groom. Turmeric is used to enhance the complexion before the wedding and the ceremony is on a yellow theme with lots of jasmine flowers.

In a 'Mehendi' ceremony, various henna patterns are drawn on the hands and legs of the bride.

Mehendi wedding

Henna drawings which form part of the Mehendi wedding ceremony. - Credit: Supplied

Despite most Indian weddings going on for days as a result of these traditions, Mrs Srinivasan said she can tailor them accordingly. She said a ceremony could be as short as half a day.

"Norfolk has some lovely venues that would be perfect, stately homes, although you don't always need huge premises. As soon as the Covid restrictions on numbers lift, I think my business will really get started."