It’s a nifty website that opens to images of ritualistic gestures, emotional subtleties and joyous outbursts. And, it’s these little moments that make a wedding more than a celebration.
There’s no one who better understands the emotional value of this espousal than Shyam and Kalash.
'How do you think we got married?' asks Shyam enthusiastically. After a few wrong answers, he laughs and says, 'The love happened after the marriage was arranged.'
To Shyam and Kalash, their wedding was a dizzying experience, and a realisation that they made a good wedding planning team. They were quick to realise their joint potential and capitalise on it. The chemistry is undeniable, so is the dedication and passion for weddings.
‘I love weddings. I have always loved weddings, actually. To be a part of something so special is really amazing, you know,’ says Shyam. Kalash shares the same feelings. It’s almost serendipitous that Shyam and Kalash found the same true calling during their own wedding. It was a cinematic moment of two people meant to be one coming together. With all plans on hold, they decided to get into the business of weddings professionally, but with a difference: it wouldn't be a 'business'.
‘Money doesn't matter to us,’ exclaims Shyam. ‘Honestly! To us, it’s the emotions. That’s what weddings are about. That’s what we’re dealing with. There is so much trust involved to make this moment perfect, and we understand that very well. You can ask my wife. When I see that happiness in the bride and groom and their family, there are tears in my eyes. Nothing is more beautiful than seeing this happiness in a couples eye when they see their dreams come true.’
Kalash adds, ‘When we plan weddings, we’re re-living our own wedding. We see us in the couple getting married, and that’s really special to us.’
Shyam and Kalash’s story is one where their love grew out of a shared passion for weddings. Once they decided on manufacturing customised dreams for people, the research and hard work to build the best team began. With a professional education of event management in hand, and experience in planning corporate events, they began the development of Knots & Hearts. Building contacts with fashion designers, florists, jewellery designers and a whole host of other experts came next. No stone was left unturned. There’s a manic passion for detailing from the simplest things like crockery designs to floral arrangements and sets.
After having tied their knot, Shyam and Kalash took up tying everyone else’s knot.
Shyam is a person who can’t so ‘no’ to anyone. Marriage takes on great meanings in the Indian culture. With so many emotions and dreams at stake, Shyam and Kalash believe it’s almost criminal to deny someone their services.
‘I have a great team of experts. They’re one of the best, and I also know a lot of people in the industry. So, even if I can’t help someone, I make sure I put them through to the experts. I still do supervise to make sure everything is right. You know, it’s a matter of someone’s life, and I just can’t say no to them. It would be saying no to someone’s dream.
‘I've had someone who came to me and said, “Beta, I only have a budget of 4 lacs. That’s all I can afford.” I said, “I’ll do it.” Of course, the team we get for this is going to be different. But, we make sure that we give you the best your money can buy. We maintain quality, so I can make even a 4 lac wedding look elegant. But, we do expect, at least, 6 months to plan the wedding.’
What makes Knots & Hearts work is the team dynamic. Shyam thrives on action. The stress of executing a plan on the ground has an almost therapeutic effect on Shyam who claims to be an otherwise impatient person in his personal life. Multi-tasking is his game. Kalash, on the other hand, works in the background, ensuring smooth functioning of the entire process, and punctiliously customising peoples dreams to manifest into reality.
‘People who know him won’t believe how different he is when he’s planning the weddings,’ says Kalash with a smile.
Shyam adds, ‘I’m always there at the forefront. And, she’s handling everything in the back-end. Without her, nothing is possible.’
But, Shyam feels the wedding planning industry still needs to mature. It’s going through a phase where there’s a huge influx of people interested in the trend, than what it entails.
‘Again,’ Shyam says, ‘these aren't events you’re planning. You are dealing with the emotions and dreams of so many families. We can’t risk losing the trust of the people. We do get a thrill from our work, but we spend sleepless nights getting things ready. We have to make back-up plans. It’s hard work, and not glamorous like what they show in the movies. That’s all wrong - they’re only showing a very small part of the planning. Wedding planning is definitely not for everyone. Do it if you have a passion for weddings.’
The rule of thumb Shyam and Kalash follow is simple: We meet the couple first.
‘It’s your wedding, so I need to know what you want. Only after that we talk to the family and accommodate their opinions. We never agree to someone else telling us what kind of wedding should be planned for the couple.’
Their next big hope?
‘Destination weddings!’ exclaim Shyam and Kalash with a big grin. ‘We’re just waiting for someone to approach us for it. We've done so many unique themes. We've had someone ask us for a Derby theme, and even a Las Vegas casino theme. It would be amazing to do a destination wedding.’
In the end, their parting words are simple, and constitute everything Knots and Hearts believes:
‘All dreams are valid, and we’re here to make them come true.’