Vandana Mohan, the founder of The Wedding Design Company and the star planner behind Ranveer-Deepika’s Italy wedding, began producing events in 1989. She looks back on her journey as an entrepreneur and explorer. By Rashima Nagpal
What was your idea of a wedding when you were growing up?
A house full of people, all the time! Lots of food, music, dancing; aunts organising all sorts of things. And the dholak would come out at the drop of a hat.
Tell us about the most memorable destination weddings you’ve planned.
We’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world with our weddings. My first big destination wedding was in Florence, Italy. It was like a treasure hunt—finding vendors, suppliers, florists, and discovering little treasures as you go along. I’d not worked internationally at that scale ever before. Not only did I fall in love with the city, but that wedding set a benchmark for Indian weddings overseas. To date, Italy is my favourite country to holiday and work in. Salzburg has been another memorable destination. I grew up listening to and watching The Sound of Music. I’ve always been a big theatre and musical buff. So, working in Salzburg [and] visiting places I recognised from the movie was like living a dream.
What are the things you seek when travelling?
[In] India or abroad, my travels are always special and eventful. I always manage to have a great time despite working. I love discovering little lanes, the Sunday markets, the flea markets; I make time to find local craft wherever I go. I’m also an architecture and history buff, so I’ll go anywhere where there’s a story to tell.
Five places around the world you’d recommend for intimate weddings?
Lake Como and The Amalfi Coast in Italy; Montreux, Switzerland; Bordeaux, France; and St Barts or anywhere in the Caribbean for a beach wedding.
Five things you do not travel without, for a destination wedding?
My steam iron; a string of pearls; a pair of comfortable flats; a wrap/shawl; and my travel toiletry bag, which has everything from mosquito patches to perfume.
Places that you want to visit?
For weddings, South America and Africa. And personally, the Gold Coast [in Australia] and an international safari holiday.