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Crafting Cherished Moments

Mar/02/2024 / by Abhijit Masih

A renowned event planner weighs in on big wedding secrets

Whether involving an intimate elopement or a luxury multi-day event, weddings bring their own set of creative challenges, not to mention the high emotions that come with joining two families together. But Ayesha Hakki, the visionary behind Events by Ayesha, lives for the challenge. 

With expertise as an art director and event producer, she has orchestrated a myriad of gatherings, including social soirées, fashion showcases, corporate affairs, and notably, exquisite weddings — and serves as the creative force behind the inception of a bridal and fashion magazine dedicated to the South Asian community in the United States. We spoke to her about what makes for the most memorable events and advice for upcoming brides-to-be. 

What made you decide to start an events company?

We were doing events all the time very organically.  Our clients started asking us, “Hey, can you help us with a product launch? Can you do a fashion show for us? Can you do a party for us?” 

Eventually our magazine readers started coming to us and saying, “We really like what you put in the magazine. Would you be able to help us do our weddings?” I want to focus on doing events full time because I really enjoy it. I’m very passionate about it, and I’m very good at it. 

You offer not just weddings, but also elopements. How do you plan one?

An elopement is when the couple says, “We’re just gonna take a couple of close people and go to some destination and just have a small, intimate, but meaningful celebration.” 

It was more a thought that came out during the Covid time. But the one thing I did learn is, as I focus mostly in the South Asian market, we are not about eloping. We are all about family and culture, and celebrating love and tradition. Although destination weddings have been very big, they’re very challenging as a planner. 

What have been some of the most challenging requests you’ve had?

The South Asian wedding has more guests, more events and more ceremonies. It’s just a lot more details that need to be figured out and executed. When it comes to the weddings, I don’t mind the outlandish request, because it makes me stay on my toes. It’s exciting for me to figure out something new. It just makes my job much more interesting. 

One thing that’s always a challenge in every wedding is sometimes, some of the guests will invite a little bit too many people, and then we have to manage them. That could be a bit of a diplomatic nightmare.

Most brides these days have their wedding planned out to the last detail. Why should they hand it over to you to manage their biggest and most important day?

You can do your taxes through an online program but you’re not gonna get the experience of someone who does this day in, day out, to give you more deductions. 

When it comes to planning your wedding, I live and breathe this, for over 20 years. I have a certificate in luxury event design through Preston Bailey. Mariah Carey is one of his clients. He’s one of the top planners in the world. I also have a certificate in contract law from Harvard, so I’m able to look at contracts. I’m able to see things that for someone who is doing it for the first time won’t, find them ways to cut expenses. I have relationships with vendors. They always give me the best service, the best deal, and because we have a personal relationship, the vendors really excel in what they do. 

That’s what a planner does: She looks at the bigger picture, and then tries to figure out how can I make this better or different from anything you see on Instagram or on Pinterest? That’s really why a planner makes all the difference.

Seema

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