Does the Palais du Versailles mesmerize you or fun-filled Disneyland? Does a beach/yacht wedding against the backdrop of the colour changing Mediterranean sea makes your heart skip a beat? Or you’d like the shor-sharaba of a big fat royal Indian wedding in a Jaipur haveli? Megha Kewlani, the COO of Vivaah Celebrations, an avid traveler and aesthete, then, should be on your speed-dial. Raised in Poland, educated in London, having worked in Paris and Madrid, she is now in Dubai doing what she loves best – heading a destination wedding planning/event company Vivaah Celebrations.
Recognised as The Most influential Women 2021 by FilmfareMe.
What has been your career path thus far and how have you achieved so much at such a young age?
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I’ve just only begun and have a long way to go. I’ve had an interesting international journey so far; originally from India, born in UAE, brought up in Poland. I then decided to pursue my further studies in London, which opened avenues for me to work in other cities such as Paris, Madrid and now I’m realizing my dream in Dubai. My family has been my strength throughout my journey in achieving what I have. Being a woman, traveling across the globe to find my forte is not a privilege everyone gets. They’ve been supportive throughout my journey and always encouraged me to explore new avenues and do more. I also believe that identifying opportunities and making the best of it is an essential factor. Nothing comes easy; one must grasp on to the opportunities, work on it passionately and consistently exceed expectations. I have been blessed to be surrounded by reputable individuals who saw the potential in me and gave me opportunities to prove what I am capable of. I’m empowered, focused and driven to revolutionize the business of events and forge a new path where others will follow. I still have a long way ahead of me. I aspire to create my own footprints, make my family proud and inspire the next generation of businesswomen.
When did you realize your passion for event management?
Event management has grasped my attention from as early as my childhood. I was always on the forefront to bring the neighborhood kids together and organize small parties or events just because I wanted to have a fun celebration. Occasions such as Halloween, birthday parties and evening teas was something I would ideate and put together in a small simple way when I was in school. No matter the scale of the event I’ve always been intrigued and interested in the way everything was organized. I was interested in knowing what goes on behind the scenes; how much human resource was required, the operations, the management and the finer details. Growing up I knew I wanted to be a part of the events industry. I came across a 4-years Bachelors and Honors degree in International Events Management at Regents University London and decided to pursue a formal education before I embarked on a professional career.
Entrepreneurship runs in your family. How do you see that osmotically enter your career as well?
I must say, it definitely has been inspiring to see my family be successful entrepreneurs who have achieved immense success. However, I never took it for granted nor did I ever expect things to be handed over to me easily. My family has brought me up with strong principles that have defined that anything worth having, does not come easy. Since childhood up until now, I have had to prove my worth, skills and acumen to enjoy the respect and accolades from my family. This has made me independent, strong and focused in my vision. Every accomplishment and milestone I achieve is something my family can be proud of as I work hard towards it and do not take an easy route. I’m blessed to have the support and encouragement from my family to go out there and contribute my best towards the business in the prime years of my life. Every day is interesting and the journey has been fulfilling thus far.
Which is the most memorable wedding you have worked for and why?
Hands down, it has to be the first ever destination wedding in Disneyland Paris which we planned and managed a couple of years ago. It is still one of the most recognized events globally in the portfolio of Vivaah Celebrations.This truly was the real definition of a fairy-tale wedding. Disneyland Paris played host to one of the most magnificent Indian wedding celebrations where some of the finest memories were created that every attendee would cherish for a lifetime. With over 300 guests from around the world dressed in their finest outfits and ensemble, this was truly a magical wedding. We worked closely with the Disneyland Paris teams to ensure an unparalleled event – one that would go down the history books as the first and one of the finest wedding celebrations held at Disneyland Paris.
You travel across continents for your work. What aspects of this world travel gets reflected in your work?
I have always believed that travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell. This is exactly what we do with our weddings. Having traveled the world, I have learned to explore different cultures, traditions, cuisines, hospitality, nuances and habits that I eventually fuse into wedding celebrations somewhere in the future. I owe this to the extensive travels I have done of across many different cities and countries around the world. Quite often, we get asked to plan and conceptualize a cross-cultural wedding where bride and groom belong to different ethnicities. They feel much at ease and comfort with me as I can relate to much of what they share with me about their cuisines, rituals and expectations since my travels have educated and enriched me. I look forward to returning to my travels and exploring lots more around the world.
How do you manage your professional and personal life when it comes to the business of events?
In the business of events, you can never draw a line with professional and personal life. With undefined hours and unpredictable workdays, our team including myself spend a lot of time planning and conceptualizing events without any track of weekdays or weekends. Furthermore, most events are usually held on weekends and more often in the evenings. This limits my personal time quite a bit. I do make time for my fitness and meditation as it helps me rejuvenate and maintain an equilibrium. Quite simply, we sacrifice our own personal events, ceremonies, family time to shape up someone else’s big day. And I do not regret it one bit as the satisfaction we get after having delivered a successful event is unparalleled.
Apart from the business background, are you inclined towards social work? Which sector would you want to contribute to?
For me, this most definitely has to be women empowerment. Being a woman in the business of events, I have seen first-hand how women are seen and judged when you are out there working late at nights, traveling alone or conducting meetings with top professionals globally. For a woman, it takes a long list of achievements, accolades, appreciation and recognition to finally win the respect of colleagues and peers. Having worked with multiple firms in different parts of the world, I finally found comfort and a nurturing nest with Vivaah Celebrations where every team member is empowered to think, ideate and share opinions. Furthermore, women in our team are given an equal platform to compete with their male counterparts which in-turn enhances the product and service offering to our clients. In my individual capacity, I have already formed a network of entrepreneurial women in this region where we meet once a month to share best practices, accomplishments and future plans.
What are the unique demands that your clients put forth and how have you managed them?
Most couples come to us asking for something different or unique at their wedding; something that has never been done before. This stimulates our team to get their creative juices flowing. Having said that, unique concepts more often mean ideating something from scratch or innovating a fresh creation which requires time, energy and supporting budgets. Every wedding or event is dynamic as every client has a different set of requirements or expectations. This constantly makes us hit the reset button and begin from scratch. We do not believe in a ‘one size fits all approach’ and continuously like to challenge ourselves to raise the bar and achieve something that the client and the team can be proud of.
To plan your Wedding with the leading wedding planners in UAE, contact Vivaah Celebrations on: email@example.com or visit Instagram: @vivaahcelebrations