This one-of-its-kind retreat will see brides-to-be coming together to share pre-wedding jitters

This getaway will be a game-changer for over 50 brides-to-be coming together from different walks of life, cultures, and traditions

By Rashmi Gopal Rao

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Published: Fri 4 Aug 2023, 4:10 PM

To say that your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and one that marks a huge milestone in the life of a couple is certainly not an understatement. While the occasion is synonymous with fun, celebration and fanfare, an element of anxiousness along with excitement is inevitable. And this is especially true in the case of brides who do get jitters prior to their big day. A sense of nervousness and trepidation takes over as you navigate an unchartered territory while negotiating a sea of change. Further adding to the wedding nerves is the seemingly unending task list that includes shopping for your bridal trousseau, jewellery, gifts, putting your look together all while juggling finances, budgets and the like. Alleviating all such fears and inspiring brides to be empowered and more confident is a unique, one-of-its-kind retreat aptly called Here Comes the Bride, curated by Ekta Shah, founder of House of Eekkta.

Passion for styling and curation

Born and raised in a simple Gujarati household, Ekta was always blessed with a creative bent of mind. Fascinated by fabrics and design since a young age, most of her childhood days were spent exploring her grandmother’s wardrobe, twirling around in her sarees wearing her mother’s heels. This early passion for fashion led her to pursue a career in fashion tech and she soon launched her first homegrown bridal couture label, Ekayana. After a decade of nurturing her label, Ekta decided to venture into a new vertical, which offered styling and consultation services for brides. Called House of Eekkta, she adopted an innovative approach wherein she not only transformed the bridal styling experience but also built a thriving ecosystem within the industry. This harmonious collaboration allowed her to offer her clients a comprehensive and holistic experience, where each element perfectly complemented the other. As the label evolved, it became a symbol of personalised excellence that redefined the boundaries of bridal elegance with brides seeking meaningful expressions through their attire and overall look.

Ekta Shah
Ekta Shah

Crafted by women, for women

Here Comes the Bride largely draws from Ekta’s personal journey and the fact that marriage is much more than just saying ‘I Do’ and beyond all the frills around planning and shopping. “When I got married, I felt a void in terms of guidance and help as I embarked on my transformative journey. Hence, this is a project I am deeply passionate about. The idea is to build a space where modern brides can come together, learn and celebrate the exhilarating moments leading up to their big day. This is an all-inclusive programme, thoughtfully curated to help brides be more mindful and conscious. The objective is for them to navigate their newly married life with ease while also enjoying the whole process,” says Ekta, who is also an artist.

This exclusive retreat has been created by women, for women. In addition to Ekta, the core team includes two other dynamic co-curators, Smridhi Sharma and Divya Chadha. While Smridhi is a brand strategist and a seasoned curator, Divya brings in immense experience as an international wedding planner.

Insightful sessions

Here Comes the Bride is a three-day immersive experience that is scheduled to take place from September 9-11 at the luxurious WelcomHotel Khimsar Fort and Dunes, Rajasthan. Touted to be a game-changer for over 50 brides-to-be coming together from different walks of life, cultures and traditions, the retreat has a holistic lineup of experiential workshops, styling masterclasses and sessions on an array of topics like wedding planning, budget management and even physical and mental wellness. “At the core of the retreat’s design is the aim to unleash a bride’s true expression, elevate her spirit and ignite a sense of empowerment, all wrapped in a tapestry of joy and vibrant community-building. From joyful slumber parties to fireside chats with inspiring and accomplished women from various fields, the retreat encompasses growth, enrichment, knowledge sharing, celebration and cherished moments of togetherness,” adds the mother of two.

All sessions have been carefully planned to cater to all aspects of a bride’s well-being. For example, the ‘Bridal Moon’ session is a comprehensive mental wellness workshop that includes guided meditation coupled with sound therapy and gratitude journaling. Similarly, ‘Inside Out’ focuses on skincare, haircare and beauty, and provides holistic solutions from experts, a skincare mentor and a makeup artist. The “Nothing Legal About It” session helps brides decode the Indian family law system and offers invaluable insights from a law educationist. Further, “All Things Wedding” is a masterclass by industry experts who share insider tips and tricks on perfect wedding planning. And amidst all this, there is also a mixology masterclass that teaches prospective brides the art of creating impressive cocktails!

Fostering support and celebrating each other

Given that each bride is unique, the retreat is open to all brides-to-be regardless of their cultural background, preferences or wedding theme. The retreat is inclusive and caters to brides with diverse tastes while ensuring that everyone finds something that resonates with them during their stay. The concept is designed to attract the right bride i.e. one who seeks awareness and appreciates the value of being prepared, calm and relaxed before the D-day. The selection is on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. “Given that the retreat is helmed by visionary women, it unites a league of accomplished female entrepreneurs spanning diverse industries. It forges a formidable alliance of support and empowerment. As they come together, they share invaluable insights, elevate one another’s journeys, and form an unbreakable bond that fuels their collective success,” concludes the 41-year-old.

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