Desi weddings can be crazy and if you are someone who is in this business in the US, things can be just too overwhelming. But Neema Lodhia, the powerhouse behind the Wedding Store 24, seems to have been built for just that! We caught up with her as she hustles to organize her next big show on March 31st.
DissDash: How did you get started in the wedding business?
Neema Lodhia: My journey started in 2010 when I was helping my cousin plan her wedding and realized there were no resources in the South Asian wedding market, especially in Southern California. Indian weddings are 500 plus guests, 5 plus days long, and such huge production. So a light bulb went on in my head and I told myself, I am going to open up a resource studio just for Indian weddings. I leased a 300 sqft office in the Indian town of LA and I got so many people coming in the door. So I decided to pull the trigger and rent a storefront. There I designed the spaced to look similar to a trade show, but an everyday version, where an Indian bride and her family can come in and get all the information she needs to plan her big fat Indian wedding. Eight years later we are in the same town, helping Indian families with information to plan their wedding.
DissDash: What are some of the challenges you have faced?
Lodhia: The biggest challenge I faced was that brides and their families would think its too good to be true because the concept was so new. Most thought we took commission from the vendors for us to run the business. The business model is to take a flat yearly membership fee from the vendors, so no commission is involved and no charge to the clients. A win-win for everyone. Again the concept of a no commission and a flat fee was so new that most Indian families were hesitant on getting the free help because they were worried that there was going to be a catch at the end. The ones who did trust us got the free help and a stress-free planning process.
DissDash: What can people expect at your event? What are you planning on doing different this year?
Lodhia: In addition to the store front, we started producing wedding shows in the SO Cal area. This year we are producing our 13th event at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA. This year, brides can expect the greatest gift of all. A FREE wedding ceremony with up to 500 guests at the Monarch Beach Resort with up to 15 vendors offering complimentary services. Yes! We are giving away a Free wedding ceremony to a lucky couple. All they have to do is register at www.TheWeddingShowforTheModernBride.com and attend our show on March 31st, where the winner will be announced.
DissDash: If you had all the money would in the world, what would be your wish list for this event?
Lodhia: I would have Sabyasachi Mukherjee showcase his designs on the runway at my show with Deepika Padukone being the show stopper. I think a luxury Indian designer and a top showstopper is due to showcase in the LA market, so I am hoping that one day I can make that happen.
DissDash: Are brides/grooms the only ones that come to this event?
Lodhia: No, other event professionals come to network with the vendors who exhibit at the shows. We have amazing vendors showcases that give inspiration and new trends to both brides and other vendors, whether new or old.
DissDash: What does your event offer that is unlike others?
Lodhia: We produce a luxury runway show at our events with a spectacular production with entertainment and offer fashion shows from 3 different designers that consist of 2 Indian designers and 1 western designer. The reason we always have at least 1 western designer is
DissDash: Talk to us about this giveaway? How did you come up with this!!
Lodhia: The idea is to give a bride an incentive to attend our event, and our vendors a marketing opportunity to promote their business. So what better incentive than to give a FREE wedding away! And for our vendors to be part of this. So it was an easy thought, however it was no so easy putting the puzzles together. There are so much that goes into a giveaway this big, from the logistics to the terms and conditions, to the going back and forth with vendors and what they would provide, to the marketing… and it goes on. I have to say we work with a great team of vendors and it at the end of the day with the right team, we were able make the idea of the free giveaway come to life.
DissDash: What all will the winner get??
Lodhia: All this…
- Monarch Beach Resort: Ceremony event with up to 500 guests
- Duke Images: 3 hours of ceremony photo coverage, two Shooters, color corrected photos on a flash drive. No retouching.
- Sonia Sharma Events: Event Design of ceremony event space
- The Empty Vase: Ceremony florals with a value of $5000 max
- Impressive Creations: 3 hours of ceremony cinema coverage, two shooters and a documentary edit on a flash drive.
- Special Occasions DJ: 1-hour ceremony music
- Kismet Events: One Mandap structure for the ceremony
- Natraj: 1 Specialty non-alcoholic drink and 1 snack per guest.
- Dolled up by Lulu: Bridal Hair & Makeup
- Nadia Ali: Bridal henna on palm.
- Bre Luxe Beauty: Hair & Makeup for 3 members of the Bridal party
- Frontier Heritage: Ethnic bridal gown rental
- Jas and Pal: Bridal jewelry set
- Friar Tux: Groom tux rental
- Mon Amie: $1000 credit towards a western bridal gown.
Wedding Store 24 is a Wedding Concierge Company located in Artesia, CA. Guests are invited to explore through their glamorous showroom, which showcases the displays of 24 wedding categories, compiled with Los Angeles & Orange County’s finest wedding vendors. WS24 stands as the modern value-added shopping center that provides the client with a one-stop shop opportunity to compare albums, slideshows, promotional offers and sample products of different wedding vendors, all under the comfort of one roof – The Ideal Wedding Store!
You can visit the store or register online for free to receive a vendor list along with discounts from each vendor!
For more info, you can call 562.366.3649 or email info@WeddingStore24.com.
Visit their website: www.WeddingStore24.com