For Harpreet Bachher a wedding is a beautiful story of two intertwining souls and two coinciding lifelines. With this in mind, the award-winning fashion and lifestyle photographer launched ‘The Wedding Story’ in 2010. Specializing in wedding photography and cinematography, the brand films 35-40 destination weddings every year.
Entrusted and endorsed by celebrities like Bipasha Basu, Hardik and Krunal Pandya, Esha and Ahana Deol, Yuzvendra Chahal & Dhanashree, Gauahar Khan, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Ankita Lokhande among others, The Wedding Story has over a million followers across social media, including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
A teardrop sets the ball rolling for Harpreet Bachher It all began at his friend Shaleen’s wedding when Bachher managed to track a teardrop in slow motion before it fell to the ground and dissolved. That poignant visual of her father will stay with the bride all her life, along with an emotional byte pointing out that her husband’s name, Bunny, coincidentally, was the same as a much-loved childhood toy.
“That made me realize that four elements — visuals, images, sound, and audio bytes—come together to tell a wedding story,” shares the founder of ‘The Wedding Story’.
By ‘visuals’ he means documented shots of the bride and groom, their family and guests, the food, décor, etc. ‘Bytes’ are short, singular recorded interviews offering emotional insights and forging a connection. He heads a team of 30 hopeless romantics – among these are photographers, cinematographers, creative directors & editors who get together to create these ageless treasured testaments.
It could be the story of Ria and Vedant who grew up together in Dubai, and went to the same university in London, but only discovered they were soul mates after returning home. What made their wedding unique was that they celebrated the highest point of their lives at the Earth’s lowest point, the Dead Sea.
It could be the story of actors Aditya Seal and Anushka Ranjan who met at a fashion show where she initially decided that her Instagram crush looked good only in pictures, then melted as she got to know him better, and decided he was the one for her.
From Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Harjot K Dhillon
What made Anushka’s bridal walk memorable was that Aditya, after a few rehearsals and recordings, himself picked up the mic to croon his lady love’s favorite Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan song, ‘Kivein Mukhde’.The female voice is that of the brand’s creative director, Harjot K Dhillon, who also happens to be a playback singer in Bollywood movies. She has also lent her voice to many of TWS’s popular wedding videos – Chamba, Din Shagna da, and Mora Saajan to name a few.
“Music and song selections are collectively done by the wedding director, the client, and the edit team,” Harjot informs, adding that they also create customized wedding tracks that reflect the couple’s vibe. By infusing custom music into wedding films, the charm increases manifold, she says. It could be an original track, a reinterpretation of your favorite song, or a live performance for your bridal walk – it just enhances the overall experience of one’s special day!
Destination weddings across the world
While ‘The Wedding Story’ operates out of offices in Mumbai, Vancouver and Boston, the team travels across the world to cover these weddings and spin stories around them.
It was Marrakech for Alysha and Varun who met at a wedding in London, and at the first meeting itself, decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives exploring the world together. The Dalamal family’s search for the perfect destination wedding led them to this Moroccan city where their paternal grandfather had lived. The couple tied the knot in the award-winning La Mamounia Hotel, surrounded by Moorish opulence and a 20-acres fruit park.
For Dubain Tanya Ganwani and London-based Rajiv Varma, it was a four-day revelry at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. The bride is the founder-CEO of Biorn Activewear, the daughter of real estate moguls Monica and Jayant Ganwani. The groom’s parents, Shobha and Moni Varma are the owners of Veetee Food, one of the UK’s largest rice companies. Over 400 guests flew in for the gala wedding that brought together a Sindhi and a Punjabi family on the Swiss Riviera.
They have also shot destination weddings in Turkey, Puerto Ricca, Spain, and UAE to name a few more countries.
Krunal Pandya and Pankhuri’s wedding film, ‘Bowled over Beauty’ remains one of the most watched wedding videos on Youtube. Ever since the event manager bumped into the cricketer’s brother and Hardik picked up the phone and made the introductions. After months of being just friends, and some romantic dates, Krunal proposed to Pankhuri during the 2017 IPL Finals after winning the ‘Man of the Match award while she was trying to duck the flying cake.
The wedding was a fun affair, with the haldi ceremony turning into a splashy pool party and the baraat arriving with the groom being chauffeured by his brother in a quirkily decked Royal Enfield. Who would not want to remember such a wedding that was three days of fun, friends, and frolic.
Before… and after
Some couples opt for a pre-wedding photo/video shoot which can last between 4-8 hours. We treat these shoots as a getaway for the couple, as they are usually exhausted from planning their wedding around that time. It also is a great way for the team to bond with the couple, and establish a vibe before the actual wedding begins.
Actress Ankita Lokhande and businessman Vicky Jain’s pre-wedding shoot moved from a yacht on the sea to the dunes of Dubai, with the couple, color coordinated in white, making the promise of a lifetime by sifting the sands of time, then moving into each other’s arms as the shadows lengthened and the sun went down. The clicks were ethereal and the video was surreal in its timeless romance.
However, these fantasies take hours to weave. As Bachher explains, it usually takes between 75-95 days for the wedding film to be delivered. Film editing as a process is very tedious and complex. As a thumb rule, every minute of the final edit takes about a day to finalize.”
He further informs that the total duration of these raw clips exceeds 50-60 hours of footage for a standard, three-day wedding. “At the studio, these clips undergo careful conversion and screening with a battery of editors working relentlessly to create a first cut of the best clips for the chief editor,” he informs.
Coming up: Hardik Pandya-Nataša Stanković’s love in Black & White
“Hardik Pandya and Natasa Stankovic wedding trailer titled ‘Love in Black & White’ is on Youtube.
The brand had earlier shared a small teaser from the wedding on its Instagram which garnered over 2.5 million views in under 24 hours. It was destiny that brought Hardik and the ballerina from Serbia together. Natasha was to take a flight to Istanbul but landed in Mumbai instead. They bumped into each other at the most unlikely of places at 1 am, got talking, and haven’t stopped.
The footloose and fancy-free cricketer proposed to Natasha while on a cruise in Dubai. The Covid-19 pandemic derailed their wedding plans. They finally took their vows three years later, in the presence of their son Agastya. There was a Hindu ceremony and a Christian wedding and ‘The Wedding Story’ also clicked the newlyweds on an island of love.
The film features an original track titled ‘Jaan-e-jan’ which has been composed exclusively for Hardik & Natasa’s wedding. The track is sung by Harjot K Dhillon, who had earlier lent her voice to the nationwide favorite ‘Kivein Mukhde’ alongside Aditya Seal for his bride, Anushka Ranjan.
The song is out on all major streaming platforms – Harjot excitedly tells us. We’re also finalizing the music video of the track which will be out soon!
As for the upcoming projects, Harpreet Bachher reveals that they are in the process of editing the films for another cricketer, Shardul Thakur, and his bride Mithali Parkar. Also in the queue are the trailer and images from ‘Rangi Saari composer Kanishk Seth and Ayushi’s wedding. Also, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Brahmastra scriptwriter Hussian Dalal and Zeeba’s Big Day,” Harpreet says excitedly.