South Asian Wedding Coordinator Tackles Biggest Event of Her Career.

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Local event planner Alpa Patel has made a name for herself among north Texas' Indian community as the premiere wedding planner for traditional Asian weddings.she has spent the last few months planning the biggest event of her career - a 1,500-person wedding spanning three days with a budget approaching nearly $750,000.

Our goal at Affair to Remember is to ensure our clients' functions are memorable, innovative and enjoyable for both the hosts and the guests

Local event planner Alpa Patel has made a name for herself among north Texas' Indian community as the premiere wedding planner for traditional Asian weddings.

As the founder of Affair to Remember, which she started in Dallas about eight years ago, she has spent the last few months planning the biggest event of her career - a 1,500-person wedding spanning three days with a budget approaching nearly $750,000.

The wedding will take place June 14 at the Texas Opryland in Grapevine. Other events, including traditional "Pithi" and "Manglik Prasango" ceremonies for the bride and groom, will take place at the respective homes of the happy couple. Dinner and "Garba," a traditional dance, will be held the day before the wedding at the Gujarati Cultural Society.

"This will be one of the most beautiful and elaborate weddings the Indian community has seen in this part of the country," said Patel. "The attention to detail -- from the food and decor to the traditional Indian clothing -- is on par with that of a celebrity wedding. We are honored to have the opportunity to plan and cater such a momentous occasion."

Patel has coordinated elaborate weddings in the past, with grooms arriving on horseback, elephant and helicopter. Couture has run upwards of $10,000 for bridal wear alone. And this wedding, she says, "is the wedding to top all weddings."

Patel's full-service wedding planning and decor company got its start when she decided to help a friend coordinate a wedding. She made about $600 in profit after weeks of work, but soon the referrals started coming in. Patel realized she'd unwittingly carved out a niche, and she continues to grow her business almost exclusively on referrals. Weddings and other events are highly customized to reflect the themes, ideas and budgets of each individual client.

"Our goal at Affair to Remember is to ensure our clients' functions are memorable, innovative and enjoyable for both the hosts and the guests," said Patel.

Affair to Remember averages 32 weddings a year. She employs two full-time staff and uses up to 32 additional staff at a time depending on the occasion. Her company is the go-to company for one-stop shopping; her goal is to be recognized as one of the premiere South Asian wedding coordinators and decorators in the country.

"I always had a knack for ideas and different styles, but eight years ago, wedding planners were unpaid if not entirely unheard of in the Asian community," she said. "I almost quit this business after that first $600 job. But the business kept finding me, and it hasn't stopped."

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