THE NINTH INSTALLATION IN THE BELLEBOSS SERIES!
I hope that with this series, I would find a way to appreciate the incredible South Asian women of our generation, who are breaking boundaries and paving new paths for themselves.
Moreover, I would like other people to take a little bit of their time to realize how incredible the women around you are. Especially if you are a woman! I hope that at least one woman’s story in my #BelleBoss series will inspire you to follow your dreams, your vision and most importantly your heart. Even if that means breaking a few rules and many societal prejudices along the way.
Could you give us a bit of background information about yourselves?
Sindy: I’m Sindhiya Soundaraj, 27 years old and currently live in Sydney, Australia. I was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka and moved to Australia for university.
Mads: My name is Madusha, 25 years of age and am originally from Sri Lanka. I moved to Australia for University and have since then, settled in Sydney.
What inspired you to name your business “That Champagne Bride”
Sindy: Nearly two years ago, Madusha and I were chatting about growing beyond our corporate careers and the dream of our own business. We knew the name needed to resonate with the wedding industry and just threw around a few different options and with some help from Madusha’s brother (who was there while we were thinking potential names out loud) That Champagne Bride was born!
Mads: The way we came up with ‘That Champagne Bride’ was honestly extremely random. Sindhi and I were sitting around one day, thinking of all things that related to weddings and throwing words around and came up with ‘That Champagne Bride’.
What inspired you to get into the wedding industry? Have you always wanted to be a wedding planner?
Sindy: I’m a complete romantic and adore weddings and anything to with celebrating love!
The thought crossed my mind when one of my best friends was planning her wedding. I really enjoyed talking to her about the different decor ideas and concepts she had in mind and realised it was more than just a smalltime interest. I had always planned on starting up a business of my own one day and being able to combine my creative interests with my passion for starting up a business made complete sense.
Mads: I have always loved weddings; the music, dancing, love and happy vibes create a magical atmosphere and long before I even knew I’d be getting married or TCB.
I’d save countless photos of beautiful décor, but in answer to your question, no I did not always know I wanted to be in the industry, I just knew that I loved weddings. It just all fell into place and made sense when we decided to start TCB.
What do you like to do in your free time aside from wedding planning?
Sindy: I love travelling and seeing new places so that would be top on my list! I also enjoy discussing and brainstorming new business ideas and learning about the startup industry and reading.
Mads: Besides TCB, I love reading, travelling, listening to plenty of good music and discovering new cafes and restaurants.
Could you tell us about the first wedding you ever planned and how you got your big break
Mads: The first wedding we were involved in planning was that of a very close friend of mine. She took a chance on us (best friend ever!) and asked us to help her organize her wedding.
Sindy: It was Madusha’s best friend’s wedding! Thank you Inoma for giving us the opportunity!
What has been the difficulties you have faced in running a business?
Sindy: While we haven’t had our business long enough to discuss this in great detail, I guess the most difficult bit for me has been staying accountable. It’s easy to set aside tasks or think it can be done later in the week and let it slide especially when you just start up. Working full time while setting up the business is also a challenge as sometimes prioritizing becomes hard. I think the core to making it work is being passionate about what you do.
Mads: I think of one of the biggest difficulties is balancing full-time work and running your own business, but when you are passionate about something then it doesn’t feel like work, which is what TCB is to me.
A lot of people think that working in the wedding industry is glamorous. What would be your response to that?
Mads: It is definitely not always glamorous. A wedding is a very special occasion that is held very dear to the couple and so there is always a lot riding on anything that is wedding related, this then means that the pressure to deliver is very high.
Sindy: While it’s a glamour filled the day for the bride and the groom, for those entrenched in the industry it’s just like any other business! There are hard work and lots of effort involved but when it pays off it makes it all worth it.
Will you handle every aspect of the planning or do the bride and grooms do things on our own?
Mads: TCB offers a variety of services; we offer three different types of planning services where we are either fully involved from start to finish, help style and coordinate on the day or we customize based on specifics required by the couple. We also have a vendor directory which we hope will be a centralized source of information to help couples plan their own weddings in Sri Lanka.
Sindy: As Mads said, we provide a range of services specific to each client’s needs. Apart from our services and vendor directory, we have recently launched a store. At the moment we sell a range of bridal and wedding products off our Instagram and Facebook page so do check it out!
What wedding traditions do you personally love and why?
Sindy: There are quite a few traditions that come to my mind but here’s one. At Hindu weddings, the most auspicious moment is when the groom ties the ‘thali’ (chain) around the bride’s neck. This is when the couple are considered to be married and the moment is celebrated with loud drumming, music, the ringing of bells and a shower of rice and petals upon the couple.
It’s a beautiful moment filled with a vast array of emotions and celebrated with close family and friends surrounding the couple and I personally find it one of my favourite traditions at a wedding – it always leaves me teary eyed!
Mads: I personally love the tradition whereby the groom doesn’t see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony. Although this tradition stems from a concept that is really not applicable in this day and age and not very romantic,
I think that anticipation, joy and raw emotion you see in the groom is beautiful and it makes for some powerful photos! People very often stand up and look towards the bride as she walks in but you’d be pleasantly surprised if you look at the groom!
Do you have any tips for other people who would like to get into wedding planning or to start a business in general?
Mads: TCB is still in its early stages and we are learning every day but I think perseverance, patience and a hard working positive attitude is key to growing any business, nothing happens overnight!
Sindy: I’d say passion is a key ingredient to starting any business because when all else fails if you are passionate about the industry and your business idea, you can make it work.
I’d also agree with Maddy and say it’s important to be patient and keep trying if something doesn’t work out. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a combination of hard work and perseverance can’t go wrong!
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