A Conversation with Top NY Planner Sonal J. Shah on Crafting Unique Wedding Experiences

  • Publication date: 03/01/2024
  • Updated: 03/02/2024

Let's embark on a journey through the illustrious career of Sonal J. Shah. It all started over two decades ago in the bustling city of New York. Sonal J. Shah has emerged as an unmatched force in the world of wedding planning, captivating audiences worldwide. Sonal's trajectory in the industry is a testament to her unwavering dedication and unparalleled expertise. Her portfolio boasts an impressive repertoire of meticulously crafted weddings, with countless accolades and testimonials from her esteemed international clientele. Sonal and her team have over 20 years of experience to help you navigate the stressful logistics of producing an event. 

Philosophy of Perfection

“What I like most about wedding planning is the opportunity to help clients turn their dreams into reality. It's incredibly rewarding to work closely with couples, understand their vision, and contribute to creating a day that reflects their unique love story and aspirations,” she shares.

Sonal's philosophy revolves around striving for the impossible and delivering perfection. "There are no redos when it comes to these events, so we don't accept anything less than flawless execution," Sonal often remarks. "We are the fairy godmothers that make dreams come true, whether the location is a ballroom, museum, backyard, or private island." 

Tailored Services and Exquisite Planning

Sonal and her team offer three comprehensive full-service packages, each meticulously tailored to suit the varied preferences of their clients. "We provide an array of three comprehensive full-service packages, each meticulously tailored to accommodate our clients' unique preferences and the level of assistance they desire," Sonal asserts. "Our offerings are designed to cater to a spectrum of needs, ensuring that the planning experience aligns seamlessly with their vision for the perfect wedding. We customize our services to meet every client's distinctive requirements, fostering a collaborative and communicative partnership throughout the entire planning journey."

Sonal emphasizes the importance of understanding and collaboration. I begin by thoroughly understanding my clients' wedding vision through detailed consultations. Collaborating closely, I present creative ideas and transparent proposals, ensuring open communication throughout the planning process," she explains. "On the wedding day, my role goes beyond coordination; I strive to create an atmosphere that reflects the couple's vision, handling any issues seamlessly. My ultimate goal is to exceed expectations and turn their wedding dreams into a beautiful reality."

Memorable Milestones and Diverse Venues

The most memorable event, as recalled by Sonal, was a grand wedding in Switzerland. "Switzerland was a monumental production for us, and the couple entrusted us completely to orchestrate their dream wedding. To this day, it stands out as one of our most cherished and talked-about events. The sheer scale of the celebration was awe-inspiring, and the trust placed in us allowed creativity to flourish. And as if that weren't enough, having Jason Derulo as part of the experience was the perfect, star-studded icing on the cake!" This event stands as a testament to the team's ability to craft experiences that are both grand in scale and deeply personal.

Overcoming Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges, from dealing with uncertainty and changing regulations to adapting weddings to virtual or hybrid formats. "We had to help couples make tough decisions, like whether to postpone or downsize their weddings," Sonal reflects. “Managing unexpected financial hurdles, and negotiating with vendors were all on our plate. It became crucial to be quick on our feet and find creative solutions to navigate through these uncertain times.”

Budgeting and Planning Advice

Sonal advises on the importance of a detailed budget and prioritization. "It's crucial to establish a detailed budget at the beginning of the planning process, prioritizing key elements," she suggests. "Regularly review and update the budget, negotiate with vendors, and encourage flexibility to ensure a memorable wedding without unnecessary overspending."

For couples embarking on their wedding planning journey, Sonal offers this wisdom: "Start your wedding planning early, establish a realistic budget, and communicate openly with your partner." This approach, she believes, is key to crafting a wedding that is both memorable and deeply personal.

Dream Venues 

Sonal takes pride in her brand loyalty, especially to high-end venues like St. Regis, Mandarin Oriental, and the Amans. "When you step foot onto these properties, you know the level of service that you are getting," she explains. "We are all about the next-level guest experience and white glove service. In a world where good service is common, these places redefine the game. It's not just about a bed and some amenities; it's about creating an entire experience."

However, when asked about her dream wedding venue, Sonal doesn't hesitate: "An Aman property. The unparalleled luxury and attention to detail that define an Aman property elevate the celebration, ensuring that every moment of the wedding becomes a cherished memory."

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog