The Navhind Times Zest workshop on ‘Wedding and party planning’ was held on Sunday, December 4 at Dempo House, Panaji. Conducted by certified wedding planner and entrepreneur, Lester Melo, the half-day workshop aimed at sharing tips with participants about planning an event right from choosing the venue to the caterers, decor and more. The workshop was an attractive mix of learning and fun with participant’s creativity shining through in the practical session.

The workshop commenced with an introduction by Melo on the basic principles of event management and the various types of events and then moved on to professional and personal event planning. Through a powerpoint presentation, he explained the step-by-step approached that has to be adopted while planning an event. Venue, guest list, caterers, entertainers, accommodation and various other topics were discussed. Explaining the basics of planning an event, he recommended that everything should be written down and said, “Every conversation, comment, thought, idea, everything should be jotted down. This way you can then decide what is required and what is not. Once you have taken into consideration all the factors, streamlining your planning becomes easier. Remember it is imperative that there should be attention not just to detail but to the tiniest details. Nothing should be taken as unimportant because it is often the small things that make an occasion memorable.”

The importance of a timeline was expounded on and participants were shown how the gent charts and Tony Buzan’s mind-mapping were good tools in ensuring everything was taken into consideration and planned accordingly. Participants were then asked to make their own mind maps using coloured pencils, drawings, different shapes, etc. “For me Buzan’s mind-mapping works but you can use whatever you are comfortable with. What matters is it works and you remember the points you have jotted down,” he said.

In the next session participants were divided into groups and mock meetings were held between representatives from each group. The first meeting was between the wedding party and the event planners. Melo guided the participants through the process of meeting with a event planner and the questions each side should be asking. “Most people go to an event planner and tell them what they require and after that the budget is discussed. Very rarely do people first discuss their budget. A wedding is a dream for most and they want to materialise that dream; so once they know how much it costs, they can work backwards and cut costs accordingly,” he shared.

After the mock meetings, the groups were then given an assignment of making a 8X6 feet backdrop with the props and materials supplied by Melo. It was fun and exciting to see each group doing their best to come up with the most creative backdrop.

The next workshop under the banner of Zest is scheduled for March but before that the next Planet J workshop for youth is on hair care on December 18.


The workshop was educative and creative ideas were generated. It was worth the effort to travel from Salcete.

Lida Joao, lawyer

Thank you Navhind Times Zest for the interactive workshop. It was a nice workshop and I got a lot of creative ideas. The workshop will help me a lot.

Siddhi Desai, fashion designer

It was a good experience and I enjoyed it.

Shaibaz Bhishti, market executive and student of Don Bosco night school

An educative and inspiring workshop. It has increased my confidence in this field.

D. Naik, businessman

It was a learning and fun workshop. Got a lot of ideas. Thank you Navhind Times.

Vignesh Naik, service

Amazing workshop! A real stress-buster from college.

Vidur Kukretia, student, IHM, Porvorim

The session was very well conducted and very beneficial to me. I learnt a lot of new things which will be useful while organising family functions. Thanks Navhind Times.

Francis Pinto, service

Good concepts. Had fun and noticed the effects of team work as well.

Reshma Salelkar, surgeon

It was a fun, creative and interactive workshop and got a lot of ideas.

Isabel Fernandes, teacher

It was a really awesome day out. Got many imputs and hands-on-experience. Wonderful job by the organisers.

Daniel Caiado, lecturer at Fr Agnel Higher Secondary School, Pilar

The practical designing and executing session was something I enjoyed the most as I got to work collectively with different creative people and put up one of the best backdrops.

Chrisanne Mendes, teacher

Now party planning will be a lot easier for me, thanks to tips and tricks given by Lester. Navhind Times Zest thank you.

Cheryl Da Costa, student, Goa University

It was a fabulous workshop and got many creative ideas from Lester.

Maggie Fernandes, service

It was fun and I enjoyed doing the backdrop. I am sure the knowledge I gained will help me in the future.

Neha Kumari, student, Fr Agnel’s College, Pilar

A very interesting workshop wherein we learnt many secrets to planning a successful party.

Amabelle Rodrigues, student of Mass Communication

Thank you for having this workshop. We had fun, got to use our creativity and learnt a lot.

Samantha Viana, student, St Xavier’s College, Mapusa

The workshop was very informative and I had a lot of fun.

Lynsey Ferrao

It was a creative and interesting workshop.

Ezlinda Godinho

The combination of theory and practicals made the workshop exciting. The mind-mapping technique was very useful.

Pradnesh Gauthankar, instructor

It was an awesome workshop and I enjoyed it.

Suvarna Gudadgi, student

I liked the workshop and got many new ideas.

Murtajabi Mulla, Student

It was a fun workshop. Thank you for arranging it.

Poorti Sharma, student

It was indeed an inspiring experience to learn to plan events well. Thanks for the lovely opportunity.

Chriselle Mendes, teacher

A very informative workshop giving valuable tips for beginners.

Siddesh Pai, photographer

Loved the workshop! Got to learn new things and also had fun.

Osbert Dias, drummer and service

Very informative session. Fun and interactive as well. Hope to attend more!

Cecelia Lourenco, designer

Good session. Informative.

Rupesh Desai, service

Very very good. Thank you for organising the workshop.

Ramkrishna Shetye, civil engineer

It was an excellent workshop.

Genevieve De Souza, teacher