Weddings in India have always been a larger than life affair, and families make sure that its indeed a memorable one, not just for the couple but even for those who attend it. We are not talking about honeymoon destination here, but the destination of the actual wedding.
Most couples are now choosing to have their big-fat wedding at exotic locations – to make it a really memorable event. Its also exciting for those who attend, because its like going on a mini-vacation for them.
And you really don’t have to go out of the country for this, there are some really cool destinations in India itself…from beaches and backwaters to forts and palaces.
Read: The huge Indian wedding market and the growing potential of the destination weddings market in India. It seems several locations in India are seeing a big business opportunity that is waiting to be tapped.
Here are the best choices of grand locations for your dream wedding, to make it an affair to remember.
Just before the wedding season, wedding planners make a mad scramble to land some of the biggest and fattest deals; and almost all such weddings are held at the following destinations in India.
Everybody loves Goa, be it the young or the seniors, rich and the poor; the name itself is enough to bring a smile on your face. Goa also happens to be a hot-spot as a destination wedding in the country. Tourists flock to its beaches just to tie the knot, with South Goa offering more choices of hotels (bigger and luxurious ones) compared to the North of Goa. The luxury hotels at Varca Beach and Morbor Beach, both in the southern part of Goa, are ideal for beach weddings. If you prefer a quiet garden ceremony, you can opt for resorts near Palolem Beach in south Goa.
Another great option is Kerala. Even though its a well-know global tourist destination, in terms of a Wedding Destination, its still not yet popular (probably Kerala needs to market it well). With its coconut palm lined beaches, tranquil stretches of backwaters and houseboats, Spa and Ayurveda Centers, Hill Stations, Kerala is one of the most sought after wedding destinations in India. The resorts in Trivendrum, Alleppey, Kovalam, and Kochi give you several options, to choose your wedding venue.
The next three choices are from Rajasthan, that has wooed not just the wealthy Indians but Hollywood celebs as well. Awed by its grandeur and royal feel, Hollywood biggies love to get hitched at one of these places.
Udaipur lies in southern Rajasthan, near the Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh borders, and rests on the foothills of the Aravalli Mountains. Known for its palaces and lakes, Udaipur’s architecture perfectly blends modernism with tradition, giving you a perfect setting for your dream wedding. Choose from some exotic fort locations, such as Taj Lake Palace, Devi Garh, Oberoi Udaivilas, Trident Hilton, Durbar Hall at Fateh Prakash Palace, Manek Chowk and many more.
The Pink City is a favorite for marriages, and offers a wide variety of locations. The wedding sites range from real ornate palaces to ancient, well-maintained mansions. The old mansions in Jaipur serve as ideal venues for marriages, if you have a limited budget. Mandawa Haveli and Alsisar Haveli are also in great demand. If you want your marriage to be a quiet affair, you can opt for Samode Palace (a heritage site away from the main city).
Umaid Bhavan is the epitome of luxury when it comes to wedding destinations in Jodhpur. Known for several celebrity weddings, this palace actually dons quite a modern look inside. Being one of the finest wedding venues in Jodhpur, Umaid Bhavan screams of its extravagance. Ajit Bhavan, Balsamand Lake Palace, and Ratanada Polo Palace are few other places that you may consider for your wedding ceremonies.
Elizabeth and Arun hit Jodhpur in maharajah style
Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar had got married at the Maharajah of Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan Palace. Though the main ceremony was held at the majestic property, the festivities were spread out over Maharajah’s other historic properties too.
‘Destination One’ to Promote Goa as Ideal Wedding Destination
Goa is already a popular tourist destination, and they have come up with a plan to promote the state as a top wedding destination as well. The exotic beaches of Goa provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic wedding ceremony. With this Initiative, people can now come to Goa and have a luxury beach wedding, and don’t have to go to Bali, Ibiza, or other places for destination weddings.
Goa Tourism has launched an integrated hospitality establishment concept called ‘Destination One’ that will work on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode provide exclusive services for the Wedding segment.
The Goa Tourism ministry understands that destination weddings have become a huge trend in India, and as per their research the Indian Wedding market is valued at USD 38 billion a year and is expected to grow 25-30 per cent annually. Goa wants to tap this segment and position the state as the most attractive Wedding destination, at least in India.
Through ‘Destination One’, the State Tourism Department wants to tap the segment effectively and wants to provide a great wedding experience to the end users.
Although Goa is a great place for weddings and is one of the top wedding destinations in India, it faces stiff competition from other cities, especially from those located in Rajasthan.
Under this initiative, Goa tourism also aims to identify and develop five properties under this special initiative in four to five years. The plan is to make them grandeur & bigger so that they can host a variety of functions & events.
Calangute Residency on Calangute Beach, property of GTDC, is the first property to be developed under the Destination One concept.
Goa Tourism is also doing various Wedding Shows across India to promote the state as the best wedding destination in India; these shows are intended to highlight the best that Goa has to offer in this segment in terms of hotels, venues, wedding planners and other service providers, and also highlight Destination One initiative.
Choose Your Favorite Destination
The good thing about these places is that they are very well connected to the major cities in India by air and other modes of transport. So its easier to get friends and relatives, who stay locally. From historical palaces, contemporary monuments, and exotic beaches, India offers some great destinations for your dream wedding.