Destination Wedding

Rise in offbeat locations for destination weddings

By Vikram Lalvani,

A destination wedding is the current go-to trend for desi grooms and brides in India. And young couples are leaving no stone unturned in making it to the Instagrammable wedding list while also making a wholesome experiential wedding.

What we have observed in the past couple of years is that the two trends are dominating the idea of destination weddings in India. One includes Grand Weddings held at widespread resorts, with multiple indoor and outdoor venues for different ceremonies and lavish buffet spreads and Intimate Boutique weddings, where couples prefer to book the complete resort for their group.

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While the beautiful pictures from destination weddings are luring and the lavish arrangements fascinating, creating a fairy-tale is a highly expensive proposition. But don’t despair because you still have options where you can fulfil your dream of a destination wedding without spending your life’s savings.

And the other is Offbeat destinations that are downright beautiful and budget-friendly too. There is also a massive up-side for couples looking for unique honey-moon holidays at drive-to locations. Or that new Instagrammable holiday spot that envies your neighbour.

Wedding by the Hills & Mountains are Still Popular

Ooty and Kodaikanal’s lush surroundings and cool climate make it ideal for large-format weddings. With resorts that offer exquisitely crafted indoor and outdoor sites for big and small weddings, suite rooms for newlyweds, a vast selection of rooms for groups, etc., weddings in Ooty or Kodaikanal are stunning and ideal for groups organising many events concurrently. If you’re from elsewhere in the country, Mussoorie and Darjeeling, Kalimpong are good options for a wedding with Himalayan proportions.

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Intimate Weddings at Offbeat destinations that are setting a new scene

Waterfront instead of hills and beaches, should be the preference for intimate and experiential weddings. Consider the Palavelli-Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, near Rajahmundry, or the Alleppey that is surrounded by lake vembanad, and where resorts stand to offer spectacular venues indoor and outdoor. You could take a private houseboat for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon dinner with authentic local cuisines, exploring the many mini-islands of the river and backwaters etc.

If you want to experience the jungle and the whole resort to yourself then Anaikatti is the place to be. The Siruvani River, a sub-tributary of the Kaveri River, flows nearby at this natural retreat near Coimbatore. The boutique resorts here provide customised menus ranging from traditional Kerala Sadya to more modern dishes.

Guruvayur in Kerala is regarded as one of the holy destinations for Hindu weddings in India. The place is also known as Bhooloka Vaikuntam (the earthly abode of Lord Vishnu). The historic old Lord Guruvayurappa (Lord Krishna) temple welcomes families and couples seeking blessings for their ceremonial events. Guruvayurappan Temple offers pure vegetarian food, including Kerala and Indian specialities, as well as an indoor event space for private religious gatherings and wedding ceremonies.

Lastly in this list is Madurai, the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu and home to the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple. One can choose a hotel with multiple venues and culinary options. The culture, the cuisine and the very vibe of the ancient city will make it a wedding for the ages.

Weddings on the beaches

Puri’s pilgrimage travel and heritage trails attract many tourists. But it’s the city’s beautiful beaches that are acting as couple’s destination wedding goals. When you host your family and friends in a large resort with open spaces, get professional teams to organise Marwari, Gujarati, and Jain weddings and provide special cocktail sets, you enhance the glam quotient of your special day even more. There is a certain grandeur to a beach wedding, and Puri can be one of the greatest choices when it comes to hosting a wedding by the beaches. Additionally, it is less busy than the Goa beaches.

But if Goa is where you want it to be, Varca Beach is the tried and tested beach for private and magnificent celebrations. It stands out from other beaches due to its white sand and clear sea.

Summing up

Young Indians are interested in breaking the pattern and making their Wedding an exquisitely memorable experience. Offbeat destinations are the new objective that is on their mind and brands like Sterling are geared up to cater to their requirements.

(The author is Managing Director & CEO, Sterling Holiday Resorts Ltd. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the