Bollywood has always been a major trendsetter when it comes to weddings in India, and the recent dreamy wedding of lovebirds Virat and Anushka put destination weddings back into the limelight. After all, who doesn’t get excited at the prospect of going somewhere gorgeous and unique to exchange vows in a way that is completely ‘you’? They are also virtually stress-free, void of drama and you get to call all the shots!
This desire to make unique memories has led to an increase in splurge and inclination towards destination weddings. Every little thing from the venue, to the decorations, to the food, has to be the best. To a large extent, it’s the economic liberalization that has caused this change in attitude.
Here are a few distinctive international locations that make wedding planning an absolute adventure:
Marriages are made in heaven, so it is only right that they be cemented in the City of Angels. Whether you and your sweetheart are the perfect cliché couple or just quirky out-of-the-box thinkers, Los Angeles has spectacular locales to get hitched at. From historic buildings to renovated warehouses – a plethora of choices await. Saddlerock Ranch is a 1,000-acre private estate filled with fruit and avocado orchards, acres of rolling hills, vineyards, a custom rock waterfall and pastureland with grazing herds of horses, cattle, and llamas. The cameras are sure to run absolutely crazy here! An absolutely exclusive place to get hitched would be the Natural History Museum; from life-sized dinosaurs to in-flight hummingbirds – the Natural History Museum has nearly a century of experience in making a moment last forever! The halls of the Museum are one of the most unique event spaces in Los Angeles, and whether your tastes lean toward the classical architecture of the Rotunda and Grand Foyer, or the dramatic tableaux of the Mammal Halls, you can let your imagination run wild. Classical or quirky, your special day promises to be one for the ages.
SmogShoppe, a haven for the environmentally conscious, chic couples and the Houdini Estate, a hidden retreat in the middle of Laurel Canyon with deer, peacocks and waterfalls are other popular choices. Anyone with a secret wish for a European storybook wedding will fall in love with the 7,600 square foot brick Italian villa – Carondelet House that features exterior courtyards, fresco paintings, tufted seating, country chic tables, a baby grand piano, romantic chandeliers, a sitting room fireplace, antique touches and so much more!
South Africa boasts of world-class infrastructure, seamless global connectivity, as well as numerous service providers and specialists that make it easy to source and manage requirements locally – all this coupled with a favorable exchange rate, are reasons why planning a destination wedding in South Africa is a dream. From saying ‘I do’ at a beach-front in the Eastern Cape to walking down the aisle at award-winning vineyards along the Garden Route, or even tying the knot while floating above the clouds in a hot air balloon – dream weddings come alive in South Africa!
Bush weddings at that offer dreamy indulgence in thriving wildlife destinations like the Kruger National Park or the game lodges at Eastern Cape and the many beautiful reserves spread across the country are popular in the Rainbow Nation. For a perfect African wedding experience, bride and groom can also arrange for traditional singers and dancers to perform at bush weddings. The stunning landscapes of the vineyards offer beautiful wedding venue options in and around the picturesque wine estates of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Somerset West and the Klein Karoo. Beach weddings are also dominant with so many beautiful beaches along the extensive coastline of the country! Couples have endless options to choose from, each with their own special characteristics, for a romantic African seaside wedding. From quiet, secluded and untouched beaches, to the more popular, busy and easily accessible beaches, lovebirds can be sure to find the perfect wedding venue.
One of the most spectacular and stunning settings for your big fat Indian beach wedding – Thailand, requires no introduction. Visited by scores of Indians and immortalized in many Bollywood films, Thai beaches are forever embedded in memory. From lavish resorts on white sand beaches to luxurious hotels, it is the perfect wedding getaway. Its proximity to Kolkata and Chennai along with economical hotels have made Thailand a popular choice for Indian couples looking for a destination wedding.
With the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east, Thailand has hundreds of beautiful wedding venues that cater to the Indian palate. Some renowned destinations besides Bangkok are Krabi, Hua Hin and Phuket, Rayong, Pattaya and Koh Samui. There exists a Thailand for every kind of romance – lovebirds wanting to get hitched, honeymooners looking to unwind after a row of celebrations, married partners needing an escape from the worries of the city and more. With its lush greenery and breathtaking mountain views, Northern Thailand is a good option tying the knot. And if you’re looking for a destination with historical and cultural significance, look no further than Sukhothai which boasts of 13th and 14th-century palaces and temples that are known for their classic architectural style. Further North, the twin cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are also known for their unique Lanna Thai wedding experience. Phuket offers diverse locales ranging from Ko Yao Noi, Ko Racha and Ko Phi Phi—all accessible through Phuket’s international airport.
Bedecked with a gorgeous skyline, Hong Kong is a super popular destination in South East Asia which, over the past few years, is also becoming a trendy new destination for Indian weddings. This gives couples the chance to combine a fabulous holiday with the wedding of their dreams! If you picture your dream wedding taking place in a big and bright city with tons of sights and activities, Hong Kong may be just the place for you. Some of the finest restaurants and venues are found in areas like the famous The Peak which has some stunning views and luxury options for venues replete with beautiful vantage points and the fun Peak Tram.
Also found in Hong Kong are scenic alfresco settings for nuptials by the waterside with beach banquets and beautiful shores for your choosing. There is definitely no dearth of luxe hotels and catering services or different accommodation options for different budgets. From vibrant and interesting markets to an Ocean Park and Disneyland, stellar cuisine and local roadside stalls, from a buzzing nightlife scene to temples and a heritage trail, you will find an amazing mix of activities and experiences. The fact that it comes with a six hours flight time from both Mumbai and Delhi is just another huge plus point!
Let the wedding bells ring!