Wedding destinations rising in popularity charts
It’s becoming increasingly popular to go to a picturesque place to tie the knot. A number of recent celebrity weddings — from Virat Kohli-Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone to Nick Jonas-Priyanka Chopra — have helped make this something to aspire for. Anil Punjabi, chairman (east), Travel Agents Federation of India, tells The Telegraph which places are in demand for destination weddings
Mahabalipuram, now Mamallapuram, has always been famous for its Five Rathas, bas-relief and the Shore Temple. Now the shore is in focus for holding weddings in the backdrop of 1,000-plus years’ history. Access is easy — about an hour away from Chennai down the East Coast Road — and resorts aplenty.
Macau, the casino city, is to Asia what Las Vegas is for America. Two hotels — Galaxy Macau and The Venetian Macao — are the sought-after wedding destinations, just a four-hour flight and a ferry ride or road trip away. If one takes the direct ferry from the airport, he bypasses Hong Kong immigration as well.
Santorini in Greece is a little more complicated than Asian destinations since there are no direct flights to Europe from Calcutta. Known for its picture-perfect setting with white buildings on the hillside overlooking the sea, it is as romantic as it gets — an ideal setting for a memorable wedding.
Tuscany in Italy came into the limelight in India with the Virat Kohli-Anushka Sharma wedding that fired everyone’s imagination. The region is set with olive groves and vineyards. It doesn’t get much more idyllic than this. And the costs can be managed around Rs 50,000 for a three-night stay for one person.
Bali, Indonesia, might be better known as a party place, but with its many resorts of all sorts, also offers a wide range of options for a destination wedding. If a buzzy and fun beach wedding is what one is looking for, this is it. There’s much to see as well for guests who want a little ‘sightseeing’ too.
Hua Hin, Thailand, has been emerging as one of the most popular wedding destinations because it is easy to reach from Calcutta as it’s just one flight and a three-hour or so coach ride away, making the logistics easy to manage. It also has a range of seven-star resorts that can host the wedding in style.
Udaipur, along with Jaipur, has been a favourite for those who want a wedding in an Indian heritage setting. If not a palace, one can certainly get a few palatial options. In fact, even the places around these cities are strewn with grand forts and places. And the groom can arrive on an elephant — Rajasthani style!
Langkawi is another Asian favourite and has been so for a while now. This group of about a hundred islands offers a wide array of beaches to choose from. Plus, since it’s a duty-free port, prices of liquor and other things go down to a third of what it is in other places. It also allows all kinds of religious rituals, like havans, that may be restricted in other places.
Bhutan is emerging as a desirable place to wed in as the whole practice of travelling somewhere to tie the knot gathers momentum. And while it’s quite close by, it’s certainly not an inexpensive option although Indian citizens do not have the spending floor that applies to people of other nationalities.
Goa, particularly south of the Mandovi River, has numerous less-crowded beaches that are perfect places to host a wedding. In fact, some of the resorts have their own private ones. This is also the quintessential party place and there is always a fun mood in the air. It’s an old favourite for good reason.