The enormous and lavish Indian wedding might very well have been slimming down over the previous two years. In a surprising turn of events, Covid-19 was instrumental in reducing the financial burden associated with weddings. By reducing the size of weddings and the number of guests invited, Covid-19 ushered in a new fashion trend that was previously thought to be exclusive to the very wealthy. In more ways than one, destination weddings took on a more desi feel.
The idea originally included lavish vacations in faraway nations and stylish settings inside the country, but it has now evolved to include more modest weddings on hills or beaches that adhere to a strict financial plan. Chic elitism that was once exclusive to opulent weddings in Udaipur or exotic ones in Lakshadweep has made its way down to hotels and resorts in modest tier 2 and tier 3 towns that are located in lovely surroundings. The COVID-restricted Indian wants to get away from the large parties that are held at home so that they may attend the smaller parties that are held elsewhere.
“There has been a considerable shift after COVID, with people from all walks of life, across strata, and smaller towns, aspiring for destination weddings,” says Chetan Vohra, Co-founder & MD, Wedding Line, a wedding management firm that has organized top-notch weddings for celebrities such as Priyanka Chopra, Yuvraj Singh, and Vivek Oberoi, amongst others. Wedding Line is a wedding management firm that has organized top-notch wedding “People are coming to the realization that a wedding can be a celebration that also includes a vacation,” he goes on to say.
“They now understand the value of close-knit weddings with 150-200 guests, instead of big, fat ones with 500–800 people,” says Shweta Acharya, Founder of Baraati Inc., a leading wedding planner based in Delhi. “They also understand that it can be done in a much more fun, relaxed, creative, and personalized manner,” Acharya adds.
“Rather of doing things individually, events may be planned such that they revolve around both families,” she explains further. Another consideration is that, as a result of the epidemic, all of the available accommodations in the neighborhood have been reserved. According to Rituraj Khanna, the Chief Executive Officer of Q Events & Weddings, a renowned wedding management organization situated in Noida, “people are going out to have something unusual.”
This has resulted in the development of a number of new wedding destinations in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, in addition to the traditional centers located in Rajasthan, Goa, and Kerala. “We are seeing new destinations like Kalimpong, Wayanad, and Dharamsala, where people want small weddings because they are not only close to the domiciles of the bride or groom, but also because the logistics are easily managed,” says Vikram Lalvani, MD & CEO of Sterling Holiday Resorts. “People want small weddings because they are not only close to the domiciles of the bride or groom, but also because they are easily accessible,” says Lalvani.
“Places like Alibaug, Shimla, and Coorg are reasonable areas with exceptionally good weather that give a range of travel alternatives and make it simple to plan things,” says Shreyas Kudalkar, who works for Kings Hotel & Resort. If you are someone who, like many others, has been thinking of having their wedding in a faraway location, then continue reading to learn about the potential costs involved as well as the locations available to you.
How to decide on a location for your wedding
Choosing the appropriate location and setting for the event is the first stage in the planning process.
Your decision on the city to visit will be influenced by a number of variables, the most important of which is your financial situation. You should decide how much you want to spend overall on the wedding, and then spend between 60 and 65 percent of that total on the location of the wedding and the travel arrangements.
The next step is to settle on how many people will be attending the wedding. You may use this information to choose a rental home that has the necessary amount of rooms. In the event that there are not enough rooms, you may need to make reservations at more than two hotels. “My husband had his heart set on having a modest overseas wedding with very few guests, while I had my heart set on having a big wedding in Delhi with 1,000 guests. We were able to find a happy medium by having our wedding in Jodhpur with four hundred guests “Aarti Goel, whose wedding took place in the Umaid Bhawan Palace a year ago, states the following:
The distance of the site from your current residence is an essential factor to take into account. Consider the increased expense of travel if you can only get there by flying due to the distance between you and the destination. Distances that can be covered by automobile are desirable, particularly if you need to transport a large amount of wedding equipment as well as staff.
If there are senior members of your family who will be joining you on your trip, you will need to consider how convenient it will be for them. “We selected Jaipur since no flights were required from Delhi and we had older folks with us who were more comfortable driving down,” explains Navya Kapur, who was married at the Leela Palace in October of last year. Navya Kapur is a resident of Delhi and her wedding took place there.
The time of year and the weather are other important aspects to consider since they have a direct bearing on how simple it is to make travel arrangements and reservations. If it is the height of the tourist season, you will need to make your plans well in advance. If the weather is hot and humid, you will also need to be concerned about the flowers and other decorations withering away. Off-season reservations almost always result in the lowest overall costs and the most convenient travel times.
What is the price going to be?
The location of your wedding may be broken down into three categories, depending on how much money you have available: luxury, mid-segment, and budget. In most cases, housing, meals, and venue usage are all included in hotel expenses. The majority of them give add-on services for an additional fee, some of them include a few services and people as part of the package, and yet others provide wedding management from beginning to finish for a higher price.
The highest tier consists of luxury 5-star hotels, palaces, and forts, with room rates beginning at 35,000 Indian Rupees (INR) per night and increasing up to 7,000 Indian Rupees (INR) to 75,000 Indian Rupees (INR) per night. For a wedding that lasts for two days and with 200 guests, the entire cost might reach up to Rs. 3-5 crore, but this number could go much higher depending on the expectations of the family. The cities of Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaipur in Rajasthan are home to the majority of such locations, each of which has opulent royal surroundings and services.
The charges for a stay in a four- or five-star luxury or historic hotel may begin at 20,000 rupees (Rs.) per room each night, with the total cost potentially falling anywhere between 450 thousand and 2 million rupees (Rs.). The Hyatt, the Leela, the Taj, the JW Marriott, and the ITC Welcome hotels are only few of the leading hotel brands in this sector, among others. The 3- and 4-star hotels and resorts that fall into the “budget” category have nightly accommodation rates that range between Rs. 8,000 and 20,000, with the overall cost of the trip coming to between Rs. 15 and 45 lakh.
In this category include resorts such as the Radisson, the Sterling, the Lemon Tree Premier, and others. Although it is often believed that destination weddings are more costly than weddings held locally, this is not always always the case.
Due to the fact that your guest list for locations is substantially reduced, consisting of mainly close family and friends, you are able to save on the fees that would have been incurred by a larger local wedding that included 800–1,000 guests. If you choose a picturesque location that does not need an excessive amount of flowers or other decorations, you will be able to reduce the amount of money you spend on adornment and entertainment.
Need a wedding planner?
Destination weddings involve more advanced preparation and logistics to cope with traveling, out-of-town guests, decorating, and entertainment at the venue. While Indians have been arranging extravagant weddings on their own for a long time, this is not the case with destination weddings. Wedding planners often charge a fixed price for a range of services that, when combined, amount to between 5 and 10 percent of the overall cost of the wedding.
The ease with which one may organize and execute the otherwise laborious tasks required by a destination wedding more than makes up for this relatively little inconvenience. “For our wedding in Goa, the planner not only negotiated a good hotel discount but also handled the transfers of guests without any delays, which is considered a big hassle in Goa,” says Swati Verma, who resides in Bengaluru. “For our wedding in Goa, the planner not only negotiated a good hotel discount but also handled the transfers of guests without any delays.”
Larger planners often provide comprehensive services, which may include guest hospitality, transport and transfers, food and drinks, entertainment, and décor. As a result, the host family may enjoy a celebration free of worry.
How to save money on things.
There is always the opportunity to save money, regardless of whether you are having an extravagant or inexpensive wedding at a location. Despite the fact that COVID-19 has passed and hotel discounts are no longer available due to the increased demand, there are still alternative methods in which you may reduce your spending. Vohra recommends negotiating with the hotel during the off-season, when demand is lower, to cut down your prices by 20–25 percent. “A smart alternative is to bargain with the hotel during the off-season,” he adds. Utilizing local merchants and artists is another option, which will dramatically cut down on the expenditures associated with travel and lodging for the staff members that you would otherwise need to bring along. Choosing a place with natural beauty may also help you save money on the cost of decorating the space.
How should one plan?
At the very least, you should start preparing for your wedding at least six months in advance, beginning with determining your financial plan, guest list, ceremonies, and location. At this stage, you and the wedding coordinator will need to visit each of the venues that have been chosen for further consideration. You will need to travel there in person at least two to three months before the wedding in order to make decisions on the food and drinks, sites for the various ceremonies, themes and décor ideas, and other aspects of the wedding.
It is likely that it will turn out to be less expensive and more convenient for you if your planner has solid relationships with local merchants. However, in most cases, individuals choose to hire their own make-up artists, henna artists, choreographers, DJs, or singers, all of whom will need to be scheduled in advance. The wedding planner need to have completed all of the preparations, including tying up any loose ends, around one month or fifteen days before the big day.
Obtain a wedding insurance policy.
People often forget about an essential component, such as insurance, while they are making elaborate preparations for their nuptials. According to Acharya, a large number of people are interested in acquiring it but have no idea how or where to do it. The amount of money that should be insured ought to nearly equal the costs that were paid for the wedding. According to Raghavendra Rao, Chief Distribution Officer for Future Generali Insurance India, “It will cover the cancellation or delay of a wedding, burglary, damage to assets, accidents, death, and even third-party responsibility.”
“The insurance will cover the non-refundable charges of the wedding,” says T.A. Ramalingam, Chief Technical Officer of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. “The policy will cover the costs of the wedding.”
The most popular locations for weddings to be held at a place
The following are some popular and up-and-coming locales for weddings to be held at a destination. These cities provide a variety of accommodations, ranging from premium luxury palaces and 5-star luxury hotels to 3- and 4-star heritage hotels, economical boutique hotels, and budget resorts. These towns also offer a variety of dining alternatives. The hotel packages normally include of accommodations, meals, and places for gatherings, and the prices range anywhere from Rs. 5,000 to Rs.5 million per night per room.
The costs that are shown here are not the complete cost of the wedding; rather, they represent the hotel rates for a two-day wedding with 150 guests. This fee accounts for the vast majority of the total. You may either need to reduce the number of guests on your guest list to between 50 and 75 individuals or book more than one hotel since certain hotels in smaller cities may have fewer rooms.