Our cab drove into the entrance making its way near Galle fort when I spotted a group of women all identically dressed, giggling away.. Few yards from them, I spotted a group of men all in suits, and then ahead I saw the bride and groom, all decked in finery ready for what looked like a Photo shoot.. Asked the cabbie to pull over, and made a beeline towards the couple. They greeted me with big smiles & were happy to chat for a few seconds. They were both from Colombo, but had picked Galle Fort area to get married as it had the best views and perfect location for a Wedding photo shoot as well [they had their photographers with assistants waiting on the sidelines]. They had flown down their friends and family and were excited about the wedding. The wedding was to happen at a small space near the Lighthouse, with seats organised, and a canopy for the main ceremony.
Fast forward to a few years later when I was walking around the Tidal Basin area in Washington DC Area when I spotted a couple walking down the steps at the Jefferson Memorial, and the photographers were clicking away. They then turned towards a corner where a small group had gathered to watch them exchange vows and tie the knot.
For the longest time, I thought these destination weddings were done only abroad, but then a year ago I got invited to a friend’s wedding in Goa, the couple had always wanted a beach wedding. And then subsequently got invited to friend’s wedding [ I knew both the bride & the groom]- they had chosen a different location for each of the ceremonies. The Mehndi party at Udaipur [who wouldn’t love to be amidst the palace and forts, enjoying the breathtaking view & ambiance] , Cocktail & dance party at Kumarakom [the backwater, the houseboat rides and the delicious local food], and finally the main wedding at a temple in the bride’s home town Allepey. They had a wedding planner who was organising travel, food, and accommodation for all the guests flying in. The invite carried a RSVP and was sent across months in advance. I could not wrap my head around how much planning had gone into this wedding and the kind of tasks the wedding planners had on their hand. I couldn’t attend the other ceremonies, but managed to make it to the main wedding and it was beautiful. The property I stayed at was right at the edge of the backwaters and I was provided with a car during my stay for local travel, and a representative from the wedding planners was in touch ensuring I was comfortable and taken care of.
I have also heard of Wedmegood, a wedding planning platform that has made wedding planning digital. One can easily find various wedding vendors just at a click of a button and that too from the comfort of their homes. Imagine sitting in Delhi and planning a wedding in a completely different city say Chennai. You can easily browse through a list of wedding vendors, find banquets & marriage halls in Chennai, professional photographers or even makeup artists in your budget. Not just this they also have a photo gallery and a blog for tonnes of inspiration. Who would have thought wedding planning would become so easy in today’s time.
Over time,I have discovered there are quite a few locations in the country that are very popular for destination weddings– Goa, Shimla, Rajasthan [ Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur], Kerala , Agra, and even Havelock Islands, Andaman…
It reminds me of the weddings I have seen in several Hollywood movies, like 27dresses or Mamma Mia or Sex and the city where the couple is happy and excited about the location- be it on a mountain top, or by the beach or in a heritage building… Wonder what new locations will become an option, considering we have read about couples tying the knot up in the air in a hot air balloon or while scuba diving..
The one thing all the couples shared was that the destination had been on their “dream wedding” pocket forever, it gave them a chance to have a small intimate guest list, and it was less drama and chaos since the entire thing was handled by professionals. All they had to do was pack their bags and look their best across events 🙂