With the wedding season kicking in again, here’s some help to have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. Crystal blue waters, serene hill-tops, white-sand beaches, and breathtaking views, we bring you some off-beat destinations to tie that perfect knot.
Each destination is unique to itself, and couples are looking to leverage this uniqueness to make their special occasion memorable! However, off-beat destinations do have certain limitations and it would be prudent to look for resorts that offer exclusive wedding services, says Harinath M, vice president, marketing, Sterling Holiday Resorts, Banjara Hills.
“Access and avenues for pre-wedding shoots, large indoor and outdoor banqueting spaces, single window coordination and the ability to web-casting the ceremonies are some of the sought-after services. There are two trends: Grand weddings in resorts that are widespread, with multiple indoor and outdoor venues for the different accompanying ceremonies and lavish buffet spreads, and intimate boutique weddings, where the couple prefers to book the entire resort for their group and have the place all to themselves,” he shares and lists the following beautiful off-beat locales.
In the hills and mountains
For large format weddings, the green vistas and cool climate of places like Ooty and Kodaikanal make for the ideal choice. With resorts that offer aesthetically planned indoor and outdoor venues for both large and small ceremonies, suite rooms for couples and a large inventory of rooms for groups etc. a wedding at Ooty or Kodaikanal are both picturesque and a delight to the senses and ideal for groups planning multiple ceremonies during the event. If you are from elsewhere in the country, you could look at Mussoorie and Darjeeling for a wedding of Himalayan proportions.
On the Beach
Puri has been for many years a revered destination for pilgrimage travel and heritage trails – but did you know that it also has beautiful beaches? There is a certain grandeur to a wedding on the beach and when you host your family and friends in a well-spread resort with wide-open spaces, expert teams to host Marwari, Gujarati and Jain weddings and provide special cocktail setups — you can up the glam quotient even more. Or you can stay with the tried and tested– head to South Goa – Varca!
Riverfronts or the jungle
Move beyond hills and beaches — riverfronts are the place to go. Consider Palavelli-Godavari near Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, offering a captivating sight of the mighty river and all the abundance that goes with it. You could take up a private houseboat for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon dinner, with authentic Konaseema cuisine — while exploring the many mini-islands of the river. Choose spacious and artistic rooms built in the local “Manduva Logili” style and with expert in-house teams providing a grand wedding in true rural and native settings.
If the jungle is what you fancy — head to Anaikatti — an escape from the mundane venues of Coimbatore, set amidst nature surrounded by rainforests, with the Siruvani river, a sub-tributary of the Kaveri, gurgling besides. The boutique resort serves customised menus, from authentic Kerala sadya to more modern cuisines.
A marriage made in heaven
Guruvayur, in Kerala, is considered one of the holy destinations for Hindu weddings in India. The place is also referred to as ‘Bhooloka Vaikuntam’ (earthly abode of Lord Vishnu). Here the 5000-year-old temple of Lord Guruvayurappa (Lord Krishna) welcomes families and couples seeking blessings for their ceremonial events. Host your wedding in a resort located close to the Guruvayurappa Temple, offering pure vegetarian fare that includes select Kerala and Indian specialities, and an indoor event venue for private religious gatherings and wedding ceremonies. Or one can also consider Madurai — the cultural capital of Tamilnadu and abode of the world-famous Goddess Meenakshi temple.