The world’s our kalyana mantapa

The world’s our kalyana mantapa

Rich Bengaluru families are hosting weddings at exotic venues abroad

Many affluent families in Bengaluru are celebrating weddings at exotic destinations.

They are influenced by Indian films shot abroad, and media reports about glittering events featuring celebrity couples.

Shreya Dutta, co-founder of Krafted Knots, a company that organises destination weddings, says many factors go into the selection of a venue abroad.

“As of now, South-East Asian countries like Thailand, Bali and Sri Lanka are popular among young couples. However, if we look at the most trending places, Europe has always set the bar high,” she says.

Cricketer Virat and his movie star-bride Anushka went to Italy for their wedding, but that is not the only reason it is a favourite.

European countries go out of the way to encourage Indian weddings and are particularly welcoming of affluent Indians, industry insiders say. An interesting fact about Europe is that it allows hosts to convert libraries and museums into wedding and event venues. They also boast other magnificent backdrops: old castles and manors.

Besides Italy, Portugal and Belgium are other countries families choose for weddings. They are picturesque and provide a memorable experience, but keep in mind everything from travel to stay is more expensive in Europe than in Asia.

“Europe will not really become a mass favourite; it is an aspirational destination. A lot of families today want an intimate ceremony with only a selected number of guests, and destination weddings allow that,” says Shreya.

Alisha Shirodkar, vice president, business development, Tamarind Global, observes Indian heritage cities also offer good options.

“Udaipur is a favourite. It provides royal splendour while keeping intact the natural beauty and colours of Rajasthan. Lake Pichola in Udaivilas, Fateh Prakash, Shiv Niwas, Fatehgarh and Taj Lake Palace provide a transcendent ambience for romantic celebrations,” she says. Winter brings out the beauty of Rajasthan, making October to March the perfect time to host a wedding, she observes.

Bodrum in Turkey is a popular destination, especially for its architectural beauty. The best time to host weddings in Turkey is May to October, she adds.

A wedding venue done up by Indian wedding
planners Tamarind Global in Turkey.


Romil Pant, senior vice president, leisure travel, Thomas Cook (India), divides wedding destinations into three types— traditionally popular, emerging and domestic.

“Thailand, Switzerland, Maldives, Mauritius, Italy, France, Australia and Canada are typical international wedding destinations. Places like Croatia, French Polynesia, Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, and closer home Bhutan, are emerging destinations. In the domestic circuit, though the number of destinations continues to be limited, Goa remains an old favourite, along with Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and Coorg (Kodagu),” says Romil.Cruise weddings are also getting popular. “Celebrity weddings drive destinations like Italy. Couples are now open to exploring new and quirky ideas. While some are heading to Thailand for an underwater wedding, others are adventurous enough for a sky wedding in a hot air balloon in Turkey. Switzerland is famous for ‘top-of-a-mountain’ weddings and Iceland for snow weddings. In Asia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are great places,” says Romil.

Why they are popular

  • They have become more affordable.
  • The celebrations can extend to a holiday.
  • Celebrity weddings promote new destinations.
  • Foreigners understand Indian wedding market better.

Wallet factor

(For 50 guests, costs include travel and stay)

Rs 85 lakh onwards.
(Rs 1,70,000 a guest)

Rs 30 lakh onwards.
(Rs 60,000 to Rs 80,000 a guest)

Croatia and Italy
Rs 75 lakh onwards.
(Rs 1.5 to Rs 3 lakh a guest).

Kenya, other African countries:
From Rs 50 lakh.
(Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.25 lakh a guest).

Trending adventures

  • Underwater wedding in Thailand
  • Hot-air balloon wedding in Turkey
  • Top-of-mountain wedding in Switzerland

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