When you start planning for a Destination Wedding, you are loaded with so many queries, ideas, options, inputs and so on. We were featured for expert advise on Weddingsonline.in FAQs on Destination Weddings.
Q 1 – What is this term Destination Wedding all about ?
Sunaina – It just like taking a mini vacation and inviting your friends and families along to attend one’s dream wedding. It is more fun, a less formal affair. Where in a typical traditional wedding, people just come attend the event and go home; in a destination wedding, friends and families have nothing to do except have fun at all the events, engage themselves in various ritual ceremonies, eat, drink and dance. One need not worry about anything ! And yes, you also avoid all the social drama as most people only invite their closest friends and family to a destination wedding; people with whom they really want to share their Wedding Day.
Q 2 – How far in advance should one start planning for their destination wedding ?
Sunaina – Destination Wedding encompasses various elements: it takes quite a lot of planning and research. The initial two-three months would just go in brain storming about the right location, planning the budget and logistics etc. Also, most weddings of this sort involve flights and accommodation so one should at least have a lead time of 10-12 months for planning of a destination wedding. Planning in advance would also assure you the best rooms and flight rates.
Q 3 – How should one decide on which city or hotel to choose for destination wedding in India ?
Sunaina – It all starts with how you want to get married. Do you want a royal wedding and get married like a Princess or do you want a fun wedding in sandy beaches, or simply wish to tie the knot amidst a few relatives in the backwaters? Once you sort this, you can consider Rajasthan, Goa and Kerala as they are most sought after wedding destinations and are also well connected by road and air. Even Lakshadweep and Anadaman Islands are beautiful but they are more convenient for smaller weddings with less than 100 guests. Once you get the idea, you can check your guest count, the number of rooms required and then accordingly choose the hotels. Sometimes our brides want only real Heritage Hotel and not the mock ones; many wish for a luxurious heritage site or a modern hotel and so on.
Q 4 – What should i keep in mind prior to choosing a location?
Sunaina – Logistics is foremost; when you choose a city, it must be well connected via air and road. If you have time on hand, make sure you visit the place at least once. Even if you have visited the destination earlier, visit it again and this time consider all that would be going on in the wedding so it would be a different view this time!
Think about the weather, if it would be cold or raining or unpleasantly hot etc. In the off seasons, one can get good rates but you also risk the heat or rains. We recenty had a monsoon wedding in August in Udaipur where it does not generally rain at the time, but it did on the wedding day so we somehow managed to get Pheras under White Mandap just in time ! The Rain Gods relented a bit, so all went okay!
And then come the hotels:first consider if you would have any elders family members. One must consider this as heritage hotels don’t always have elevators and lifts unless they are renovated. Also, their steps may not be easy to climb. Secondly, you need to consider the number of rooms your hotel has and the kind of spacious lawns it has. If you are opting for a Beach Hotel then do consider how far the beach is from the hotel. If it is not near, you will need hotels which provide free shuttle services to the beaches. And the last but not the least; do consider the Service Levels. If you have planned everything well then apart from the weather, its the hotel’s service level which can make or break the wedding.
Q 5 – Since we do not meet the vendors, how can we be assured of their reliability?
Sunaina – This is your wedding planner’s job. As a planner, I make sure that the bride and groom are in touch with at least two of the vendors which are the photo-video artist and the makeup artists. At times, we even get sampling sessions done for these and for the flowers, linen, Henna etc. More the bride and groom knows about their suppliers, more trust they will have in them. Another thing I keep in mind is to get the locals to do as much as possible without compromising on quality. If we can get florals done from a local florist from Jaipur, we won’t get someone from Delhi or Mumbai to do it.
Q 6 – Can a Destination wedding be planned without a planner?
Sunaina – There are so many complications that one can’t even think of doing a destination wedding without a planner. After all as I said, it is a mini vacation. And here, like in a tour, it does not stop with just booking flights and rooms. It would be ongoing task until your guests depart. Do you really want to worry about the seating arrangement when you would be taking Pheras or while you are at your first dance do you want to be worried about whether the fireworks to go out in time? If not, then hire a planner. You can give them all the details, and get a solution which is a right fit for those details. They may charge you for the co-ordination etc, but a hassle free wedding is more important than money spent. This is also the best wedding gift you can give to yourself.
Find one who specializes in destination weddings. Getting events in place for evenings is different and knowing the locals, advising and coordinating travel, staying arrangements, transport, suppliers and arranging for your wedding vacation is different. Also, lot of times, I come across couples who consider travel agents for doing all this. Yes, travel agents are good at getting flight rates and hotel rates etc but Wedding planners are good at planning the complete wedding and coordination ; so it best to leave this task to them.
This article was first published on WeddingsOnline.in