Sunday, March 26

Kolkatans give a thumbs up to destination weddings

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Actress-MP Nusrat Jahan is set to walk down the aisle with beau Nikhil Jain at a hotel overlooking the Bosphorus in Istanbul on June 19. Even though the trend of destination wedding has been there for quite a few years now, it caught up after the dreamy Virushka wedding in Italy in December, 2017. As per wedding planners, even though fewer people opt for destination weddings from Kolkata in comparison to Delhi and Mumbai, there’s a steady demand. “On an average, at least 30 to 40 destination weddings take place every year from Kolkata. While some choose to hold the mehendi-sangeet-shaadi on the foreign turf, others go for diverse places within the country. Kolkatans know this is one of the most unique ways of celebrating the special day and that is translating into good business for us,” said Shahin Shareen, a wedding planner and owner of an event management company.

Most Kolkatans prefer seaside destinations over hill stations. “While the foremost reason is the cost involved, the second reason is that people probably find it more romantic,” said Dona Chanda Arora, another wedding planner.

Among international destinations, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam are quite popular. “People love Thailand because they can avail a single flight from Kolkata. Besides, there are great venues and hotels to host a wedding,” said Satish Ramnani, director of an event management company. Besides Southeast Asia, there are some European countries that people like travelling to. The cost depends on bookings with airfare and without the same. There are also a few basic packages. Additionally, the wedding planners also offer an airport-to-airport facility. “This includes everything. Starting from designing and decorating the wedding card to booking a hotel, from arranging for the music to food, everything is managed by us,” said Ramnani, adding that most opt for a three-day package.


Cost: `2.5 crore-`3 crore for 150 people

Be it great beaches or hill stations with breath-taking views, Vietnam has everything to woo couples. In the past five years, the country has become a top tourist destination. And now, people are also hosting weddings there. “The lower currency value of the Vietnamese dong than the Indian rupee is one of the major reasons. Besides, the country has great hotels and facilities. Pullman Da Nang beach is one of the most popular wedding venues in Vietnam,” said Shaheen.


Cost: Starts from `70 lakh for 150 people for three days

A tourist magnet, Thailand, with its verdant greens and crystal blue waters, remains a sought-after destination for Indian weddings. Thai beaches are among the best in the world. While the country has a great nightlife, many islands like Krabi, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi Don and others, provide the perfect backdrop for the band, baaja, baarat.


Cost: `2-`2.5 crore for 150 people for three days

Known for its shopping malls, lavish hotels and incredible eateries, Dubai is also a popular wedding destination. “Many of my clients have done their wedding shopping from Dubai. The gold is cheaper and there are loads of good shopping malls. However, the most popular wedding venues are the luxury hotels,” said Shaheen.

Bali, Indonesia

Cost: `1.5-`2 crore for 150 people for 3 days

Over the past few years, Bali has gained immense popularity as a wedding destination. Even though Bali is the go-to place for chapel weddings, its resorts — with breath-taking views of cliffs, rainforests, lakes and the ocean — host some of the most magnificent Indian weddings. Uluwatu, on the island’s south and Sanur are very famous as wedding destinations. “Over the years, Bali has proved that it is not just an exotic holiday destination but has the potential to host beautiful weddings. In fact, destination weddings in Bali are becoming a popular trend,” said Dona.


Cost: `25 lakh for 150 people

Who can forget Aditi Mehra’s (Kalki Koechlin) regal wedding in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani? And it was reel meets real when Priyanka Chorpra tied the knot with Nick Jonas in Jodhpur, making the rest of the country fall in love Rajasthan. “It may be a bit expensive, but the state has some extremely well-maintained palaces and great hotels apt to host big weddings,” said Debnath.


Cost: `15 -`17 lakh for 150 people

Goa needs no introduction. Anyone who has visited Goa, yearns to go back. In addition to the beautiful beaches, Goa has resorts and hotels with the latest amenities. Different venues on Ashvem, Utorda and Colva beaches are very popular. “It seems Kolkatans are smitten by the place. Those who do not want to spend a bomb and yet want a destination wedding, choose Goa over any other place,” said Tapas Debnath,
a city-based wedding planner.


Cost: `15 lakh for 150 people for 3 days.

Vizag is a crowd-puller for its great beaches and hills. Even though there aren’t many facilities for a beach wedding, but the beachside hotels are fast gaining popularity as wedding venues.


Cost: `10 lakh for 150 people for 3 days

Closer home, the Puri beaches are catching the fancy of Kolkata couples. Debnath, who has organised quite a few weddings in Puri, is impressed with the amenities. “Starting from beachside venues to great cooks, you will find everything there. The newly-weds also like to seek blessings from Lord Jagannath,” Debnath added.


Source: Times of India

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