Are you one of those couples who will like to celebrate their wedding day with their loved ones in an exotic place? Then, destination weddings are the thing for you. Tying a knot with your special person in the exotic locations that our country offers has a charm that cannot be matched. From royal to offbeat, India doesn’t run out of locations when we talk about destination weddings. The idea of destination weddings, without a doubt, is an exciting one, in reality, it requires a little more amount of planning than usual. But you got nothing to worry about because ShaadiSaga presents to you the ultimate guide to Destination Weddings in India.
What is a Destination Wedding?
Before we move forward to plan your dream destination wedding. You must know what destination wedding means. Putting it in very simple words ‘Destination weddings are the wedding ceremonies that are held in a location that is away from your hometown or the place of residence’. The idea behind getting married away from the hustle-bustle of your day-to-day life in the most exquisite locations is to celebrate your wedding beautifully & peacefully. This vacation cum wedding is the perfect stress-buster that you will need amidst the hassle of wedding planning.
Destination Wedding Cost in India
India is a diverse country with many destination locations that is ideal for a fun-filled and gorgeous wedding. The price that will be incurred in your destination wedding differs as per the destination wedding location that you choose. Hosting a destination wedding in Goa will cost you more than hosting a wedding in a less popular destination wedding location like Alibaug. Other factors that will affect the cost incurred in your destination wedding in India are the luxuries that you want to include in your destination wedding. For example, booking a five-star hotel for all your guests will cost you more than the second or third tier stays.
Coming to the price on average, approximately 10-20 lacs will be spent to host a destination wedding with around 150-200 guests. Do not forget to make a destination wedding checklist in advance to make sure that you exceed your budget and end up in chaos later.
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Planning Tips: For Your Destination Wedding in India
Planning a destination wedding in India, without a doubt, is a dreamy idea. However, to turn this dream into reality, a little more planning than a wedding in town is required. Don’t you worry cos ShaadiSaga is here to help you. We curated some best tips and tricks to plan a wedding away from home. Be it a budget-friendly destination wedding in India or the luxurious ones, we assure you a smooth planning experience when you practice the tips as listed below:
- Estimate a budget in advance. The price incurred in destination weddings varies a lot. Calculate all the expenses including wedding items and travel & accommodation expenses, etc. so that you have an approximate idea of how much your destination wedding will cost and, plan it accordingly!
- Decide the number of guests. Not all your acquaintances can be invited to your wedding. Make a list of very important ones here and make sure you have your budget in mind while preparing this list as more the guests, more will be spent on your wedding
- Now, is the time to browse through the list of destination wedding locations and select the one for yourself. Several things such as what will be the weather during your wedding ceremonies, your wedding budget and your personal preference are to be considered while deciding the location for your wedding.
- If you plan to get married abroad, apply for the visas of the country and make sure that you, your partner and your selected wedding guests have passports well in advance.
- It is in the best interest for you to hire a wedding planner to plan your destination wedding. Their professional knowledge and experience will ensure a hassle-free wedding planning.
- Select a wedding venue and book for your wedding rituals & ceremonies. A visit to the venue property is highly recommended so that you can tick-off everything well in advance. If you can’t visit to check out the place personally, scour ShaadiSaga for trusted reviews.
- Send the invites out early so that your guests have enough time to plan their travel and accommodation and other needs.
- Planning other wedding-related events. Indian weddings are a 3-4 days long affair and sometimes even more than this. Make sure you don’t miss out on any ritual on the planning stage and end up in chaos later.
- Book your tickets. Choose your mode of transport and book the required number of tickets before they are sold out.
- While choosing your outfit, keep in mind the weather and the vibes of your destination wedding location.
- Hire your wedding vendors at least 3-4 months in advance. Whether you are planning to hire vendors working in that region or taking them along with you from your place of residence, hire them in advance so that they have enough time in hand to prepare for your wedding.
- You can also include recreational activities like (a welcome dinner, fun games to play, boating, morning yoga sessions) at your destination wedding to add a fun element to your wedding.
- Make sure to talk to your caterer and wedding venue vendors to decide the menu for your wedding. Pro Tip: Add local cuisine menu to your destination wedding.
15+ Best Destination Wedding Locations in India
In a country as diverse as India, deciding the destination for your wedding ceremony can be a task. The huge number of options available might confuse you even more. We saved you some effort. Here is the well-researched list of destinations in India that are worth having your wedding affair in!
Paint The Party Hub 'Goa' Red With Your Love!
A destination wedding in Goa that has been a dream since forever! The Party Hub of the country, Goa is a popular destination for not just Indians but people over the globe. Be it a vacation to take a break from the hustle-bustle of the city or a wish to get married on the prettiest beaches, Goa has to be the first one on people’s minds. We couldn’t agree more, the scenic beauty of the state has awestruck us.
- Best Time to Visit: November to March
- Known For: Beaches, Pleasant Weather
Tie A Knot By The Lakeside in Nainital
The charm of this gem of Uttarakhand remains unmatched! The lush green hills surrounding the beautiful clear lakes in the city are a perfect backdrop to host your breathtakingly gorgeous dream wedding. The ‘City of Lakes’ with its proximity from the capital is growing to become one of the most desired wedding destinations.
- Best time to Visit: March to June
- Known For: Naini Lake, Naina Devi Temple
Jaipur is Pure Nuptial Bliss!
Rajasthan is one place that you let you peek into how the royals lived. The capital city also called the ‘Pink City of India’ witnesses some of the prettiest weddings in the country. Weddings in the city are a blend of traditions and modernisation. Do not miss the chance to experience the awesome Rajasthani food and hospitality along with the prettiest insta-worthy locations.
- Best Time to Visit: November to March
- Known for: Forts & Palaces
The Most Popular Wedding Destination Udaipur
Remember the fun the group had when Aditi in YJHD decided to get married in Udaipur? This has been the most popular wedding destination for the longest time. The traditional palaces that have been renovated & turned into exquisite wedding venues make the city ideal for a destination wedding. The lakes in the city are a bonus!
- Best Time to Visit: October to March
- Known For: Palaces & Lakes
Shot by Sandeep Gadhvi, Ahmedabad
Lost in The Backwaters of Kerala
The southern-most part of the country is one of the most pretty ones. The backwater makes Kerala the most unusual wedding destination in India. The enchanting greenery with the massive backwaters in the background creates the most classic wedding set up for you to tie a knot in. Oh! Don’t forget to get clicked on a boat with your partner like the couple in the picture.
- Best Time to Visit: September to February
- Known For: Backwaters, Houseboats
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The Gorgeous & Serene Mussoorie For A Destination Wedding
The queen of hill stations, Mussoorie should be the location for your wedding for multiple reasons. Shivalik range of the Himalayas and Doon Valley is the perfect backdrop to get married in. The pleasant weather of the hill station throughout the year earns the place some extra points. The British architecture in the city works its charm every time you visit the place.
- Best time to Visit: Pleasant throughout the year, September to June is the best time
- Known For: Hills, British Architecture
A Lavish Wedding Affair At Neemrana Palace
A few hours away from the capital of the country, this masterpiece was built back in the 15th-century. That-day palace has been converted into one of the most luxurious hotels in the city. Couples choose the get married in the beautiful Neemrana palace for the convenience of travel to this destination. The perfect hill views and the Rajasthani style interiors have made us fall in love with the place.
- Best Time to Visit: July to March
- Known For: Hills, Greenery & Palaces
The Breathtakingly Beautiful Lavasa
A comparatively new one to the list, Lavasa is the most carefully planned wedding destination. Spread across 7 hills, Lavasa hosts the most charming weddings. Weddings in the city are a blend of traditional beauty and modern infrastructure. Just an hour away from Pune, Lavasa has us crushing over its mesmerising views.
- Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
- Known For: Hills and Lakes
Get Hitched in Romantic Agra
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal in the city is seen as the greatest symbol of eternal love and romance by the world. The Mughal infrastructure including the Agra Fort and the Fatehpur Sikri makes the city perfect to host a wedding that speaks traditional romance and is a budget-friendly destination wedding in India.
- Best Time to Visit: August to October
- Known For: Taj Mahal, Mughal Infrastructure
A Breezy Wedding Ceremony in Andaman & Nicobar
Picturesque shimmering beaches, lagoons of turquoise blue waters, the islands have been called a slice of paradise on earth. The coconut groves and silky white sand beaches are the perfect backdrops for the breezy wedding that you are planning. This one has a place in our hearts that none can take.
- Best Time to Visit: October to May
- Known For: White Sand beaches, Crystal Blue Water, Rich Corals & Verdant Forests
Tie A Knot Like The Royals in Jodhpur!
The Sun City, Jodhpur famous for its magnificent forts, blue houses, temple and lakes, the city is a perfect choice if you are planning a destination wedding in the country. The royal feel of the forts in the city lets you say ‘I do’ in the most royal way possible. Umaid Bhawan Palace is the most chosen wedding venue in the city.
- Best Time to Visit: October to March
- Known For: Forts, Palaces & Temples
Enthralling Weddings in Shimla
This one needs no introduction. Shimla is one of the most popular tourist spots in India. The pretty scenery of Shimla makes it an ideal destination wedding location. A far-reaching green hills, the surreal sunset, and mystical woods add the most beautiful aura to your wedding celebration.
- Best Time to Visit: March to June
- Known For: Hills, Woods & Colonial Architecture
Shot by EPIC STORIES, Mumbai
The Unrefined Natural Beauty of Alibaug
Are you looking for a budget-friendly destination wedding in India to host a gorgeous beach wedding? Alibaug is your place. A little over 100 km from Mumbai, the city has earned the tag of ‘mini-Goa’ for its pretty beach-views. A happy and vibrant wedding is what awaits you in Alibaug.
- Best Time to Visit: November to July
- Known For: Beaches, Forts & Pleasant Weather
Shot by The Wedding Salad, Mumbai
A Glamorous Wedding in Jaisalmer
Another gem in Rajasthan to turn our dream wedding into reality is Jaisalmer. We fall short of words when we sit to describe the beauty of the city. Dunes and castles clad in golden honey sandstone have earned Jaisalmer the title of ‘The Golden City’. traditional Rajasthani forts and palaces in the city make you feel no less than the maharajas and maharanis on the biggest day of your lives.
- Best Time to Visit: October to March
- Known For: Forts and Golden Sand
Traditional Beach Wedding in Vizag!
One of the oldest port cities in the country Vishakapatnam or Vizag as it is popularly called has secured its place on the list for its prettiest beaches and serene landscape and rich cultural past. Araku Valley, the prime attraction has breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, crystal clear streams, and greenery all around. What else do you need for a gorgeous destination wedding in India?
- Best Time to Visit: Between October and March
- Known for: Beaches, Waterfalls, and Greenery
Shot by Manan Photography, Bangalore
The Quirky Wedding Destination, Jim Corbett
Amidst of the Himalayas, in the state of Uttrakhand lies a treat for the eyes. Inclusive of hills, lakes, and grasslands, the Jim Corbett is a perfect destination for those looking forward to getting married in pretty locations and pleasant weather. A 5-hour journey from Delhi will land you up in front of this pretty view, your wedding guest won’t stop talking about for years to come.
- Best Time to Visit: All Year Long
- Known For: Hills & Lush
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Yes! This is The Heaven On Earth, Kashmir
We have been talking about the beauty of this state since forever, how can this not be on the list? Kashmir has been called heaven on earth for a reason. The gorgeous greens that surround the beautiful lakes in the city are the backdrops of the charismatic wedding that you are going to host in Kashmir.
- Best Time to Visit: April to October
- Known For: Mountain Peaks, Lakes, and Forests
The Culturally Rich, Hampi!
Situated between some beautiful hills and valleys, Hampi has over 500 monuments and temples within its borders. Ruins of the world’s second-largest city in the 1500 AD have turned into beautiful wedding locations today. If you happen to be one of those who want to include traditional beauty at its best at your wedding, this one is for you.
- Best Time to Visit: October to February
- Known For: Ruins of Forts and Temples
Gangtok, A Northeastern Gem!
Nestled between mountains and clouds, the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok, is one of the underrated northeastern gems in the country. The lakes, foothills of the Himalayas and the green carpet tempt us to attend a wedding in the city at the earliest.
- Best Time to Visit: Late September to November & March to June
- Known For: Mountains, lakes & Monastery
Who Pays For What At A Destination Wedding?
Another thing that causes trouble to the couples planning to go ahead with a destination wedding is deciding who pays for what at a Destination Wedding in India. Who’s gonna bear the cost of what remains almost alike both in at-home wedding and destination wedding. However, there are some small yet crucial differences that you must know about.
✅ The couple is responsible to take care of the wedding ceremony, not the travel and accommodation expenses of the guests.
✅ While there is no obligation, the couple can always help their wedding guests with lodging and travelling costs.
✅ Coming now to family makeup services this is one thing that is not paid by the hosts of the wedding. Wedding guests must hire a makeup artist for themselves to get their makeup done.
✅ If you happen to hire wedding vendors who are not based in the city where the wedding is taking place, you are expected to pay for their travel and accommodation.
✅ Other than these, if you include recreational activities like beachside yoga or river rafting, you are supposed to pay for it. This one again isn’t a compulsion. However, hosts should pay for these activities to encourage the participation of their wedding guests and loved ones!
Where To Find The Best Destination Wedding Photographers?
Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular with each passing day. Couples are opting to celebrate this special day with people who are very close to them and cherish each moment at exotic locations in India. While wedding venues at these locations are gorgeous ones and might offer wedding decorators in your budget. Hiring the right wedding photographers who have the skills of capturing destination weddings remains a task. Worry no more! ShaadiSaga is here to help you out yet again. Check out our list of Top 50 Destination wedding photographers in India with their prices and other relevant details. Browse through the list and choose your favourite one!📸
5 Things To Consider Before Choosing Destination Wedding Venues
Shot by Studio Kelly Photography, Delhi
The number of options available in India when you go out to find your ideal wedding venue can be overwhelming. Temples, palaces, beaches, banquet halls or farmhouses, there is simply a lot to choose from. To help you sort out your confusion, we listed down the things that you should consider while booking your wedding venue:
1️⃣ The number of wedding guests:
The foremost thing while booking a wedding venue is to make sure that there is enough space to accommodate all your guests. While a venue that’s too small will be jam-packed with your guests, the one that’s too large will make your wedding venue look dull. Hire a wedding venue after you have an approx idea of the number of people who are going to attend your wedding and book a stunning venue property for your dream fairytale wedding!
When you go out to book a wedding venue, always keep your wedding budget in mind. Exceeding your budget might create some problems and you may have to compromise while hiring other wedding vendors.
Make sure that your wedding venue is located near the airport/railway station or from where it can be easily accessed by roads. Also, ensure that there are accommodation services near your wedding venue.
This one goes without saying that the venue that you wish can be booked only if it is available and not pre-booked on the day of your wedding. So, ensure that you book your wedding venue well in advance with the help of this wedding planning checklist.
5️⃣ The work that you can put in:
The work that you need to put in for your wedding varies from venue to venue. While booking your venue, enquire about the services that your venue is going to provide. Not all venues provide caterers, decorators or permit alcohol. If your venue doesn’t offer these services, you will have to hire them separately.
Frequently Asked Questions About Destination Wedding
Q. How much do you need to spend on a Destination Wedding?
The average destination wedding cost in India is 10-20 lacs for around 150 to 200 guests. The price, however, will depend on the luxuries that you want to include in your package. Make sure you keep up a destination wedding checklist to stay within your budget
Q. Where is the cheapest Destination Wedding in India?
While all wedding destinations have inexpensive alternatives for wedding venues and other services that you can choose. If you don’t want to spend much, locations like Alibaug and Hampi are considered cheaper than others.
Q.What is the best place for a destination wedding in India?
India is a diverse land with different types of wedding destinations available. From the very popular destination wedding in Goa to lesser-known Lavasa, there is a lot to choose from. The best destination wedding locations across the country are listed above.
Q. Is a destination wedding a good idea?
A destination wedding is a great idea to celebrate your big day. Not only does it help you to enjoy your wedding more but also it is a great stress-buster to help you with the stress that wedding planning induces in you.
Q. Do guests hate destination wedding?
Not at all. On the contrary, a wedding at exotic locations is like much-wanted vacations for most of the wedding guests and they will love it.
Q. Who should be invited to a destination wedding?
Your wedding guest list cannot be as long as the regular guest list of your regular wedding as the price that will be incurred in your wedding will increase with the number of guests. Choose your guests wisely without which you cannot think of celebrating your big day and invite-only them.
Q. Is a small destination wedding possible?
Why not? Many budget-friendly destinations wedding locations in India let you plan your destination wedding without burning holes in your pocket. The hack is to keep the ceremony intimate. Invite only the people who are close and tie a knot in a cute, small gathering of people who matter