If you're a die-hard romantic and want a truly unforgettable wedding, ditch those conventional marriage halls and five star hotels in your hometown!
More and more couples are opting for 'weddingmoons' or destination weddings, where they have both the ceremony and the honeymoon rolled into one super package.
So take your pick from the snow-capped peaks of Himalayas, the valleys of the Ganges, the lush Kerala backwaters, the forts of Rajasthan and the vibrant beaches of Goa!
The 'grand maharaja' wedding
Rajasthan, with its alluring romantic past, is definitely the answer to a dream wedding in an opulent setting.
Where to do it
Take your pick from the forts and the palaces of the pink, blue and white cities -- Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur respectively. The venues to watch out for in Jaipur are Rambagh Palace, Samode Haveli, Jai Mahal Palace and Raj Mahal Palace among others. If you like Udaipur, pick from Taj Lake Palace, Jagat Niwas Palace, Oberoi Udaivilas, Shiv Niwas Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace. The blue city of Jodhpur is truly royal as it has one of the largest palaces, Umaid Bhavan; your other options are Ajit Bhavan and Taj Mahal Hari.
Most planners organise the entire wedding from the ceremony to the celebrations and they offer packages as well. However, customisation is the latest buzz word and they will get you a royal elephant if you wish one at your wedding!
What it will cost you
"There are several smaller boutique resorts which look like palaces and are not heritage properties and these are sought after by several couples," say Anvita Doegar, a coordinator working with India Wedding Planner.
According to her, a small group of 20-30 guests for 'a simple couple wedding' would cost around Rs 3-4 lakh. If your guest list gets closer to the 100 mark, the cost could be anything between Rs 10 to 30 lakh, depending on the venue and your wish list. "Most venues are expensive and they charge separately," says Anvita indicating "a small palace hotel with a capacity of 50 people will cost anything between Rs 5-7 lakh per day."
Adds Neeti Bharghav, a wedding planner with Mystical Moments, "The Maharaja wedding needs lots of detailing and if it becomes a lavish affair the cost stretches to even a couple of crores."
Caption: Lights iluminate Umaid Bhawan Palace of Jodhpur, famous for hosting the Arun Nayar-Liz Hurley wedding.
Text: Lakshmi Sharath | Photograph: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images
Also read: Tying the knot? Here's a wedding checklist!