The industry may be awash with ephemeral trends, but the Big Fat Indian Wedding never goes out of style. After all, Indians have a taste for opulence. By Sushmita Srivastav
Given its undying love for pomp and show, Delhi excels at big fat weddings. From the dreamiest of invitations to luxury cars for chauffeuring the guests, lavish spaces for each ritual, memorable entries for the couple, customised menus, dedicated teams of wedding consultants, and even celebrity performances—nothing is out of scope at an opulent wedding in the capital. ITC Maurya in the heart of Delhi blends world-class hospitality with a traditional touch, and it excels in dishing out the old-school fairy-tale affair. For an upbeat millennial wedding, pick Andaz Delhi. Located in Aerocity, the property (in pic) is super chic.
If you are sticklers not just for exclusivity and luxury, but also for art and architecture, plan your big day in the City of Joy. Ditch the cliched venues and pick one of Kolkata’s grand mansions, age-old rajbaris, or any of the luxury hotels that define traditional hospitality in the city. Central, yet far enough from the din of the city, ITC Royal Bengal is the perfect venue for wedding celebrations. The urban sanctuary is home to expansive banqueting spaces, a dedicated arrival porch, VIP lounges for guests, and an exclusive bridal chamber. With 1,524 square metres of pillarless ballroom area, courtyards, and sprawling lawns, the luxury hotel lets you write your wedding fable your own way.
Whisk your guests to to one of the sprawling resorts in Lonavla or Pune if you picture yourself taking your vows amid lush greenery. But if you don’t mind the metropolitan madness, Mumbai is perfect. Overlooking the city’s sparkling skyline, The St Regis Mumbai , with its 22 event spaces, offers the chance to max out on celebrations spread over multiple days. Alternatively, the pillar-less Grand Ballroom at Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel & Residences offers stunning views of the courtyard, waterfalls, and lush manicured lawns.
For the modern Indian couple, luxurious destination weddings mean walking the proverbial aisle on exotic foreign soil. Bahrain ticks all the boxes for an overthe- top wedding. Pristine beaches, urban backdrops, and desertscapes—the Kingdom of Bahrain presents the most varied filters for your wedding photos. Moreover, its proximity to India makes it a convenient location. The Ritz Carlton Bahrain brings your dreams to life on the Middle-Eastern island with its two impressive ballrooms on a secluded paradise. The 940-squaremetre Al Ghazal ballroom can seat up to 550 guests, while the Al Noor ballroom is made for royalty, hosting up to 600 guests. The hotel also offers a private island for smaller ceremonies.
Dubai is no place for an intimate affair; you go big when you go to Dubai. Wedding planners swear by it and couples dream of it—a Dubai wedding is as luxurious as it looks in the pictures. Beachfront resorts, plush private villas, or huge courtyards are just a few of the many venue options available here. Whether it’s a surprise proposal, a regal wedding, a grand reception, or the honeymoon of your dreams, Dubai never disappoints. In the pristine West Crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah sits the Jumeiran Zabeel Saray, which has a variety of venues to cater to every mood, and the most delectable food for full-blown family festivity. With several indoor and outdoor options with stunning views of the Burj Al Arab, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is ideal for themed weddings.
Close to mainland China, the former Portuguese colony of Macau still retains a European feel and is a much sought-after destination when it comes to glamorous Indian weddings. Popular as the ‘Vegas of the East’, Macau has lately been among the top runners in the list of exotic wedding destinations across the globe, thanks to the islands of Taipa and Coloane, the plentiful temples and churches, the timeless citadels, and the dazzling displays that the region’s hotels put up on your special day. Pre-wedding setups, cross-industry collaborations, all-inclusive packages, bespoke services—the hospitality industry in Macau is going the extra mile to attract more couples. While The Venetian Macao headlines the casino boulevard—the Cotai Strip—with a colossal hotel, malls, restuarants, bars, and what not, it is also a popular wedding venue.