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Mumbai: Are you planning to have a destination wedding? According to wedding planners, more and more Indians are opting for destination weddings this year and the cost can range from a couple of lakhs to crores. “Destination weddings business is growing. Of the 15 weddings we managed this season, 12 are outside India,” said Kunal Rai, vice president-weddings and events at Tamarind Global, a destination and event management company.
However, destination wedding doesn’t always mean an extravagant affair. “The cost depends on the number of people you call and the type of property you opt for,” said Sanna Vohra, CEO and founder, The Wedding Brigade, a Mumbai-based wedding portal.
For overseas location, the top priority is flight connectivity. According to Rai, the UAE has emerged as the top wedding destination because of the short duration flight. He is organising six weddings in UAE between November and March. Turkey has also picked up as a popular site. “An Indian family needs an infrastructure. For a 600 people wedding, you will need 300-350 rooms at one location. In Turkey, there are hotels that host 600-700 people easily. Indians don’t want to spend money on indoor venue,” said Rai. Vohra says popular destinations include Thailand, Bali and Sri Lanka. In India the top destinations are Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Goa. “Lonavala, Mussoorie and Kerala are popular too,” said Vohra.
The cost depends on how much the family wants to spend. “For a wedding in UAE, you will have to shell out around ₹7.5 crore for 600 people for two nights. A UAE wedding would cost ₹90,000-1.25 lakh per person excluding airfare for a two-night event. For Europe, it will cost you above ₹3 lakh” said Rai. If you are wondering domestic destination will be cheaper, planners say it is not always the case. “Rajasthan is not a cheap option. A wedding in Udaipur and in Dubai will almost cost you the same. If you want to spend money on décor then both places are expensive. If you want to spend on food, Dubai will be expensive. For the wedding that I am organizing now, there are 40-45 chefs who have travelled to the UAE just for the food,” said Rai. Sometimes, destination weddings can cost you less than organising weddings in a city like Mumbai. A wedding in Sula for 150 people will cost you ₹1.5-3 lakh and will be cheaper than one in Mumbai.
How to cut cost?
You must start planning six to 12 months in advance. Start with decor. “Real flowers can be expensive. You can do a prop-based décor and use more local flowers. Also, you can opt for a day function as a day menu costs lesser than a dinner one. See if you can have an outdoor ceremony. See if you can get a friend who can do photography for you,” said Vohra. The costs also come down as the number of guests for destination weddings are usually lower.