For some it’s a ceremony on the sands overlooking the azure waters of the ocean. For others it’s a regal affair in an opulent venue. Weddings in India can be extravagant affairs and it’s no longer kosher to exchange vows in a humble farmhouse or an ancestral home.
Couples today dream of an exotic destination to tie the knot at — impeccably manicured gardens, private stretches of sand, immaculately-carved gazebos and opulent courtyards. Here are some of the grandest venues in India that can turn any dream-wedding fantasy into an unforgettable reality.
Neemrana Fort Palace, Delhi-Jaipur Highway
Sprawling over five acres and tiered on a hillock, the 15th century Neemrana Fort Palace is one of the oldest heritage properties in the country. Here, the beautiful dome-shaped gazebos, courtyards bounded by intricately-carved walls and verdant lawns can elevate your wedding from a been-there-done-that passé to something ethereal. Whether you choose an intimate sunset ceremony or an extravagantly-lit arrangement under the night sky, the Neemrana Fort Palace is one jaw-dropping venue.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
One of the most opulent residences in the world, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is an enchanting venue. Home to lavish front lawns and the grand Marwar Hall, this 15th century palace is much famed for the most upscale weddings. If you’ve always dreamt of a traditional elephant-ride welcome, an authentic Rajashthani ambience and a wedding in an ancient palace, then make reservations at Umaid Bhawan Palace for your special day.
Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur|
Host to elaborate celebrations steeped in Rajasthani culture, Devi Garh by Lebua is a breathtaking destination to stage weddings that look like straight out of a fairy tale. Nestled amidst the majestic Aravallis, this heritage hotel is housed in an 18th-century palace in the village of Delwara, and has been converted into a luxurious, romantic retreat. Here, weddings at Garden Suite Lawns, Main Lawn, Pool-side venue and Reception Lawn, and ceremonies enclosed in concrete wonders of Durbar Hall and Silver Lounge are both à la mode as well as rooted in rich Indian traditions.
Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur
Another addition to Rajasthan’s regal palaces is the majestic Jai Mahal Palace in the pink city, Jaipur. Set amidst 18 acres of Mughal Gardens, this heritage property is built in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and reeks of opulence from every corner. The palace houses grand outdoor as well as indoor venues for your big day.
Park Hyatt, Goa
If you’ve dreamt of tying the knot at an intimate beachfront ceremony at sundown, then Park Hyatt, Goa is where your wedding fantasies can come true. The lush ‘Seaside Lawns’, enchanting landscapes of ‘The Forest’, the elegant ‘Boathouse’, and the tastefully-decorated indoor venues ‘Salcete’ and ‘Colva and Loutolim’—Park Hyatt Goa is laden with immaculate enclosures that exude grandeur and luxury at every turn.
Palace Grounds, Bangalore
Boasting of sprawling acreage, the Palace Grounds, Bangalore, are ideal for those who wish for an elaborate wedding ceremony not far away from the cityscape. Owned by the Mysore royal family, the complex houses beautifully manicured gardens, a ballroom and Durbar Hall where extravagant weddings, private parties and cultural events are a common affair.
From sun-kissed sand dunes and camel rides in the desert to culturally captivating ceremonies that evoke Indian traditions, Suryagarh in Jaisalmer packs in all this and much more to make your wedding day an unforgettable one. Vast courtyards bounded by fort walls, candle-lit cobblestoned paths that mark your arrival, gleaming mandaps and Rajasthani folk music adding the musical touch—you will feel nothing less than royalty as you celebrate your union at this imperial destination.
The Leela, Kovalam
The Leela, Kovalam is home to a bouquet of exotic locations liberally shaded by palms, which are a perfect backdrop to your special day. Picture yourself exchanging vows on the white sands, overlooking the turquoise-blue waters of the Arabian Sea. And if you’d prefer a spot sans sand, the beautifully decorated convention centre is ideal.
Taj Falaknuma, Hyderabad
The opulence of grand marble staircases, Venetian chandeliers, gurgling fountains and exquisitely carved arches add a touch of nawabi royalty to your special day at Taj Falaknuma, Hyderabad. Perched 2000 feet above the city, the historical palace provides one of the most idyllic backdrops for you to celebrate your union. The gold-hued Durbar Hall, lush gardens, aristocratic 101-seater dining hall or the immaculately-manicured Rajashthani Garden—take your pick from the palace’s picturesque venues to tie the knot.
City Palace, Udaipur
Exchanging vows in a centuries-old palace or a fort is nothing short of a fairy tale. Vast courtyards and sprawling gardens of the royal City Palace are all impressive backdrops that will make you feel like a royalty on your big day. The palace houses ‘Manek Chowk’ that can comfortably accommodate up to 1000 guests. For a gathering up to 500 people, the Zeena Mehal—informally referred to as the Queen’s Palace—hosts grand weddings in its 17th century courtyard.