Destination weddings sure look like a LOT of fun. But ask any average Indian couple who has actually planned one, and they’ll tell you how the good old local wedding starts to sound really tempting about a month into wedding preparation.
Our bride, Kirti (whose wedding we featured on the blog yesterday), was heavily involved in planning her big fat destination wedding in Udaipur last year. While the 4-day grand affair made for an unforgettable experience, the challenges that came her way taught her a lot of crucial lessons.
Kirti put together a list of 8 things she learnt while planning her destination wedding to help out her fellow brides-to-be. It’s a useful list, so make sure you bookmark it!
Check the weather & venue availability before you decide on your wedding dates. Once you’ve decided on your location (we chose Udaipur), check to see if the venue you like is available on the wedding date you’re considering. It is usually difficult to get a beautiful venue on the same dates as you would like to get married on but one needs to plan, execute, bargain & compromise! Change your wedding dates if the venue is not available, taking the local weather at that time of the year into consideration. I ended up getting married in the last week of December in Udaipur, and we all ended up shivering in the freezing winter weather! Now that I look back on it, it wasn’t the best idea!
If you are getting married during peak wedding season, check to see if your hotel is hosting another wedding around the same time. We checked in a day before our first wedding function and, to our surprise, we did not get the rooms allotted to us till the moment before this first event! Who wants to make their whole family re-pack and change rooms moments before their first function?! It’s crucial to communicate to your planner and hotel management the exact time and date you expect to start using your allotted rooms.
As absurd as it may sound, this is something that doesn’t cross your mind while planning a destination wedding.Our wedding venue was 40 minutes away from the hotel, and everything was running exactly on schedule. At the last minute, we faced a road-block situation on the only road that led to the venue. With hours of a traffic jam expected, the only option we were left with was bribing the traffic police heavily to let our cars pass through. Who would’ve thought?!
The only two people whose opinions matter on your look are - you, and your makeup artist. While this may be important for any wedding, it’s importance becomes even more crucial during a destination wedding. Since you’re getting dressed in the same venue as every other guest, a lot of them will drop by to have a peek at what the bride is looking like. Well-meaning aunties and cousins and friends will want to give you their opinion on what’s suiting you and what they feel needs to be changed. Ideally, don’t allow anyone other than your mother, sister and best friend to enter the bride’s getting ready room. If you can’t control this aspect, learn how to smile and let go of the opinions. Trust your own instinct, and those of the makeup artist you’re paying because you trust her to do her job right.
Bonus: my decision to only trust myself and my MUA led to me getting dressed on time and being able to get the exact look I had decided on!
It’s important to communicate the execution plan and to-do list to the planning team in order to avoid glitches. All the vendors should be informed of the action plan and the likes & dislikes of the couple. One small but crucial thing most people miss out on is briefing the artists (who have been invited to perform) on who the couple is and a brief background of their families. This helps the artists immensely during the introduction and/or thank you speeches.
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Some hotels might have certain regulations you need to follow, and understanding which of your family rituals you might need to let go of to be able to abide by the rules is important. This is another thing which might be relevant to a local wedding as well, but becomes even more important in the case of a destination wedding since it’s taking place in another city! We had chosen Taj Lake Palace for our wedding night stay, and realised that they had a dozen odd regulations which caused our families some grief when we have to put aside a few rituals. So visit the hotel (or speak to them on the phone!) to sort out these issues in advance.
Destination weddings require a lot of planning, and high levels of involvement by the families and the couple. However, closer to the wedding dates, it is important to distribute the work amongst planners, close friends and relatives so that the main wedding party (from both the groom and bride’s sides) can actually enjoy the ceremonies. The couple, especially, should let go of the minor details in the final few days and focus on taking it all in because these beautiful moments will never come back!
The idea of a destination wedding sounds all fun and games until one actually sits down to implement the same. A wedding of this scale needs a lot of planning and over two dozen hands and brains to make it a smooth, successful event. You need to have a lot of patience, perseverance and understanding. Because behind the scenes of creating this beautiful memory, a few road-blocks and tricky situations inevitably exist. Being mentally prepared for unexpected issues is essential to maintaining your cool through it all - with a smile on your face!
See Kirti's grand destination wedding pictures and read all about the real wedding here.