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Guide to Ultimate Destination Wedding

By Sarabpreet Kaur

Before you head to your big destination wedding gala in a picturesque location, before you get engrossed with different wedding ceremonies and rituals, before you tie the knot with your dream person, and before you soak in the beauty of the breathtaking views that surround you, take a good look at the following pointers to make sure that there are no last minute goof-ups in your dream wedding!

Vacationing with loved ones, all looking the best versions of themselves; dancing prettily without a care in the world; clicking selfies, also getting once-in-a-lifetime candid moments captured; relishing sumptuous dishes and downing delightful mocktails and cocktails; revering the local folk songs, dances and culture… all this with your beloved right by your side! Destination weddings are surely a lot of fun. However, organising wedding celebrations away from one’s home city needs zero-error planning and double checks of all the arrangements. Even minute mismanagement can sometimes lead to a lot of embarrassment. Thank God for we live in an era where professional assistance is just a phone call away! Still, our inherited instincts based on the belief that ‘guest is God’ push us, Indians, to ensure that everything is seamless. Here is a checklist based on the inputs from insiders of the wedding planning industry; adhere to it for making sure that your dream wedding in the exotic locale is flawless, and all that you do there is enjoy…
Location- Ensure that the wedding destination has the feel and ambience you want. Also ascertain that the weather conditions there, around your wedding date, are pleasant. “For a majestic experience, Rajasthan is the ideal spot and so are Phuket or Goa and Kerala for chic-themed and luxury-themed experiences, respectively”, suggests Pranita Kochhar, design head, Luxury Weddings.
Travel- Who is arriving when and how? According to Pranita this is one question that is best answered in a neatly-put travel schedule. It helps in ascertaining that all the guests are received and attended timely without any chaos. Plus, travel arrangements in and around the venue should be checked beforehand. Professional wedding planners offer to hire anything from luxury cars to buses for local travel as per the requirement.
Stay- Just like the location, the finest way to select and finalise the accommodation is to understand the different vibe that different accommodations have. “For a completely private and royal affair, you can book a villa. Five-star hotels, guest houses, etc. also make for convenient and comfortable stays”, says Pranita.
Custom Clearance- “Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the need for custom clearance of all the precious bridal jewellery that you will be carrying. Talk to your travel agent beforehand for ensuring smooth travel” opines Pranita.
Trousseau Transfer- Carrying heavy party-wear attires, particularly of the bride and groom, is no child’s play. Discuss about the same with your event planner or travel agent, so that the expensive outfits are safely transported. Jasbeer Kaur, MD, Kamakazi Events elucidates, “Ensembles can be transported in a protected packing along with the cargo. Some high-end designers have the facility of the delivering the dresses to the destination.”

Number of Guests- As tedious the process of making the guest list is, it is just as vital, particularly for a destination wedding. Accommodation and travel arrangements have to be perfect. “Sudden increase in the number of guests sometimes leads to a lot of chaos as hotels and guest houses are mostly fully-booked in the wedding season”, informs Babita Agarwal, owner, Sajawat Event Planners.
Hospitality- Keeping the guests involved, comfortable, and entertained should be on the top of the priority list. The complete itinerary of the events and venues, and also the dress codes for different ceremonies should be shared with the guests well in advance so that they can plan accordingly.
Make-up & Mehendi Artists- Of what use will all the splendid arrangements be if you don’t look flawless. You just can’t overlook the need of professional make-up artists, hairstylists, and mehendi artists, not just for the bride but also for the other ladies in the family. Whether you book a local styling team or you get your stylist flown in from your home city, discuss the looks for different days and their service charges beforehand.
Photography- “It is a mistake to hire any local photographer to minimise the expenses. Wherein many new and interesting concepts are entering the business of wedding photography, it is the safest to book a trustworthy photographer after reviewing his or her work”, advises Jasbeer. After all, the special moments that you share with your loved ones do not at all deserve lifeless, dull, and low quality pictures.
Entertainment- Every single function has to be high on entertainment quotient. Whether it is a DJ artist, a singer, a professional dance troupe, a choir, etc., or even a family dance performance, no matter what you are depending on for keeping the fun quotient up, proper scheduling is imperative. Details about the arrival and welcome of the bride and groom should also be checked beforehand.
Food & Beverage- No Indian wedding is complete without lavish spreads of mouthwatering Indian and international delicacies. In destination weddings, it is especially important to keep the food preferences of the guests into consideration. The caterers that are assigned to take care of the food arrangements during the entire stay must know the number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests to accordingly plan the menus.
Décor- “When it comes to décor both too much and too less can create a bad impression”, warns Pranita. The décor should fall in line with the theme and mood of the ceremony.
Licenses & Permits- Different states and countries have different rules pertaining to dance performances, loud music, liquor, etc. Check and ascertain that the venue has the required licenses to avoid any last minute disappointment.
Documents- With so many exciting things to look forward to, it is only natural that the simple task of carrying along the necessary documents slips off the mind. Thus, after discussion with your travel agent and wedding planner, it is best to list down and put together in a folder all the necessary documents such as passport-size photographs, proofs of residence, birth, and photo-identity, etc. to ensure that you don’t forget any at the last moment.
Helpdesk- Check if one help-desk, preferably around the clock, can be made available at the venue for the convenience of the guests and the hosts and coordination amongst the members of the planning team.

So, now that you have all the things in order, let the wedding fever wrap you up a little… feel the butterflies in your stomach for you are soon to surely wow all while elegantly taking the wedding vows! 

Photographs Courtesy- Sharik Verma Photography

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