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India’s top wedding planners tell us the top wedding destinations for 2021

One of the biggest lessons of the pandemic is that at the end of the day it’s your intimate set of friends and family that you need to keep close. Gone are the days of 1,000+ guest lists, OTT buffets, opulent décor, and general excesses. Today it’s all about intimate ceremonies with your close crew whether it’s in the privacy of your home or a stunning resort.

Now, destination weddings aren’t simply an escape but a great way to celebrate with those who truly matter. As international travel opens up for double vaccinated individuals, destination weddings ensure both safety and revelry for those tying the knot.

Ask any soon-to-be-wed bride or groom, and they will tell you that due to the recent global uncertainties planning a wedding in 2021 is a stressful business. And a destination wedding with all its logistic issues adds to the nerves. So we roped in the best in the business to talk about travel-friendly wedding destinations for Indians (as per government laws) and worthy of hosting splendid events.

destination weddings
Image: Courtesy Aash Studios

Sri Lanka

Why: “For all the couples who are keen on hosting a destination wedding, Sri Lanka seems to be the best bet because of its proximity to India. Owing to the pandemic, the rules and regulations in the country are quite flexible making the entire process for hosting a wedding hassle-free. The higher tax in India makes it favourable for the high-net-worth individuals to host weddings abroad in countries like Bahrain, Dubai and Bangkok etc., which is almost similar to what they pay in India or even lower than that sometimes” – Aashna Saran of Aash Studio

destination weddings
Image: Courtesy Shutterstock

St. Petersburg, Russia

Why: “The latter half of 2021 brought quite a lot of good news for those planning to get married this year or next. Plenty of destinations have opened up for Indian travellers and a lot of them are on their way to easing the COVID protocol for vaccinated travellers. If you’re prioritising ease of travel and minimum restrictions for your wedding guests, St. Petersburg in Russia is a wonderful destination option. Tie the knot in the cultural capital of Russia with the surrounding beauty of magnificent palaces, grand museums and striking natural beauty.” – Chhavi Chadha founder of Bespoke Tailormade Experiences

destination weddings
Image: Courtesy Theme Weavers Designs

Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Why: With an increasing trend of luxurious yet intimate weddings, Jodhpur as a destination is rising in demand for opulent weddings. The lush landscaped lawns and the magnificent heritage in Jodhpur are perfect for those who have envisioned a fairytale wedding. The exotic views offered at the destination venues takes one back to the fascinating bygone era and lets them relive the magnificent royalty in its true essence. From Khimsar Sandunes to Bal Samand Lake Palace, Jodhpur boasts a stunning architectural blend of ancient, medieval and modern Indian influences encompassing jaw-dropping backdrops, earning the status of one of the finest destination wedding spots. The city is a mosaic for wedding designers like us to create luxurious experiences enriched with elaborate design details embedded in an authentic indigenous affair, making it just right for a regal destination wedding saga! Bikaner and Jaiselmer are some of the other top destinations being considered when it comes to ultra-luxury Indian weddings.” – Prerana Agarwal Saxena and Annushree Agarwal of Theme Weavers Designs

Image: Courtesy Chapter 2 Events

Europe (Switzerland, Spain, Portugal)

Why: “Considering the prevailing COVID-19 restrictions, flights, and weather, Indians/Indian couples can look at Spain, Serbia, Turkey, Switzerland, and Portugal for a luxurious destination wedding. These countries offer diverse locations and magnificent resorts & hotels to make the occasion truly memorable. Most of these destinations boast great authentic cuisines, pristine beaches, and romantic landscapes to make your big day extra special. We recently organized a wedding in Spain that featured personalised themes curated especially for multicultural families. Portugal is a relatively unexplored destination that we are now introducing to our Indian audience/clientele/couples.” – Kunal Laungani – Chapter 2 Events

Travel regulations are subject to change due to Covid-19 protocols. Please check the official country website before finalising your bookings as well as boarding the flight.

Header Image: Chapter 2 Events. Featured Image: Aash Studios/Epic Stories.

Akshita Nahar Jain
Sr Associate Editor
Akshita Nahar Jain has worked with various publications, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Bride, and Time Out Delhi, and written extensively on fashion and lifestyle. A sucker for alliteration and stylish sitcoms, she enjoys scrolling the web for less travelled destinations.