Destination Weddings used to be dreamy affairs a couple of years ago, but now, everyone wants it and why not? If you save up for your most special day, it’s only fair that you want the location of your wedding to be just as memorable. Whether it’s a tropical celebration in the Bahamas, an island fête in Bali, or a romantic getaway in Tuscany, Italy; there are many options to choose from. But if you want to feel truly celebrated on your wedding day, nothing beats saying ‘I do’ in a palace where erstwhile royalty has taken the same vows.
If palace weddings are your thing, then you must consider Udaipur – the City of Palaces. Udaipur is as aesthetically pleasing to the eyes as it’s good for the soul. And having your wedding here? Icing on the cake! Some prime spots to choose from include The City Palace Complex combining two Grand Heritage Hotels called “Shiv Niwas Palace” and “Fateh Prakash Palace” and historical monuments like Jagmandir Island Palace, Zenana Mahal, Manek Chowk and Darbar Hall.
Our favourite happens to be the Jagmandir Island Palace located right in the middle of Lake Pichola. An easy decision, once we learnt that Shah Jahan himself took his inspiration for the Taj Mahal from this. A floating jewel; Jagmandir Island Palace is a historic 17th century palace redeveloped with an all-day café, contemporary dining restaurant, bar and spa.
Getting as excited as us? Well, you should! To help you plan for that special wedding, we’ve compiled a list of tips that should help your dream palace wedding come true:
1. Choosing the Venue - Palatial weddings, while beautiful, come with their own price tag. If you’re dead set on having a royal reception, be prepared to shell out. Hosting a palace wedding means you need to have a budget above and beyond 50 Lakhs. So, as much as it maybe love at first sight, thoroughly check the place well for all the conveniences you expect out of it. Most palaces are Heritage Hotels that offer custom wedding packages. Make at least 2 trips before taking a final call. Once you’ve locked and loaded onto your destination, start making preparations. Select 2 or 3 possible wedding dates, begin investigating venues and if your dream venue is available on one of your chosen dates, book it immediately!
2. Accommodation Arrangements - A classic palace can accommodate a typical wedding party of around 200 to 300 guests.To be able to use the main venue you generally need to take up all rooms and suites. However, you are allowed some leeway if your dates don’t fall during the busy months. Sophistication and grandeur are some terms that come to mind when asked to describe a palace stay. However, this is the part that will eat most into your budget. If your budget fits, you can definitely go for it! Notify your guests well in advance. You do not want to be at the receiving end of a lecture from a prickly guest just because you forgot to mention you were having a destination wedding. Make sure your invitations and RSVP cards are sent out at least 2 months before the wedding.
3.Hire a Pro - Do not listen to your mum about letting her be in charge of your wedding, unless she’s a wedding planner herself. (Even then, just hire someone who has nothing to do with your family – they need to keep their head together when everybody around you is losing theirs!) When it comes to planning your big, fat destination wedding choose a planner who specializes in such events and can walk their talk. When it comes to the ideal royal wedding, you need a planner who caters to your specific tastes. Palatial weddings are far from being just about visual representation. There are schedules to make, suppliers to source, budgets to manage, contracts to take and a venue to manage. A good planner will help you coordinate everything. This way, you save yourself from making hours of phone calls, trying to take decisions from miles away.
4.Pay attention to the Ambience - If you’re planning your wedding at a palace, in Udaipur of all places, you need to soak up the atmosphere! Why recreate a done-to-death ambience when you can party like modern royalty? Opt for a decor that provides a regal look such as a structure of velvet drapes with kundan stone work or an arrangement of exotic flowers in the backdrop. You can also incorporate brass urns with rose petals, candle glass chandeliers or even serve local delicacies at your reception. Trust us, nothing screams swank more than a royal wedding.
5. Revel in the Experience - An obvious statement, yet truer words have never been written. Make the most of your wedding alongside your guests in the unique experience that only a palatial wedding can offer. Enjoy being ferried across pristine waters in brightly lit boats, get an eyeful of the stunning Aravallis, take a walk in luxuriant gardens and soak up the once in a lifetime opportunity of being waited on hand and foot by Royal Butlers.
While these are just some tips, your wedding planner will be able to guide you with a lot more. Now that you know what makes a palace wedding, time to start soaking yourself in rose-scented milk baths! It’s Royal Feels Time!