WeddingSutra invites you to step into palatial palaces and regal resorts around the world that have hosted Indian weddings for illustrious families whose tastes are no less than those of royalty with their penchant for glitz, opulence and class. Check out our list of royal venues that guarantee a lavish fairytale setting and make a couple truly feel like a prince and princess.
1. Al Bustan Palace – A Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Sultanate of Oman
A 20-minute drive from Muscat brings one to the sprawling Al Bustan Palace in the Sultanate of Oman. It was originally constructed in 1985, and today is a landmark destination for exclusive weddings. Its design is inspired by Arab and art deco influences, and its majestic 38-metre-high domed atrium lobby is truly impressive. This five-star resort’s distinctive wedding venues include the largest ballroom in Oman and manicured gardens for outdoor ceremonies with a backdrop of the Al Hajar mountains and brilliant blue Sea of Oman. The Qantab Room can cater for up to 500 guests for a banquet, and the Manjan Ballroom can accommodate up to 2,000 guests for a reception, and 750 for banquet. The hotel boasts 198 rooms and 25 luxury suites.
Photos Courtesy – Shades
2. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
One of the most expensive hotels every built, the seven-star Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi is striking with its traditional Arabian design elements that include a grand dome and 114 smaller domes in colors reflecting different shades of sand found in the Arabian Desert. With sumptuous furnishings, palatial interiors and a stunning view of the Indian Ocean, the hotel is spread over a million meters, and has 302 deluxe luxury rooms, 92 suites, landscaped gardens, 1002 chandeliers made with Swarovski’s premier Strauss crystals and the region’s largest ballroom with a capacity for 2,500 guests. In February this year, Bollywood stars Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Arjun and Sonam Kapoor attended the wedding of their cousin Akshay Marwah to Aashita Relan here. The three-day wedding was attended by around 300 guests and the city’s finest florists were roped in to add that additional wow factor to the stunning venue.
3. San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice, Italy
Located on the private 17-acre island of San Clemente and boasting of its own 12th-century church, the San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice dates back to 1131. Its Renaissance-style buildings, restored gardens and historic monastery makes this hotel a wedding destination with a difference. Wedding guests are assured exclusivity given that it is a private island, yet there are lots of activities to indulge in – from golf to tennis, jogging to relaxing in heated pools. With its sprawling gardens, the hotel is ideal for couples who want a large-scale seaside wedding with amazing views. That’s exactly what UK-based Indian billionaire Pramod Agarwal got when he booked this property for his daughter Vineeta’s wedding to Muqit Teja in 2011. The three-day wedding saw over 800 guests attending, and a Michelin star chef Federico Salza laying out a vegetarian Italian spread. The historic ramparts of the hotel were decorated like an extravagant Indian wedding venue where Shakira performed and delighted the gathering of global guests.
4. Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
‘Falaknuma’ means ‘Like the sky’ or ‘Mirror of the sky’ – and it is little wonder that the stately Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad continues to be a magnet for illustrious families who choose it as a wedding venue. Situated 2,000 feet above the historic city of Hyderabad, the hotel exudes the class and refinement of the erstwhile Nizams with its blend of Italian and Tudor architecture. Its 60 beautifully restored rooms, stunning Reception Room and 22 spacious halls ensure there is ample venues for myriad wedding events. One of the highlights of this regal property is its immense collection of Venetian chandeliers which is said to be the largest in the world.
Photos Courtesy – Picture Art Company – Arjun Khurana
Photo Courtesy – Abhishek Sarkar
5. Çıragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey
The grandeur of the former Ottoman Empire is evident at the impressive Ciragan Palace in the Turkish capital of Istanbul. Dating back to 1867, this luxury hotel is located on the European shore of the Bosphorus and was beautifully restored in 2007. In 2012, Vartika, niece of UK-based billionaire of Indian origin Lakshmi Mittal, wed Utsav Goenka here. With 313 rooms, including 20 suites in the main hotel section and 11 suites in the imperial palace section, the hotel is ranked as one of the most expensive in the world. Some of its highlights includes the spacious wedding terrace and Ciragan Ballroom overlooking the blue waters of the Bosphorus.
6. Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria
This historic building complex comprises two Baroque palaces, decorative fountains, imposing wrought iron gates and sprawling gardens. Built in the early 18th century, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It houses some of the most notable collections of Austrian art. Business scions Sangita and Sajjan Jindal’s son Parth Jindal married Anushree Jasani at this beautiful venue. The historic ramparts of the Belvedere Palace came alive with this three-day Bollywood-style extravaganza which had a ‘Celestial Rhapsody’ theme. The white walls of the palace were vibrant with backdrops of floral arrangements installed on and around the walkway in colors of deep pink, red and gold.
7. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Home to Jodhpur’s royal family and situated at the city’s highest vantage point Chittar Hill, Umaid Bhawan Palace impresses all at first sight with its majestic structure and marvellous surroundings. This luxury heritage hotel is one of the world’s largest private residences and guests feel no less than royalty here. The palace was designed by renowned Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester, with a blend of eastern and western architectural influences. An immutable tribute to art deco, the hotel’s posh suites come with private sit-out areas that offer stunning views of the city, panoramic lawns and courtyards. Many celebrity weddings have been held here, and the gardens of this gorgeous property have hosted guests numbering thousands. Perfect for large-scale weddings, Umaid Bhawan Palace epitomises the best in luxury and heritage at the same time.
Photos Courtesy – OneLight Studio (left), Inderjeet Gill (right)
Photos Courtesy – Manie Bhatia
8. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
A historical tourist attraction in itself, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is the ultimate in luxury if you’re looking for an exclusive venue amongst colonial structures in the picturesque part of bustling Mumbai. This iconic hotel, overlooking the majestic Gateway of India, dates back over a 100 years, to 1903. Each of the 550 rooms and suites are a blend of nostalgic elegance, rich history and modern facilities. The 11 newly refurbished halls and venues are ideal for elaborate weddings as well as intimate gatherings. The Ballroom, spacious enough for 450 guests, is perfect for grand private events. For a larger banquet, there’s the massive, pillar-less Crystal Room which can host over 800 guests. A delightful option for a private celebration with about 100 guests is the Rendezvous on the Rooftop venue with its 360-degree panoramic view of Mumbai. If you’re choosing to tie the knot at one of their exquisite venues, you can be certain that your guests will take back memories of exquisite culinary experiences that this hotel is famous for.
Photos Courtesy – Monica Moghe Photography
9. Il Borro, Tuscany, Italy
The 700-acre estate of Il Borro in Italy’s picturesque Tuscany region offers a unique and spectacular space for luxurious Indian weddings. Il Borro is an estate that is owned by the Ferragamo family and boasts of its own medieval village, 19th-century villa and rustic farms. Surrounded by the beautiful Chianti hills and Apennine mountains, the paradise in Tuscany offers myriad options for rooms including luxury suites, villas and farmhouses. A member of the luxury Relais et Chateaux chain, it sets a new standard for luxury resorts, especially when it comes to peace, privacy and picture-perfect locales.
10. Palace of Versailles, France
Listed as a World Heritage Site for 30 years, the Palace of Versailles is a royal château in Versailles, in the Île-de-France region of France. Built by Louis XIII in 1623 as a basic hunting lodge at first, it was expanded into a royal palace by Louis XIV. With landscaped gardens, elaborate interiors and an unmatchable collection of art and statues, Palace of Versailles continues to be a top draw for tourists. However, when it comes to hosting private wedding events, that is still rare as the venue allowed an engagement party for the first time when UK billionaire Lakshmi Mittal’s daughter got betrothed to banker Amit Bhatia. It is alleged that it took the tycoon a year to arrange for requisite permissions, making it a truly exclusive venue. The engagement party was held at the Battle Gallery inside the Palace of Versailles, while the wedding took place at the Vaux le Vimconte, another spectacular and palatial chateau also in France.
11. Edinburgh Castle
For centuries, Edinburgh Castle, perched majestically on Castle Rock, high above the city, was the preferred residence of pure blood royalty. This iconic landmark may be the most unforgettable setting to say ‘I do’ in. The oldest building in Edinburgh, St Margaret’s Chapel is perfect for an intimate ceremony. There are several larger venues too, each with sweeping vistas right outside the threshold. The Queen Anne building can host up to 170 people and is a sumptuous setting, right in the heart of the palace grounds and perfect for a grand banquet. The Jacobite Room is another popular venue. It has a capacity of 100 for inner or 150 for an evening reception. Its special features are the stunning modern interiors in an 18th century structure with awe inspiring high ceilings. Treat your guests to dramatic views overlooking Princes Street and the Firth of Forth. Then bedazzle them with a tour of the Crown Jewels.
12. Stirling Castle
With its beautiful buildings and breathtaking gardens, Stirling Castle has a history of royal celebrations. One of Scotland’s most stunning stone castles, the structures have been added to and embellished over the centuries. The Royal Palace, childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots, was recently restored to its Renaissance glory. Stirling Castle is available for your exclusive use outside of visitor hours. The castle’s on-site Events Team is very experienced in planning unique events. Pick from a number of locations and venues to suit each of your ceremonies. For example, there is nothing quite as picturesque as a wedding shoot held in the Queen Anne Garden. The magnificently decorated palace rooms also provide splendid backdrops. To celebrate, the Chapel Royal has a capacity of 200 – 240 people and is a superb choice for wedding ceremonies and receptions, with a large stage ideally suited to a wedding band or other entertainment. You can even choose to have a cocktail reception here before dining in the Great Hall. Scotland’s largest medieval banqueting hall, recently restored to its 16th century splendor, the Great Hall can host up to 300 people (reception style). Round off a magical day with a reception in an enchanting setting. A raised dais area is perfect for table seating or for dancing.
13. Castell de Sant Marcal
Historians say the Sant Marçal or Cerdanyola Castle was built during the first third of the 11th century and has been owned by the same family for 700 years. The castle is known for its old world beauty, stunning façade and beautiful grounds. The magnificent gardens of the Castell de Sant Marcal lend themselves to a great variety of stagings, making each function of your wedding unique and exclusive. A great way to experience a wedding at Castell De Sant Marcal is to watch Jill and Niraj’s wedding video. Catch all the special moments in this 11th century wonder with a Gothic chapel and moat and imagine the perfect backdrop for brightly colored Indian festivities and revelers.
Photos Courtesy – Erich McVey
14. Jai Mahal, Jaipur
Built in 1745, the Jai Mahal Palace is a stunning piece of Rajasthan’s heritage and a great example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Set amidst 18 acres of landscaped Mughal gardens, the palace has been painstakingly restored and recently refurbished. It is now a luxury five-star Taj Heritage Hotel with 94 rooms and six suites equipped with modern-day comforts and unbeatable views of the city and palace gardens.
Explore the palace history and its landscaped gardens and plan a fairy tale wedding with up to 2,500 guests at the Palace Lawns. The Celebration Lawns are also perfect for intimate outdoor functions like mehndi ceremonies and brunches, while the Durbar Hall is perfect for indoor celebrations.
15. Buda Castle, Budapest
Budapest, with its historic wealth, panoramic terraces and glamorous ballrooms is rising to the top of the lists of exotic, ethereal wedding destinations. Couples are inspired by visions of walking down the aisle in stately settings, art nouveau architecture as backdrop, the meandering Danube in the vicinity, the iconic Chain Bridge in one picture, the palatial Buda Castle in another… It may be one of the most beautiful places in the world to say ‘I Do’. The Royal Palace in Szent György tér is an emblematic architectural masterpiece in the cityscape, and the building easiest to recognize from the Pest side of the Danube. The Castle was home to the kings of Hungary from the 13th century and is irresistible as a venue in Budapest to tie the knot!
Love what you see? For contacts at Palaces in Britain, please call Mercury Travels on 1800 266 2345 or write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also check out- Real Destination Weddings