Here is the scoop on the destinations luring the business and corporate elite for grand nuptials this year. From fabulous favorites in India to exotic locations abroad like Azerbaijan, Portugal and Jordan, it seems everyone is heading to one – or more – of these places this wedding season.
The iconic Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, continues to be the top venue of choice of the city’s elite when it comes to orchestrating timeless weddings. It has been speculated that the Crystal Room of the Taj Mahal Palace could be the setting for Varun Dhawan and Natasha Dalal’s much-awaited wedding as well as Radhika Merchant’s sister, Anjali Merchant’s upcoming nuptials (Radhika Merchant is engaged to Ambani scion Anant Ambani and their pre-wedding celebrations are expected to take place later in South Africa).
Society A-listers Chhaya and Nirmal Momaya’s producer son Dheer is also tying the knot at the Taj Mahal Palace. Dheer is getting married to Ukranian filmmaker Dar Gai. Dheer and Dar Gai are co-founders of Jugaad Motion Pictures and their celebrations between Taj Mahal Palace, Colaba, and Taj Lands End, Bandra, are expected to witness the who’s who of business, Bollywood and high society.
From Liz Hurley and Arun Nayyar’s wedding in 2007 to Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ dazzling nuptials last year, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur continues to be the chosen venue for illustrious destination weddings.
While Umaid Bhawan will see one or two prominent billionaire alliances in 2019 or 2020, a host of high-profile weddings are slated to take place in Udaipur, Jaipur, and Jaisalmer.
Alila Bishangarh, Jaipur’s 230-year-old warrior fort, which has been converted into a heritage resort, is the location of Atul Kapur’s (owner of Alila Bishangarh) son, Aman Kapur’s nuptials. Atul Kapur’s elder son’s wedding had taken place in Bali, Indonesia. After the surreal resort wedding last year, guests are looking forward to a palace-style wedding this year. Corporate heads are also heading to the desert state – Anish Bhatnagar, the son of Anuraag Bhatnagar (Marriott Hotels head-honcho), and Meena Bhatnagar (General Manager, Taj Wellington Mews) is also set to tie the knot in Jaipur in November 2019. There is another power wedding set to take place in Udaipur where Falguni Nayar (Nykaa Founder) and Sanjay Nayar’s (CEO KKR India) daughter, Adwaita Nayar will tie the knot.
Power couple and noted art collectors, Sunita Choraria and Vijay Choraria’s son Jash is engaged to Vaishnavi Khatau, his girlfriend of several years. The buzz is that their magnificent celebrations will take place between Mumbai and Jaisalmer.
Oman has a rich natural and cultural heritage and some surreal landscapes. The country is also home to some of the world’s best luxury hotels and resorts. Prominent jewellery designer Varuna D Jani is hosting her fashion stylist daughter Trisha’s wedding at Oman’s Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, the chic and romantic wedding venue situated between the Hajjar mountain range and the Sea of Oman. The elegant celebrations will be orchestrated by the bride’s elder sister and wedding planner Nidhi Sahi along with the talented decor designer Janki Desai.
Home to some of Asia’s most scenic locations and unforgettable experiences, Thailand’s Hua Hin, Phuket, Rayong, and Chiang Mai continue to attract many Indian weddings, including fashion designer Sonaakshi Raaj who is tying the knot with prominent restaurateur Nikhil Merani in Hua Hin.
Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan has emerged as a surprising new destination for Indian weddings and is the top choice for many well-heeled families in Mumbai and New Delhi (direct flights from Delhi to Baku commence next month). Baku, located along the Caspian Sea is known for its medieval walled old city. The hotels in Baku who have played host to Indian weddings include JW Marriott Absheron Baku which is an opulent, five-star property in the center of the city; the elegant Four Seasons and Fairmont Baku which is part of the iconic Flame Towers complex.
With jewels in its crown such as the ancient city of Petra and the Dead Sea with its healing properties, Jordan has much to offer when it comes to standout locations for weddings. Properties such as Petra Marriott Hotel and Mövenpick Resort Petra offer striking views of the sandstone city of Petra with it’s impressive Al-Khazaneh (The Treasury) that has been carved out of sandstone. For those who want a water view, hotels along the Dead Sea shoreline such as the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa, Dead Sea Marriott Resort & Spa and Crowne Plaza Jordan – Dead Sea Resort & Spa are a perfect choice. The capital city of Amman packs in rich history and heritage sights, and for couples who want to wed in the middle of it all, luxury properties such as Fairmont Amman Hotel, Grand Hyatt Amman and W Amman are ideal.
Move over Paris, and welcome Portugal! This beautiful southern European country offers gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean, rolling hills and historic architecture. Lisbon has a sizeable Indian population which makes hosting traditional ethnic weddings here so much easier. A long-standing favorite of NRIs, Portugal has exquisite properties such as the Penha Longa Resort which is part of the Ritz-Carlton group. Other notable properties in Portugal include Four Seasons Hotel Ritz – Lisbon and Six Senses Douro Valley.
We are also waiting to see which glamorous destination Rewant Ruia, Ravi Ruia’s son (founder of Essar Group) chooses for his nuptials to Karishma Choraria. The engagement ceremony, according to Mumbai grapevine, will take place at the iconic Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad next month. Watch this space for more!