We blogged about our stay at Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad two months ago. We were back in Hyderabad for a shaadi at Ramoji Film City, on an invitation from bride and groom Akruthi and Nikhil and their Wedding Planner Pritie Jain of Bling Mushrooms. As soon as we stepped out of Hyderabad airport, we noticed so many placards welcoming wedding guests. The Taj Falaknuma Palace services team were there, and we recalled an earlier conversation with Girish Sehgal, the affable General Manager of the Hotel who spoke about ‘Destination Hyderabad’. While we waited for our car to arrive, we figured that the newer uber-luxury Taj property and the sprawling Ramoji Film City are the new and the old hot-spots for Destination Weddings in South India.
Akruthi and Nikhil’s pre-wedding shoot at Ramoji Film City. Locations Mughal Gardens and Hawa Mahal, an intricate miniature Golconda Fort, on a hilltop from which one can have a bird’s-eye view of the whole studio.
Ramoji Film City, spread over 2,000 acres has a host of spaces for film shoots as well as events; every day they attract hundreds of local tourists too. It was fascinating to speak to the top management to understand the sheer numbers there, and how over the years the integrated film studio complex has grown popular among business families, primarily Marwaris for a home town or destination wedding. Their five-star hotel is Sitara, we’d rate it pretty average on the food and service scale, but its famous for being the temporary home to many Bollywood super-stars who come there for a shoot. Ajay Devgan was staying there, at the top floor reserved for bollywood super-stars only. While the hotel’s manager took us on a tour of the VIP floor we noticed a group of children from the shaadi party quietly sneak in there, only to be politely told by the security that the person they were looking for, is not there.
Akruthi and Nikhil’s shaadi was super-fun; the families went out of the way to make all guests comfortable, while the Bling Mushrooms team worked round the clock to co-ordinate between the Hotels (Sitara and Tara), venues and vendors. What we loved most was the enthusiasm with which Akruthi and Nikhil greeted us, “I’ve been logging onto WeddingSutra every single day since the last few months, and I’m so happy to meet the persons who run it”, said the beaming bride. Nikhil looked at Akruthi lovingly, happier to see her happy. We’ll be sharing lots of photos of their wedding on our ‘Real Destination Weddings’ section soon.
We had a little time in the evening, so we couldn’t resist visiting the Taj Falaknuma Palace again where preparations were on for an evening shaadi. Girish Sehgal introduced us to the to-be-Groom, a Delhi-based businessman who spoke about his experience as a guest at destination weddings in the most exotic locales. When it was time to plan his own wedding, he visited Falaknuma Palace for a recee; he made up his mind in a few minutes, because he couldn’t think of a place which could be better than this.
Girish Sehgal, General Manager of Taj Falaknuma Palace
Mumbai’s popular Wedding Planner Candice Pereira was there at Taj Falaknuma too, busy with putting together the last-minute details of the wedding of a US-based couple whose destination wedding would be taking place in two days. After a walk around the mansion-like home nestled in a quiet corner of Hyderabad, we were back to Limelight, the huge open space at Ramoji Film City for Akruthi and Nikhil’s wedding reception. Band, Baaja, Baraat and what an awesome Buffet. Now you know why we love our job!
Candice Pereira of Marry Me- the Wedding Planners at Taj Falaknuma Place and Pritie Jain of Bling Mushrooms at Ramoji Film City
Photographs courtesy- Manogna Reddy