Plan a magical destination wedding in Mahabalipuram: J.Pradeep Chandar, from Marriage Colours, shares tips & ideas
Experts at curating weddings that impress all, Marriage Colours was established in 2012, and since then, it has made its mark with a steadfast client base, professionalism, and innovative work in a competitive industry.
Mahabalipuram, a town in the Tamil Nadu, is a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Chennai. It has become a favorite destination for couples who dream of a beach wedding. This gem of a town is rich in history and heritage with structures like the Shore Temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also, Mahabalipuram’s clean beaches, delicious local cuisine and luxurious resorts offer ample opportunities to host special celebrations like weddings.
We asked J.Pradeep Chandar, Creative Director of Marriage Colours, about what makes Mahabalipuram so magical for weddings and his tips for planning an event there.
1. Having curated weddings across cities, what do you think makes Mahabalipuram such a unique wedding destination?
“Mahabalipuram offers a variety of options, right from its 25 top-notch farmhouses for close-knit weddings to five-star resorts that cater to your guests’ every need with their modern facilities and convenient locations. Planning a beach wedding here is absolutely hassle-free, and the four-lane road that connects every resort makes it easier for couples to choose their venue in just one visit. In a nutshell, Mahabalipuram not only offers you pristine sandy beaches but also boasts of convenience as it is just a little over an hour’s drive away from the airport.”
Photo Courtesy: Moonstruck by Karthik Srinivasan
2. Destination beach weddings are a favorite with couples. What do you think sets Mahabalipuram apart from other locations?
“Mahabalipuram’s strength lies in its heritage and quaint atmosphere. Even on the busiest day, you can have the place all to yourselves and it’s one of the few UNESCO sites where you can tie the knot! Additionally, it also follows the renowned South Indian hospitality practices of ‘elai sappadu’ where the guests are served on a banana leaf platter. A symbol of gratitude, this sumptuous sit-down meal can also be a part of one’s wedding and give guests an exclusive glimpse of a unique tradition.”
3. Are there particular seasons or months one should keep in mind before planning a wedding in Mahabalipuram?
“Having planned over 200 weddings in Mahabalipuram, I can safely say that it’s a place where you can host a wedding round the year. However, the best months are from November to March. The climate is pleasant, although there’s a chance you might witness some November showers. But the resorts here are equipped for that too with their superior infrastructure that lets you enjoy the rains and still tie the knot.”
4. With so many venues to choose from, could you share a few of your favorite spots to host a wedding in Mahabalipuram?
“Mahabalipuram has a plethora of stunning spots. Here are some of the finest venues in my opinion:
(a) Infinity Pool/Charles Enclave and Savannah – 1 at the Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram
(b) Lily Pond and The Sama Lawns at InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort
(c) The Machan and the New Beach Lawn at Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa Chennai
(d) Palm Beach (By the pool) at Welcomhotel Kences Palm Beach
(e) Beach Lawns at Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa
(f) Big Lawns at Ideal Beach Resort
“However, if given the choice to host a wedding outside a resort, I would highly recommend Dakshina Chitra for its historic beauty. If one is planning to tie the knot in Mahabalipuram, it’s essential to explore at least one of the events inside this living art museum. The sprawling amphitheater is perfect for a traditional mandap, and there are several other beautiful venues inside it as well to host different functions. We’ve also listed some of our other favorite venues in Mahabalipuram in our exclusive handbook that explores the finer points of planning a destination wedding in Mahabalipuram.”
Photo Courtesy: Made in Mono
Photo Courtesy: Made in Mono
5. You’ve planned numerous weddings at Mahabalipuram. Are there any interesting anecdotes/requests that you would like to share?
“The beach is nature’s playground, and sometimes it gets wild with the sudden gusts of wind. I remember an instance where our tents which sheltered our materials flew off due to the strong winds! Luckily it was a day before the big day, so we had enough time to sort everything out. Seamless planning and time management also come into play a lot when planning a wedding here since Mahabalipuram is an hour away from Chennai.”
“One of the most unique weddings we’ve planned here was actually a double wedding where two ‘Tam-Brahm’ sisters married two English men from the United Kingdom. It was a huge affair with guests flying in from all around the world and since it was a rare dual wedding, we got to witness two weddings simultaneously on a single stage. In this case, the challenge was planning everything side by side where we had to organize two identical swings for the ‘jhula’ ceremony. But in the end, everything ended on a sweet note and we managed to procure the swings which made a breathtaking sight against the beach backdrop.”
6. How can one incorporate the rich cultural heritage of Mahabalipuram into their wedding?
“Mahabalipuram has a rich cultural background, and adding any one of their local traditions to the wedding can instantly add a rich flavor to the function. This includes treating your guests to ‘elai suppadu’, the tradition of serving meals on a banana leaf, or gifting local sculptures/figurines to your guests so that they can carry a piece of Mahabalipuram home with them. While planning your wedding, plan an event at Dakshina Chitra, a living history museum that is a treasure trove of South Indian heritage. A couple photoshoot at the stunning UNESCO heritage sites is also a ‘must-do’ and you can also plan a guided tour for your guests in the town, make everyone dress up in the local silks with a South Indian costume party, welcome guests with a thundu (traditional white stole), and last but not least, include locally sourced jasmine blooms in your varmala garlands.”
Photos Courtesy: Atlhea Wedding Portraits and Films
Plan your Mahabalipuram wedding with a detailed handbook curated by Marriage Colours. Click here to read