Of all the anticipated events in our lives, finding the right partner and getting married is unquestionably the foremost! While traditions and customs may have remained unchanged for centuries, the way wedding ceremonies are conducted has undergone a sea change over the years. From being a quiet home affair, the modern-day wedding is a flavourful concoction of festivities, extravagant decor, avant-garde themes and larger-than-life venues. To find a perfect backdrop to say ‘I do’, Marwaris don’t mind flying to picturesque locations for a destination wedding. Niket Parikh, Manager-Production, Mosaic Events, has organised several Marwari weddings. He says, “Thailand has always been the best value-for-money destination. Turkey and Maldives are in trend now; while Jodhpur, Goa and Udaipur in India have always been favourites with Marwaris.” We bring you the most lavish venues along with advices by wedding experts housed in some of India’s most celebrated wedding destination hotels and resorts.
Infused with local flavours of the city with roots of royal heritage, hotel Hyatt Ahmedabad is truly a unique wedding destination. The hotel is located in the heart of the city where guests can have access to authentic Gujarati experiences such as the Law Garden market selling Gujarati artefacts, and lakes and museums in the vicinity to stroll by. The architecture and ambience of the hotel is graceful and welcoming. The white walls and ceilings beautifully complement the rust and ochre colour furniture and fittings, rendering the hotel a royal yet contemporary feel.
For a big fat Marwari wedding, it is not just the wedding day but the functions preceding it that make the entire affair unforgettable and Hyatt Ahmedabad offers two gorgeous venues to host functions of any scale. “The sprawling 4,450 sq-ft Istana ballroom can accommodate up to 500 guests. The ballroom has an additional attached space of around 1,660 sq ft, which can be used to spread the buffet in an outdoor setting for those who want a blend of both indoor and open-air wedding. For a more close-knit function of around 200 guests, Sabarmati banquet hall offers an intimate atmosphere,” Rahul Mallick, Director, sales and marketing, says. The hotel has a team of specialists that meet the client 10-15 days prior to the wedding to understand the requirements of the functions. Vendors for decor, flowers, music are also suggested by this team in accordance with the vision of the clients.
Apart from the decor, the food takes centre stage during weddings. “Our team of expert chefs and event coordinators can put forward a range of innovative food options including both global cuisines and local favourites. But the traditional Marwari wedding food, which is hot and spicy and cooked in pure ghee, has some staples such as Aloo Magodi Spicy, Ker Sangria, Rajasthani Kadhi, Hare Moong Bhaat, Jodhpuri Masala Gatta, Panchmel Dal, Bharwan Mirch, and Bhindi Masala with Moong Dal Halwa, Rasmalai, and Kesari Pinni as deserts,” says Mallick.
“The best Marwari wedding destinations are definitely in Rajasthan! The pomp and grandeur of Rajasthan cannot be found anywhere else, making the bride and the groom feel like a prince and princess. I like Devi Garh by lebua, Udaipur, which has an old world charm. The management and service of the hotel is exceptional, and the decor, food and ambience are perfect for a Marwari wedding.”
CEO, Vasundhara Fine Jewellery
“I have attended weddings at Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Hua Hin in Thailand, and Paro in Bhutan. In Bhutan, the weather and the mountains with the river running by was a dream setting. The couple who chose Thailand wanted to have a fun-filled wedding, so there was a lot of dancing and music added to the wedding by the sea. I feel that for a Marwari wedding, Rajasthan works very well. The resorts are big and well-equipped to host big traditional weddings.”
Director, Emami Chisel Art
St. Regis, Mumbai
With celebrations extending to days full of festivity and entertainment, and the host family going all out to make their guests feel comfortable and happy, Marwari weddings are no less than a fiesta. For a splendid wedding like this, The St. Regis Mumbai qualifies as the perfect location. St. Regis is the tallest hotel in Mumbai, housing 386 guest rooms, suites and serviced apartments. For weddings and functions, the hotel has six venue options that clients can choose from.
Agatha Gomes, wedding specialist at the hotel, shares, “We have six banquet spaces—The Astor Ballroom, The Astor Terrace, Alhambra, Pallazzio, The Imperial Hall, Grand Cru Salon—each with the capacity of entertaining 150 to 600 guests. Thus, clients can host a range of events in these spaces.” The hotel is also equipped with facilities such as restaurants, salon, swimming pool, club and a spa that keeps guests engaged and entertained for the time in-between weddings.
One of the key attractions to keep guests entertained is music. And for a new-age Marwari wedding, music ranges from the traditional Rajasthani folk to hit Bollywood tracks. “Music plays a crucial role in weddings as it livens up the atmosphere. Our guests have a wide range of requests when it comes to music, from traditional Indian music of tabla and shehnai, live music of jazz and piano, to the current Hindi and English tracks. Having a DJ mix up the old and new songs makes sure every guest has a great time at the wedding,” Gomes says.
The quality of ambience, themes, right use of colours and different decors can create the perfect setting that speaks of the grandiosity that defines Marwaris. Gomes says, “Flowers have always been a key component of weddings. The latest trend, however, is to opt for rare and often more expensive flowers, maintaining a minimalist look. This is very different from the previous trend of using hundreds of different flowers.”
Gomes says that although ancillary functions such as mehndi, sangeet and night parties have become fancier, the number of guests invited is scaling down and events are becoming more intimate. More emphasis is given on the quality of ambience—from the decor, floral arrangements to food and music. Keeping it classy is of prime importance.
I loved a recent wedding held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The destination, resort and the rooms were exquisite, the wedding was lavish and the spa was brilliant. Wedding planners made sure everything was surreal, right from the mehndi to the sangeet, from the bachelor’s night to the wedding day. The entry of the bride and groom was no less than a fairy-tale experience against the backdrop of Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. Marwari weddings are now being held in stunning locales—from royal settings in Udaipur to the resorts of Mauritus, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat to Santorini and Paris.”
Designer, Sejal Kanoi
The Corinthians Resort & Club
Established in the year 2009, The Corinthians Resort & Club is a one-stop destination ideal for a big fat luxurious wedding. Located in southern Pune, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Corinthians is spread over a jaw-dropping 25 acres, with a sprawling verdant garden that can accommodate up to 1,500 people. The Greek-Moroccan styled architecture, manicured lawns, flower-lined patios, sun-bathed atriums and wide corridors are reasons enough to fall in love with the property.
If you are planning to host a wedding at the resort and have a visual image of your wedding day in your head, the dedicated and attentive team will make it come alive. In case you are still confused about the decor or food, fret not as they will help you plan and host a fascinating wedding. The wedding experts at the resort help arrange for meetings with local designers, wedding planners, mehndi artists and band organisers. For a theme wedding, The Corinthians is well-equipped to transform the in-house venues—the terrace, gardens and lawns—by recreating matching backdrops and decor as per the host’s requirements. Corinthians Resort also provides an array of delectable food by specialising in the finest selection of Rajasthani, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines to suit the diverse preferences of the host.
Being a Marwari, I can appreciate the extravagant weddings in our community. I myself got married in Goa with a beautiful sunset wedding on the beach. Resorts in Goa such as the Grand Hyatt can execute a lavish Marwari wedding. I believe it is not just the destination or property that matters, but also the personal touch that the staff add. I grew up in Rajasthan and love the venues there. My favourites include The Oberoi Udaivilas and Jagmandir Island Palace, Udaipur; Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur; and Rambagh Palace and City Palace, Jaipur. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, ITC Sonar, Kolkata and JW Marriott, Phuket are also beautiful venues.
Founder & Creative Director, Cocoon Fine Rugs
Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa
Nestled in the verdant landscape of the Western Ghats, Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa is a home away from home exhibiting sylvan charm. Spread across 320 acres of picturesque wilderness within the 3,500-acre private Shillim Estate, the retreat features all-villa accommodation, exclusive spa facilities and recreational activities and fine dining outlets, which make for a perfect setting for pre-wedding ceremonies and functions and intimate weddings. The property is a
2.5-hour drive or a 30-minute seaplane flight from Mumbai and a 1.5-hour drive from Pune.
A Marwari wedding is an extravagant affair with three to four days of rituals. The calm ambience of the Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa can easily take away the stress and fatigue of arranging a wedding. Brides can pamper themselves at the wellness centre with Detox, Endurance and Ayurvedic rejuvenation programmes, which can be tailor-made and personalised. The Retreat can also organise fun activities such as mountain biking, horse riding, organic farming, fishing on Lake Pavna and excursions to the nearby Maratha forts and Buddhist rock caves.
For those willing to experiment with a fusion menu, Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa offers an extensive range of culinary fare including Mediterranean, Asian and local delicacies and popular Marwari wedding cuisine as well.