Marriages made in outbound heaven

The wedding market is growing at an exponential rate, estimated to grow by at least 20-25 per cent in the next 2-3 years. Indians are now travelling far and wide to celebrate their special day. Tourism industry players and wedding planners reveal the changing trends and popular destinations for this segment.

Maitreyee Patel, Director, Pathfinders Holidays

Destination weddings are gaining in popularity with more and more people now exploring other countries to host their weddings. Not only are the weddings happening in various cities in India, a large number of them are going across shores. European destinations are the hottest at this time for destination weddings from India. Hosting an outbound wedding not only allows families to explore a new destination but also offers a very different and unforgettable experience. However, it is a personal choice whether to host a wedding in India or abroad, and not yet a fashion trend

Sangita Marda Agarwal, Business Head, Vibrant Holiday Destinations

Like the travel industry, the wedding industry in India has also become an experiential market. People are looking at newer destinations and concepts when it comes to making their D-day special. However, the planning period for any wedding in India is essentially at least six months prior to the wedding while for an outbound wedding the planning period can stretch from eight months to a year. Travel time also becomes a challenge if the wedding destination is too far. Another issue is that sometimes the boutique properties with experiential elements are smaller in terms of size to accommodate the large group travelling for the wedding.

Kaushal Bhuva, Director, World of Vacations

The wedding industry has entered a new age where destination weddings are the talk of the town now. People are now focusing on the travel element for a wedding to various destinations within India and abroad and have also expanded their budgets for this grand affair. Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi are doing extremely well for Indian weddings while Portugal, Austria and Malta are the upcoming wedding destinations. In India, Rajasthan, Kerala and Goa top the list for weddings. One needs minimum six to eight months to plan weddings abroad mostly because there are a lot of negotiations and logistical arrangements that need to be catered to.

Sarthak Sood, Director, Dream Weddings

As weddings in India are a major social event, the clients spend a hefty amount of money and one can say that there is no limit to budget for this celebration. Destination weddings are growing from across the country and the smaller cities play a major role in this segment. In India, the destinations that are very popular for weddings are Jaipur, Udaipur, Agra and Goa, whereas outbound weddings are still limited to close-by destinations like Thailand and Dubai. Since weddings are an elaborate affair, it takes us about six to eight months to plan a wedding

Hardik Khanna, Assistant Manager – Marketing, Rashi Entertainment

In case of weddings, there is a lot of freedom to experiment and explore the market for newer things, destination weddings being one of them. We have been very focused on the United Arab Emirates for destination weddings from India, especially Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi top the list of favourable destinations for this segment. Antalya in Turkey has also emerged as a friendly destination for Indian weddings. Thailand has always been popular and still continues to grow due to the advantage of proximity to India.

R. K. Harjai, Founder and CEO, Indian Wedding Planners

People want destination weddings whereby they combine their travel plans with the event. Usually, travellers who have seen various destinations within India opt for outbound weddings to places like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the UAE. Vienna has also become popular in the recent times. We have categorised weddings as royal weddings, that take place in palaces, forts and castles; adventure weddings; metropolitan weddings, which are in large city hotels; Himalayan weddings; religious weddings like those on the Ghats of Varanasi; and beach weddings.

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