VIRAT Kohli and Anushka Sharama got married in a close-knit wedding in an Italian suburb far, far away, not only from the hustle-bustle of Mumbai but even the bride’s Bollywood friends and the groom’s cricket buddies. They were followed by Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in terms of an offshore wedding. Apart from celebrities, a growing number of couples are choosing dream destinations as their wedding location. This of course applies to only those for whom money is not an issue, provided they don’t have it so much that they bring the world to their hometown … like the Ambanis!

Destination weddings are a great way to ensure you have a wedding that is absolutely out of this world. It becomes an unforgettable event for it involves just the couple and a select number of their family and friends, good enough to constitute a refreshing week-long family get-together or an exciting holiday.

Now it has become very simple for full-time wedding coordinators who are familiar with that country’s marriage registration requirements and spectacular locations are easily available. They offer wedding packages that take care of all your ceremony essentials (photographer, cake, arrangements for guests and so on.). Now all one has to do is to step off the plane and sign the contract agreement while the coordinator take care of the rest.

Apart from picturesque locations in various cities couples who look for ultimate in romance also opt for open sea for weddings in cruise-ships. But wedding in the open sea at times involves some logistical challenges that can be avoided in a land-based wedding in one’s hometown and as such it is not very common. They need to figure out how to get a marriage registered and with whom when solemnised in the middle of the sea. They also have to be ready with a Plan B in case of bad weather or mechanical troubles causing their ship on the wedding day. But then smart wedding planners efficiently handle any such untoward situation.

With pockets overflowing, destination weddings represent one of the ways to ensure you have a really once-in-a-lifetime event to cherish.

If you are planning a cruise wedding, say in Jamaica, there are a number of wedding planners who can organise your wedding celebrations. Their packages start at $1700 for up to 12 persons. Several cruise-lines also have private islands for weddings. Mauritius offers adventurous couples all the excitement and marriage rituals inside an impressive submarine in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. The Luxurious Submarine Wedding is a concept that seeks to bring the ultimate in romance and commitment and you may do so even while being 30 metres underwater inside the magnificent transparent submarine.

Generally speaking, in a marriage ceremony, designer’s wedding dress, novel invitation cards, wedding cake and flowers are all that really matters. But the up and coming billionaire bachelors believe that it is the venue that packs the biggest style punch. For instance, an international wedding planner’s advertisement reads, “Picture this: Instead of walking down an aisle, you and your partner stride from opposite sides of a wooden bridge suspended over the water, meeting in the middle to say your “I dos” in a serene cove. Well, that is just one of the many gorgeous wedding backdrops at a small hotel overlooking the Caribbean.”

It even offers deserts and mountains as wedding destinations and adds that what could be dreamier than getting married at one of the country’s amazing mountain wedding venues, surrounded by all of nature’s glory. While these venues are beautiful at any time of year, mountain wedding locations have a cosy feel that is particularly appropriate during the colder-weather months.

A number of international wedding planners also suggest deserts as ideal, because its stunning sunsets make them the perfect place to capture your wedding in pictures. Another great aspect about a desert is that you can accomplish nearly any kind of theme; from a rustic-chic gathering to a very formal affair, desert venues can accommodate just about any style. This allows couples to incorporate whatever details they would like without the worry of clashing with an indoor carpet or wallpaper.

Though the travel agents and international wedding planners say that a destination wedding is no more an expensive and clichéd affair, still only billionaires can afford it. But then the fact remains that the number of billionaires is growing rapidly and accordingly the destination weddings.

According to a CNN report, at the Hotel Riu in Montego Bay, Jamaica, wedding packages start at just $1,700 and include a beach ceremony for up to 20 guests, a wedding coordinator, reception and even a wedding cake. Room rates are also relatively inexpensive, beginning at $200 for an all-inclusive three-night stay (all meals and beverages included). Though the package does not include room rent for guests, even any show-off Pakistani millionaire can afford it.

About the wedding budget, some say that things get out of hand when it comes to wedding spending. But then most of the well-to-do parents argue that it is a day that comes but once in a person’s life and as such it should be celebrated with pomp and pageantry. To them it is indeed an event to overindulge if you have the wealth.

In Pakistan also, the dynamics of wedding planning have changed so drastically over the last decade or so that the celebrations today, even in the middle class, are poles apart from what they used to be. The game-changer has been people’s ability to spend and, indeed, the desire to spend thanks mainly to the wedding ceremonies shown in Indian cinema as well as the sudden appearance of the typical wedding planners in the country.

Every parent wants to make the wedding of their children the most memorable event of their time. Some even choose to go all out with multiple functions and inviting half the town to be part of their celebrations. Destination wedding has also become a growing trend and many couples choose to take their destination wedding to countries like Turkey and Thailand. There are a large number of Pakistanis who can spend a couple of millions on the holiday sites in these two countries and even in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

According to a report published in Dawn, some of the favourite destinations today are Malaysia, Hawaii and Bangkok. A wedding planner based in Pakistan said: “When it comes to destination weddings, we know what you need for an elegant and fun celebration. We know you want an experience that is stress-free and filled with personalised details that reflect your lifestyle. We can accommodate over 100 guests for overnight stay during the entire event. Our destination wedding services include arranging weddings at selected destinations in Dubai, Turkey, Egypt and Thailand. We facilitate your entire arrangements, including travel, stay, banquets, and other activities.”

It goes without saying that countries which attract tourists are considered to be the ideal place for destination wedding and Pakistan has immense potential right from the mighty stretches of the Karakoram in the north to the vast delta of the Indus River in the south. Pakistan is blessed with rich and varied flora and fauna. High Himalaya, Karakoram and the Hindukush ranges with their alpine fields and permanent snow line, coniferous forests down the sub-mountain scrub, the vast Indus plain merging into the great desert have all the potentials to attract the international wedding planners.

All that is required is to make an all-out effort to develop this as a full-fledged revenue generating industry. There are a number of amazingly beautiful places in Pakistan which can be explored for destination wedding not only for those living in Pakistan but even the foreigners.

Asma Ahmed Bham in a post said that Pakistan is no stranger to scenic beauty and suggests following top locations in Pakistan for a destination wedding:

Khaplu Palace, locally known as Yabgo Khar, which literally means ‘the fort on the roof” because it is located 8,500 feet above sea level. It is an important cultural and architectural heritage located in the Ghanche District of Baltistan. This palace is open for visitors from March through November. While different months bring with it different activates, October and November may be the best time for holding a wedding ceremony there. The temperature is close to 22 degrees (perfect for holding your makeup in place!) and the autumn colours really help add to the rustic aesthetic of the location.

Hunza Valley, a mountainous valley located in the extreme north of Pakistan, it borders with Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan and the Xinjiang region of China. The capital of Hunza is Karimabad, formally known as Baltit and is known for its cherry blossom trees, which are in full bloom during late March and early April. Surely having your wedding photo-shoot with friends and family or an intimate shoot with your beloved with the cherry blossom trees in the background will result in some strikingly unique photographs.

Azad Kashmir, a heaven on earth is incredibly clichéd but there is no other way to describe the natural beauty of this location. Choosing this as a destination for your wedding will surely provide you and your guests with an adventurous experience they have never had, especially if they go to destinations like Neelum Valley, Banjosa Lake and Jhelum Valley.



Dark days
Updated 26 May, 2022

Dark days

The PTI, on its part, does not seem to have been prepared to face such a large deployment of state machinery.
26 May, 2022

No room for dissent

WHILE political turmoil roils the land, a number of incidents over the past few days have demonstrated that though...
26 May, 2022

Harassing passengers

REPORTS of the confiscation of personal items from passengers’ private luggage by customs officials at Karachi’s...
Back to bedlam
Updated 25 May, 2022

Back to bedlam

FEAR tactics have never worked in the past, and most likely will not this time either. The government’s ...
25 May, 2022

Balochistan blaze

THE forest fire on the Koh-i-Sulaiman range in Balochistan’s Shirani area is among a series of blazes to have...
25 May, 2022

Unequal citizens

INDIFFERENCE would have been bad enough, but the state’s attitude towards non-Muslims falls squarely in the...