Imagine exchanging marriage vows with your life partner with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains or lush green hills with a serene river flowing adjacent to the woods and thousands of flowers blooming. It might feel like a fairy-tale setting. The good news? It is very much possible for you to have your dream mountain wedding.
Picturesque mountain towns in India are increasingly attracting many prospective brides and grooms who want to make their wedding an unforgettable affair, not only for themselves but even for the guests.
With its diverse topography, India offers numerous destinations, ranging from the snow-capped mountains of Manali, Gulmarg, Dharamshala, Nainital and Mussoorie in the north to quaint Munnar and Ooty in the south, from Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Lonavala and Panchgani in the west to Shillong and Darjeeling in the east. Even Central India boasts of places like Pachmarhi and Mandu, which are dream destinations for any couple to start its new life.
To affix additional charm, several hotels have jumped into the bandwagon to ensure that a simple wedding is transformed into a complete fun-filled and comfortable retreat for both family and friends. From an austere ceremony to grand extravaganza, the hotels are launching special residential wedding packages to suit every level of sophistication and budget.
Since most of these hill stations used to be the summer capitals of their erstwhile rulers, the good hotels are generally heritage properties, which combine the old ‘Raj’ charm with luxury, comfort and spectacular views.
Yesterday, we took at a look at destinations in the Himalayas in the North and Nilgiris in the South. This week, we head to the Western Ghats and East to Himalayas again.
Brightland Holiday Village
For people looking for an escape from the usual clutter of a city wedding in the west, Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, Khandala and Matheran are amongst the best choices for ringing the wedding bells with their cool weather, placid surroundings and good connectivity.
The Brightland Holiday Resort in Mahabaleshwar, located in the Sahyadri range, offers a grand setting for outdoor weddings. Its sprawling lawns with a backdrop of a green mountain rising above the Krishna River and the backwaters of Dhom Dam is ideal for an outdoor wedding.
Upper Deck in Lonavala
The Ramsukh Resort and Spa is an ayurvedic resort located at the highest point in Mahabaleshwar and offers panoramic views of the mountains and valleys. The hotel can accommodate about 150 guests in its conference hall and also has an amphitheatre to organise other functions.
The Fariyas Resort and the Upper Deck Resort in Lonavala promise to make your wedding into a memorable affair by taking care of the smallest of details and by setting the perfect mood with the help of flowers, music, decoration, lighting and food. The Upper Deck Resort is located 2500 ft above the sea level and overlooks the Valvan Reservoir and the Rajmachi Fort, which provide an amazing backdrop for the wedding ceremony.
Hill stations in north-east India, including Darjeeling and Shillong, are a photographer’s delight due to their magnificent natural beauty with the Himalayas as a backdrop.
Darjeeling should be the choicest location in the east if you are considering getting married in true colonial style. The Mayfair Hill Resort was the erstwhile residence of the Maharaja of Nazargunj. Its timeless charm mixes luxury, comfort, urban energy and style to make your wedding memorable.
Welcomheritage Windamere in Darjeeling
The Welcomheritage Windamere was initially established as a boarding house for single English and Scottish Tea Planters around 1800 and has now been converted into an enchanting hotel which still retains the old Raj charm. The hotel has been rated at number three in the “Top 10 Colonial Hotels in the Asia Pacific” survey by the Asia Pacific National Geographic Passport Magazine. The place floors you with a fine combination of lovely scenery combined with beautiful flowerbeds for the functions.
The Polo Towers in Shillong, located in the heart of the Meghalayan capital, showcases the free spirit of the state and is the most happening modern hotel in the city for small family weddings.
Stations like Mandu and Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh affix historical romantic twist to the wedding, apart from offering spectacular locales amidst the Satpura mountain range. Mandu, associated with the love legend of Prince Baz Bahadur and singer Roopmati, is an epitome of love and romance. The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation-owned Malwa Retreat in Mandu provides beautiful view of their palace.
Golf View Pachmarhi
For Pachmarhi, it is believed that the Pandavas spent a significant amount of time here during their exile. The Rock End Manor and Golf View in Pachmarhi are best choices if you want to impress your guests with simplicity, elegance, beauty and style. Both hotels provide calm surroundings and splendid view of an expansive golf course nestled amongst the mountains.
Getting married in the mountains would be a unique and an exclusive experience, which would surely remain etched in the memories of the whole guest list for the rest of their lives.
A word of advice
While there is no dearth of picturesque mountain locations in India, there are a few things which need to be kept in mind before finalisation of the venue. Apart from the hotel facilities, including the number of rooms and halls needed to accommodate the guests and also to organise wedding functions, attention must be given to the reputation of the hotel in terms of handling an increased number of guests and maintenance of its service standards.
Another important thing worth considering is the connectivity of the wedding venue from the base location since the guests need to be transported to the destination in minimum possible time.
The presence of additional attractions like adventure sports (parasailing and paragliding), historical temples and an opportunity to admire abundant flora and fauna helps to draw an increasing number of people to these destinations and participate in the biggest day in the life of the couple.