I have been meaning to write a destination wedding blog post for quite some time. After being a wedding blogger for a good number of years, I have come to realize that destination wedding may just be the better option that city wedding. For a number of reasons. I have been sitting with a calculator doing the math, and if you are someone who is going to be spending 20-25 lakhs on your wedding, you might as well keep a destination option in mind as well.
So a couple of weeks back, I spent a good one week in Shimla vacationing. The city took my breath away. I had gone with little/no expectations as it is quite commercialized from the tourism perspective. But I was pleasantly surprised to see the city has a personality, a gorgeous landscape and makes for the perfect destination wedding spot.
If you are a Delhi or Northside bride to be, forget Rajasthan, and head up North to have a magical one of a kind destination wedding. On a budget of course. Here’s how you can go about it.
How expensive is stay in Shimla? – INR 4000-5000 a night
We paid with taxes 2500 a night for a heritage property (pic above) that dated back to 1823. We were traveling during the Diwali weekend, so expect the prices to be lower in the offseason. It was an old British architecture with Scottish Villas, and drop dead gorgeous dense forest all around.
Now, if you choose a more fancy location, you might still be able to score a decent room rate within INR 4-5000 a night.
No need for massive decor expenses. [Budget Under 3 lakhs]
Wedding decor can run upto lakhs in floral and exotic arrangements. Luckily Shimla has a view which is priceless. You don’t want to compromise on the view by doing that much decor. The natural beauty, the sunset, and the gorgeous horizon will make for an ideal romantic destination wedding candidate.
I recommend keeping a budget of under 3 lakhs for all the events. That amount should include mandap decor, chairs and table for the guests, a bit of lighting and some fancy decor props.
Do your Pre-Wedding Photoshoot when you’re location hunting in Shimla
The entire city is a postcard picture. No matter what you wear, where you stand…the pictures are bound to look magical. Luckily, the locals are extremely sweet, not at all the prying kinds so you can be rest assured to have a hassle free photoshoot. Among the good options for photo shoot location is Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, the Ridge, Christ Church, Army Heritage Museum and Shimla British Resort.
Transportation is not expensive!
If you have a bridal party going from say Delhi to Shimla, you can book a bus which can travel during the night. We paid roughly 1300 for a super comfortable AC Volvo bus. It took us 8 hours to reach Shimla. If you book a bus or two for your guests, it might cost say 15-20k per way (I think).
You might have to get your own Photographer and MakeUp Artist
Again, if you are travelling by road, getting additional 5-10 people crew for your wedding shouldn’t be a massive hike in expenses. It’s better to get your own wedding vendors when it comes to destination weddings.
Keep a realistic Guest List
Remember 100 guests is 50 rooms for two nights + three times food. That’s how you got to calculate the expenses. Food is surprisingly pretty affordable and delicious, so that’s a plus point. You will find various cuisines to keep your guests occupied.
My recommendation: Keep the guest list tight, and throw a small dinner party in the city later and invite a bigger crowd there. Keep a budget of 800-1000 per person cost for the city party.
Sightseeing in Shimla is only possible by walking. So no extra cost for the hosts ! 😀 😀
The city has a few attractions that can be covered by foot. You need a day or two to absorb everything that the city has to offer. The best part is there are no cars, no taxis that move around the tourist spots. It’s all done by walking. The city offers several walking tours which you can arrange for the guests to keep them entertained.
What do you think about Shimla Destination Wedding?