Vows on a sun-kissed beach, pheras in a Victorian mansion and cocktails under Mediterranean stars — the destination wedding has a charm and glamour that locally-hosted nuptials simply can’t match up to. Perhaps your trail will end in Thailand, like the lovely Lisa Haydon, who had the dreamiest beach wedding ever in Phuket last year. Maybe you’d rather travel west, all the way to Venice, where George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin tied the knot in 2014. One way or another, for that once-in-a-lifetime experience, why not pull out all the stops and go a little further? LIVEINSTYLE.COM lists four über romantic places that should be on your hotlist if you’re planning a destination wedding in 2018.
Go on… let your ‘happily ever after’ story begin with: ‘Once upon a time, far, far away…’.
HEAD ON OVER TO HAMPSHIRE
With the number of loved-up celebrities from Bollywood who’ve vacationed in London this year — looking at you Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja — a hop, skip and jump away to the English countryside may just be what the priest prescribes in 2018. Between pre-ceremony parties at Bond Street and Holland Park, the picture perfect Hampshire — birthplace of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen — is designed for long weekends in the company of family, friends and your bae. The region boasts of the beautiful New Forest, with the Isle of Wight situated just to the south, offering a flurry of venues from Victorian Gothic homes and farmhouses to rolling meadows and sprawling wine estates on the Surrey border. Throw in cosy log fires, riverside walks and at least one long evening at the local pub, and you’ve got yourself a destination wedding to remember.
Pip Pippa to the post: Hampshire is barely an hour’s drive from Englefield, where the world’s most famous bridesmaid turned into a stunning bride as Pippa Middleton wed James Matthews at the Middletons’ 16-acre estate. High profile guests like Roger Federer were treated to vintage car rides back and forth from the chapel, £40,000 worth of caviar, ping pong games and even a fly-by from aircraft including a World War II Spitfire!
FIND LOVE IN LOS ANGELES
The City of Angels is ideal to put the ring on your own angel, for now and forever. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to venues. From glitzy resorts to balmy beaches and elegant mansions to Hollywood-size yachts, LA provides one backdrop more stunning than the other and all big enough to accommodate the Big Fat Indian Wedding Party. The Greystone Mansion & Gardens with their vintage appeal — fountain courtyard, formal rose garden and enough room to seat up to 300 guests — is particularly noteworthy, as are the dreamy vineyards at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, Los Angeles County. For the kids-at-heart couple, nothing can rival the thrill of getting hitched at Disneyland; with magical stardust, custom-made Cinderella stilettos and heaps of that Californian sunshine!
Take a tip from Jennifer Aniston: Rumour has it that Friends star Jennifer and her actor beau Justin Theroux invited guests to a birthday party at their home in Los Angeles on a summery August evening in 2015 and instead ended up surprising them with a wedding! Flickering candles and exquisite floral arrangements set the tone, but the A-list couple threw in a generous dash of humour when it came to selecting their wedding cake. We’re told the cake toppers were two giant Muppet characters!
FLY ONLY AS FAR AS RUDRAPRAYAG
Skip the quaint heritage appeal of Nainital, Ranikhet and Lansdowne, for a more adventurous — and more romantic — destination in the coming year. This one is for the truly intrepid couple with a small wedding party of family and friends that’s keen on a divine experience, more than sequinned lehengas and flashy pheras. Keep your belongings to a minimum because you’ll have to trudge up the bumpy, narrow village roads in Uttarakhand — though you’ll have the fresh mountain air, quixotic views of snow-capped glaciers and gurgling streams to rejuvenate you. Ditch the high-profile town of Kedarnath for a simple ceremony at Triyuginarayan — a temple that’s otherwise nondescript but for a legend so romantic, you’ll be scurrying to find the next available priest. This is the spot where Indian mythology’s First Couple, the passionate Parvati and Shiva got married. A perpetual fire burns in front of the temple as a symbol of this holy union. Soak in the legend, exchange garlands, lock hands and look out straight at the mighty Kedarnath, wishing for an equally grand life together.
Follow in the footsteps of Kavita Kaushik: Indian television’s favourite badass cop Chandramukhi Chautala, aka Kavita Kaushik, tied the knot with Ronnit Biswas at Triyuginarayan this year, with just 15 guests in attendance. The couple are avid trekkers and Kavita avers that Ronnit “is the Shiva in my life; he is my saviour.” As wedding ceremonies go, theirs was simple, sacred and so very special.
EXCHANGE VOWS IN VENICE
Amore Mio! There’s nary a couple that hasn’t fantasised — or already ticked off their bucket list — that epic gondola ride along the Grand Canal, taking in the magnificent Rialto Bridge and the superb Palazzo Cavalli. Venice’s sumptuous hotels and private Renaissance palaces can be rented for exclusive wedding receptions and themed dinner parties, complete with period costumes. The couple and the wedding party will be surrounded by vintage glamour and easy chic throughout their stay, whether you’re checking out cicchetti bars or exploring the resplendence of the isles of Murano and Burano.
Jessica Chastain’s out-of-this-world wedding in Venice: The stunning 17th century Villa Tiepolo Passi in Carbonera, just an hour outside Venice, was the venue for the chic wedding of Interstellar star and Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and her Italian partner, Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, this summer. Chastain’s friends Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt attended the lavish ceremony. Take tips on keeping it all Italiano from the gorgeous redhead, who wore a custom-made strapless white gown designed by Riccardo Tisci for this dreamy destination wedding.
Image Credits: benandcolleen; saddlerock-ranch; ukphotosgallery; india; popsugar; honey.nine; vogue; pinterest
Looking for more inspiration from the stars? Check out these Bollywood celebrity celebrations that set spectacular destination wedding goals!