It is your wedding and you want nothing short of royal opulence. You have a truckload of money to spend, but you want to spend it on the real thing- a real palace whose corridors retell the stories of the kings and queens who had lived, laughed and wept within its walls. Well, then look no further than Udaipur in Rajasthan- the city of lakes and palaces.
Udaipur is the pioneering city for destination weddings in India. When the royal Mewar family of Udaipur started hosting weddings at its palatial premises, the idea of organizing a wedding away from home had not gone down too well with wedding parties, notwithstanding the lure of a palatial venue for nuptial ceremonies. The organizers had then started to stage mock weddings, so that the idea of destination weddings could gradually gain currency. And today, Udaipur is one the hottest celebrity wedding destinations of the world.
Udaipur has an event management industry in place that can teach a thing or two to players in the rest of the world. Organizers here leave no stone unturned to make the event a memorable one. The groom may arrive on an elephant in magnolious style or may ride astride the ubiquitous camel of Rajasthan, as he enters the mandap (designated place where the marriage takes place), to sweep his bride off her feet. If the bridegroom desires, he can step it up a notch and make a helicopter entry as well. The marriage can then take place on a hydraulic stage where the couple can exchange vows on an elevated and revolving platform in clear view of all present, with a shower of petals from above. For those who are afraid that this place is too stately for some fun, you could not be more wrong. Event management groups also organize bachelorettes complete with international entertainers. Past weddings at the royal palace have had performances by international stars like Akon and Priyanka Chopra.
A marriage in Rajasthan is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the colors of India. Don on a resplendent sherwani ( a traditional knee length coat buttoned to the neck) with a matching pagri (turban) while your wife can keep the whites aside and turn her wedding attire into a splash of attractive colors woven on a rich silk lehenga (long Indian skirt worn with a short blouse).
Hindu ceremonies are held before the fire and marriages are no exception. Fire is revered as a god, and marriage vows are recited before a ceremonial fire, with fire as a witness.
Traditional Rajasthani cuisine like the popular dal-baati-chorma, (spicy lentil curry with baked wheat dumplings alternatively dipped in clarified butter to be consumed as the main dish, and deep fried wheat dumplings that are mashed and then mixed generously with clarified butter and sugar to serve as dessert) and the famous lal maas missi roti (red meat curry with unleavened bread made of wheat and gram flour) can be incorporated into the wedding menu to add a local touch to the banquet.
After a celebration in Udaipur, India, your waistline will surely be a giveaway of the sumptuous feast at your royal wedding. And of course, you will take home memories of the genial and colorful people of Rajasthan.
Image credit : S BallalPublished On: Friday, September 5th, 2014