The PastThere is a newsreel video on British Pathe titled “Royal Wedding in India, 1946″ that features elaborate turbans, horse-drawn carriages, and a parade of wedding gifts. I spend much of my work trying to make clients dreams come true, and one of those dreams involves creating the fantastical Asian weddings that will last a lifetime. Here I was though, watching a piece of history, a life-time ago and considering how much, or how little had changed. Aside from the sheer number of servants and some of the formalities of the occasion, much of what I saw is straight off the checklist of modern luxury weddings in India: jewelled attire, exotic performers, and a chance to join in with traditional dances. The royal weddings of years gone by are still a direct inspiration for the grand occasions that India plays host to today. It is interesting that even after all these years what NRIs (non-resident Indians) and tourists think as the ideal wedding still holds close to history. As much nostalgia as it is possibility, India is one of the few places where such a grand event can still take place, the culture holds firm, and the historic sites remain standing. As long as this continues I think the trend for engaged couples to head to India for their ceremony will continue to grow.
The PlacesWhere else in the world can you tie the knot in the grounds belonging to the present day Royal family, all be it defunct, before heading up to the dramatic ancient fort which formed the stronghold for the family in the area. A protected heritage site founded in the 15th century but developed to its current state in the 17th. The direct link royal weddings of the past is not lost in Jodhpur and for the rich and famous partying on the ramparts Mehrangarh after receiving the Maharaja’s blessing at Umaid Bhawan Palace earlier that day is a reality. There are plenty of classical locations to choose from in India but there are also excellent options for those who wish to update history for their Asian weddings. Vivanta by Taj, Fort Aguada, may be part of a chain of luxurious hotels but this particular historic site, jutting out over the waters of Goa, is also a perfect location to share the most special moment of your lives with your most special friends and family. Historic touches meet extravagance in this perfect destination for luxury weddings in India.The PresentAs much as the location; the performers, dress, and ambience of India seeps into any occasion here and brings Asian weddings to life. Being hypnotised by Kalbelia dancers, satiated by rich cuisine, or dancing to raga infused sounds. It is not hard to be transported to an imagined world of royal weddings. Having a wedding in India is not just about the geographical distance, the holiday effect, it is actually a transportation of culture. It offers magical worlds and a sense of the exotic so far from the normal world that of course the occasion fixes itself in the minds of those who experience it for eternity.
Conclusion/The FutureWhen I saw the video from 1949 my eyes widened to take in the sheer impressiveness of the occasion. I have seen that starry eyed gaze many of times in the guests of many an Indian wedding. The image is still based on royal weddings but it has evolved into a contemporary other world, where guests and newlyweds alike can teleport to an unforgettable place: the perfect location. Luxury weddings in India are not going anywhere as long as that dream lives on.