So, while Sirjana and I are busy piecing together our wedding details we can report that we recently had a major win. We managed to snag the hotel we were after in the lower Himalayas! It is gorgeous, with a large patio heralding a 270 degree view of snow capped splendor, situated on the top story and surrounded by the top branches of majestic pine trees. High fives all round… but what to do with that cavernous reception hall that’s completely barren and comes attached to it all and how did we get to this point anyway?
For those who are interested – This is what it’s like to sus out a venue on the other side of the planet.
When we started looking for a location Sirjana and I sat down to decide what we needed from our venue. If we’re honest, we already new we had it nailed. We would be married under a large tree in a field, reminiscent of Forest Gump’s childhood hideaway… But then we started to discuss the guest list and logistics and sound systems and weather forecasts and catering and property rights and the fact we were planning for an Indian wedding in INDIA (on the other side of the world) AAAANNNND, then we started to take this seriously.
Planning your overseas wedding – Venue hunting
What we quickly decided was that we really needed some place that was away from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke but had all the guest related amenities we so sorely needed. Mountains (as it happens) have always held a special place in both of our hearts, so that was where we began our venue hunt. Picking through satellite images of awe inspiring terrain on Google Maps, scouring the Indian Himalayas for quaint little towns that were moderately accessible but basically just gorgeous mountain retreats that the world had forgot. Soon we had narrowed it down a little, (everything within 5 hours drive of our home base) so we jumped on Trip Advisor.com and started the excel spreadsheet from ‘Nam with all the pros and con’s of the available hotels and their surrounding towns listed in fastidious fashion. Now, as it happens we heralded the ability to cheat a little at this stage, having recently traveled to one of the small towns on our list, and even though it was just a quick over night stay among many amazing memories we did get to see (and enjoy a private little waltz on) a terrace much like the one described in the first paragraph. In fact exactly like that one, because after all our searching and Googling and spreadsheets and phone calls we realized that this grand old mountain resort of ours had already ticked all the boxes!
So that was that, next we had to find out if they even held functions and if so, we would have to reel them in! Sirjana suggested that a local touch would give us the edge when bargaining on the price (this is India after all) and thus we entrusted a close family friend to be our representative on the ground. We even had him go up and spend a night at our chosen slab of marble and sheen so he would have more face-to-face time with the management and could work out a payment option that would leave everyone walking away with a grin. In the end it took the better part of two months to organize the final price and get it booked in (in no small part because we were still trying to get exact numbers for attendance) but we wound up with a truly stunning backdrop for our big day in a place we both love and at a great price to boot! We also decided to put a deposit down for all the rooms we would require for guests and we will ask that the guest pay us back for this when they pay for their rooms (we will keep you informed on weather this was a good idea or not, but as it stands we will at least have enough space to house everybody).
Now, If you’re planning a wedding over seas, or if you have already tied the knot abroad we would love to hear how you have organized your venue, (especially sorted out the decorations) Let us know in the comments 🙂