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Big fat Mumbai weddings, now overseas

Sanket Mehra and his fiancée Kavita (names changed) wanted a Big Fat Indian Wedding with a twist. So, in February, the diamond merchant asked his guests to pack their bags and grab their passports, then flew them all to a private beach resort in Phuket, Thailand, for the ceremony.

mumbai Updated: May 08, 2011 01:19 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Sanket Mehra and his fiancée Kavita (names changed) wanted a Big Fat Indian Wedding with a twist. So, in February, the diamond merchant asked his guests to pack their bags and grab their passports, then flew them all to a private beach resort in Phuket, Thailand, for the ceremony.

The Mehras belong to a small but steadily growing tribe of upwardly mobile Mumbaiites heading to holiday destinations abroad to tie the knot. Wedding planners say this market has grown by 25% over the past year.

“Many people prefer a three-day wedding abroad with 500 guests over a traditional one at home with thrice as many people,” said Andre Tully, a Mumbai-based wedding planner.

Travel agents agree that the Indian wedding has moved from exotic domestic locations such as Goa and Rajasthan to neighbouring countries such as Thailand, the Maldives, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. “We have handled five such weddings in the past seven months. The trend is fast catching on,” said Karan Rangras of Luxury Links, a Mumbai-based travel company.

Countries with good flight connectivity to Indian metros and those offering visas on arrival are the top favourites.

Budgets for weddings in south-east Asia range from Rs 5 crore to Rs 7 crore, while those at more expensive cities such as Istanbul and Amsterdam cost upwards of Rs 10 crore.