Happy Tuesday, Maharanis! We're rolling out a brand new series on the Platinum Guide that you'll definitely want to keep a pen and pad (or an open note-taking app) ready for! Whether your Raja has already popped the question and you're on your way to planning your big day, or you're a fledgling Maharani with lofty dreams of her fairy tale wedding in the not-too-distant future, you've imagined your special day — and where you're getting married tops your list of details. Fantasizing is easy, planning is another thing, and that's why we're here to help guide you in the right direction to making your wedding dreams a reality. From estates and inns to tropical resorts and urban 5-star settings, and even weddings at sea, we've got you covered. You've probably imagined it all — a winery wedding, on the beach, at a museum, a luxury hotel, the list goes on. Truth is, it's a bit daunting when you think about it, right? So let's dive into the nitty gritty.
Photo taken at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
You have a date set, right? Or you at least know the time of year you're planning on getting hitched. That will narrow down your venue choices, though not by much because, hello...destination weddings — it's always sunny somewhere. If you're not planning on having all of your guests pack a passport to attend the festivities, then this part might be a bit easier. For the sake of ease, we'll break down these venue options for you by type.
The outdoor wedding encompasses a plethora of venue types. Some definite favorites among Maharanis are the ever romantic winery wedding, the rustic "one-with-nature" wedding and the beach front wedding. All three are gorgeous and speak to your personality and style. Winery weddings can be set indoors as well as out, and with the outdoor kind there are tents that can come into play. Whether you're thinking California Wine Country or something on the east coast like Elk Manor (MD), a winery wedding speaks to your level of sophistication and worldliness.
Spring and summer are beautiful seasons for winery weddings, but fall is ideal. What's key to remember is fall weather is milder and your guests won't be baking if they're spending the day outdoors, and unsuspected April showers won't rear their ugly heads and send your vendors scurrying to set up elsewhere.
If the outdoor aesthetic of a winery is what you love, but having actual grape vines is not a deal-breaker for you, then you're probably looking for something rustic and romantic like The Full Moon Resort (NY), where wildlife casually stroll into the background of your portraits and twinkle lights feel at home. Like its cousin, the winery wedding, a rustic-set event can be indoor just as much as it's outdoors, and the ideal seasons remain the same. If you're thinking winter, you'll probably be bringing it inside, but hey, you'll still have that rustic view and setting that can't be beat!
Now, if sun and sand is more of your thing, then a beach front wedding at an all-inclusive resort (more on this later) is what you're after. If you're heading to the beach, you might as well leave the wedding details to the pros while you work on your tan. Tropical locations, like The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua (HI) or the Hard Rock Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), are hard to be beat.
If you're looking for a grand venue that says, "Hi everyone, look at my wedding!", then do a bit of digging on estates, country clubs and mansions — hotels too, especially if you're planning a city wedding. Places like the Oheka Castle (NY) or Meadow Brook Hall (MI) deliver all the elegance and allure you're in search of. From grand staircases and lush gardens to fountains and ballrooms, the Princess perfect celebration of your dreams would feel right at home in these fancy walls. Oh, and you can't go wrong with iconic hotels like The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons or the Westin either!
Other luxury venues we love: The Park Savoy Estate (NJ), The Fairmont San Jose (CA), The One & Only Westmount Country Club (NJ), W Seattle (WA), The Westin Riverwalk (TX) and the Brooklake Country Club (NJ)
Perhaps we can consider them the younger sibling to the estate or mansion, but the boutique inns and spas of the wedding world are just as big in personality — and some are also huge in square footage too! No matter the max capacity, places like The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe (CA) and the Estancia La Jolla (CA) just lend a bit of extra charm to weddings events. They feel more intimate, and are therefore great for smaller weddings, but most can accommodate large parties too. They'll also, more than likely, offer on-site catering and planning services if you're in need.
Other charming venues we love: Nottoway Plantation (LA)
Hotels & Resorts
Hotels are a favorite go-to option for many Maharanis. Whether she's planning to get married in an urban location or somewhere far from the city, hotels are especially appealing. Why? You can get married there, have your reception there and you and your guests can stay there!
A destination wedding's BFF is a resort! Some are all-inclusive and most have a team of experts that will help you with every logistical detail from hair and makeup to floral and decor, but are also willing to work with vendors that are off-site and of your choosing. Places like the Four Seasons Resort Orlando (FL) or the Westin Resort Cancun (Mexico) are favorites among many Maharanis, and their sister properties are too! The best part about hotels and resorts is there's never a shortage of superior service before, during and after your event. They're both armed with well-trained, hospitality professionals that know how to handle events of any scale, and you can bet if it's owned and operated by a well-respected property company, it's sure to be in an amazing location!
Other hotels and resorts our readers love: The Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park (NY), Marriott Hartford Downtown (CT), Sheraton Chapel Hill (NC), Atlanta Marriott Marquis (GA), Hilton Washington Dulles (DC Metro), Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel (OH) and the We Ko Pa Resort (AZ)
If youre Maharani style leans more towards modern, then you may be dreaming of a more architectural or industrial space for your celebration. Maybe you want exposed bricks or beams, clean lines or smooth, organic curves. Places like the McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau (TX), and the Keep Memory Alive Event Center (NV), are ideal examples of contemporary venues we love. You may also look into spaces such as art galleries and loft spaces.
Event Spaces & Banquet Halls
A few of the places we've already mentioned also fall under this category, but if you're shopping specifically for a space that's sole purpose is to host events, then we've seen some pretty amazing ones over the years. Like hotels and resorts, these dedicated event spaces specialize in everything from small to large scale weddings, and are definitely ideal whether you're using it for your pre-wedding celebration(s), ceremony, reception or all of the above. Most have close relationships with vendors in their area and can help you with finding exactly what you need, and can work with any vendors you bring in yourself. Best of all, they have in house and on-site catering! We love places like Elite Palace (NY), The Merion (NJ) and Le Bam (GA) for those very reasons.
Out of the Box
Not your run of the mill bride? Do you and your Raja want to do something a bit different than the norm? Maybe get married aboard a yacht or in a theater? Or how about a library wedding? If you're looking for something less predictable and want to wow your guests with something fun and unconventional, then consider getting married and/or throwing the celebration of a lifetime at a place like the Blackhawn Automotive Museum (CA) or out on the open sea with Yachts For All Seasons (NY). You can also make an impression with something dramatic like the Fillmore Silver Spring (MD)? Just don't forget to invite us!
Another out-of-the-box favorite among out readers is the Richard Nixon Library (CA)
Hope this first of many guides gave you some great ideas and inspired you to plan your Ultimate South Asian Wedding! Don't forget to subscribe to the Maharani Weddings newsletter to receive these helpful wedding planning tips direct to your inbox!