nuptials on the beach

Planning a Destination Wedding in Goa: Tips

Goa ranks high among being a chosen venue for destination events for a variety of reasons; if you are among those that have chosen to tie the tie here,we share handful tips to help you get on top of things and prepared what to expect.

Freezing the Date

Being a tourist destination, the state is pouring with vacationers all through the year causing most hotels to be booked months in advance. Planning on a date well before to 6-8 months on hand, will  generally not lead to a availability crunch for rooms.  Getting married sometime between September and January, being ‘peak season’ requires a good few months ahead of booking a venue and accommodation as compared to the other months of the year.

Choosing A Venue

From a small intimate gathering in one of the many architecturally beautiful churches to a casual beach side ceremony under the stars, the choices of reception venues are plenty that  range from forts to lavish 5-star resorts to lush green riverside venues. Likewise with finding accommodation early,  picking a ceremony and reception venue-sooner the better. We have reviewed some of the most popular venues for those looking to book a venue.

Work Out A Budget

Working on a realistic budget will help set the tone to make all other arrangements.  Primary heads that must be addressed are; venue booking, guest accommodation, catering, decor, entertainment and photography. Speaking to a few event management agencies would be ideal to get an idea of costs, even better if you have a friend or relative based locally that will help gather all this information.

Plan a short visit

Once a shortlist is in place of the preferred venues and hotels, a quick trip beckons to zero-in on the perfect venue. Scouting venues in person will help you better visualize the finer details such as the pre-parties,  locations for religious ceremonies, Sangeet, Haldhi etc. An interaction with the hotel and venue  personnel whilst you are here will also help gather information and answers to your queries without having to second guess when you head back.

Create the guest list

The guest list needs to be in place at the earliest as most decisions hinge on the number of people being invited for the ceremony. A major part of the budget allocation for accommodation, food, drinks, parties, transportation are directly proportional to number of guests.

Local Requirements

Without delaying too long,  do a bit of research on the local marriage requirements in Goa if you intend to register your marriage here. The paperwork requires at least 3-4 weeks to fulfill. Civil Registrars  offices are present in Panjim, Margao, Mapusa and Vasco

Licenses for a beach ceremony are required to be procured from the local Panchayats and the Tourism Authority.These licenses are granted only in advance of 30 days to the event. Additionally,  PPL and IPRS licenses would also be needed as well.

Celebrants

Whether it is a priest for the Catholics or a pundit for a Hindu ceremony, the earlier the celebrant is decided the better. A wedding ceremony cannot be completed  without a celebrant making it extremely important to make the necessary arrangements.

Vendor Selection

Booking the vendors is the next important step. Social media platforms and Google are best source to gather this information. Start with a list of people that you can find after which you can narrow it down to a handful that you can meet in person,

Making travel arrangements early

Most importantly, don’t wait for the last moment to book travel tickets. Booking during the tourist season can be troublesome and the prices are bound to sky rocket. Look to book at least 7 months in advance to not have any trouble getting guests to the destination. Local travel arrangements for arrivals and departures also need to be planned for.  Public transportation isnt highly efficient here thus moving from one location to the next would require sufficient vehicles, not just for the bridal entourage but for the guests too. As soon as the timeline of events is finalized, pin down the travel arrangements

As the Countdown Continues…..

Vendors providing various services should be confirmed about two months before the ceremony. The details of the services that being  provided by them  should be preferably put to paper. Formal invites will have to be sent so that the guests can begin confirming their presence.

The dresses and suits must be ready for packing and hauling, a month before the ceremony. Reach out to the hotels and ask for a single point of contact to attend to the event and the guests. Confirm with all the guests on the travel plans and arrival times which needs to be communicated with the hotel staff for the local transfer arrangements.

Finally, when there is just a week left,  spend a few days packing so that it is not done in haste and nothing is forgotten. As  you arrive to Goa, check the ceremony and reception areas to make sure everything is as what has been planned.