nuptials on the beach

Planning a Destination Wedding in Goa: Tips

Destination weddings area the choice of many that are looking to tie the knot ditching the traditional setting.  Many couples love the idea of getting married with a select few friends and family and also have a mini vacation whilst everyone enjoys the festivities. Goa ranks high among being a chosen venue for destination events for a variety of reasons; if you are among those that have chosen Goa there are are 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 in advance. Planning on a date well in advance to 6-8 months on hand, will  generally not lead to a availability crunch for rooms.  For those planning get married sometime between September and January, will have to dig deep into their pockets to manage the costs as being ‘peak season’ in Goa 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 in South Goa 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 should be included are for 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 short 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 forreligious ceremonies, Sangeet, Haldhi etc. An interaction with the hotel and venue whilst you are here will also help gather information and answers to your queries without having to second when you head back.

Create the guest list

Couples should compile a guest list as early as possible as most decisions hinge on the number of people being invited for the ceremony. Since this will be an outstation ceremony, it would be best for the couple to keep their list short as the costs will have to be borne by them.

Local Requirements to tie the knot

Without delaying too long,  do a bit of research on the local marriage requirements in Goa. Licenses for beach weddings are required to be procured from the local Panchayats and the Tourism Authority. Additionally,  PPL and IPRS licenses would also be needed as well. If you plan to register a marriage in Goa a visit to the local Civil Registrars office is needed as the necessary paperwork needs to be submitted there.


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 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.

All these details need to be addressed at least 6 months before the final date.

Plans to make 6 months before the big day

Now that the major decisions and arrangements are out of the way, then follows  the finer details. Unless the reception venue has a hotel for guests to stay in, the couple will have to start looking for rooms nearby for all the invited guests. Booking 4 to 6 months beforehand is recommended to get better deals.

Transportation will also have to be thought of.  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 what they are providing with their availability on the given day 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 will flow smoothly on the big day.