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  • Writer's pictureAjay Manaktala

Indian Destination Wedding | Udaipur, Goa, Thailand, Kerala & Sri Lanka Costs

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

Destination weddings have increased substantially amongst the Indian wedding industry, growing 30% each year. Thanks to cheap flights, Instagram, Priyanka Chopra and Beyonce/Ambani a lot of middle-class Indian and South Asian families are looking to make their big fat Indian wedding a fun holiday weekend.  So I put this guide together to let you know the costs of various Indian wedding locations.

So how much does an Indian destination wedding cost? A normal destination Indian wedding will cost:

  • Udaipur/Jaipur Place type wedding: $300,000 to $600,000 USD

  • Goa: $150,000 to $350,000

  • Kerala: $105,000 to $200,000

  • Thailand: $150,000 to $400,000

  • Sri Lanka: $105,000 to $220,000

Yes I know not all these locations are India, but this article is about destination weddings that are common for Indian people.

These days it's very common even with flights and travel for weddings in Thailand and Sri Lanka to be cheaper than weddings in India.

They're many considerations that go into the cost of a destination Indian wedding. 

In India, we often see clients paying for hotel rooms (and sometimes flights) of up to 400 guests. 

In America we just assume folks pay and make their way and we handle the festivities.

I’ll explain all of these factors and tips to plan your Indian destination wedding in various locations. 

Indian wedding destination thailand
Welcome poolside Mehendi's are all the rage at destination weddings! A great way to kick off your first day!

Post Outline: 

  1. Overview of Indian destination wedding basics

  2. Major Things to Consider First

  3. Pros/Cons of destination weddings as it relates to Indians and South Asians

  4. Cost for Each City/Country

  5. Pros and Cons of Each City/Country

  6. Which Place is Right For You?

  7. Tips to Reduce your Destination Wedding Expenses

  8. Related Questions 

Indian Destination Wedding Beginner's Guide 

Indians and South Asians are known across the world for having elaborate weddings and as social media and mainstream media have highlighted our elaborate nuptials, we’ve started to yearn for beaches, mountains, palaces and lakes to perform our marriages on. 

As middle-class desi’s get older we usually attend 1-2 weddings a year in our community and there is sadly often a “been-there, done that” mentality. 

massage destination wedding
Are some guest's checking in early or arriving too early? Organize massages for the 80 who came on the red-eye while their room gets ready! A super nice touch! (pun, get it?!)

I remember after my own wedding that took a year to plan in Tulum, Mexico seeing my friends Facebook feed a month later. He was back in Mexico for another wedding doing it all over again.  WTF Bro! You said I was special!

Regardless, one way to make your wedding truly unique, fun and memorable is to pack it up in a mini vacation.  From the planning side, you reduce your guest list to only those you truly feel would make the effort to take the time and travel.  From the guest’s side, it’s a great reason to take a few days off and explore a place and also celebrate your occasion! 

Given the increasing costs of an Indian weddings these days in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and other areas (our company routinely DJs multi-million dollar weddings) destination weddings often just make complete sense. 

If you’re thinking about it, that likely means the ocean or country is calling, and that itch isn’t going to go away any time soon!  

In fact both my brother and I decided to do our respective weddings in Thailand and Mexico because we were there with our partners on holiday and realized ok yeah, this is the place we need to get married!

Major Things to Consider First

Guest list 

Before you even send one email or visit one hotel to do site visits, you need to have your major guest list figured out. 

For example, 

  • your 92 year old grandma can’t handle the heat in Phuket 

  • Your Pakistani best friend won’t be able to fly to India

  • Your 65 year old uncle might botch his US Visa interview for a Hawaii or Mexico wedding

I’ve seen couples put down a $10,000 or $50,000 first payment deposit to a hotel and then have to cancel due to some important guests not being able to come. 


People see beautiful pictures of a couple against some crystal clear ocean, but they don’t realize that Indian wedding clothes are insanely heavy and insanely warm.  Imagine you or your husband spend $1,000 or $5,000 on your outfits, another $2000 on makeup and hair and $3,000 on photos and now you’re sweating like a fountain. 


It will all go for a toss.  

Now imagine all your family and friends who thought it was a beautiful idea, but now they’re insanely uncomfortable under a canopy and sweating in their suits and fanning themselves with your wedding ceremony printout. 

Once you’ve picked a location you think is ideal…..please please please research the weather around your wedding time and ACTUALLY stay at that hotel for a night. 

Your Cost will be the Same as a City wedding

Given that most Desi people who think about destination weddings already live in major metro cities, their costs will likely be the same as I’ll outline below. 

Yes, your guest list may go down from 500 people in Bangalore to just 230 in Phuket, but once those 230 are there you’re going to want to show them a good time, plan a few other dinners for your old army buddies (or your dad’s army buddies), hire some decent entertainment, etc… 

All of that stuff adds up along with travel, hotel, extra vacations, etc.. 

In fact, there was a recent wedding in Phuket, Thailand in which the host (a Hong Kong businessman) had 1100 people and even paid to renovate the hotel rooms and chartered planes to ferry people 50 at time! 

While I don’t expect most families to do that, they’re so many factors that can let one wedding in the same hotel cost the family $100,000 while another spends $400,000 which I’ll explain. (This guy also hired Akon for half a million I imagine which I don’t expect anybody reading this to do.  Bhangra and Bollywood are way better!) 

Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding


  • Gorgeous Scenery

  • Holiday for your guests

  • Varied Indian and International cuisine (Thailand is one of my favorites for this) 

  • People who Matter

  • Can sometimes be lower cost


  • Costs can quickly spiral (oh now you want to add a boat cruise for the 70 who came a day early?)

  • Logistical expenses (your lehenga will need it’s own suitcase for another $60, multiple flights to research, usually 3 trips to finalize the hotel)

  • Vendors may have to fly in (DJ, Photographer, Singers)

  • In the west, it's customary that the client pays all expenses and then they naturally handle all festivities.  They're so many factors, tips and hacks that you can use in each of these locations that I will explain here, having planned or been to destination weddings in all of these locations.

Costs for Major Indian Destination Wedding Locations

indian wedding cost destination wedding locations
Disclaimer: These are references. But it's very easy to do a million dollar wedding in Udaipur yet quite difficult to spend 1M in Sri Lanka or Kerala.

1. Udaipur Palace Wedding, INDIA


Hotels here will charge you a rate per guest or per room.  This rate usually includes 3 meals where the lunch and dinner would be the buffet meals at your mehendi or sangeet or reception. 

Then you pay another 50 to 100% of your costs on decor, entertainment, alcohol, travel, etc.. 


300 Person Total Costs for Mehendi/Sangeet/Reception: Between $300,000 and $500,000. 

Approximate rate for room/meals/venue per person per day: $300 (assuming 2 people per soom)


India Customs: It’s normal also that folks who are based in India often times pay for the rooms of all their guests *gulp*.  In the south of India however this is less common and in America/Hawaii we don’t see it common at all.  

Many Indians overseas get sticker shock when they see these prices.  But given the insane demand in these places to have a wedding, combined with names like Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra, weddings here can quickly spiral beyond the $500,000 mark .