Surrounded by beautiful sparkling beaches, lovely tropical weather, swaying palms, breathtaking sunsets, rustic Portuguese architecture and oceanfront resorts, there is no other place in the country that could be more romantic than Goa. From private intimate ceremonies to five star gala functions, Goa has everything for everyone. With the perfect mix of land and sea, Goa is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the country.
Planning a Destination Wedding in Goa
Now, when planning a destination wedding in Goa, the first thing that comes to mind is the cost associated with it. The most important decision when planning a wedding is choosing a venue for the ceremony and deciding on the total number of guests. Here are some important factors that one has to keep in mind while planning a wedding in Goa.
Choosing your location in Goa
Goa is essentially divided into two main parts – North Goa and South Goa
North Goa – While North Goa may be much more cheaper than South Goa, however, it is not very popular for weddings due to excess crowd and noise. There are many popular places in North Goa such as Anjuna, Baga, Candolim, Calangute etc, however they are more famous among tourists rather than for a wedding. Nevertheless, in case you want to plan your wedding closer to a tourist destination than there are some great five star resorts like Taj Holiday Village, Marquis Beach Resort and Vivanta by Taj – Fort Aguada that are great for weddings.
South Goa – South Goa, on the other hand, is more relaxed, laid-back with pristine beaches, sparkling waters and immense natural beauty. South Goa is also home to some of the most luxurious beach resorts and hotels in the state. Leela Goa, Alila Diwa, Hoilday Inn, Zuri White Sands, The Lalit Golf and Spa, Radisson Blu and Grand Hyatt are some of the most popular resorts and hotels for a wedding in Goa.
The capital city of Goa – Panaji is located at mid-point between North Goa and South Goa. It is just one hour drive from both the ends and might be a good location if you want the best of both worlds. Taj Exotica and Marriot Goa are some of the popular hotels in Panaji.
Choosing a venue for your ceremony is the most important decision when planning a wedding as it includes the accommodation of your guests, catering and travel costs. It also depends upon your personal taste and wedding style.
Accommodation in Goa
As mentioned above, the venue of your wedding also includes the accommodation for your guests. Goa has a wide range of hotels and resorts for all budgets. Once you have decided where exactly you want to get married in Goa, that is North Goa or South Goa, the next thing to decide is the wedding venue and the accommodation for your guests. Please note that most hotels and resorts increase their prices during the tourist season. Therefore, it is best to book the venue months in advance, as most of these hotels get fully booked really early.
Most hotels and resorts rent out rooms on APAI (Room plus all meals plus taxes) or on CPAI (Room plus breakfast and taxes) basis.
Tariffs for 5 Star Hotels and Resorts
A double room in a 5 star deluxe hotel in Goa would cost around Rs. 17,000 to Rs. 21,000 during peak season and between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 18,000 during off season. Similarly, a double room in a normal 5 star hotel would cost around Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 18,000 during the peak season and between Rs. 5,000 to Rs, 14,000 during the off season. Tariffs for 4 Star Hotels and Resorts
A double room in a 4 star hotel would cost around Rs. 10,000 to Rs, 12,000 between the months of November and January and around Rs. 5000 – Rs. 9000 during the summers and Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 6000 during monsoon season.
Tariffs for 3 Star Hotels and Resorts
3 star hotels in Goa cost around Rs. 5000 – Rs. 8000 during the peak season and between Rs. 2500 and Rs. 7000 during summers and monsoons in Goa.
Most of the five star and four star hotels are located next to the beach and have a wide range of rooms to choose from. However, keep in mind that since most of these rooms are contracted out to travel agents, they might not be available during the time of your wedding. Therefore, it is best to book them at least 8 months in advance to easily accommodate all your guests. Another inexpensive option for accommodating your guests is renting out a villa or an apartment. They are clean and homely and most of them even have a private swimming pool.
Venue Rentals and Catering
This is again an important factor to consider while deciding the location of your wedding. Most hotels and resorts in Goa just charge for the buffet meals and no extra costs are added. However, some prime locations such as sea facing lawn can cost around Rs. 50,000 – Rs. 2,00,000 for an event. Also, keep in mind that music in Goa is not allowed beyond 10 pm for outdoor events. One has to attain special licenses like IPRS and PPL to play music, which may also add to the cost of your wedding.
Catering for weddings in Goa cost around Rs. 400 – Rs. 1500 per plate in non 5 star hotels and Rs. 1500 – Rs. 3000 per plate in 5 star properties.
Other important decisions that one needs to take into account while planning a wedding in Goa include decorations, travel costs, alcohol licenses, photography and music and entertainment.
The best way to reduce costs in a wedding is research thoroughly. For instance, if you are planning a wedding in a hotel, most of the time they have their own decorators for the event, which might cost more. However, most hotels in Goa even allow decorators from outside. A wedding decorator in Goa can cost anywhere between Rs. 2,00,000 to Rs, 3,50,000 per event and if you want more royal decorations, the prices for that start from Rs, 10,00,000 per event.
Similarly, professional photography in Goa can cost around Rs. 2,00,000 to Rs. 4,00,000 for a 3 day event. However, it is possible to find a photographer who can cover the wedding for less in Goa.
Other costs such as make up artists, music and entertainment, mehendi artists and so on, also need to be decided while planning a wedding. The best way to save on these costs is to research various vendors thoroughly in Goa and find the best one with the least charges. While beauticians in Goa cost around Rs. 6000 – Rs. 16,000 for the main ceremony, try to get an all inclusive package for all events, which might be cheaper. Other expenses such as fireworks, bands, elephants and music for the procession would also cost you between Rs, 20,000 and Rs, 40,000 in Goa.
Another way to reduce costs and the stress before your big day is to hire a wedding planner. This covers all the costs and expenses associated in a destination wedding including small expenditures such as airport transfers as well. Not to mention, it also takes the stress of planning a destination wedding off your shoulders. There are many types of wedding packages available in Goa, from a simple intimate wedding to a lavish grand wedding. Depending upon your budget, style and preferences, you can chose the kind of wedding you want to have in this beautiful state.
Planning a Honeymoon in Goa
Goa is one of the most romantic places in the country. Surrounded by numerous waterfalls, beaches, palm trees, hill and forests and rice paddy fields, Goa is the perfect destination to celebrate your honeymoon or go for romantic holidays with your loved one. With a coastline of almost 100 kilometers, Goa is filled with breathtaking natural beauty, friendly locals, vibrant nightlife, delicious food and rich culture and heritage. This state has so much to so that one can never get bored over here. There are many tour companies that provide special honeymoon packages and travel deals to the couples. Moreover, many resorts and hotels also offer great deals and packages to the couples on their honeymoon. Spending your honeymoon in Goa is one of the best ways to start your new life with your loved one.
From sun-kissed beaches, flea markets offering discounted and unique products to the best parties in the country, Goa has it all. Here are some things that couples should definitely do on their honeymoon in Goa:
Romantic Walks on the Beaches
With clear sparkling waters, soft white sands, cool ocean breeze and numerous swaying palms, Goa has some of the best beaches in the country. From the unspoiled untouched beaches of South Goa to the busy and the most happening beaches of North Goa. There is nothing more romantic than walking hand in hand, with your loved one, across miles and miles of beautiful coastline. Beaches in Goa offer a number of things a couple can do together such as romantic dinners next to the water, fun water sports and so on. The soft white sand, cool ocean breeze and the sound of water crashing at the shores, just adds to the romantic quotient of the honeymoon.
Cruise on the famous Mandovi River
Romantic cruises along the beautiful Mandovi River is yet another way to spend your honeymoon in Goa. The cruises are filled with different forms of entertainment for the guests. Dance and sing along the bouncy tune of Goa’s folk music and dance performances or indulge in the delicious flavors of Goan cuisine. Choose between different cruises such as Dinner Cruise, Sunset/ Sun-Down Cruise and Backwater Cruises in Goa, depending upon your schedule and preferences.
Shopping at the various Flea Markets
One of the most fun ways of spending your honeymoon in Goa is trying your bargaining skills at one of the famous flea markets over here. These flea markets offer lots of activities for one to do, from purchasing unique souvenirs to live music and jam sessions, along with various food joints selling delicious Goan food. Anjuna Flea Market, Ingo’s Night Bazaar and Calangute Market Square are just some of the many popular flea markets in Goa.
Walking Tour of Goa
Sightseeing in Goa while walking is a completely different experience. Stroll down the quiet villages, Portuguese style houses, Victorian buildings, beautiful Hindu temples and the numerous cathedrals and churches in the state while holding your partners hand will take sightseeing to a completely different level.
Explore the Goan wildlife
If you and your partner love exploring the nature and are a keen animal lover, then you should definitely visit the many wildlife sanctuaries of Goa. Bondla Zoo, Mollem Wildlife Sanctuary and Cotiagao Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the popular wildlife areas in the state. Many even provide the facilities of accommodation and fun activities like bathing with the elephants as well.
Try out Exciting Water Sports
You can spend your honeymoon trying out different types of fun water activities such as parasailing, scuba diving, water skiing, fishing and dinghy sailing. These water sports are a fun and an exciting way to spend time your loved one. Since most of these activities are done under the skilled eye of a professional, knowing how to swim is not mandatory.
Couple Spa Treatments
Break away from the exciting party life of Goa and go for relaxing spa and Ayurvedic treatments with your partner. Going for spa or getting soothing massages together can prove to be a really relaxing way to spend time together. Many hotels and resorts provide couples spa or otherwise you can even head towards the salons. Moreover, Goa is also known for its many Yoga Retreats. Learning yoga with your partner can also be a relaxing way to spend time with each other.