Your Guidebook to plan a Goa Wedding!
Goa is fast becoming the first choice of couples for their Destination Wedding. We spoke to Goa based Wedding Planner Lester Melo from Weddings N Dreams who answered all our questions regarding planning a wedding in Goa!
1. Why is Goa such a popular choice among couples for a Destination Wedding?
Lester : Goa is the perfect location for the couples' Dream Day with exquisite locales and soul soothing beaches. For couples' looking for a get-away holiday destination to celebrate their wedding with just a handful of their closest and fondest family members and friends, it becomes but a natural choice to come to Goa as the sun, sand and surf are synonymous to our little state and since most of the hotels are based by the coastline, it is a dream reality to have a destination sunset wedding outdoors. This is also a great advantage to the couple as they not only benefit a scenic background and surrounding, however also enjoy economic relief from hefty bills, as outdoor events require minimal decor as the surrounding in itself is picturesque enough.
Monsoon Weddings have also become popular for a lot of couples as the lush green open fields, the swaying palms amidst the heavy monsoon lashing on the rough seas along with great deals from Hotels makes a wet Goa, still a hot destination for Weddings.
2. Which are the best venues (hotels,resorts,open venues) for a Wedding in Goa?
Lester : Some of the best venues in Goa are located in 3 - 4 star premier hotels along Goa's vast coastline. Most of these hotels have great lawn seaside venues that can host a good number of guests for wedding functions, however some hotels have good lawn venues that do not have sea facing view, but are still good for couples that are not necessarily looking for seaside but are more interested in the capacity of the venue. There are also several independent venues that are impressive for hosting weddings and some of these have options for outdoor as well indoor areas where one could organize functions.
3. What are some of the common questions that couples should discuss with their Wedding planner for a Destination Wedding?
Lester : Some points of discussion between couples and the wedding planner are:
4. Can you tell us about the different types of weddings that you execute for couples?
Lester : For couples that want to do something different, and also NRI couples that would like to have their wedding in India, we offer Destination Wedding services that cover every detail of the pre functions and the wedding day. Right from assisting the couple to choose the venue, helping them with room bookings, menus, airport pickups for guests; down to the finer points like what kind of glasses the couple would like to have on the banquet tables.
Theme parties for weddings are rapidly gaining favor among Indian couples; however the majority prefers to keep themes for their pre-functions before the wedding, such as the Welcome party for their guests or Mehendi and Sangeet function. The whole excitement of dressing up to go along with the theme brings on the party mode in guests and this in itself is the mood setter for the rest of the evening. Therefore marking theme parties as ideal for pre wedding functions. For the Big Day itself, most of the couples we've met like to keep it more sober and easy. There have of course been weddings we have celebrated, that have had all days of the wedding like one big party.
Besides these we also organise Catholic weddings at the Church wherein we organize for everything that the couple requires. Right from the church documents, decor, flowers, altar boys, right up to assisting the couple when deciding their reception venue, reception decor, menu, live band, DJ, etc.
5. What is the best time to plan a wedding in Goa? Also what are the important things to take care of while planning a destination beach wedding?
Lester : The months between Oct and Apr are months that pretty much assure one of a romantic Sun set wedding. Couples come to Goa primarily for a sea side wedding and Goa being a land of open spaces and coconut trees being the other reason for couples coming in from other cities to plan their functions with this setting. Many couples comment to say that if they were going to use an indoor venue, then why come to Goa.
Time of year is an important factor where months of June to Sep being Monsoon period, an outdoor event would be a bit difficult, unless one was looking at a pool side rain party. We have however in the past built up temporary waterproof shades that hold up to 200 people on a lawn. This gives the party an outdoor feel, but also keeps the guests dry.
What we usually suggest is choosing available choices of venue options within the same hotel property, thus choose a hotel that has multiple venue options, and if the sea is a criteria then obviously a sea side hotel. If one was choosing a venue that was not part of a starred hotel, then one has to look at many items, like parking, licensing, seating, catering etc.
For families on a limited budget, we suggest that the family choose a hotel that is in close driving to the coast but not necessarily a sea side hotel. This saves accommodation costs. But this hotel has to at least have enough options that satisfy the other outdoor functions, and then one could choose the sea side venue in another location where guests would then have to be transported.
When couples decide that they would like to have an outdoor wedding, the important things that they should keep in mind are the weather and consequently the time of when the sun sets during the month of their preferred wedding dates. If the couple is looking at a sun set wedding, Sun Set timings defer, so we would suggest to check this info online to be close to accurate, rather than asking the local fisherman.
Also the couple has to figure if they would like to have their wedding on the lawns, by the pool or on the beach with sand between their toes. This will help shortlist the venues according to their preferences. After this has been done, they should then take a good look at all the shortlisted hotels and wedding venues that are available for the wedding dates that they have in mind.
Once they have zeroed in on the available venue where the couple would like to host their wedding functions, then starts the process of actually booking the venue with contracts etc.
6. Any specific vendors (decorators, photographers, DJs, Caterers) that you suggest to couples who are planning a wedding in Goa?
Lester : There are several vendors that work the wedding circuit, however we recommend to couples only the best and most professional in the industry that we work with on a regular basis. We have a good understanding with most of the vendors and Goa being a small state, most of the service providers are known to us, thus making working with them always a pleasant experience. Most of our decor is in-house except for some new decor that we might not have experimented with. That is when we hire these out from our contemporary enterprises and vice versa. We have in the past also worked with well known photographers and videographers in and around Goa and Bombay who are professionally well recognized. Depending on the type of wedding we hire out caterers based on the menu and cuisine that the couple is planning on catering for their guests, be it, BBQ dinner, Indian cuisine, Greek, Goan, Continental, or sometimes even a mix of one or two cuisines, the couple can rest assured that we can find them a caterer for every taste. DJs also are chosen with great care as he/she is the person who can make or break the party, be it Mehendi/Sangeet or Reception party. The music has to be of the couples choice, which can be anything from Punjabi beats, oldies classics, Gujarati music, Western English hits, popular Bollywood tracks doing the rounds at the time.. and the list can go on..
About Weddings n Dreams
Weddings N Dreams started off in October 2001, by Lester Melo, (Certified Wedding Planner - UK) as Goa's first professional, exclusive wedding planning company with an aim to make Goa the perfect wedding destination. Goa is a place where people love to get married, and over the years, Weddings N Dreams has catered to a vast array of clientele, all with different taste, ideas and visions. Led by the enigmatic and creative Lester Melo, the Weddings N Dreams team can see you through, from the ideating stage to implementation, the final product not just a measure of how you are as a couple, but also a testament to the team's finer attention to detail.Website