How to succeed as a destination wedding venue

Katerina Dixon



First and foremost, properties must offer a variety of picturesque and customizable locations to cater to different wedding styles and sizes. Take, for instance, the diverse settings provided by Shangri-La’s destinations. Whether it’s the stunning vistas of the Gulf of Oman, the vibrant heart of Istanbul, or the tranquil shores of Mauritius, these venues offer everything from beaches and gardens to grand ballrooms, accommodating various wedding themes and preferences.



Comfort and elegance are paramount for the wedding party and guests. Luxurious accommodations, like those at Shangri-La Bosphorus in Istanbul, which boasts bridal suites with spectacular views, right in the heart of the culturally rich city with top-notch amenities, significantly enhance the overall wedding experience.



Simplifying the planning process for couples by offering comprehensive wedding packages is another essential aspect. Properties like Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri in Abu Dhabi provide all-inclusive packages featuring personalized beverage options, custom-designed wedding cakes, private bridal makeup rooms, and luxurious overnight stays in bridal suites.

High-quality catering with top chefs is vital for a memorable wedding feast. For example, Shangri-La Barr Al Husn in Muscat offers bountiful wedding menu packages, showcasing exquisite culinary delights from various cuisines to fit any theme and to impress guests as well.



Exceptional amenities can make a wedding truly unforgettable. Providing access to spas, wellness facilities, and unique local experiences enriches the wedding experience. Shangri-La Bosphorus, for instance, offers amenities like Turkish baths and Rolls-Royce tours in Istanbul, creating lasting memories from the special day.


Developing strong network and trust with wedding planners, event agencies, travel agencies, florists, photographers, musicians and other entertainers are crucial. These relationships ensure a seamless and professionally managed event, allowing couples to enjoy their special day stress-free.



Incorporating local culture and traditions into wedding packages adds a unique and memorable touch. For example, Shangri-La Bosphorus combines traditional Turkish and Asian influences, offering experiences like a magical henna night and a dreamy tour of Istanbul, providing couples with an authentic and unforgettable celebration. The selection of destination plays an important role in the pre- and post-wedding activities.



Recognising the immense potential in the Indian wedding market is crucial. Destination weddings are increasingly popular among affluent Indian families, with around 3.5 million couples getting married in the last quarter of 2023, leading to expenditures totalling about $57 billion. A typical Indian wedding at an international destination costs about $215,000, indicating a lucrative market for properties offering specialized services tailored to Indian weddings.

Auspicious days in the Hindu calendar, determined by astrological charts, play a pivotal role in wedding planning. Couples plan their weddings around these dates for blessings and prosperity. Shangri-La’s properties in India, such as Shangri-La Eros in New Delhi and Shangri-La Bengaluru, offer venues that blend luxury with cultural heritage, making them ideal for Indian destination weddings. These properties feature settings from grand ballrooms to lush gardens and provide comprehensive packages that include traditional Indian wedding rituals and modern amenities.