Italy has been hogging headlines in India in recent weeks after actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone chose the country for their wedding.
The wedding took place on Wednesday and Thursday — Konkani and Sindhi style — in what looked like a fairy tale set-up at Villa Del Balbianello near Lake Como.
This was just another example of celebrities' interest in the country when it came to their big day.
Just three months ago, billionaire Mukesh Ambani's daughter Isha Ambani got engaged to Piramal group's Ajay Piramal's son, Anand Piramal at the same location. About a year ago, Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli took their wedding vows in Borgo Finocchieto, Tuscany.
More examples abound. Actress Rani Mukherjee married director and producer Aditya Chopra in Italy.
Hate Story actress Surveen Chawla and the 'Jag Ghoomeya' singer Neha Bhasin also tied the knot in Italy.
Undoubtedly, Italy is a beautiful country, but why are these celebrities going gaga over the place when India itself stands out when it comes to locations for destination weddings?
According to wedding planners, Italy is chosen because of its European beauty, the romance element and its scenic views of lakes and the abundant greenery.
Villa del Balbianello (Picture credits: Villa del Balbianello website)
The sun sparkles on Lake Como in the evening as a swan swims past in Varenna, Italy June 1, 2018. (Reuters)
"Italy is a great European destination for weddings! It has a certain old-world romance element attached to it, with its lush greenery, abundant lakes and vast countryside. The food, weather and hospitality- is top notch. Even in terms of venues, there are so many options to choose between. Sprawling villas, artistically done up hotels- Italy has it all," said Tina Tharwani, co-founder and director of Mumbai-based wedding event planner Shaadi Squad.
Manarola, Italy (Credits: unsplash)
The trend of destination weddings has increased in recent years. A 2013 Mintel report found that 58 percent of US brides want their wedding to be remembered as a fun and casual party, and not a formal event and the country has a lot to offer for all this.
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Not only the US, but India is also slowly showing the same trend. A
Wedding Tourism Report by MRSS India said the wedding market in India stands at Rs 110,000 crore of which around Rs 23,438 crore can be attributed to destination weddings.
The statistics of a survey conducted by the Wedding Brigade, quoted by news agency
IANS, pointed to a paradigm shift when it comes to millennials. Only 35 percent prefer to get married in the city while the rest prefer a destination wedding.
Destination weddings, overseas, are preferred largely because everybody gets to spend quality time with their loved ones, visit and travel to new places. Italy seems to be adding a cherry on the top with its scenic beauty and favourable weather conditions.
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"Even weatherwise, it's less hot and colder in most parts of the year- that certainly works in favour for families coming in from India. In our small little way, we brought Italy in focus when we executed Anushka and Virat's wedding in December 2017," said Saurabh Malhotra, co-founder and director of Shaadi Squad.
Shaadi Squad is known for planning Sharma and Kohli's wedding. The company has also worked on actress Priyanka Chopra's and singer Nick Jonas'
Borgo Finocchieto, Tuscany, the location chosen by Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma. (Source: Borgo Finocchieto website)
Additionally, the country provides privacy to the celebs. Achint Nag, the proprietor of Mumbai's Krayonz Entertainment, said, "Celebrities prefer a more private and quiet place. Italy is very beautiful and the people are very accommodative. Most of what the couples want is available within the parameters of their wedding premises."