Nuptials hosted in the South Asian tradition are colorful, opulent and richly ceremonial. Lasting for at least three days, they can be a huge undertaking, so let Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts take care of all the details for you
They are young, in love and dreaming of a spectacular Indian wedding that blends their family’s rich heritage with all-out contemporary glamor.
They’re imaginative in their vision, exacting in their tastes and especially challenging in the demands they make on venues (mostly due to the sheer, impressive scale of their plans).
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has witnessed the renewed vigor with which engaged couples blessed with Asian roots are embracing their cultural traditions and fusing them with very cosmopolitan party trends.
These couples quite happily transport their customarily elaborate nuptial ceremonies and large parties of relatives to far-flung destinations to ramp up the sense of occasion and – as the glittering pictures of delighted guests and spouses show ¬– it’s a winning formula that Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts across the globe are immensely proud to be a part of.
So, if you or a loved one are planning a big day, why not take a leaf out of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts’ wedding planner book and see how some very big dreams can become a beautiful reality in the right hands.
The Ideal Setting
A customary three days of celebrating what is, often, an international wedding attended by upwards of 300 people, means that finding the ideal venue is a tall order indeed.
The location must be easily accessible from all corners of the world, offer globally inspired catering services; large, versatile and beautiful entertaining spaces, and promise seamless organization by expert staff.
Ticking all these boxes is what makes Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah a popular choice for large-scale Indian weddings. The resort’s impressive grand ballroom – with immense mirrors – provides a spectacular backdrop for ceremony day, but it’s not just this unique feature that sets the property apart…
Day One: A Warm Welcome
The first day of an Indian wedding is all about welcoming guests and this must be done with supreme aplomb. The Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah offers a helipad, private dock for speedboats and a chauffeured Bentley car service ensuring chic arrival at this glamorous beach resort setting.
The property is situated on Palm Jumeirah island, stretching 5km out into the Persian Gulf, boasting 200m of private soft-sanded beach. The welcome reception is often held outside, making the most of the early evening sunlight beside the infinity pool or on the event lawn.
Lavish food stations offer exquisite cuisine from all over the world, alongside canapés and a wide selection of drinks, all meticulously planned by the couple in conjunction with their Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts dedicated wedding team and executed by world-renowned chefs and sommeliers.
Guests are entertained with live bands and singers before retiring early after a long day of travel. Of course, not all guests choose to sleep; the evening often sees a private, indoor party for the youngsters – a cool, club-style party that can go on until the early hours of the morning. Consider it the members-only after-party. It’s quite fabulous, and very hip.
Day Two: Mehndi and Mocktails
The pre-wedding-day “Mehndi”, where the bride has elaborate designs in henna applied to her arms, hands and feet, is often the most colorful part of the three-day event.
At brunch, food is served, often from a selection of trend-inspired live food stations and buffet areas in the neatly contained and elaborately decorated ballroom where guests are invited to relax, eat, drink and enjoy the festivities.
Later in the day, the “Sangeet” is another reliably lively celebration where each family joyfully welcomes the other in a final, fantastic pre-wedding fanfare.
Guests will – hopefully – have paced themselves at the Mehndi, as the Sangeet also features a breathtaking display of food. “Chefs will often cook live on site in the ballroom for guests,” says Rana Daher, Events Manager at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah.
With cuisine taking centre stage, it’s crucial to ensure that the drinks are equally impressive. Champagne remains popular, but there is a definite lean towards customized cocktails, created to suit the style and color scheme of the wedding.
The mocktail is a key player at non-alcoholic celebrations and should be just as delicious as its boozy cousin. Talented mixologists, highly trained bartenders and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts’ legendary anticipatory service staff work with the dedicated wedding team and the celebrating couple to ensure that every drink is exquisitely presented and served, and that every individual guest is catered for.
Day Three: The Ceremony
The setting for an Indian ceremony is always spectacular, bedecked with flowers and swathes of brightly colored, densely patterned and bejeweled fabric.
The temporary stage – called a “mandap” – is a beautifully decorated platform upon which the bride and groom exchange gifts and vows. At Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah the ceremony is often staged on the soft sand of the resort’s private beach with the glittering Arabian Gulf in the background, or in its palatial grounds beside a stunning infinity pool, or even on its private helipad.
The backdrop for this moment of union is exquisite and unforgettable.
Dinner and entertainment follows, with theatrical dance performances from family and friends to celebrate the new union.
There is no tradition of a wedding cake, but contemporary couples often offer their guests an elaborate sweet selection with individual pastries, cakes and fruits.
While Indian sweets remain ever popular, chefs at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah can also provide guests with locally inspired Arabic treats, such as baklava. Of course, there can also be fireworks or any number of displays to celebrate the special moment.
And here the wedding team can make almost anything happen. “When it comes to entertainment, we can host fire-eaters, acrobats, belly dancers—anything and everything is possible!” says Rana with a smile.
At the End of the Day: Time to Relax
The party may be set to go on long into the night, but by now the newlyweds are ready to slip away and sink into some soft, cool and welcoming sheets after days of being the center of their guests’ attention.
The first night of their new lives together should undoubtedly be spent in the Royal Suite at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, distinguished by being the largest suite in Dubai.
Occupying the entire top floor and accessible via a private VIP lift, this elegant sanctuary is richly designed using in opulent woods and Italian marble, with incredible 360-degree views of the glittering Arabian Gulf from its private terrace. Here, the couple are welcomed with flowers and gifts that have been tailored to their individual tastes by the dedicated wedding team, and a deep, relaxing bathtub overlooking the view beckons.
It is an intimate, relaxing and indulgent finale to a three-day spectacular, and the perfect moment to start savoring the everlasting memories of the wedding of their dreams.
For inspiration and assistance in planning your very own perfect day at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, visit waldorfastoria.com/weddings