Indian wedding ceremonies are nothing if not extravagant. What with the outfits, scrumptious buffets, fountains of alcohol, highly competitive dance-offs, lavish receptions; Indian weddings are the epitome of a celebration. Believe us if you will, but we’ve found the one thing that will take Indian weddings to the very next level. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has jumped on the luxury wedding bandwagon and introduced Wedding on Wheels. IRCTC runs some of the most luxurious trains in the world like Maharajas’ Express and Palace on Wheels. Noting the popularity of these trains in the NRI circles, they have now introduced the concept of getting married on a train while travelling to picturesque dream destinations.
The new service will offer an ostentatious wedding experience with five star facilities and novel cuisines. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) is already popular overseas for renting out havelis and forts to host grand weddings. They will now use their two luxury trains – Palace on Wheels and Rajasthan Royals on Wheels – for weddings starting next year. “An all-inclusive seven-day extravaganza on board will cost between INR 2 crore and INR 2.5 crore for a 100-odd guest list,” RTDC chairman Randeep Dhankar said. The entire wedding package can be customised by couples or wedding planners to cater for different decoration styles, travel routes, spas and saunas - just what a bride to be needs. There are a variety of luxury coaches to choose from ranging from Deluxe Cabins to Suites. The Presidential Suite costs a bomb at USD 23,700 per person for an eight day journey.
The Maharajas’ Express is the flagship train run by IRCTC and is the most exclusive of the lot. If you plan to get married on this train, you get to party from one end of the train to the other. “You have to charter the train by booking at least 32 of the 41 cabins available and then, depending on the locations you want to visit, the travel plan can be customised. So, for example, colourfully decorated elephants would welcome you in Ranthambore, you could have a champagne breakfast in Agra and hold the wedding ceremony in a royal palace in Jodhpur.” said Nishesh, a representative of the Maharajas’ Express. The basic price is USD 6000 per person which amounts to about INR 2.5 crore. Depending on the allotted budget and special requests, further customisations will be carried out by the railways.
To add to your options, welcome aboard the Palace on Wheels. One of its travel routes offers a lap of luxury starting from New Delhi, winding through Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Agra and returns to New Delhi, all in 10 days. On the way it halts at forts and national parks so that guests can appreciate the beautiful sights, sounds and smells India has to offer. On the itinerary are cultural shows, folk dances and visits to forts which still resound with the legends of Rajputana valour.
So if you happen to know a couple with love in their hearts and major green in the bank, tell them about this unconventional marriage service up for grabs.