Travel: 6 offbeat venues in Maharashtra for destination weddings

Forget Udaipur, Goa and Kerala. Closer home, charming vineyards, sea-facing shamianas and historic forts make the ideal location to say, ‘I do’

Veggie vows
Where: Saj By The Lake, Malshej Ghat, 150 kms (2.5-hour drive from Mumbai)

Sitting by the banks of the Pushpavati River, the newly-opened 15-room boutique, all-veggie resort makes for an intimate wedding venue. Either opt for a poolside reception with brick-themed décor (interiors by The Busride Design Studio) or set up a temporary shamiana right by the lake, that falls within the 4.5-acre stretch of the property. With locally produced veggies cooked in earthenware and barbeque pits, the resort also offers in-house catering from its restaurant, Maati Baani. Now, wouldn’t Rajasthani Baati Dal and Goan Bhindi be tasty additions to your shaadi ka khaana? (Click here to read: A blissful escape in Malshej)

Kalyan-Ahmednagar route, NH 222, Pune

COST: Packages depend on the number of guests

Jodha-Akbar fantasy
Fort Jadhavgadh Hotel and Resort, Pune, 182 kms (3.3 hour-drive from Mumbai)
Jodha-Akbar fantasy

Resplendent with 300-year-old Maratha legacy, the massive stone structure, along with the lofty Sahyadris, is the perfect backdrop for those who wish to plan a royal wedding closer home. Watch your beloved enter the venue on an elephant to the beats of drums and tutari, take the pheras in sprawling lawns accommodating close to 3,000 guests, tuck into lavish Maharash-trian spread at a rooftop, poolside dining facility and while at it, indulge in a pre-wedding shoot at the hotel’s museum suite.
AT: Jadhavwadi, Hadapsar Saswad Road, Pune.
CALL: 9987573818
COST: Depending on the number of people

Vineyard aisle walk
Where: Beyond by Sula, Nashik, 180 kms (3.5 hour-drive from Mumbai)

If your bank balance stops you from getting hitched in Greece, the Greek-styled amphitheatre amidst the velvety vineyards will come to your rescue. The 1.5-acre open-air space, best for a winter wedding, can accommodate a crowd of 1,000 while the team at Sula offers to coordinate with your wedding planner, photographer and decorators to ensure a smooth execution of the D-day. Besides wine-tasting and a vineyard tour to keep the guests entertained, how about adding a grape-stomping session with your partner as a fun, pre-wedding rasam?
AT: Survey No. 1, Village Ganghavare, Gangapur-Ganghavare Road, Nashik.
CALL: 9970090039
COST: Rs 5 lakhs onwards (for the amphitheatre)

Home stay happiness
Where: Rustic Holidays, Tural, 310 kms (5.5 hour-drive from Mumbai)
Revellers try to dunk a guest in a pond post a haldi ceremony at Rustic Holidays, an eco-resort in Tural, Ratnagiri. Pic courtesy/Scarlet WeddingsRevellers try to dunk a guest in a pond post a haldi ceremony at Rustic Holidays, an eco-resort in Tural, Ratnagiri. Pic courtesy/Scarlet Weddings

"The sun rays penetrating through the trees added a diffused light to the setting while the rooms, with a rural theme, presented an earthy feel," recalls Pravin Patade, co-founder of Scarlet Weddings that conducted a wedding shoot at the homestay-style eco-resort in 2014. Resembling a typical Konkani village, the 120-acre area features five cottages and an ancestral home that can accommodate 150 plus guests under one roof. The ideal time to host a wedding here is from October to April.
AT: Tural, Ratnagiri.
CALL: 9820340332
COST: Starting from Rs 4 lakh

Big, fat green wedding
Where: Hiranya Resorts, Aurangabad, 350 kms (6-hour drive from Mumbai)

Picture this: Neatly pruned trees welcome the baraatis as they gear up for a cocktail night with camping et al and later, an all-white themed wedding on the lush, green lawns. If this sounds like a plan, check out Hiranya Resorts. Flanked by mountains and a lake, the 15-acre property located en route Ellora Caves offers two party lawns that can house close to 2,000 guests (without accommodation), a banquet hall along with catering and event management services.
AT: Ellora Road, near Daultabad Lake, Aurangabad.
CALL: 9850633566
COST: Starting from Rs 10 lakh

Beach bumming and bonhomie
Where: Blue Ocean Resort & Spa, Ganpatipule, 332 kms (6.5 hour-drive from Mumbai)

Why insist on Goa for a beach wedding? With a sun-kissed private beach and Portuguese-styled cottages offering a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea, the beachside 34-room resort is worth a dekko, if you’re planning a private affair. Add to that, an open-deck restaurant, an infinity pool and a spa that’ll relieve the couple of the pre-wedding jitters. While the 36-acre resort hasn’t hosted any weddings yet, they’re open to bookings and the best time for a wedding here is between November to February.
AT: S No 126, Malgund, near Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri
CALL: 2357235388

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