Udaipur, the “City of Lakes”, is known for its exquisitely original palaces and historic venues of The City Palace Complex.. Exotique Expeditions is offering authentic Heritage Palace Hotels and historical venues for memorable once-in-a-lifetime “Royal Weddings”. A wedding where a traditional welcome and red carpet is laid out for you, your family and your guests who’ll be treated as royalty.
A SUITABLE WEDDING
Day 1: Arrival and Welcome Ceremonies
A Grand welcome is accorded at the airport with a band and welcome drinks. Smooth check-in for all guests, baggage tags for luggage are ready prior to arrival.
A royal welcome is organized at the hotels: shehnai players create the royal wedding mood. Each guest is individually escorted to their well-appointed room, by our hospitality staff and briefed on the heritage of the rooms and the various facilities offered. An activity brochure of the Royal Wedding informs about the details of events. A separate hospitality desk is set up at the reception for the wedding function to assist the guests within the hotel premises and to sight-see around the historic city.
Lunch for all guests is organized at the Shiv Niwas Palace courtyard. Activities within the City Palace Complex include oat cruise in the Lake Pichola, visits to the City Palace Museum and the Crystal Gallery. The Vintage and Classic Car Collection is another attraction.
INDIAN MEHNDI NIGHT AT THE ZENANA MAHAL
As the evening approaches, the guests prepare for the mehndi night and the excitement grows. Rangoli with flowers is done at the entrance of the Zenana Mahal, fairy lights are thrown over shrubs and mashaals are lit up Artists perform the welcome dance of Bhavai. A well stocked bar lifts the spirits and snacks are served. As the evening progresses, the tempo of dance and music increases and the guests join in, to enjoy and celebrate. The chefs give a final touch to the piping hot buffet with all its accompaniments in order. Dinner is announced at the appointed hour. After dinner return to your hotels.
Day 2: Evening at the Hunting Lodge
After the previous night’s excitement, it is another day of leisure and relaxation. Lunch is served at the Durbar Hall, venue to many formals durbars and state banquet.
Shikarbadi Hotel, plays host for this evening. Shikarbadi was the hunting lodge of the royal family and is today a tranquil royal retreat for you and your guests. The Risala at Shikarbadi brings alive the hustle-bustle of village bazaar activity, a special theme for the evening. Craftsmen and potters, blacksmiths and sword makers, puppeteers and painters, palmists and astrologers will all be there to hold your attention. The rustic ambience is heightened with lanterns, haystacks and huts. The aroma of Rajasthani food fills the air and guests can relish the buffet or sit-down dinner.
DINNER AT SUNSET VIEW TERRACE
Or you can choose to dine at the Sunset View Terrace. The Sunset View Terrace is a part of the Fateh Prakash Palace, it overlooks the Lake Pichola and the magical Aravali mountains. The backdrop of the majestic City Palace Complex rising over the Lake creates a fairy-tale setting for a pre-wedding ceremonial dinner.
Day 3: The Wedding Evening
The day is at leisure. Lunch is organized either at the Shiv Niwas Palace lawns or at the Promenade.
The morning is filled with momentous evening is filled with preparations for the “Royal Wedding” in Udaipur. In the early evening gentlemen gather in the Durbar Hall for tying safas (Traditional Indian Headgear of long tie-and-dye scarves). The ladies also dress themselves in the traditional attire or designer-wear. All guests then meet at the Shiv Pole at Shiv Niwas Palace or the Fateh Pole at the Fateh Prakash Palace, where a welcome drink is served. A Royal procession begins to form and the excitement grows. The procession comprises of girls dressed in Rajasthani attire sprinkling rose petals and attar (rose water) in the front, followed by Dhol/Nagada (Traditional drums used for all auspicious occasions).
The guests follow a magnificently decorated horse bearing the bridegroom, while liveried men with lances line up the entire route with mashaals in their hands. The procession heads towards the boat-jetty at the promenade where the Palace band welcomes; the guests are ushered into decorated boats to be ferried across the Lake to Jagmandir, the island-palace on Lake Pichola.
THE ROYAL WEDDING
At Jagmandir, a traditional welcome is organized with a shower of rose buds and flowers. A welcome drink is served. The island-palace is gloriously decorated. Lit by lanterns, marshaals and fairy lights adding a bewitching aura of festivity. The ‘Darikhana’, a colonnaded pavilion, is flower-decked for the wedding ritual with traditional floor seating. While the priests conduct the wedding rituals, the guests can begin celebrating with champagne toasts. The wedding cake is cut and the dancing begins, amidst ovation from all present. The couple can take to the floor for the first dance, joined by guests and relatives thereafter. A spectacular fireworks display from the lakeside begins…….and the buffet is laid out for the auspicious evening. The festivities go on till late in the night……..boats are made available through the night for the return to your hotels.
Day 4: Departure
The departure is organized with car/coaches transfers to the airport and the fond memories of the Royal Wedding will linger on for a long time.
Venues – JAGMANDI : A unique setting
Jagmandir, an island-palace on Lake Pichola was built by Maharana Karan Singh in the early 1600’s Maharana Jagat Singh (1628-52) completed its magnificent construction and lent its name to Jagmandir.
DURBAR HALL: A glorious venue
The Durbar Hall at the Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur, has hosted state banquets and court celebrations, formal durbars, and royal weddings ever since it was built in the 1910’s. It is resplendent with opulent crystal chandeliers and velvet canopies, original portraits of the Maharanas of Mewar and a splendid display of armoury. From the galleries that surround the Durbar Hall, one gets a magnificent view of Lake Pichola, Jagmandir, Lake Palace and the Sajjangarh Palace. The Durbar Hall is a glorious venue for indoor banquets. Multi cuisine buffets or sit-down dinners can best be organized here to complement a royal wedding in Udaipur. The first flooe gallery of the Durbar Hall houses the famous Crystal Gallery, probably the largest single private collection anywhere in the world.
ZENANA MAHAL: For candle-lit banquets
The former palace of the royal ladies is now gloriously transformed to host candle-lit banquets and ‘sangeet’ ceremonies during a Royal Wedding in Udaipur. The Zenana Mahal, an integral part of the City Palace complex, was built in the early 1600’s and has witnessed innumerable royal weddings. The huge courtyard, with its lush green trees, fountains and flower decked canopies have witnessed the fun and frolic associated with Royal Weddings.
MANEK CHOWK: A Grand Affair
The beautifully landscaped Manek Chowk, in front of the City Palace, Udaipur, has been the traditional venue for royal festivities since the early 1600’s. Till date, the royal occasions, religious festivals and award functions are held here. Manek Chowk provides the ideal venue for grand sit-down banquets, with multi-course meals being served by liveried staff. The decorative lights, the mashaals, the backdrop of the façade of the City Palace makes for a memorable evening at Manek Chowk.