There are plenty of options for those looking for covid-safe destination wedding ideas.”, -Purnima Sharma
Wedding Plans suffer a Setback
While the coronavirus dismayed many couples as it ruined their plans to marry in the way they wanted, some couples managed to contemplate and plan their wedding again.
“The pandemic has put paid to all our plans,” rues Snigdha Kapoor,
talking about her plans of jet-setting to Thailand for a fairytale destination wedding.
Indeed, Snigdha and her beau Raveen, together with their families, had set their hearts on exchanging their nuptial vows against the setting sun of Koh Samui (the dreamy Thailand destination wedding).
“Everything was factored in -- from air to hotel bookings, decoration arrangements, guest lists, but not the lockdown,” states the 28-year-old daughter of a Delhi businessman,
“The families’ elders are now agonising over their decision of having a saat samundar paar shaadi.”, she continues.
She explained how all arrangements were set in motion way back in January earlier that year but soon, when news of a deadly virus doing the rounds in Wuhan (China) started trickling in, no one could have ever imagined it would create such havoc in far-away India, nay, across the world. But it did.
When the lockdown commenced, within no time, air and all other services were called to a halt, Optimists were certain that a fortnight of home confinement coupled with some joyous thaali-banging would drive the COVID-19 virus away.
Taking the ride again
The promise starting with a couple of weeks stretched to months and now, it seems, as Snigdha says: “The wait for a fun-filled dream destination wedding that I so wanted could be like waiting for Godot. I don't see a big, fat Indian wedding happening for a while at least.”
The question that swooned everywhere was:
“With the wedding season around the corner, will the plans of all those who had visions of stepping into a new chapter of their lives with a destination wedding come to nought?”
The hospitality and airline industry may have now started their services, albeit to some extent, but moving around without a care in the world is still some time away. A spokesperson from Vistara Airlines agreed that the situation unleashed by Corona has cast a sense of gloom across the world and on the tourism industry in particular. “The temporary suspension of operations during the nationwide lockdown followed by a period of soft demand has resulted in a severe impact on all airlines and people’s travel plans, be it for business or leisure, including weddings.”
And, for the wedding season – despite the apprehensions –we saw big groups taking off for their chosen destination; they had already set in motion several measures that conformed to the government guidelines. This was being done to ensure that flyers felt safe.
Soaring High, Weddings on bang again!
The pandemic may have crushed many overseas destination-wedding plans but others organised a shaadi in a scenic location within the country itself. After all, there are a plethora of breathtaking destinations that offer perfect venues such as Goa, Kerela, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, among others.
“But even within the country, there are certain rules that have to be followed, starting with taking permission from the administrative authorities, Big gatherings – not more than 50 people – are not being allowed anywhere, not even at weddings,” said Javed Ali, wedding planner and founder, Shubh Vivah, back in 2020.
Those times saw a huge flutter of destruction and disappointment in everything around that was brought about by the Coronavirus.
Talking about user-oriented guidelines issued to take on the challenge meted out by Corona, he says, “Disinfecting aircraft after every operation and carrying out frequent checks that comply with the disinfection process are a given. Of course, passengers, on their part, will be guided to follow all protocols laid down by the authorities as well.”
Another popular international destination that was high on the popularity charts and continues to be, for not just leisure travellers but also for destination weddings, is Bali, making thailand destination weddings’ dream come true. The unmatched beauty of this stunning Indonesian island that’s synonymous with stunning beaches, forests and volcanic mountains, sprawling rice fields and coral reefs coupled with some exotic hotels and retreats makes it an ideal place for a memorable nuptial affair.
In the post-lockdown scenario, with travellers willing to adapt to the “new normal”, a Garuda spokesperson added, “the Bali Provincial and Regency Governments have implemented judicious health protocols for everyone connected with the tourism industry for cleanliness, health and security. This entails prioritizing cleanliness for visitors who too are sure to be choosing carefully which tourist locations are perfect for them to feel truly safe.”
But now, as everything has returned to normal, people are again preferring overseas weddings, and in-home destination weddings, with “Small is the new Grand”, with loved ones around. So, get set for attending more destination weddings in an outfit complete with colour-coordinated masks and gloves, and in some cases, even face shields…After all, it’s all about making the most of the moment. And enjoying it too.
Stuff you should know of!
Q1. Can Indians travel to Thailand without a visa?
P.S.: You cannot traverse to Thailand without passport or a border pass(valid for up to 2 -3 days) at least.
Short answer, You cannot travel to Thailand without a visa.
Thailand allows Indians to travel with a Visa on Arrival for which you need a valid passport(with at least 6 months validity), hotel bookings, an application form, a Photocopy of the credit card with original statements of your credit card, 6 months' bank statement and at least 20k Thai baht in account per person, currency exchange slips of at least 500USD, a return flight booking(within 15 days) and a 2 passport photo. You can book your hotels on agoda.com.
Q2. Some insights on India to thailand travel guidelines?
Yes, there are some things you need to keep in mind. These include carrying all the required documents for Visa approval.
The guidelines are quite fluid and seem to change frequently. You can check more about this on the India-Thai embassy website.
Q3. How to travel to Thailand from India?
There are several air routes that you can take, the most popular being the Kolkata to Bangkok route. People also prefer the Delhi to Bangkok route. The Indigo and Vistara airlines are much preferred.
It costs a bit less to travel from India to Bangkok and then to your desired destinations in Thailand than taking direct plane routes to your destination. You can get domestic flights to Phuket and Krabi from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
Some travel via land, taking the routes in northeastern regions of India, all the way from Myanmar. This can cost anywhere between INR 2.5 lakhs- INR 5lakhs at the minimum and has many necessary document requirements that need to be met.
Q3, A general checklist for travel?
You will need:
Visa Documents, sunglasses, Passport, Passport-size photos, Umbrella, Tickets, Sunscreen, Medical kit, Selfie stick, Raw packaged Food, socks, sim ejector, small bag, cap or hat, and water bottle.