The only thing better than a royal destination wedding in the “Land of Kings” is an equally regal photoshoot right before the nuptials. Here’s our pick of the best pre-wedding destinations in the historic and vibrant Rajasthan. By Eshita Srinivas
The first official pictures of the happy star couple have flooded the interwebs and, just like that, the idea of destination weddings, albeit with fewer guests and longer lists of safety protocols, has gained momentum in the country. However, the lead-in to the big day is just as important. The pre-wedding shoot, or the engagement shoot, helps you build a rapport with your wedding photographer, and the pictures are great for save-the-dates, Instagram uploads, and displays for the walls of your home.
Pictures from pre-wedding shoots become repositories of memories that serve as a reminder of the couple’s love. Naturally, the location for the shoot needs to be just as incredible as that of the wedding itself. And if there’s anything we’ve learned from the Katrina-Vicky wedding (or, VicKat if you will) that there’s no better place than the royal Rajasthan with its stunning natural topography, historic palaces, and vibrant culture. Before you put your bridal fineries on, consider these breathtaking locations in the region for the best keepsakes of your journey to a happily-ever-after.
Breathtaking pre-wedding destinations in Rajasthan for an engagement photoshoot
Formerly the capital of the kingdom of Mewar, Udaipur is brimming with culture. Moreover, the city of lakes offers cinematic backdrops for a pre-wedding shoot, from serene lakes and stunning mountains to regal palaces and historic forts. A popular option in the region is the Chunda Palace, bespoke with indigenous Mewari artwork, including natural colours on the wall, furniture made of wood, silver, and camel bone, and gold leaf on the ceiling.
Ornate palaces flanked by streets filled with vendors selling hand-painted clay pottery, fine jewellery, and block-printed cottons, the capital city of Rajasthan is a photographer’s delight. Moreover, the salmon-hued architecture of the place makes for some vibrant engagement shots. The Hawa Mahal, Jaipur’s delicately-designed pink palace, and the City Palace, with its beautiful doorways and traditional murals, form the backdrop of many beautiful shots. However, the Rambagh Palace, home to the royals and a lush back garden, complete with dancing peacocks, offers the most luxurious setting for a shoot.
There’s no place quite as picturesque as Jodhpur with its indigo-bathed cityscape and expansive desert. Traditional homes, forts, and palaces in the region make it perfect for quintessential romantic pictures. The Mehrangarh Fort, with its intricate artwork and lush courtyards, is a popular option. For a more luxurious experience, couples head to Umaid Bhavan, which has 26 acres of lush gardens and uniquely-designed rooms.
Dazzling with sandstone palaces, imposing forts, and an expansive desert, the yellow undertones of Jaisalmer have earned it the moniker of the “golden city.” A shoot here could include honey-toned sand dunes, historic structures, and, if you time it just right, the most magical sunset with colours bouncing off of the golden cityscape. Popular spots for pre-wedding snaps here are the Suryagarh fort and Jaisalmer fort.
An underrated spot in Rajasthan, Alwar is the perfect example of royal architecture. The Alwar fort, Bala Quila, and Moosi Maharani Mahal reflect different architectural styles and hold many stories from the bygone era waiting to be discovered. A drive away from Delhi, it’s the perfect destination for a quick shoot if time’s not your friend. A popular option here is the Neemrana Fort, a luxury hotel perched on a hill in the Aravalli range. The blend of modern and rustic in the structure’s design and the six-acre space gives guests enough room and opportunity to find their perfect picture.
A dusty, charming city away from the hustle and bustle of the main cities, Bikaner has several old mansions that line its streets and serve as a reminder of its rich history. Pictures shot here often have a coral undertone, in part due to the red sandstone structures that permeate the city. While the historic streets and golden Thar desert are perfect for aesthetic shots, the Junagarh Fort, with its blend of Rajput, Mughal, and semi-western architecture, is a popular option as well.