How to plan an Indian wedding during the coronavirus pandemic

Its December 2019, all of us are busy making plans for the coming new year, 2K20, the year that marks the end of the decade, pretty big deal, right? Some of us had New Year plans made in hotels, resorts; some had made plans to watch the fireworks by the sea; some had decided to have a celebration at home with family and friends. Whatever way we all had chosen to ring in the new year, we made sure it was special.

If at 12.01 am, you took a moment away from your new year celebration to pause, look at your partner and say, “It’s going to be a big year because we are getting married this year!” or even thought to yourself about how important 2020 is going to be cause you were getting married then this blog is for you. None of us had anticipated that what was beginning in China while we are busy with our New Year Preparations in December would someday bring the whole world to a standstill. But, here we are.

Let’s move on from the a-walk-down-the-memory-lane introduction to the present day. The Corona Virus has slowed down the $50 billion Indian wedding market (as per KPMG report).Many couples have had to cancel their destination weddings, wedding venues, caterers, and all plans for a big fat Indian wedding. In this Covid 19 situation some of the couples have decided to postpone their wedding date (Check out our blog on “Your guide to postpone an Indian wedding during coronavirus” here), while some others decided to get married on the scheduled date but in a much simpler and elegant fashion, a one that conforms with the government norms for weddings during Covid 19.

You may be anxious and worried to make this work but, looking at the plus side of things, this is a scenario that has not happened before so you are in luck cause there is absolutely no right way or wrong way now, there is  just one way – your way. This kind of releases a huge pressure from the couple and their families, the pressure of “log kya kahenge?” aka “what will people tell?”if the wedding preparations did not meet the “standards” set by the society or relatives.

You would be happy to know that many couples have got married or engaged during this pandemic and they have made things work for them. Let’s look at some of the points you need to consider if you are going ahead with a wedding during the pandemic.

The venue

Start considering alternate venue options due to new government regulations!    

If you had booked your wedding hall, hotel previously then the chances are they must have been cancelled by now following the government regulations. So, decide on an alternate venue. It could be your own home in an apartment or your ‘nani/dadi ka ghar’ (aka grandma’s house) or a close relative’s home. Whatever you decide it’s a venue where you can ensure that you follow all the government norms and still have a wonderful wedding.

The guest list

“Make an optimized guest list and arrange for meticulous crowd management along with live streaming of the event  

With the government rule that not more than 50 people can gather for a wedding, the guest list you prepared previously might need some rework and this is not going be easy! It has to be done meticulously cause you cannot afford to miss out on anyone important. There are several ways you could handle this:

  • Divide your wedding venue into two sections if possible or take the help of a friendly neighbor and arrange for catering service/food there. Then divide the guests you wish to invite into slots. For example, you have brainstormed and identified 150 people who you really want at your wedding. Then divide them into batches of 50 and provide a time slot for each batch of 50 people. When the first 50 people meet you at the venue allow them some time to be there and after some time you can redirect them to the dining place. Then the second batch of 50 people would be at your wedding hall and so on. The people can exit from the dining area. This way you can effectively manage your crowd and also make sure that you don’t have more than 50 guests in one place at a time.
  • For all those people who could not be there at your wedding, arrange for a live streaming of the wedding and send them the link so they don’t miss out on the wedding celebrations.

Additional precautions to be followed

“It is always better to be safe than sorry so start stocking up on essentials like hand sanitizers, masks etc.!

Since you have decided to go ahead with the wedding and have invited your loved ones, their safety should be your priority. Some steps you should take to ensure safety of your guests:

  • At the entrance of the venue, distribute masks and provide them with hand sanitizer. You can be either innovative in the masks that you distribute like you could have the names of the bride and groom embroidered on it or keep it simple and provide them standard cloth/disposable masks.
  • Customized hand sanitize bottles with the name of the bride and groom similar to customized flasks can be designed to distribute to your guests. Sanitizer bottles wrapped like a gift can be given to your guests.
  • Make sure you have disinfected the wedding venue prior to the event.
  • Arrange for more hand washing facilities in the dining area along with disinfectant soaps and sanitizers.

Wedding dresses

“When deciding on the wedding dresses remember to take your mom’s amazing wardrobe into consideration and also start searching your wardrobe for some beautiful clothes that you could revamp for a new look!

If you have already got your wedding dress then this saves you some time but if you haven’t then don’t fret. These are few options you could use:

  • Its time to raid your mother’s (or grandmother’s) wardrobe! Nothing says timeless and beautiful like the clothes of your mother/grandmother. There will definitely be some beautiful Chanderi, Banarasi, Uppada or Kanjeepuram silk saree in your mom’s wardrobe that’s waiting to grab your attention! Also, it is not something that no one has ever done before as well. Remember the scene where Kareena Kapoor wears her mom’s watch in the movie “3 idiots” during her sister’s wedding?

So, head over to her wardrobe already!

  • In case that designing your wedding outfit is difficult consider other options as well such as ready-made wedding gowns and lehengas.
  • It is also time for you to get creative and innovative with your outfits. Pick your old sarees and ask a nearby designer to make a beautiful gown or a cocktail dress from it that you could use for an engagement party or a cocktail party. This has been done by many brides even for pre COVID-19 weddings cause not only does it add grace to your outfit, it also enhances the sentimental value of it. You can get inspiration from Isha Ambani who incorporated her Mom’s wedding saree in her lehenga.

Taking precautions and making style statements

“Wouldn’t it be great to stay safe and stylish at the same time? Read on for some great ideas on how to nail this combination on your big day!

It is mandatory to take precautions during this period but who says you can’t make it stylish?

  • You can use customized masks stitched from your lehenga cloth and your spouse mask could be from the same cloth as his sherwani.
  • You could go for a simpler mask that has the first alphabet of your and your spouse name embroidered on it with maybe a heart shaped symbol and an arrow across it.
  • Think of creative gloves that will match your outfit and make you stand out.
  • You could also make gloves/masks that match with your spouse wedding dress.
  • You could also make incomplete statements on each glove that when put together read a wonderful message. You could team up with your spouse as well and come up with different poses for the photos where you can convey different messages through different gloves. Get creative with those messages – make them cheesy or classy your choice! After all its your day.

Get creative with your wedding arrangements

“Reconsider your wedding arrangements and find solutions that are easy to implement in this situation!

With the venue decided, clothes sorted out you need to start worrying about the wedding arrangements. If you had planned your wedding with imported flowers and décor then its time you start re-planning and going local! Make a list of the options you have at home and those available online as well. Find out local vendors who can provide you flowers, lights etc. If you have fairy lights at home that were used only during festivals then its high time those lights come out now and are put to good use.

Since the salons are mostly closed, try online beauty services like those offered by urban company. These services offer reviews from customers for every make-up artist as well and these days as a safety precaution the make-up artists also wear PPE while working with clients.

Go digital wherever possible

“Conduct some of the rituals online if possible but make sure to always keep it interactive !

Yes, you heard us right, if there is a possibility to conduct a ritual on a digital platform the you should go ahead with it. For examples, you can arrange for a digital sangeet function where people can send in videos from their homes and you can merge those videos together. If you have a creative cousin or sibling who loves videography then it is time to put their creativity and talent to use as well!

Postpone what you feel is not mandatory now

“It is okay if you don’t want to host events that you feel are not mandatory to be conducted asap. !

If you feel that you can have a reception party later with your friends/colleagues then feel free to postpone them to later date when you feel the situation is better. This would save you the troubling from planning another event during this pandemic after you have already done one big event.

Whatever option you choose be it to postpone your wedding or to go ahead with it, just make sure you all stay safe and take all precautions always!

We @venuemonk are committed to making your celebrations memorable and safe. Feel free to share your ideas and comments with us in the comment section below!


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