Indian weddings are infamously famous for being chaotic, and the announcement of currency change added to the mess. Right from the brides and grooms, the caterers, the hall owners and even beauticians had a tough time sailing through the turbulent waters of demonetisation, says Roshani Shinde
A month before the wedding, the brides ideally takes care of her skin, hair, keeps a check on her weight and makes numerous rounds to her tailor and beautician. But this wedding season, which began post Diwali there was a slight change in the scenario. All the pretty brides ditched their appointments with everyone else and were seen at their nearest banks.
Agreed, whole of the India was at the same location. But the poor brides and their families keeping all the wedding preparation at halt were just going to and fro. Sunita Rawal, who is now Sunita Rawal Thapa shares how she and her mother spent hours in the rows of the bank, even on the day of her pre-wedding shoot. “Our shoot was scheduled in the morning, but I had to be there at the bank.
For the whole day I was waiting for my turn and my morning photo-shoot turned into an evening one,” says Sunita, who got married on 13th November. Luckily, she received lot of financial help from her friends and family, which made things feasible. It was a similar scenario for Trupti M, who got married on 20th November. “I withdrew cash 2 days prior the big announcement. My neighbours being Good Samaritan took the cash, stood in the never ending lines and did the exchange. Me and my Mom utilised that time for shopping and distributing wedding invitation cards,” shares Trupti.
Trupti and Sunita did face the cash crunch at some junctures like booking buses for relatives, or making payment to their beauticians and tailors. But Natasha and Sayalee happily share how all their preparations went smooth. “My wedding was fixed a year prior, so all the arrangements were made long back. At few instances we did face the flack. For the same, we swiped our cards and the heavy cash was happily provided by our friends and family for time being,” says Natasha Mohta who got married at Jaipur on 9th December.
Sayalee Natu tied the knot exactly a month after the big declaration, i.e. on 8th December. “As all the shopping and bookings were wrapped up by Diwali, demonetisation did not pinch us hard. For the last minute shopping, cheques and cards came for the rescue,” shares Sayalee who is now enjoying her honeymoon at Jaipur. Even her driver at Jaipur is accepting online payment making things all the way merrier for her.
Snehal Pandhare, owner of Orchid Beauty Salon though tied up with back to back bridal orders is at ease. “The payments which I make to buy beauty products, and I receive from my clients are all via cheques. Post demonetisation I am also receiving some online payments,” shares Snehal. The renowned beautician recalls few good and some not-so-good experiences. She says, “Few clients rather than making their payments in instalments do it all at once, whereas to some am giving a reminder call every day.”
Although, Snehal Pandhare sailed through this crucial period wisely, she learnt her share of lessons. Installing card swipe machine and downloading apps of some banks is already in process for her. For similar reasons, Rucha Salvi Dolari carried the cheque book even on her honeymoon.
“Standing in the queues, making payments through cheques and old cash, requesting few for late payments, we did it all for the wedding preparations. That is when I realised how important is to carry a cheque book and card everywhere. On our trip, card came in handy, but it was sensible to have our cheque books with us,” beamingly shares Rucha who got married to Abhishek Dolari on 26th November.
Even the wedding planners and banquet hall owners are having a tough time. One of the owners of a renowned wedding hall who doesn’t wish to be named shares, “At our hall the last payment is expected to be made 15 days before the wedding.
So, as soon as the demonetisation was announced, we did not face any issue. It is now that problems have started building up. We have downsized the 15 days deadline to three days, while few known clients made the payment post-wedding.” Khushi Shah, CEO of Bluesmoke Entertaintment has few clients who pushed their wedding dates thanks to demonetisation, while some moved their venues from lawns to banquet halls. She spills the beans from the wedding her company managed on 19th November.
“On 1st November, my client’s father withdrew Rs. 5 Lakhs from bank with all Rs. 100 notes. He returned it, as he thought wedding means huge payment and so much of change will be worthless. Within few days, tables turned. For the same and even for all our other management we consulted our C.A who guided us well,” says Khushi.
All and all, demonetisation upped the crisis management skills for everyone, but the spirit for the weddings is definitely higher.