Indore: The wedding industry took a big hit when the pandemic struck India. Weddings became smaller and fewer, and the never-ending ceremonies and long guest lists got trimmed.
Small, intimate celebrations and virtual weddings found takers. Just when Covid cases seemed to have come down earlier this year and the wedding industry was starting to feel optimistic, the country is witnessing another surge in cases and fresh restrictions by the authorities.
While weddings were on a break since January this year, many couples were looking forward to having their dream wedding or at least tie the knot this year starting April. The wedding muhurat for Hindu weddings began on April 24. However, due to coronavirus outbreak, the love birds must wait further till the second wave is controlled to tie the knot.
As authorities call for night curfew in multiple cities, weddings are once again being rescheduled and cancelled. “In Indore, where the rules have suddenly changed - people are scrambling to re-organise their weddings,” wedding planner Nikhil Sadhwani said. He added that some people are trying to shift their weddings to places with fewer restrictions (like Goa), others are delaying them indefinitely.
Sonal Bajwa, a wedding planner, says that more than 80 per cent weddings planned in the next six months have postponed their wedding. “Many weddings have been postponed to December this year, while 20% have re-organised their wedding to make it either an intimate or virtual affair entirely,” she added.
The auspicious dates for marriage begin on April 24, after the emergence of the stars necessary for marriage and the star of Venus.
Even after the five auspicious muhurats in April, no weddings will be organised in the month. Under various protocols under Janta curfew enforced due to corona second wave, wedding ceremonies have also been banned by the district administration.
Due to this, the families who were having marital functions have extended the programme till June-July. Further, there is no possibility of wedding ceremonies in the first and second week of May either.
Pt Harshal Vyas said, “I had bookings for five weddings including April 25, April 26, May 1 and May 2, but people have cancelled them.”
The new dates for weddings in June-July are being worked upon. Pt Pradyuman Dixit said, “Almost all the events of this month's wedding have been cancelled.”
Wedding planner Kushal Bhatia said, “People associated with catering are in crisis as there are no weddings or events.”
Technology: The wedding buddy in corona times
While wedding planners and platforms are trying to help clients modify their bookings as per need, it’s most important for couples to make safety a priority. “Covid comes in waves. There have been reports of weddings becoming super-spreader events. Keep it small and safe without compromising on the fun and excitement. Technology is your best friend and can make your wedding special despite the current challenges,” said wedding planner Kanak Dixit.
Couples also need to be flexible and ready with a plan B, especially if they intend to get married before July. Dixit added, “Unless you are planning a destination wedding and have guests who are comfortable travelling or are getting married in a relatively unaffected state, be prepared that local rules and regulations might interfere with your plans at the last minute.”