Courtesy COVID-19: No big, fat Indian weddings this season

Indian weddings, known for being larger than life affairs, are now being scaled back, courtesy COVID-19. During the ongoing wedding season, Mumbaikars are opting for low key celebrations in smaller venues with less number of guests and rituals.

As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, a maximum of 200 guests are allowed inside a wedding hall. Besides this, following COVID-19 protocols, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance, is important.

Rupak Shinde (29) was supposed to get married in June this year. His wedding was postponed due to the lockdown. Now that the curbs have eased, his family is prepared for a low key wedding in December. "We had a list of 500 guests. Now, we have to limit it to 100 people," Shinde told the Free Press Journal.

Deepak Mishra (32), who recently got married in November, informed that he kept his wedding ceremony at his home. Only 50 guests were invited, including priests, wedding photographers and event workers. "Due to fewer guests, expenses on food and decorations were drastically cut short. However, we had to spend a good amount of money on sanitisation," Mishra told the Free Press Journal.

Meanwhile, banquet hall owners and wedding planners have stated that, due to the pandemic, their business has taken a huge hit.

"People, who booked our halls earlier, have now decided to keep the wedding at their home or society premises. Thus, we have no other option than to refund their money," Animesh Tiwari, manager at a city-based banquet hall said. Tiwari also stated, while cancellations are causing him immense loss, his expenses have increased to maintain sanitisation drives.

"Normally, we have three to four scheduled weddings, which would include various theme parties like Mehendi and Sangeet. Now clients are demanding wedding events in a low profile that too within a day," Raghav Bansal, a wedding planner, said.

However, Bansal stated that some clients are still going ahead with grand rituals.

"Some hotels and resorts in Mumbai and outskirts are providing customised wedding packages. Many of our clients are now opting for those options. Although the event will go on for three-four days, the guests in the party would be limited," Bansal added.

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Free Press Journal

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