By ADITI ROY :
Weddings across the globe have been put on hold for the time being, resulting in a ‘Domino Effect’, thanks to the pandemic. Most weddings are expected to be pushed to the latter half of 2020 orthe beginning of 2021. However, on the brighter side, in lieu of the nationwide lockdownto-be-weds can utilise this time to better plan their wedding once the virus threat is down to negligible. The ‘New Normal’for celebrating weddings in the post-COVID-19 world is going to be different. With social distancing becoming the norm, weddings will be smaller, more intimate, andwith emphasis on top-notch hygiene standards aswell as ensure contact less services. Given this situation, to limit risks and ensure safety, couples who plan to celebrate their weddings during the latter half of the year will have to consider altering their wedding plans. “In the aftermath of COVID-19 and once the lock down is over,we expect many couples to tie the knot, however,the way they do it will change. Couples will forego the‘big fat’ wedding for an intimate, more cautious wedding, adhering to social distancing norms. To ease our consumers’ worries during the pandemic, we are engaging with them virtually by conducting digital meetings and venue recess, offering more flexibility in terms of booking and rescheduling weddings for a later date. We hope such measures benefit everyone who is looking to tie the knot”, says Sandeep Lodha, CEO, OYO-owned Weddingz.in.
“There are multiple reportscitingthat the coronavirus outbreak has brought the wedding industry to ascreeching halt. This is only partially true, in terms of execution and wedding events being held at the moment. However, despite the pandemic or the lockdown, we at Weddingz.in are seeing couples enquire about venue bookingsforthe latter half of the year or earlynext year.Weddings, as we know it is a big milestone forfamilies in India, leading to many couples rescheduling their wedding as opposed to cancelling them,” Lodha added. Here are some precautionary tips and measures to help couples plan their big day with utmost caution in the aftermath of the virus.
■Open-air venue and well-spaced out table arrangements In the post-pandemic era, people will look forward to socialising again, however, they are still expected to be skeptical about attending mass gatherings.In such a world full of heightened cautiousness, wedding planners or couples needtotakeallprecautionarymeasures while organising mass gatherings,especiallyweddings. Anopen-air or outdoor wedding means plenty of space, which could help people maintain physical distancing as compared to an indoor wedding. Furthermore, a well-thought-out seating arrangement is essential to reduce risks. Venues should organise bigger tables with limited seating to maintain distance between people. For instance, a table for 10 should be assigned to 5 guests only.
■Tweakingthebuffet-styleservice The highlight of any Indian wedding is its lavish buffet. In an effort to comply with physical distancing measures, this is about to change too. While some couples may stillopt for buffet-styleservice, precautionary measures like a contactless serving of dishes will be the norm.For example,onedesignatedserver will be assigned to serve a dish each at the buffet to avoid guests touching the cutlery/spoons. Opting for family-styleen tree sorsides atthe table is another way to ensure the safety of guests, thereby avoiding serpentine queues at the food counters, where people tend to gather in close proximity at weddings. Needless to say, if it’s a buffet-style service, line marking to maintain six feet distance between two people will be important. Besides this, catererswill alsohave to ensure thatthe raw materials or ingredients for food preparation are sourced from trust worthy suppliers,who ensureut most cleanliness while delivering the stock from the farm to the venue. As weddings go local, they also go virtual In the aftermath of the pandemic, we can expect couples to opt for local weddings in their hometowns,insteadof destination weddings.
Additionally, overseas guests may prefer being a part of the celebration virtually, due to restrictions for non-essential travel. Furthermore, live streaming wedding ceremonies are a foreseeable trend in thenearfuture.Therefore,wedding planners and venue operators can expect a surge in demand for such services postCOVID-19. Impeccable hygiene standards Right from the entry to exit, venues need to place sanitisers and hand napkins at every point.Guests should be able to sanitise their hands on arrival, have accessto cleaning and protective equipment at their tables, ample availability of handwashes and sanitisersshould be made in the washrooms. To avoid overcrowding the washrooms,guests should have a designated waiting area where they can maintain physical distance from each other. All venues should diligently disinfect spaces pre and post the wedding function. Apart from venue hygiene,even make up artists and photographers documenting the wedding will have a certain SOP to followin the post-pandemic phase. To ensure that the bride feels safe,make upartists and hairstylists will wear masks and sanitise their products.With regards to photographers, the wedding party will prefer a smaller team to cover the wedding. Additionally, as weddings are set to be more intimate,a large team won’t be required at the venue.
■Adapt to apost-COVID-19culture Societal norms call for handshakes and hugs during milestones and celebrations like weddings. With the entire world maintaining social distancing, couples will preferto opt-out of the giftexchange and photo sessions that typically occur at wedding receptions. The new normal for weddings across the world is going to be significantly different. In the meanwhile, it’s time to stay educated, make more informed decisions and rethink safer ways to plan happy and safe celebrations post the pandemic.
■As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, Indian weddings are chartering unknown territories.Couples are either postponing or cancelling their big day orfinding creative ways to get married while ensuring social distancing and other restrictions. However, it is possible to keep the excitement of the big day going for all Brides-to-be? One of India’s only one-stop-platforms for everything weddingsshows bridesin waiting how you can still have fun and use the lockdown period to your advantage.
■Research Research! With plenty of time on your hands, look for what you want. The silver lining is, you now have bonustime to perfect and include everything in your wedding that you might have missedoutearlier.Lookforoptionsandexplore different ideas for your decor,make up, sangeet, and more!
■Wedding Invites It is the first introduction to your wedding and plays a big role in setting the vibe. Keep up with the trend and e-personalise your wedding invites. DIY, experiment with thematic motifs, monograms, quote, or no quote. Add elements of real-life in your invitation to give it a special look.
■Plan A Bridal Shower There is nothing better than just packing your bags and taking off to anexotic location, but unfortunately that’s not possible with the current scenario. Keep up the excitement, by planningabudget-friendly bridals hower with your brides maids, and up the fun quotient of your party with a quirky theme and decor. Get all the girls together and go old schoolorganise a pajama party with silly games and laughter.
■Consult A Dietician To Stay Fit Subscribe to fitness platforms, follow dieticians and trainersfortips and tricksto stay fit during the lockdown. Practice yoga and eat well for a jaw-dropping shine on your big day.
■Practice Makes A Bride Perfect Planning a solo dance or a piano performance for Mr Right? It’s the right time to work on your skills and make it perfect. Practice yours peech and learn those dance moves, everything is going to be worth while. Also, keep in mind all of these shouldn’t be considered tasksto check off yourlist, butfun activities that will bring you one step closer to your special day!