Night curfew to contain Covid-19 spike, puts wedding celebrations in crisis
One would imagine ticking off the last-minute wedding tasks, preparing for the celebrations for their big day but couples planning to tie the knot this month are in a bind following the imposition of night curfew from 10pm to 5am in Delhi and 8pm to 7am in Mumbai, to stem Covid-19 in both cities.
While some have decided to postpone the date again, others are weighing alternate solutions, with day weddings being touted as one. “The moment it was announced, we received a call from the venue to move the function to the day, but it might be difficult,” says Saurabh Aswal, an IT professional who is getting married on April 25.
Another groom-to-be, Akhil Narang, a businessman, shares, “It is a state of chaos. The date is so near and the venues are saying they need to check the availability for day timings. We have already given ‘minimum guarantee’ to the venues but now with the option of day function, they’re not willing to reduce the cost. They need to understand that not all the guests will be able to attend in day time.”
It is proving to be an equal drawback for couples who decided to skip the wedding venues in the Capital due to a cap on maximum guests to 100 and 200 and opted for venues in NCR, as now commuting and returning before the curfew timings may be of a concern. For Abhishek Pateria, a research scholar, who took two months off from his work in Poland for his wedding and booked a venue in Surajkund, Haryana, changes will be tough. “There’s no chance of postponing as I have to fly back or even switching to day functions due to shubh muhurat. It will be difficult for guests who will attend the wedding all the way from Delhi or Noida,” he says.
Over the last year, wedding venues have started to observe the change in preferences of couples due to pandemic. Shivan Gupta , creative director, Amaara Farms says, “We have been receiving queries from couples for a brunch or moving towards day weddings, and also noticing the conscious efforts from our clients to keep their gathering intimate.”
Not just the couples and venues but other wedding vendors such as planners and photographers are in conflict as well about last-minute refunds, cancellations and postponement challenges. Vishal Punjabi, founder and director, The Wedding Filmer, says, “There have been a few cancellations because family members have contracted Covid-19.” However, he feels that when things like this happen, it teaches us to value what we have. “Now isn’t the time to party and a wedding doesn’t have to be a big party,” he adds.
As couples are navigating through the challenges to find an alternate solution, “They are taking suggestions to navigate the best possible ways to go ahead since so many vendors are involved. It has a lead to a lot of chaos and disturbance in the planning done so far. Due to very limited auspicious dates this year, the clients are not too convinced with the idea of even postponing the weddings,” says cinematographer Ritin Kumar, director and head storyteller, Cinelove Productions.
Another wedding photographer, Amrit Arora, founder, The Wedding Files, shares, “I do have 6-7 weddings in Delhi for April. As of now, none of our clients called it off but one of them called to inform that they are planning to shift it to day wedding now. There were 2-3 queries which were going on and we were expecting them to get close but now they put it on hold.”
For planners, the months put into planning and organising a wedding have gone down the drain. Aanchal Bagaria, co-founder, The Wedding Soul who had weddings scheduled in April with three-day affairs, says, “Now it’s all wrapped up to one single wedding to an afternoon lunch. Either couples are all together pushing dates to November, or opting for a sundowner wedding from 4-7pm. All our efforts and months of planning have gone in vain but have to face the fact.” She also states even for the month of May, weddings are uncertain as venues are not taking up bookings for large numbers.
Wedding planners, Kaveri Vij and Akshay Chopra of Designer Events Inc. feels it is a recap of the last year as Vij says, “Just when we thought things have started to normalise, this comes a shocker. We are still hoping and keeping our fingers crossed that we do survive this. Few days before any wedding are the most hectic for us and we literally burn midnight oil to complete all the tasks at hand.”