In every way this is just like any other Indian wedding - there is a bride and a groom, a priest and, of course, guests. But still there is something different about it.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced everyone to stay home. Weddings have been called off or postponed due to the nationwide lockdown. Many Bollywood couples like Varun Dhawan-Natasha, Richa Chadha-Ali Fazal have also postponed their marriage plans. But there are still a few who didn’t let the global pandemic come in the way of their happily ever after scene. They came together even in the time of social distancing.
One such couple is Avinash Singh Bagri from Satna and Kirti Agrawal from Bareilly. From Gauri Poojan to Make Up consultancy, Sangeet to Phere, all wedding ceremonies happened on a Zoom call.
The bride, Kirti says, “Everyone, including our parents who were very satisfied with the celebration, attended the wedding on Zoom. We connected via different systems to cover different angles and deployed Bluetooth speakers to increase the magnanimity of the event. Overall, it was a huge success and our guests simply loved it.”
As per estimates, 80+ Zoom connections with multiple people behind the screen were present for the wedding. A total of 150 guests attended the one of a kind online wedding which was organised by Shaadi.com.
Thinking why should a lockdown dampen their spirits, Avinash and Kriti took the plunge and are happy about their decision. There were tears, laughter and music. This millennial couple was determined to get married this April and they had been planning for it for a long time. Avinash says, “We had to convince our families and make them understand that all rituals will be followed and that all minor details will be taken care of.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly taking over the world, many couples have been forced to postpone their wedding indefinitely. Some had to even cancel them. Adhish Zaveri, Director, Marketing, Shaadi.com says, “In these times of social distancing and lockdowns, we at Shaadi.com have innovated a whole new way to help couples get married, without even stepping out of their homes. ‘Weddings from Home’ is an initiative wherein the entire wedding ceremony and celebrations, right from sangeet to the pheras, are conducted virtually, from within the safety of their homes.”
For people around the world, their wedding date is of immense importance, and the fact that so much planning has gone into it for so many months. “The point is, we made sure that it happens on that exact date regardless of the lockdown, just that it will be done virtually. And we did it while honouring all the norms of social distancing. There are about ten couples who are waiting and talks are still on for virtual wedding to take place soon,” adds Zaveri.
Another virtual wedding that took place on April 19 was of Sushan Dang from Mumbai and Keerti Narang from Bareilly. Though it was difficult to convince their parents as they were not active on social media, but finally they agreed to it. They had about 150 people joining them for the wedding online. And the bride and the bridegroom were in two different places.
How a Virtual Wedding Happens
1. Customised E-invites are sent to all the guests
2. The bride is given virtual training on how to dress up and wear bridal make up
3. Trained mehendi artists guide them or their family members over video on how to apply henna on their hands
4. Close friends and family are briefed on sangeet performances
5. The dhol player entertains the audience with some traditional and folk songs
6. Priests conduct pheras and other ceremonies virtually
And with that, the wedding from home is complete with the same level of fanfare that would’ve been expected of a wedding otherwise.