5 Ways to Plan A Romantic (and Safe) Wedding during Corona Virus

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Your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most important days of your life – it’s like Christmas, Diwali, and Eid all rolled into one! It’s the perfect excuse for a lavish celebration spanning several days with friends and family. Unfortunately, the reality is that the corona virus pandemic has forced couples all over the country to rethink and re-plan their wedding.

But this doesn’t mean you still can’t have the romantic wedding of your dreams.

Revised lockdown guidelines from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allow Indians to once again solemnize and celebrate the bond of love, although those wedding celebrations must take on a different character. With that in mind, here are 5 steps to take for a romantic – and safe – wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Know What Is Allowed (And Not Allowed)

Before you start planning your wedding, find out as much as you can about what is allowed and what isn’t. You need to take national and local regulations and guidelines into account. Although there have been some relaxations, containment areas are still under the strictest regulations.

Speaking about weddings specifically, the MHA said that, while ceremonies and celebrations are allowed, they cannot be attended by more than 50 guests. Furthermore, guests must maintain social distancing, and venues must be properly sanitized before and after events.

If you plan to invite guests from other states, you should check that any state or union territory borders that must be crossed are open to buses and passenger vehicles. The MHA issued Standard Operating Procedures that opened various transport methods, but inter-state travel does depend on the consent of the states involved.

When it comes to the purchase of clothing, accessories, jewellery, and wedding décor, keep in mind that salons, barbers, and shops can open, provided they are not in shopping malls or containment zones. If you haven’t considered sourcing vendors or shopping online, now is the time to do just that.

2. Keep It Clean

The MHA coronavirus lockdown regulations make it clear that masks must be worn in public – and, yes, that goes for the 50 or fewer guests as well as any staff at your wedding. Gloves do not need to be worn.

For your wedding, you simply need to ensure that your guests have access to hand sanitizer and sanitizing, alcohol-based swabs. If someone will welcome guests on arrival, they can offer guests hand sanitizer, and you can ensure there is a ready supply of it in the washrooms. If you are hiring a venue, check that the owners/managers will sanitize it before and after the event.

Face masks don’t need to be drab, boring, or make your guests look like they are starring in a medical drama on TV. Designer label Fendi has released silk masks featuring its famous logo, while Louis Vuitton, another premier fashion house, has produced masks inspired by its sought-after handbags. Your wedding photographer can also suggest some great tips for getting excellent photos with masks.

Closer to home, luxury women’s wear designer Nitya Bajaj has created a line of handcrafted masks, while Delhi-based designer Manish Tripathi is making masks using handloom cotton and towel lining. You and your partner could consider adding even more glamour to your wedding outfits with a designer face mask. If your budget allows, you could also send gorgeous masks with your invitations or you could leave one for each guest at their seat as a wedding favour.

3.   Practice Social Distancing

Another consideration for your wedding is the implementation of social distancing. This means maintaining a distance of at least 1m from other people. The MA has also discouraged hugging and shaking hands when greeting.

When planning your seating arrangements, keep social distancing in mind. Do not be tempted to use smaller tables because of the limited number of guests. It’s better to use bigger tables at which fewer people are seated. For example, you can seat four people at a table intended for eight.

The buffet is one of the highlights of any wedding, but even that is not exempt from the far-reaching rules of social distancing. If possible, arrange for staff to dish up food from the buffet for guests as a way of preventing many people from coming into contact with the buffet dishes and serving utensils. Alternatively, opt for a set menu or small, well-spaced buffet sections.

4.   Consider Going Virtual

If masks, social distancing, and all the other rules and regulations are too much to think about, why not go virtual? You, your partner, and your parents can be in the presence of the pundit, priest, or minister. Your guests can join you on Skype, Zoom, YouTube Live, or Facebook Live.

If you do decide to go the virtual route, you can send out virtual invitations such as video messages. You also can ask your guests to wear the same colour or to light lamps or candles at the same time as a show of unity. You could even have music and dancing via video streaming, and, if possible, arrange for food to be delivered to their homes at the same time.

5.   Bring the Romance Home

The romance of your wedding is not just for the main ceremony and buffet. It should extend to the bride or groom’s parents’ home, and there are several ways in which you can infuse the atmosphere with love.

A simple way of doing that is to incorporate the letters L-O-V-E into your décor, whether that is for the mehendi ceremony, the meal, or for the sangeet. If you are going to use centrepieces, flower arrangements, or similar décor elements, consider incorporating romantic quotes in them. You can also have such quotes in larger letters on chalkboards or signboards.

If the home has a suitable garden, you can create a pathway that tells the story of your lives and love in the form of photos, mementos, and quotes. If guests are there, they can walk the path, otherwise, if you are streaming the event online, take your guests on a virtual tour. Last but not least, you can never have too many flowers at a wedding! Place smaller posies and bouquets, as well as big bunches and large arrangements wherever you can.

The coronavirus pandemic is a challenging, unpleasant situation, but it doesn’t need to put a damper on your big day. It may require some flexibility and a bit of creativity, but you can still do justice to the vibrant traditions of a fabulous Indian wedding.

Author bio

BIO: Rae is a 20-something professional digital nomad with a deep dislike for the term ‘digital nomad’. When she’s not daydreaming about squirrels and perfectly ripe avocados, she’s hunched over her laptop, furiously smashing out sarcastic jokes and witty words.

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