Unlock Phase and Weddings: How Indian weddings will look like amid and post COVID 19?

Many sectors including wedding have been affected to the core by COVID-19, let's check out what are the permanent or semi-permanent changes will happen in this sector.
Weddings,Unlock Phase and WeddingsUnlock Phase and Weddings: How Indian weddings will look like amid and post COVID 19?
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COVID-19 has completely upended our lives and drastically changed and affected several sectors including the wedding sector. Because of new norms, weddings won't be the same amid and post COVID-19 times. As per surveys and reports, there is and will be a rise in intimate weddings, health and sanitization will be the most important part of the wedding, the buffet will be replaced by sit-down meals among others. To understand the impact of coronavirus on couples who were and are planning weddings, The Knot Worldwide, a global wedding technology company, undertook a consumer survey. They also asked industry experts to weigh in their views and forecast trends that we will witness in Indian weddings post COVID-19.

According to the survey, it was found that most engaged couples are being positive and not canceling their wedding bookings (92% globally, 82% in India). The remaining few are rescheduling for either later this year or 2021. With a strong desire to celebrate their weddings as they had originally planned, 73% of couples in India and 87% globally do not plan to reduce their overall guest count, and 87% in India and 90% globally do not anticipate lowering their budget, if government regulations would permit.

Ankur Sarawagi, India Country Head, The Knot Worldwide stated, "Although, the impact has definitely led to many wedding professionals upscaling themselves as well as their businesses and embracing technology for the future, by strengthening their online presence and handling end to end solutions over the phone, both for the wedding ceremony itself or planning it. We are already witnessing weddings with restrictions with the help of technology like Zoom calls or digital invites, thus broadening the horizons of possibilities for Indian couples.”

There will be new wedding formats keeping in mind health and safety parameters such as:

Minimonies: The concept of mini-ceremonies on pre-planned dates with an intimate gathering followed by a larger celebration later on non-saaya dates. 

Health & safety measures: Installation of sanitization fans similar to mist fans to make sure all the guests walking in are sanitized without manual effort. Guests will be given sanitization kits. The wedding planning team will make calls to the guests to ensure the invitees are in good health. Basically, temperature checks, masks & gloves, and sanitization will top of mind.

Hyatt Place Gurgaon confirms, “Temperature reading will be mandatory at the entrances. Hygiene kits (sanitizers, tissue papers, masks) will be provided at all interaction points for guests and associates to use. Alcohol-based Hand sanitizer will be placed at convenient locations at venues. Especially entrance, inside the event space, the restrooms, near buffet counters and near the bar counter. All guests will be offered face masks at the entrance by the hostess before entering the venue. Set up crew will finish work one hour prior to guest arrival, ensuring proper time for sanitization of all guest contact points. Event space temperature will be maintained at 24°C (+/-1°C). All associates will be in PPE and we will ensure proper replacement of masks and gloves at regular stipulated intervals.”

F&B: While delectable food is still top of mind for couples, the manner in which dishes are prepared and served will follow stringent safety methods. Most venues have confirmed that they will likely opt for a sit-down plated meal instead of a buffet to avoid long queues and crowds. Puneet Chhatwal, MD & CEO, Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) shares, “Restaurants and banquet areas will have fewer tables and all self-serving buffets are suspended for now. Menus will largely be digital or single-use, with greater emphasis on wellness-oriented food sections for healthier meals and greater level of immunity.”

Digital: To limit exposure and to save time, money and energy, couples will look at creating e-invites and wedding websites.

No-waste wedding initiatives and sustainable approaches are being considered by couples. Sabah Sheikh, Founder, Ātisuto Events, shares, “Sustainable materials like natural wood, un-dyed yarns, recycled textiles, compostable dinnerware, more plants than flowers, use of wild or local flowers that can be easily sourced near the venue will be in demand. There are wide ranges of fabrics available that can be used in a customized manner. Jute and canvas can also be considered.”

There will be more creative seating. Bhavnesh Sawhney, Co-founder–FB Celebrations, suggests, “We can even expect more creative seating arrangements like theatre seating or circular seating, allowing your guests to have a 360-degree view of the ceremony and couple. Essentially due to social distancing, the physical placement of chairs on each table will reduce to be able to keep a 6 ft distance from one another. Elderly guests can be seated together away from youngsters. Children can even have their own corner. There will be great trust and bonding due to the closeness of family; this will lend a homelike feel to the ceremony.”

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