'I Do' In The Time Of Coronavirus, Brides-To-Be Share How To Make The Right Decisions

COVID-19 pandemic may have ruined their wedding plans but not their spirit

The weather department forecasting rain showers on the day of your wedding or unintentionally becoming a bridezilla(or groomzilla) are probably some of the unexpected scenarios many couples prepare for while planning their celebrations.

Not a global pandemic. Never a global pandemic.

As Coronavirus overturns lives and leaves fear, sadness and destruction in its wake – we can only make the right choices, pick up the pieces and move on.

With social-distancing being the need of the hour and public gatherings forbidden in a bid to control the viral outbreak, many couples are compelled to make tough decisions. We spoke to a few brides about their stories and here’s what they had to say:

“Social distancing is way more important than a cancelled wedding.”

- Vishwani Marwah, content writer and restauranteur

For Delhi-based bride-to-be Vishwani and her fiancé, their pre-wedding celebrations in Abu Dhabi was supposed to be a meticulously planned, fun soiree for 120 guests. From flying out to meet the wedding planner to the hampers in the hotel rooms and wedding themes, a great deal of time was spent to perfectly execute this event.

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“We cancelled the entire thing and in hindsight, it was a very good move. We made the decision quite a while back in late February or early March even as our friends told us that we were overreacting,” she says, “In fact, many of them did not even cancel their tickets and wanted to continue their vacation plans. Now, they are all texting us saying thank god that you guys did this.”

Since the couple cancelled the plan when the travel restrictions were being put into place, there were no full refunds for anyone in this entourage. They had also blocked venues, artists and planners but everything is on hold for now.

“Our wedding is in June and honestly, we don’t even know if that’s going to happen. I am upset but there is a bigger picture here – if we are all not alive then there will be no wedding. Not to sound too dramatic, I just feel it’s silly to put celebrations on top of a global pandemic. It’s really not the end of the world. At this point social distancing is way more important than a cancelled wedding,” says Vishwani.

“It is a tough decision but such is life. Just do the right thing."

- Amrita Singh, entrepreneur

After an extremely endearing pre-wedding shoot atop a frozen lake in Canada, bride-to-be Amrita Singh and her fiancé, Arjun were all set for their intimate nuptials in India. The three-day-long celebration would have kick-started on April 15 with a Mehendi followed by Anand Karaj and finally, a grand Reception.

whatsapp-image-2020-03-20-at-8_032120054942.jpegPhoto: Kat Wilson Photography

“We had been monitoring the situation and once WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic and the Indian government issued the travel advisory, we informed all our guests that the wedding was postponed until further notice. It just didn't feel right to celebrate anymore, considering what the world is going through. I mean, we have never experienced something like this ever in our lifetime,” says Amrita, who is based in Canada.

With family and more than 100 wedding guests slated to arrive from North America and not wanting to create an environment that helps spread the virus compelled the couple to change their plans. Ardent supporters of small businesses, the couple had purposely opted for a non-corporate route to plan their wedding that worked in their favour.

whatsapp-image-2020-03-20-at-8_032120054918.jpegPhoto: Kat Wilson Photography

“The vendors were very understanding when the wedding was postponed. I truly believe that there is a great level of trust when you support and deal one-on-one with small businesses. Since we had already paid a certain amount to block their dates or services, I just asked everyone to hold on to the advances until we finalised a future date,” she says.

While such goodwill may have warmed her heart, Amrita has taken the unexpected turn of events as a vagary of life. She says, “It is not really upsetting because such is life. Even if it was a tough decision, it was the right thing to do, which doesn’t make it feel like a tough decision.”

"COVID 19 shook the world but could not shake the foundation of our love"

- Avneet Singh, founder Medusa Beverages

The couple Avneet and Sejal planned their wedding at Grand Dreams. Just like the name of the venue, the event was also planned to be a grand affair and a dream come true for both of them. However, due to ongoing unrest in the nation, the couple decided to cancel the grand wedding celebrations and opted for an early morning Gurudwara wedding.

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On the eve when the entire country came together to applaud the medical workers, Avneet and Sejal welcomed it with a quiet and extremely close-knit celebration. He says, "Stay positive and find happiness in the little things of life as that will help you in battling the situation in a much stronger way."

Wedding planners say:

“Although Coronavirus outbreak has occurred during a rather offseason in the wedding industry, I believe we may have time to revise plans for those who would be tying the knot in the months of April, May and June. I strongly feel that by the time the peak wedding season arrives, our health organisations would have taken adequate measures to bring it under control. While it is a wise move to take precautionary measures by postponing their wedding, some couples who have already made the bookings may not have an option of postponing or cancelling the events,” says Mohit Birla, co-founder, Aarika Productions.

He suggests the following precautions:

- Ensure that your vendors work as a team by maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation before and during the events.

- The staff on duty during ceremonies should be provided with masks and gloves. You can also consider handing our masks or hand sanitisers to the guests upon their arrival.

- Venues must be properly sanitised before the event.

- Consider cutting down your guest list as much as possible to avoid exposure to the crowd and opt for a heartfelt, intimate wedding ceremony instead.

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