With the Rise of the 'Digi-Wedding', What's the Future of Destination Weddings in a Post Pandemic World?

"Dreams cannot be compromised, celebrations cannot be subdued and emotions cannot be contained. Weddings will bounce back!" - Rahul Kumar, Director Vivaah Celebrations.

It's no news that the global pandemic has overturned lives, collapsed economies and welcomed havoc like never before. Besides, the restrictions imposed on travel and social distancing rules and regulations set in order have urged several couples to contemplate their big day!

While some have decided that the 'show must go on' and opted for a low-waste, intimate gathering instead, many others took the heartbreaking decision to endlessly postpone or cancel their nuptials. In addition, a few chose to do things the 'virtual way', celebrating their union with friends and family on a digital platform like Zoom.

All said and done, people seem to have got things figured out. A 50 person at-home celebration is ideal and having distant relatives join over Zoom is the new normal. But amidst all this, where do the big-fat-Indian destination weddings stand? Has covid-19 overthrown the concept of out-station celebrations? Rahul Kumar, Director of Vivaah Celebrations, an award winning destination wedding planning and management service, weighs in...

"While the pandemic has certainly slowed down life and has invited roadblocks at many stages of a celebration, a father’s dream for his princess and a bride’s desire to commemorate her big day with her loved ones can never be compromised," states Rahul.

"After a few months of a hiatus, we have noted an increase in the number of wedding planning inquiries as couples re-boot their dreams for their oh-so-special celebrations. If anything, the pandemic has altered the couple’s perspective when it comes to hosting their nuptials at an exclusive, more intimate venue, while looking to provide their guests with an unparalleled experience. Despite the rise of the 'digi-wedding' and toned-down events, we do not believe that the big-fat-Indian-wedding is a forgotten concept," he adds.

"We hope to witness a comeback by 2022, as many families are avoiding large-scale celebrations at the moment and are assessing the current scenario with regards to travel and venue capacity restrictions. With greater clarity in the subsequent months, couples will look towards unexplored destinations to host their wedding in safe and healthy conditions. In fact, many leading wedding destinations have already begun implementing strict hygiene and safety parameters to welcome wedding tourism back into their respective countries. It would require a few successful weddings to pave the way and (re)spark the trend," informs Rahul.

F&B

A domain that is experiencing a paradigm shift in the wedding business is that of 'Food and Beverage'. "Being one of the most essential elements at any occasion, curated culinary experiences are now being explored. This may involve multiple preparation techniques, presentation art, interactive foods etc by specialised culinary teams, that work towards stimulating the senses and enhancing the overall guest experience," says Rahul.

DECOR

"With respect to décor and styling, we have begun noticing a change in preference by young couples who are opting for an ecological and sustainable-centered wedding. From tableware to bar equipment as well as luxe décor accents, every minute detail is being looked into to move a step closer to being environmental-friendly, while ensuring minimal wastage," he adds.

"As for those of us experiencing a major setback in the industry, it's time to reconnect, self-reflect, revive and repair."

"There's no doubt that the wedding industry worldwide has been severely impacted by the pandemic, and there is no set timeline for revival yet. Having said that, it's crucial, now more than ever, to stay sane, relaxed and focused during these trying and testing times. Non-activity can allow feelings of self-doubt, insecurity, loss of confidence and distress to seep in, further leading to catastrophic long-term effects that may be difficult to manage and return from," states Rahul.

Rahul suggests that one must take time out to re-live the special moments by watching videos and pictures from previous weddings. "Recall the planning process, the stories, the anecdotes, the glitches and the final product! Your past accolades, recognition and media achievements are a testament to the fact that you have made an impact in several lives..."

He claims that by reviewing your previous work, you will be able to boost your morale much like a sculptor who views his splendid creations of the masterpieces he has crafted. "Besides, it's also a great time to reach out to previous clients who trusted and supported us to curate the wedding of their dreams. By doing so, you'll be able to re-instill the much-needed confidence you may have been lacking the past few months," he states.

Finally, meditation and well-being play a major role in maintaining equilibrium. "Be with yourself and be at peace. Locate a comfortable haven, far from the noise and clutter of everyday life. This will help you clear out your thoughts and channel your energy towards self-enlightenment and self-development," advocates Rahul.

"Consider the current situation as a blessing in disguise, allowing you time to self-reflect, repair and evolve."

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