Even before the news of Novel Coronavirus had reached India in the month of February this year, we were busy planning a wedding in Sri Lanka and Azerbaijan. It was an unpleasant surprise to receive panic calls from our clients abroad and be told to put both the weddings (scheduled for April and June) on hold. Little had we anticipated that a virus would soon take over the globe and make public/social gatherings hazardous for one and all.
Weddings, as a matter of fact, are usually one of the biggest forms of social gatherings. Therefore, at a time when the fear of Novel Coronavirus grips the world and social distancing is crucial, it’s not surprising that the wedding planning industry is among those worst hit by the pandemic.
A piece of good news, however, is that the Central government recently announced — up to 50 people can gather in a marriage ceremony. But, given the increasing loss of lives, absence of a vaccine and fear of contamination, tackling the fears and concerns of guests and ensuring their absolute safety still remains a challenge.
However, it is here that the great Martin Luther King’s words - "Only in the darkness, can you see the stars" - can bring in some perspective. This ‘new normal’ has made us wedding planners now ‘Plan The Unplanned’ for couples waiting to tie the knot with out-of-the-box ideas that are not just safe but adhering to the government guidelines.
The chaos has led most of our clients to come to us asking legit questions like “How long should we postpone the wedding?”, “Will we be able to have a destination wedding soon after the lockdown opens up?”, “What do we do with the money already blocked in bookings?”, “Is it advisable to have a large guest list?”, “Is an online wedding a viable option?” etc.
While we have taken this time to rethink our strategy and also started a COVID Support Program, which we will get to a little later, our utmost priority is to first address the concerns above and make our readers aware of what the situation means for weddings. Read on:
Are your arrangements on hold?: As we speak, many weddings have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This might lead to blockade of your already committed money. But is it really a reason to worry? We say, no it’s not. It’s time to react to a situation smartly. We suggest you keep your vendors in loop and postpone your big day instead of calling it off. It is a good idea to speak to the vendors and make little changes to the contracts to minimise losses. This way your months of hard work and brainstorming will not go in vain. If you are stuck, we can turn it around for you with our Support Program too.
Impact of social-distancing norms: The concerns about having a large scale wedding at home or abroad are valid. There is a possibility of many, if not all, affected countries to make social distancing the norm. A close and intimate wedding seems with a limited guest list like the only option in such a scenario.
Many destinations might be out of reach: Right before the Novel Coronavirus struck us, we delivered an exotic Indo-Serbian wedding AnshAna across 3 countries. However, times are different and we understand that there are chances of some countries not opening their borders to the world for some time. The governments might also put a restriction on the number of visas issued at a particular time and introduce more stringent procedures for visa approvals. Despite these developments, we remain unfazed and are ready to provide you with a plethora of niche-yet-unexplored destinations which can be the most viable option and your safest bet.
Paranoia: As and when the borders open up and large groups are allowed to travel, many people might be paranoid to attend huge gatherings. Would you want to risk the lives of your loved ones? Clearly not. It might take a while for things to normalise, both in actuality and in the minds of people. This again means we will be looking at more intimate and close weddings.
Impact on spending power: As the global economy takes the worst hit after 2008, job and salary cuts are following suit. While such a situation is resulting in lower spending power and impacting luxury weddings directly, it’s also paved the way for what we at C2E excel in - ‘Little Weddings’. Little weddings are smaller in scale and an extremely intimate affair, but just as customised, grand and niche as our weddings of scale.
Weddings in the times of social-distancing: WFH might no longer mean Work From Home, it can also be Weddings From Home. This might not be the fanciest wedding idea, but these adverse times are a test of our patience and several clients are opting for creative ways to make their weddings memorable even in quarantine. If you do not wish to postpone your wedding due to COVID, we can make it special for you. How about sangeet performances over a zoom call? Think about it.
Back up plan is the need of the hour: This global health emergency has only further validated our mantra of always incorporating a strong BACKUP PLAN for unforeseen circumstances. We are doing it currently by way of a COVID Support Program to help you in any way possible.
Why 'Us', you may ask?
Having a strong back up worked wonders for us during one of the weddings last year in May which was all set to take place in Kazakhstan. However, we had to shift the entire wedding to an altogether new destination just 4 weeks prior to the event. All prerequisites for the wedding had been arranged over a period of 7 months. While we were busy planning this big fat wedding, due to an ongoing political onslaught, the Pakistan Air Force had shut its airspace for all Indian flights. As a result of the ban, foreign carriers using Indian airspace were forced to take costly detours. At the last moment, we had to shift the wedding destination to Baku, Azerbaijan. Thanks to our extensive back-up research and database, it was one of the most successful marriages we delivered despite the challenges involved.
It’s known that untimely slips like a missed flight, misplaced luggage, unfavourable weather conditions etc can lead to massive glitches in execution. But, it might not always take a big occurrence to hinder your pitch-perfect plan. Imagine a scenario where you are all set for the wedding, but the Pandit solemnizing your rituals has gone missing, or your partner has forgotten to get his engagement ring. For every problem, small or big, back up is the key. For the same reason, C2E provides you with its expertise for a smooth sail through these turbulent times - that could very well mean keeping a hawk’s eye on your pandit so he doesn’t wander away or preparing your partner to land up all prepared, just so you can forget your worries, and realize the Dream Wedding you always aspired for.