A virtual wedding during the pandemic, or no wedding at all?

A virtual wedding during the pandemic, or no wedding at all?

The global pandemic turned out to be better than any of our exs, it lasted more than a year. The entire world has come to a halt, but Indian weddings? Not so much. This isolation has extended a little further than we thought it would, moreover it has been more like a test for all the newlyweds, who had plans of travelling the world together. None of us really thought that if virtual weddings can actually be a food for thought, but now, they very much are. We all might know at least one person who had a virtual wedding in their family. Personally speaking, my very first reaction would be “where’s the fun in that?” nevertheless, there were hardly any other options. Maintaining social distancing for everyone’s safety has been our top most priority.

Zoom weddings also need immense level of planning and also, a really good wifi connection. Sitting in front of the computer screen and waiting for your turn to talk and greet the person on the other side of the screen, can be a tad bit frustrating yet exciting. Downsizing some large fat Indian wedding plans can be difficult but it also saves a lot of money, regarding the small wedding ceremonies taking place at home. Cutting down the guest list and uninviting some of them due to covid might also get little bit tricky. Live streaming of the wedding can be done with a help some tech savvy cousin as well. Making presentation on the journey of how the bride and groom came closer during their pre wedding days can work like icing on the cake. Sweets should be delivered to the guests and their families to keep the tradition alive, despite these virtual wedding shenanigans. Deciding the outfits for every occasion can never be easy, especially for the bride. Deciding a perfect angle for the live streaming of the wedding can also be a headache, in order to cover every family member. Haldi ceremony, mehendi function, sangeet ceremony, wedding, wedding reception, has all been taking place over zoom video calls and so, deciding different outfits and theme colour for each function still remains as difficult as it was before the pandemic, when the weddings use to take place offline Wedding websites have also played a huge role in a finding the perfect match during this lockdown for everyone. We have witnessed several weddings in this pandemic and have also witnessed several divorce cases.

Recently, a survey by the website, Jeevansaathi.com has found that 89% of Indians don’t want to stream their weddings virtually. The reasons can be many, but the most common is said to be reason of how some families lie about their wealth and the basic livelihood facilities. Experiencing video conferencing rather than a face to face meet up has given several chances to many frauds and con artists to shoot their shot. Many families have experienced undefying emotional and financial loss, when most of them were already going through anxiety and pain of separation from their loved ones due to this lockdown. The business head at Jeevansathi.com, Rohan Mathur said, “Virtual weddings are still a reality for distant reality for Indian weddings”.

Planning a virtual wedding is not as easy as it sounds. Selecting the number of guests, sending e-cards, making sure to send the zoom meeting links to everyone who’s attending is only the glimpse of it. A friend of mine got this lucky chance to attend a virtual wedding of one of his close relatives a month ago, who shared his experience with me. He did mention that it wasn’t as boring as he thought it would be, though they did have to reconnect again and again due to poor connection issues. They were from groom’s side of the family and as far as I heard, the groom was said to be blushing way more than the bride. The ceremony took at the bride’s house around 6 in the evening, who lives in Noida. The groom and his family belong to east Delhi who travelled to Noida in a mini bus. Their family consists of seven members: the groom, his parents, his father’s younger brother, his wife and kids. Whereas, the bride’s family merely had four members, including the bride, her parents and her paternal grandmother. The wedding went smooth with small ceremony of exchanging rings and gifts. They even hired a priest for the ceremony but he wasn’t able to attend due to lockdown restrictions, so he attended the virtual wedding via zoom meeting. The wedding was a success without any chaos of a large scale catering, booking the venue, distant relatives stuck in traffics, etc. the bride’s family hired a single professional photographer who got the job done, well and good. He did click some marvelous and lovely pictures of the ceremony. A distant relative, who attended the wedding via zoom call from U.S.A, made the function a breathtaking and cheerful success. The newly wed bride and the groom’s family, left for their way back home to the east side of Delhi the next morning.

Virtual weddings are still unknown in many parts of our country, some say that they would rather wait for things to get back to normal and the other lack the facility of internet connection, especially the ones in rural areas. The uncertainty of covid is rising day by day, so there are chances that we will be experiencing and hearing some virtual wedding ceremony stories.

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