Amidst all the odds and ends of the global pandemic, love has still managed to find a way in the form of small and intimate weddings. From hotels, resorts, and palaces to home and holy places, from grand wedding arrangements to DIY decor, from large gatherings to just close clans, from the multi-cuisine menu to self-cooked food and from big wedding receptions to virtual congregation, the face of weddings has begun to change entirely. Intimate budget weddings in lockdown with strict social distancing norms seem to be the new normal.
On this account, we bring to you 6 real stories of intimate weddings in lockdown in India. Take a ride through their wedding planning journey, read about their struggles and outcomes, and inspire yourself with real solid ideas to plan a beautiful small intimate wedding.
Mahdiyeh & Royson had planned for both Persian and Catholic weddings in two different cities. The couple had plans to host the Nikah and reception in Persian style at their holy place, near Golconda fort & a church wedding in Mangalore, but courtesy to the ongoing pandemic, the couple married at the bride’s place in Hyderabad.
Mahdiyeh narrates her lockdown wedding story to WedAbout while sharing tidbits of her home decor trials.
“We had initially planned to do the wedding in the month of April but we were not getting permission at all. It was all chaotic in the beginning but we eventually decided within a week that we’ll go ahead with a home wedding.”
“From arranging décor stuff with my mother to staying up for two nights decorating the home along with my sister, I went all creative while putting personal touches to my wedding. We especially used real flowers like Mogra, custom-made curtains, and carpets to set the frame for an outright Muslim wedding.”
“Moreover, from setting up traditional Persian ‘Sofreh’ with ‘Janamaz’, ‘Quran’, candles and mirror, to Persian wedding ritual with the groom tossing chocolates and sweets in the crowd as a mark of good fortune, we pursued all the integral customs to realize an ideal Persian style wedding.”
“We made all the provisions for the safety of our invitees. We asked them to keep the shoes outside, distributed masks & sanitizers, and further arranged for tetra-packed bottles. Though, we did not serve food to avoid risks but gave away snack bags to all our guests. It was an intimate gathering of just 25-30 people with a few elders & friends.”
“We designed informative digital invites for our guests with all the essential safety instructions labeled explicitly. The rest of the family and folks joined in time via a video call to enjoy the wedding from start to end and that’s how we did it.”
“My suggestion would be that it’s the best time to marry as in that case you will get more time to spend with your partner & bond with your family. Don’t feel dejected and instead put in all your creativity with your partner. Pinterest all home wedding decor ideas together. Put across all that you both like on your walls and around and make it more cheerful and fun. Intimate weddings in lockdown are turning out to be all the more beautiful.”
Ayushi and Sarthak had plans for a royal destination wedding at Fairmont, Jaipur in the month of April, which then rolled back on the account of the ongoing pandemic. After all the delaying, rescheduling, and endless discussions, they settled upon a nuptial date & managed to organize a Delhi NCR wedding at the ITC Grand Bharat, within a week.
Ayushi relays her personal experience with intimate weddings in lockdown with WedAbout mentioning how the ITC staff helped them host their wedding safely and securely.
“It was a quick decision and we had to plan everything in a very short span of time, especially finalizing a nearby property as it was not at all possible to travel amidst the lock-down.”
“The mandap decor was put together to have pastel hues including cognate pastel drapes and floral arrangements. The wedding outfits were pre-purchased and there were coordinating designer masks to go with each. ITC’s hospitality was amazing. Although there were very few staff members, they took great care of sanitation and social distancing norms. All of them wore masks, gloves, and face shields. They took all the precautions from their end which was commendable.”
“We were certainly disappointed that our wedding could not happen the way we thought of, but whatever we were able to organize, we really enjoyed every bit of it and we were all satisfied and happy about the way it turned out eventually. Also, the wedding pictures captured by team CineLove Productions have come out as amazing.”
“Following the social distancing norms and precautionary guidelines should be emphasized for now. You must take all the necessary protective measures and look for how your vendors work and what safety provisions they follow, before you appoint them.”
Riddhi and Ronak had their wedding originally planned on 14th April. But the lockdown coerced them to postpone the event for December. However, the uncertain extension of it made them go for the wedding in the middle of all the anxiety and doubts.
Riddhi gave insights to her Intimate wedding experience and shared with WedAbout, how they added a personal touch to their wedding by distributing personalized sanitizer boxes to the guests.
“Intimate weddings in lockdown are grueling. It was definitely not the wedding we had hoped or planned for. We planned on to marry at Ritambhara banquet hall in Juhu, Mumbai. But since they didn’t open their banquets for weddings till then, we went for Silver Oaks in Malad. We couldn’t even find flowers and stuff to decorate the house due to lockdown. I also faced a huge challenge getting my outfit stitched as the designer was short of personnel in the wake of a nationwide lockdown .”
“All our pre-wedding functions like Haldi & Mehendi took place in our house in the presence of just the family members. Although, it was disappointing that none of my friends could attend my wedding. But despite that, we arranged to connect everybody who could not make it to the wedding, via a zoom call. A total of 50 guests attended the wedding as per the government norms, along with a few staff members. However, initially, we expected around 300 guests for the wedding and 600 guests for the reception.”
“Everything came across flawlessly in the end. I danced my way to the wedding, exactly as I wanted. We administered all the precautionary practices in particular throughout the wedding. My makeup-artist was decked in PPE kit and we also arranged customized packages containing sanitizers as favors for the guests. I wore a personalized designer mask together with my partner. On the positive side, it could not have been better.”
“One should definitely go for intimate weddings in lockdown. It will be way more memorable than a normal wedding for you and your guests. This small wedding will have everyone around you who actually loves you the most.”
Reviewing her photographer, Riddhi said, “Team MJay Photography was very co-operative and thankfully they agreed to cover the wedding in such tough times. They were so good and we had a different level of comfort zone with them. I would rate them an absolute 10/10.”
Sakshi and Royal had their wedding scheduled for March. While they were expecting almost 1200-1400 people for the wedding, it was finally cut down to just 50. They eventually realized that there is no point waiting for long and decided on getting hitched at the bride’s home just a week before the wedding.
Sakshi talks to WedAbout apropos of planning small intimate weddings in lockdown at home with the guest list custom-curated as per the wedding ceremonies.
“Our wedding was to take place on the first day of the lock-down. We had no idea how will we manage it, where and when will the wedding be organized. It was not certain as to when will everything open up and how will people be allowed to host and attend events. We had very few things coming up here. Owing to this lockdown scenario, we found ourselves to be highly short of resources to organize the wedding.”
“We went on to invite different people on different days. While our cousins attended the sangeet ceremony, we had just the immediate family members for the haldi and only 25 guests from each side on the wedding day. We used colorful dupattas as drapes, marigold flowers and a lot of fairy-lights. We also tried to change the decoration for the two days ceremony. While it was kept traditional for sangeet with props like kites & cycle, for the wedding day, we went with an all floral theme. I created zoom invites for all the events for our guests. Around 20-30 friends joined in through zoom. We kept connected throughout the wedding so that everybody could see and enjoy every single ceremony.”
“We used the backyard of the house for the Jaimala stage and the Mandap. After the Jaimala, everybody went inside for dinner and got pictures clicked. Meanwhile, the stage was taken away and the mandap was set up by the vendor we hired locally. My makeup artist was supposed to come from Delhi, but she couldn’t make it to the wedding and so I got a local one to come in at last. We arranged everything to be perfect. If we required anything, we made it on time and ensured zero wastage. We also confirmed that everyone is sanitizing and washing hands frequently.”
“The best part is that I was really happy to see everybody close to me present at the wedding. My friends, though not physically, but virtually were there with me all the time. I was the happiest bride ever.”
“Don’t believe that it won’t be a big day in the absence of grand wedding celebrations. All that matters is that you both are together. You’ll end up having the most wonderful wedding ever.”
Suhani & Vastav planned to have a two-states Punjabi theme wedding at the Grand Pearl Palace in Ludhiana. They intended to have dholwalas, phulkaris, and everything explicitly Punjabi as they wanted all their guests to experience the rich Punjabi culture. But, observing the state of affairs going worse, they settled to marry at Suhani’s residence in Ludhiana.
Suhani shares her lockdown wedding chronicles with WedAbout, marking on her simple wedding decoration at home and colorful pre-wedding celebrations.
“It was really disappointing as we had to cancel out everything that we were really excited about. All of our friends were about to come to Punjab for the wedding. We were expecting guests from Delhi, Mumbai, and all parts of India. Since we have been planning our wedding for past one year after becoming engaged, it felt really bad that we just couldn’t make it happen.”
“Everybody tuned in to zoom call and we used to plan different things every single day before our wedding. It actually turned out to be great. Our Mandap was set up in the porch area and a small tent was put in the anterior part of the house. It was my father’s idea. He even planned out the pre-wedding rituals asserting the smallest of details such as the color of the curtains and cushions.”
“All our pre-wedding festivities like the bangle ceremony, Haldi, Mehendi, and Sangeet were done in a single day with just 15 close kins. We got multi-hued drapes, umbrellas, and marigold flowers. There were colorful floral jewelry as favors. Moreover, we distributed masks and gloves to all the waiters that we arranged locally. We checked their temperatures & made sure nobody served food without proper precautions. All the guests were wearing masks as well and moreover, sanitizer dispensers were installed to ascertain safety.”
“Getting married at a place where I have grown up and cherished all my childhood memories, offered a feeling of warmth. Above all, I’ll remember my wedding for a lifetime now. It was so much fun. We were also able to save a good deal with this intimate wedding in lockdown. To my fortune, I bought myself a car.”
“I would say, it has been the most beautiful feeling ever. Getting married at home with less people and resources is not at all frightful. But to have all your loved ones around you, who actually matter in your life is a blessing in disguise.”
Shreya and Akshay had plans of a big fat Indian wedding at The Lalit, Mumbai, but they ended up tying knot at the groom’s residence in a close-knit affair in the presence of just 20 people.
They decided to go with a home wedding just a week prior to their nuptial day. In the absence of outfits, decorators, garlands and stuff, they had to self make everything in a short span of time.
The couple together with their family managed to self build their mandap with dupattas and even installed a photo booth. Additionally, they put all their creativity to work and crafted out a card-board Jaguar car for the groom and a card-board doli for the bride. Their DIY varmala garlands featured white pearls and artificial flowers. Furthermore, the wedding saw a virtual sangeet ceremony with friends & family joining in on a video call.
With some amazing DIY wedding hacks for intimate weddings in lockdown, this home wedding was pure goals.
Like other intimate weddings in lockdown, this one also undertook all sorts of health precautions throughout their wedding. Temperatures were checked perpetually. Everybody wore masks and sanitization was ensured during the entire course of the wedding. Besides, the staff along with the photographer, makeup artist, and the priest strictly maintained all the safety guidelines to all possible extents.
“You should keep it as minimal as you can. Be innovative with whatever you have in the house and use it to your creative best. Share ideas with friends & family, bond together in order to come up with fun & innovative stuff. You’ll be left with unforgettable memories to cherish for a lifetime.”
Featured Image Courtesy: The Urban Chitrakar