October 26, 2020 8:00:12 pm
In India, weddings have always been an elaborate affair. It is about getting families and friends together, dancing, singing, eating and taking part in celebrations that last days and nights. But this year, the pandemic has changed one too many rules, and Indian weddings have gone through a drastic makeover, too. Now staying safe has become a priority for most couples. While because of the lockdown earlier this year, many weddings had to be postponed, now a recent survey has found that about three-fourths of couples (76 per cent) are confident that they will go ahead with the wedding ceremony on the scheduled date, and not wait for a big fat Indian wedding celebration later.
Conducted by The Knot Worldwide — one of the largest wedding technology companies in the world — the survey titled, ‘Global COVID-19 Weddings Report’ highlighted the key requirements for weddings these days. To help couples, venues and service partners across the world navigate wedding planning during the pandemic, the company undertook a large-scale global consumer survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on weddings scheduled from October 2020 through February 2021.
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It was found in the report that most couples (68 per cent) will reduce the size of their guest lists and hire fewer vendors (60 per cent) to ensure that COVID-19 norms are followed and complete measures are taken in accordance with government guidelines to ensure safety. Additionally, while 23 per cent of couples are not going ahead with a wedding reception, 48 per cent are planning one but with all health and safety measures. In fact, the number of wedding receptions being cancelled is the highest in India globally. A vast majority of to-be-married people (80 per cent) will encourage social distancing, and 90 per cent of the couples will invite only immediate family and close friends. A few also plan to invite extended family (30 per cent) who reside in the same city for a private get-together, while more than half (52 per cent) want friends and family from outside their city of residence to be present on their special day.
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Interestingly, about 25 per cent of couples would want their guests to take a COVID-19 test ahead of the event, just as a precautionary measure. And during the ceremony, 75 per cent will conduct temperature checks for attendees and a follow-up check with them — a week later — to check for symptoms (about 47 per cent). Guests will also be provided with hand sanitisers (in 91 per cent of weddings), face masks (79 per cent), and members of the staff and vendors like photographers, makeup artists, etc., will be required to wear masks or PPE kits (84 per cent).
Only 40 per cent of couples anticipate that their budget will be lesser than what they had originally planned. And 33 per cent seek different venue options that can accommodate smaller groups of guests.
The traditional concept of an Indian wedding — one that goes on for days — has also changed with 27 per cent of the couples opting for several small events on one day with limited people, instead of having several one-day events.
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Speaking about the findings, Ankur Sarawagi, India Country Head, The Knot Worldwide, said: “We are glad to see that couples in India are staying positive and are keen to celebrate their special day, despite the pandemic, by making necessary arrangements and precautions.
“In addition to the health and safety measures, couples and vendors have also come up with smarter ways to make weddings work for them, making this an innovative period for the wedding industry of increased digitisation. Couples have found newer ways to commemorate their love for one another and for sharing it with others through live streaming through video calls. Others are hosting socially distant gatherings of friends and family or intimate mini-ceremonies with immediate family on their original wedding date, followed by a larger event when the pandemic subsides. While it’s key to remain optimistic, we want to assure couples that love is not cancelled. They can still celebrate it in its glory.”
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