Fri. Jun 18th, 2021

Logistical nightmares of organising weddings has forced people to scale down the ceremonies

S. Ramaswamy, who prematurely retired from a multinational company and is now settled in Thriruvananthapuram, is frenetically looking to book air tickets to either of the two Caucasian States of Armenia or Georgia for his daughter set to marry this month end.

For, the pandemic has not only thrown a spanner in the conduct of the marriage but also the couple’s return to Dubai, where the bridegroom is employed, as the United Arab Emirates has further extended the travel ban from India.

“He will have to rejoin by June 24 or risk losing his job. So they plan to fly either to Armenia or Georgia, quarantine there for 14 days and then fly to Dubai. Hopefully, those two countries are still issuing visiting visas to Indians,” said Mr. Ramaswamy.

Even the marriage, an inter-faith one, is set to be an incomplete ceremonial affair as registration under the Special Marriages Act won’t be possible as registration offices continue to remain shut. The wedding therefore will be reduced to a ring exchange and cutting a cake in the presence of less than 20 people in a premier banquet hall meant for hundreds.

A year after the outbreak of the pandemic, weddings, normally involving months-long planning, continue to be a largely ad hoc affair with frequent revisions of plans enforced by the progression of the virus.

Shrinath K, a resident of Kakkanad, had to advance his marriage in a day’s notice as the original wedding day coincided with the enforcement of the second Statewide lockdown on May 8.

“Though the engagement was held in January, the wedding was scheduled for May in the hope that by that time vaccination will be in an advanced stage and more people could attend. Though a hall and an open lawn for reception for potentially 200 people was booked for the wedding, eventually we had to tie the knot in the presence of just 8 people in a temple,” he said.

The scaled down affair, Mr. Shrinath said, didn’t entail much savings as gold had to be bought so as dresses for relatives. While the savings in terns of food and auditorium is minuscule, the uncertainty around the wedding engendered by the pandemic more than negates it.

“Yes, one is spared of personally inviting relatives as a WhatsApp message or a call suffice since majority would be anyway unable to attend,” he said.

Yousef M. A. can hardly conceal the disappointment of having to organise the wedding of his brother’s son as a low-key affair. From an event imagined as a grand function with hundreds, it eventually was held in the presence of 20 people as a Facebook live event on May 23.

“Ours is a big family with seven brothers and not even all of them could attend. The hall had to be cancelled and it was held at the bride’s home at Erattupetta. We held it anyway as the alternative was just indefinite postponement,” he said.

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