Restrictions on weddings return, ppl scramble to change plans, cut guest list | Delhi News

COVID restrictions are yet again upending the carefully laid wedding plans of couples, some of whom have been waiting for over 1.5 years to have a grand wedding without pandemic restrictions. As the number of active cases are rising, many states are bringing down the number of guests allowed, along with other safety guidelines. This has sent families planning weddings in a panic mode – Should they postpone the celebrations? How many guests need to be disinvited? Should the venue city be changed? Those in the wedding industry – from planners and venues to caterers and bandwallahs – are also wondering if it will be yet another bleak shaadi season.
Shifting venue to another state or postponing
In 2020-2021, weddings across the country were toned down and new trends like micro weddings, home weddings and live streaming were introduced. Post August 2021, the big fat weddings were back with the guest list going up to 500, but now, due to rising cases many states have brought the number down to 50 or 20. With payments already made and hundreds of guests invited for January-February weddings, families and planners are now wondering what their next step should be.
Alankrita Gaur, an HR professional from south Delhi, says she always dreamt of a fairytale wedding and therefore decided to wait till she could have a grand wedding. However, she did not expect the restrictions to return in January. She shares, “We have booked a poolside venue and paid an advance for a gathering of around 200 people. Now with the wedding just a few days away, the number of guests allowed has been cut to 20. We are in a dilemma – should we postpone or go ahead with an intimate wedding or just do a traditional ceremony now and plan celebrations later.”

In November, wedding industry insiders told us that people were again hosting grand weddings and everything from venues to bands was double booked for the whole season

‘Cutting down the guest list is a big issue’
The new restrictions came in the middle when most people had already finalised the guest list, and some had even sent out invites. Now they have to deal with paring down the list or, worse, disinvite people. A groom whose wedding is scheduled for next month, shares, “We are having daily fights about who to leave out from the guest list. Mere bhai ke dost ne apni destination wedding mein bulaya tha toh uss ko mana karein ya mere papa ke colleague ko? A number of friends and colleagues have voluntarily opted out of the wedding. There are also those who are not in the close circle, but they want to attend. They call us saying, ‘Omicron delta corona toh chalta rahega, shaadi toh ek baar hoti hai. Fikr na karo, hum to aayenge.’ How do we disinvite these guests?”
Akash Chauhan, a Mayur Vihar resident whose sister is getting married in February, says, “We will get the wedding cards printed only when we know how many people we can invite. If we have to go ahead with just 20 guests, then disinviting is another hassle. The only good thing is that now relatives and friends understand how uncertain wedding celebrations are during the pandemic. I’m hoping they won’t mind attending the wedding virtually.”
Some are now planning additional functions to avoid the embarrassment of uninviting guests. Pallavi Saigal, a Noida resident who’s getting married next month, says, “My wedding planning started in October when around 400-500 people were attending weddings, so we also did advance bookings and sent out invites. Now we have no option but to plan a week-long celebration with different sets of guests at each function.”
Some people are contemplating a venue change to states that have not yet brought in restrictions and have low case count. A wedding planner says, “We’re seeing a migration of weddings as people are changing their venues from Delhi to Rajasthan and other states where they can celebrate as planned.” A wedding planner who recently conducted two weddings in Udaipur, says, “Families that still have time before the wedding would rather move to another city than scale down the celebrations. We are also seeing a lot of postponments as venues will not return the advance for last-minute cancellations.”

Weddings shift to other states

Weddings shift to other states

Wedding industry representatives are planning to meet Delhi govt officials
As the panic on wedding restrictions set in, wedding planners, hoteliers, caterers and banquet hall owners had a meeting in Delhi and
decided to request the Delhi government to increase the limit on attendees from 20. Rajeev Jain, MD of an
entertainment company who was present in the meeting, says, “We understand that the current situation requires tough measures, and we support the government, but the limit of 20 guests is not feasible. We are requesting for a meeting with the Delhi government, and we will propose that staff and guests will do RT-PCR and be double vaccinated if the limit is increased.”

Wedding guests limit

Wedding guests limit

-With Divya Kaushik

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