Fewer guests, masked baaratis and DIY prep; weddings adapt to the new normal

Energetic baaratis doing the naagin dance, elaborate sangeet ceremonies and a long list of guests are passé when it comes to wedding ceremonies in the current crisis. With a set of rules in place, allowing only 50 guests to be physically present at the ceremony, families are adapting to the new normal with smaller functions, physical distancing and better hygiene standards.

Pandemic wedding packages
Yes, you read that right. Along with the food and pandal packages, planners are adding masks, gloves and makeshift sanitisation stations to wedding packages now. Kishore Bhalerao, a Bhusawal-based caterer and mandap decorator, shares, “Right from thermal screening at the entrance to handing over masks to every guest, our team members have been delegated various responsibilities. We ensure that the seating arrangement is such that there is enough space between two seats to maintain physical distance.” He adds that their staff follows all hygiene guidelines strictly. “Our team wears masks and gloves while serving food. Even the food ingredients are sourced from the suppliers we completely trust. Most importantly, we disinfect the entire venue before and after the ceremony,” says Kishore, whose team is also responsible to remind guests to maintain physical distancing and wear masks.

As per guidelines, only 10 band members can perform in the wedding procession, that too after the hosts deduct 10 people from their guest list. I have started briefing the band members on the new norm and we are hoping bookings will start soon.

  • Ajay Dubey, head of Suyog Brass Band from Nagpur

DIY makeup and matching masks

As salons have still not opened in various cities, brides are resorting to doing their makeup themselves by watching tutorials online. Apoorva Rathore, a teacher who got married during the lockdown, recalls, “I had booked a pre-bridal and bridal makeup package months in advance. But due to the lockdown, we had to cancel all bookings. So, I opted for DIY facial and manicure-pedicure by watching online tutorials.” The newlywed got a neighbour to do her makeup. For her husband, a friend trimmed his beard and made him look presentable on the wedding day.

Additionally, the wedding trousseau now comes armed with a matching mask. Ludhiana-based fashion designer Bhavdeep Kaur, who recently got married, was the talk of the ceremony thanks to the mask which matched her bridal lehenga. “My wedding day mask was made using the same fabric as that of my lehenga. I added some extra embroidery on it to make it look nicer. I also wore a matching mask on my Haldi day. I didn’t have extra fabric then, so I just cut off the sleeves of my dress and turned them into a mask.” Well, talk of necessity being the mother of invention!

Pre-wedding photo shoots adopt physical distancing

We are sending just one photographer to cover the intimate pre-wedding functions. Even for the wedding, the usual paraphernalia of two different lenses, drone footage, video cameras etc has been replaced by a one-camera setup.

  • Ramesh Joshi, a wedding photographer from Indore

A Bhopal-based wedding photographer, Swapnil Namdev, recently did a pre-wedding shoot for a couple and it was unlike any other that he had previously done. “The couple confidently sported masks and tried out new poses to depict social distancing,” says Swapnil, adding, “The to-be couples are willingly accepting this new concept. Plus, we are being careful about picking the locations and are avoiding crowded places or containment zones completely.”

Delhi-based photographer Naman Verma on the other hand did a post-wedding virtual photo shoot for a Chandigarh-based couple! Naman shares that since many people were doing this, they too decided to give it a try. “The couple had a tripod and I guided them through the entire process. As soon as they were ready, I clicked a picture, virtually. It was a time-consuming process and the couple had to do everything on their own, but it felt nice to try something different than the usual,” says Naman.