By Shreya Sharma Last Updated:
We have moved past the stage of a big fat Indian wedding as the on-going pandemic has hampered all the festivities. We have entered the phase of the lockdown weddings, where we are majorly concerned about safety and precautions needed to be taken. However, with the rapid surge in the cases, the chances of a grand wedding seem to be diminishing, and we are in for a lockdown wedding.
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We live in a country, where a wedding needs to be at least a week-long celebration, and now with the new trend of lockdown weddings, we guess we all will have to settle down for this. Many weddings have been postponed due to the COVID-19, but there are few, who have the courage to marry the love of their life during the testing times. Here we have two real brides, Chaitali Puri Arora and Cchesshta, who share their experience of a lockdown wedding which might motivate you to have one!
While every bride might have their own reason to get married during the lockdown, but the most important reason for all of them is love. Talking about why they had to get married during the lockdown, Chaitali said, “Our date was fixed at the start of 2020, the engagement was set for 16th march and the wedding for 2nd May. Soon after our engagement, everything slowly started shutting down like our offices and workspaces. Soon after, the lockdown was announced and we had almost postponed our wedding to the end of 2020 since we couldn't see any way through which we could go ahead with the wedding considering Nitin was in his hometown in Chandigarh and I was in Delhi."
She continued, "The idea came from my father-in-law. He was talking to one of his friends on 1st May and after that conversation, he realized that we might be able to go ahead with the original date planned for the marriage. So, on 1st May, my would-be father-in-law called at 12 pm asking if we'd still like to get married on the date we had initially planned, i.e, 2nd May. We were completely shocked, didn't know what to do. But we wanted to try. This lockdown made us miss each other more every day and we really wanted to start our lives together. We just wanted to be together, so we said YES! what followed was 12 hours of complete madness. We requested for special permission which we received by 5 pm, arranged for a pandit at 7 pm.”
On the other hand, Cchesshta recalled her reason for marrying under the lockdown saying, “The decided wedding date was 26th April 2020 but lockdown came up as an obstacle and we had to postpone. Both of us never wanted to delay and used to look out for ways after every lockdown extension. By god’s grace, we met someone who helped us arranged this gurudwara wedding. I still believe that person was sent by god specially in order to free us from all delays and mess. My parents quickly made arrangements in Gurudwara and we finally had our dream wedding on 24th May.”
While most of the brides are in confusion if they should give up on their dream of having a grand wedding and subdue into a lockdown wedding, our real brides expressed if they still wish for a big fat Indian wedding or not. Our real bride, Chaitali shared, “I am somewhere still craving a function so that I'm able to celebrate my big day with all of my extended family and friends. But overall, I am satisfied being a lockdown bride because I had an event which will always be super close to my heart.” Our other real bride, Cchesshta revealed that their lockdown wedding was better than what they had planned. She said, “Vipul always wanted to have a grand wedding with 4-5 functions and large gatherings. But what we had was 1000times better than what we actually planned as it was god’s plan. We are so grateful.”
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As the Coronavirus pandemic is the reason, everyone has to turn their grand wedding into a lockdown wedding, there are certain precautions that need to be ensured. Sharing the experience from their real wedding, Chaitali shared how wearing a mask is a must. She said, “We were all wearing masks throughout the ceremony. All my relatives sat maintaining a proper distance since we didn't want to risk anyone's health because of our wedding. Sanitizers were placed all throughout the house as a safety precaution.” Cchesshta shared that it is important to limit down your guest list, sanitise and wear masks. She said, “Firstly, the gathering was cut short from 500 to 50 people which was very difficult. Also, the gurudwara and kitchens were sanitised before the wedding properly. Masks were worn properly throughout the rituals.”
However, we are in the unlock phase, yet most of the shops and showrooms are shut. It is safe to not step out frivolously as the more shops you visit, the higher gets the chances of getting infected with the virus. The brides we have had their wedding during peak lockdown. Let's hear about their experience! Chaitali had to work out things from her mother and nani's wardrobe. She shared, “I still hadn't collected my wedding lehenga, so I decided to wear my mother's saree bought from Meena Bazaar. I hadn't purchased my wedding jewelry, so I wore my Nani's vintage gold choker. I did my hair & makeup on my own on the day of the wedding. The same happened with my fiance as well, he had not collected his sherwani and decided to wear a tuxedo that he received as a gift during our engagement. No personal grooming sessions for me. It was all so sudden, I missed out on that.”
On the other hand, Cchesshta had gotten a time period of 3 days in hand and she had stuck to her regular shop only. She shared, “We just had three days to make all the preparations and get married. Our outfits were not delivered, jewellery was booked but not picked, packing was not done and so many other things were pending. We both got our outfits ready in just two days from our respective designers where we normally shop from for functions and other family get togethers. I checked with my makeup artist and luckily, he agreed to my postponed wedding date. Also, our photographers agreed that very moment and we couldn’t be happier with the pictures as they are trending all over the internet.”
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Wearing a mask has become the new fashion accessory for the bride, groom and everyone attending the festivity. It gets important to match your mask with your outfit. While Chaitali had to manage with a surgical mask, Cchesshta had the time to get one customised according to her outfit. Sharing their story, Chaitali said, “We weren't able to arrange for a customised mask. We wore surgical masks and yes, of course I was bummed that our faces were covered but safety was important too. Also, we did take pictures without the masks too, so that was fine.” While Cchesshta said, “Our respective designers were a full support and helped us in preparing our wedding outfits with matching masks at the last moment. Because of the lockdown conditions, we were unable to pick our original wedding outfits, hence we got new outfits stitched in the time frame of 3 days.”
So many of us have so many questions about lockdown weddings. We wonder whether the lockdown wedding is a fun experience or a boring one as we cannot get to have those crazy dancing the night away glories and there are very limited people we can invite. Chaitali shared her experience saying, “Getting married with 15 people is not the ideal scenario that any couple would have in their minds. Honestly, it wasn't the scenario that we wanted. But on the day of the wedding, everything felt just perfect. The fact that all the pieces in the puzzle that our wedding was, just fit together so beautifully made us realize that happiness is not made up of materialistic elements.
Sharing that it was a moment of happiness for all, she continued, "The state of happiness is your state of mind. All my relatives who were hesitant of us doing this, were so happy and grateful the next day because our wedding reminded them of the stories, they heard from their parents about how weddings used to happen in earlier times. Simple, intimate, and beautiful. And honesty, who says we can't celebrate again!”
Cchesshta shared that their lockdown wedding was like their dream wedding. She said, “Getting married with just my closed and dear ones and that too an Anand Karaj wedding was itself complete for me. I am so thankful and grateful to God that things happened this was and at this time as there is nothing more that I and Vipul can ask for. We had our dream wedding - so simple, quick, sweet and peaceful.”
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Maintaining a social distance during these times is a must, thus there are many functions, we wonder if we will be able to follow up on. Both Chaitali and Cchesshta shared that they had to cut down on some rituals and functions owing to the pandemic and time constraint. Chaitali shared, “A proper mehandi ceremony didn't happen, I wore my choora after the wedding so that was missed out on too. I did a small haldi ceremony on 2nd morning but Nitin couldn't. Also, no jaimala happened as it was still early stage for lockdown and flowers could not be arranged. so yea, a lot of small ceremonies didn't happen.” Whereas, Cchesshta recalled, “Since everything was decided so quick and we only had 3days, we only had a mehendi night at our respective homes with our close family followed by a Gurudwara wedding the next day within 50 people. No engagement ceremony was performed since the jewellery (engagement rings) was not picked because of the lockdown.”
Venue and caterer plays a vital role in any Indian wedding because people are there to judge everything. Well, however, luckily you get to invite close relatives only, yet you need to ensure that your venue is properly sanitised and your caterers are following all the precautions. Sharing their experiences, our first real bride, Chaitali said, “Elements like decor & catering were all arranged at home. We just decorated the house on our own, put some nice curtains and artificial flowers. Catering was a potluck as my relatives who stay close-by got some food since we had no time to even prepare for our food. For dessert, my sister prepared halwa at home since even the sweet shops were closed.” While our other bride, Cchesshta said, “Safety was first while making decisions related to the wedding. We had fully believed in God and finalising Gurudwara as our venue, just kept us moving. Family was a big support. By god’s grace, everything turned out to be magical.”
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The most important question that every soon-to-be-married couple wonders is if a lockdown wedding is worth giving a shot or not. However, the brides, who have actually been there gives their thumbs up for the same. Chaitali shared that love should be your utmost priority and said, “If you take necessary precautions, then yes, it is safe. Also, if you've only cancelled/postponed your wedding because you wanted a grand celebration, then honestly think once more. Love should take centre stage."
She continued, "You don't know when the situation will improve, you might not be able to have a grand wedding in this entire year. Are you ready to wait for so long? Go ahead & do a small function. Start your life with your partner, it's a beautiful feeling. Also, the lockdown will ensure you and your partner have just each other's company which is even better. Rest, whatever you decide, make sure it makes you happy because there's no rush. Just think what's more important for you and what will make you happier, you'll know exactly what to do”
Cchesshta shared that it is important to keep faith in God's plans as he knows what is best for you. She said, “Just a little message for all the brides to be who are suffering from this situation, just keep faith and believe in God’s plan as that is going to be the most favourable for each one of you. It all works out in the end.”
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Well, these lockdown brides and their experience have motivated us to move ahead. All you need is love and precautions to have the most memorable day of your life!