Organising a lockdown wedding: Bhumika Nahata
Bhumika Nahata, Founder, Chirmi Events shares her experience of organising a wedding amidst the lockdown.
Weddings - they are so special, full of warmth, laughter, tears and unexpected moments. Not only are they a celebration of love and commitment but also a celebration of faith and culture. Bringing to life the most beautiful chapter of one’s life- seamlessly, requires careful planning, organization, attention to detail, and immaculate execution.
So, when I was asked last year to plan and coordinate a traditional South Indian wedding for an early May, 2020 timeline – little did I know that it was going to be an experience of a lifetime. While collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, sometime around mid-March, my team at Chirmi Events and I like the rest of us were perturbed but hopeful. With the exponential rise in cases and almost a month-long lockdown - May was almost here.
Exactly two weeks before the wedding, the couple informed me with a determined smile that they had decided to get married regardless, and from that second onwards – it was a go-go-go for us.
The core team was assembled and briefed to rise to the occasion. I realized that I was not just in-charge of the wedding planning and execution but also the health and safety of every single person attending the wedding, be it the guests, my Chirmi team, the in-house vendors including the new ones that were added due to lockdown restrictions – each and everyone had to be accounted for with no room for error. Also, with government guidelines still getting framed at that time, to seeking permissions, traveling for site inspections, coordinating with both the families and keeping a close track of various touch points – I knew this was not going to be easy. But I was determined to not dim the aspirations of the couple and ensured them that not only the wedding but the pre-wedding Haldi function will also be thoughtfully executed.
The Haldi function happened at the bride and groom’s houses respectively and since these rituals are more intimate and personal in nature for the couple and family, the team left no stone unturned to make every moment picture perfect. Hues of the yellow palette adorned the house – and attention to every small detail – made it extremely personal, just how the couple wanted. While only a few family members and friends could make it in-person - the entire event was live-streamed from multiple angles – for all the near and dear ones who couldn’t be a part of the event.
With the Haldi event being a success – my team at Chirmi and I got the required boost in confidence for the finale ceremony, the wedding. A location on the outskirts of Bengaluru – scenic with fresh crisp air was chosen for the main event. The core team arrived well in time and sanitized the entire area. Health and safety background checks were done and a proper training on the new normal was conducted for all the chefs, waiters, makeup artists, florists, photographer, nadeshwarams etc.
Upon arrival – the guests were provided with customized masks and hand sanitizers. Temperature check was done at the entrance and all the guests were seated maintaining social distancing norms. The sitting area from where the proceedings were being live-streamed to friends and family across the globe was decorated with tuberose flowers which filled the air with a divine fragrance that added a beautiful everlasting charm. The mandap was decorated with roses, carnations and tuberoses, and a flower chandelier was placed right at the top, under which the happy couple exchanged their vows.
It was definitely a life-changing experience for us and a lot of learning. The checkpoints on a wedding planner’s list have simply doubled.
Recently Niharika, Partner, Chirmi Events - also conducted a locked-down event in Kolkata and the entire coordination along with health and safety protocols, state permissions and travel restrictions was a mammoth task. Niharika handles the entire wedding and event operation in Kolkata.
We both truly feel that when a couple is in love and wants to get married – they should just go for it. Intimate weddings have a charm of their own. With your family and the dearest of friends around everything else will work out and for things that don’t – we are there.
Here is the link to the website: http://chirmievents.com/
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