Will virtual weddings become the next big trend in India?
Over the last few weeks we have heard stories about couples getting married over video calls, will this become the new normal! Read what the experts have to say.
Indian weddings are not just about the pomp and show but have the entire family’s emotions attached to them. An average Indian family saves throughout their lives to spend on a wedding. However, in the past few weeks the wedding industry has taken a massive hit owing to the ongoing pandemic.
The wedding industry is like an engine that drives various other industries such as apparel, jewellery, hospitality, flowers, transportation, and catering. Lakhs of labourers and workers make most of their income during the wedding season. With no big fat weddings happening, all these industries have suffered huge losses.
But as they say, nothing can beat humans at innovation. Over the last few weeks we have heard stories about couples getting married on video calls.
With experts stating that it will take another 15-20 months before social distancing can be totally lifted, will virtual weddings become the new normal?
In India over 10 million weddings take place every year and the budgets range from Rs five lakh to a few crores. Now it is given that a significant number of couples may just opt for the virtual wedding than wait for the next 20 months to exchange vows.
So, would virtual weddings become the next big trend? We asked some industry leaders and here is what they had to say:
Rituraj Khanna, CEO, Q Events
Our Indian weddings are all about luxury- good decor- a well designed food menu- great entertainment- and above all our emotions and sentiments are attached to the weddings - Starting from our small poojas till our Mehndi’s, Sangeet and Wedding sometimes followed by a Reception- so in order to fill in all these 7 or 8 events we will not be able to do justice in a virtual wedding.
I mean a family of a handful is sitting in some remote area getting married and we zoom in all the guests- I tried thinking about this- ordering food for all of them from a 5 star and getting it delivered to them- small gifts for all the guests- and had more ideas how to pamper the guests including entertainment- an illusionist- but then it was like- yaar hum machine se thodi shaadi kara rahe hai- so a better option would be- if you don’t want to postpone the wedding- I would suggest quiet rituals amongst the families and once everything is fine then you can give a gala reception along with a sangeet where everyone can be a part of it.
But at the moment my mind is closed to a virtual wedding- I guess it’s ok to do a birthday party or a Mother’s Day virtually but definitely not a wedding- in fact a friend of mine from the industry did call me to ask if he should make a concept for me for a virtual wedding, he explained to me it would look like a set etc etc but I said a no- will want to wait for some more time- my emotional quotient that for a wedding is far too high to think of people peeping from their iPads and laptops or phones and attending a virtual wedding- and this lockdown is not forever- weddings can wait and so can we- it’s an experience we give to a client- the photographers shooting - the speakers blasting- the artists and dancers performing- the pandits chanting- structures- flowers- expensive furniture- and then the Indian jhappis - I wouldn’t trade all this for anything in the world.
Rajeev Jain, Managing Director, Rashi Entertainment
The Indian Weddings are all about experiences and physical touch which cannot happen virtually.
This is just a substitute and not a permanent platform. We can foresee the number of gatherings will increase in the coming season of December to February and India will enjoy its old trendy weddings not the virtual weddings.
The weddings will happen in its own way only and yes, the style will change slightly with more precautions. There is nothing called virtual in a wedding.
Chetan Vohra, Managing Director, Weddingline
In my view, virtual weddings will not entirely be able to replace the real thing. Even couples who have decided to go ahead with dates - are all planning to throw celebrations once the lockdown eases. The virtual world may entice curiosity but can it replace the genuineness and feel good factor of having your loved ones there with you on your special day in flesh !!
I think it’s trending and cool to be doing a socially distanced wedding at the moment and hence some couples are planning on doing it. But once this trend passes - it will fade.
Yes social distancing is here to stay and that’s when you need an experienced planner to plan your special day in a safe manner, who understands the government guidelines and who also ensures each guest has a good time.
Gunjan Bansal, CEO, L’amore Weddings
I have not heard of many virtual weddings taking place in India. Once the pandemic is over and the situation gets normal, people will choose normal weddings. The number of guests would decrease and weddings might turn into small family affairs for the time-being. People are looking forward to having a wedding which is exceptionally good and fun-filled in the coming season. So once the wedding season approaches and we get rid of these restrictions, weddings will continue in the same way.
Once the lockdown is over the wedding industry will be the first to pick up, even before the corporate events. This is the reason why the hotel industry is also focusing on wedding events. Virtual weddings are not for Indian clients because we are all about emotions and being together in celebrations. The wedding industry will bounce back as soon as the government relaxes the restrictions.
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