Love in the time of coronavirus: Here’s how couples are getting married virtually via the 'Weddings from Home' initiative
Popular matrimonial and matchmaking site Shaadi.com recently launched ‘Weddings from Home’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
The initiative aims to help couples across all communities, cultures and religions get married and continue wedding celebrations via video calls from their own homes during these times of social distancing.
Through Weddings from Home, Shaadi.com is providing end-to-end services to honour a couple’s big day virtually, right from offering bridal make-up tutorials, to finding a singer for the sangeet and organising all the ceremonies a couple wishes to have.
“Weddings from Home is an audacious act with a strong purpose at the heart of it,” says Adhish Zaveri, Director –Marketing, Shaadi.com.
“At the root of its success are two critical factors. Firstly, we are repurposing existing technology to drive discontinuous value and secondly, we are allowing people to celebrate their big day with as much fanfare as possible, despite the lockdown. Who would have thought that you could have a Sangeet performance and dhol-tasha in a virtual wedding?”
A bride has 'Love in the Time of Corona' written on her hands.
An exciting experiment
The first couple Avinash Bagri and Kirti Agrawal who decided to try weddings from home, were extremely thrilled with the idea.
A lot of couples postponed their weddings when the lockdown was extended, but this duo decided that it shouldn’t deter them from holding their own.
Thus, with the help of Shaadi.com the wedding took place in Ghaziabad on April 16th, and a pandit officiated all the ceremonies via a video call.
A pandit officiating one of the virtual weddings.
The virtual wedding
Approximately 200 family and friends joined the wedding ceremony and offered their blessings.
Once the ceremonies were over, the family organised food delivery and they made sure that sweets and savoury dishes reached the homes of all the guests.
Guests gather virtually far and wide.
The wedding was a traditional Hindu ceremony and was done meticulously, following all the mandatory rites of the event.
The Sangeet performances were practised by the family via video call, so that there would be no glitches on the final day. The makeup and mehndi artists helped the bride with her look step by step, virtually.
Wedding invites were sent with video call links and even a special backdrop for the day was designed to create the right atmosphere and setting for the ceremony.
Speaking about the wedding, Avinash says,
“To be really honest, we had our doubts about how everything would pan out, but I must say that it ultimately turned out to be better than we expected. We had guests from over 10 countries who participated whole heartedly. Everyone was dancing during the Sangeet and sharing their video screens. It was so much fun. Most importantly, even my parents, who are not very tech-savvy, joined in and participated in every ceremony, which was a very emotional moment for us. "
Love has no bounds
The second wedding, which took place happened between lovebirds Sushen Dang from Mumbai, and Keerti Narang from Bareilly on April 19th.
Family and friends joined in to celebrate the union via Zoom Call and Facebook Live.
Couple Sushen and Keerti recently got married through 'Weddings from Home'
In an interaction with YS Weekender, Sushen and Kirti talked about their experience of taking part in a virtual wedding.
YSW: What made you decide to go ahead with your wedding despite the COVID-19 lockdown?
Sushen & Keerti: Love has no boundaries. We wanted to prove to the world that we could still hold our marriage while being responsible citizens and following all the laws of the land. Love always wins in the end.
YSW: When was your wedding originally planned for?
S&K: It was planned for April 18 and 19 at Jim Corbett National Park.
YSW: Why did you decide to use Shaadi.com for the virtual wedding?
S&K: One of our friends saw Shaadi.com’s Instagram handle on weddings from home and suggested we look at it. Once we spoke to the event organisers at Shaadi.com, we decided to go ahead with this.
YSW: What did you think of the virtual wedding?
S&K: It was an amazing experience and way better than we expected. It was a lot of fun.
The meeting was at its maximum capacity all through, so a lot of people had to view the event over Facebook live. The live telecast got over 16k views at the time of telecast and it now currently has over 27k views.
YSW: What was the response from your family and friends who attended?
S&K: They were all amazed and excited about the event. Everyone was dancing during the wedding and they appreciated the concept and positivity that this ceremony generated during a pandemic such as this.
YSW: Would you encourage other couples to do the same?
S&K: Definitely, couples should know that even if they cannot host a physical ceremony, an online wedding ceremony is just as nice.
All of us had a blast and there was not much preparation required. The event was also less stressful. Shaadi.com along with Leo Burnett did a good job of putting everything together. I would recommend virtual weddings to all young couples out there during the lockdown.