Weddings in 2020 had to go through a few adjustments because of the pandemic: marriage plans were either put on hold, or changed considerably. Couples had to forgo their ideal destinations, reduce their guest list, reschedule celebrations. Wedding planning resumed with gusto towards the second half of 2020. While several couples went ahead with their nuptials — keeping health and safety protocols in mind — some decided to postpone their wedding until 2021.
Keeping in mind these changes, the wedding industry also witnessed some unique trends to adapt to the new normal. According to wedding planning company The Knot Worldwide’s Global COVID-19 Wedding report published in October 2020, the Indian wedding industry — touted to be around $50 billion — has revived itself amid the pandemic by exploring alternatives.
Here are some of the wedding trends noticed in 2020 which are most likely to continue in 2021.
From selecting vendors to providing aid and advice to couples, wedding technology platforms helped. The entire wedding planning process was shifted online — from virtual venue tours to having vendor meetings online. Couples also chose to host their weddings with smaller gatherings, with friends and distant families connecting virtually. Many went ahead with digital wedding announcements and e-invites. With bridal wear designers launching their websites during lockdown, couples preferred virtual tours to shortlist designs. With some relaxations now, couples can visit stores for fitting sessions or final shortlisting.
Keeping it close and personal
As per the COVID-19 study conducted by The Knot Worldwide, three-fourths of the couples (76 per cent) were confident they will go ahead with the ceremony on the scheduled date. Most couples reduced the size of their guest lists (68 per cent) and hired fewer vendors (60 per cent) to ensure norms are followed.
Many couples opted for an intimate ‘roka‘, followed by a pre-wedding ceremony of their choice and then the wedding. For those who had planned a ‘big fat wedding’, they rescheduled to accommodate a larger guest list.
Mandap decorations and planning a spaced-out seating arrangement became integral to a COVID-19 wedding — floor seatings, creating ‘seating bubbles’ and small tent seating setups across the venue.
The pandemic has brought in the culture of leisure and relaxation, allowing people to be more creative. Couples have shifted towards a more sustainable preference and have been trying their hand at newer, DIY projects for the first time.
They are now appreciating the authenticity and details of what already exists. Styling heirloom accessories or jewellery set and pairing them with new pieces is in vogue; designers are also reviving the age-old charm of handwoven natural fiber. Big wedding planning brands are not shying away from using sustainable decor items like cane baskets, cane lanterns, plants and flowers, and earthen pots to complete their desired wedding aesthetic.
It’s all about the location
Choosing a venue can be challenging. Couples have resorted to hosting grand celebrations in forts like those in Rajasthan. Many prefer hill stations as guests would be more comfortable in a car ride. As per the study, outdoor weddings have gained popularity. Couples host celebrations in their backyards and gardens to make their celebration more personal and keep their guests in a safer.
Adhering to local rules and regulations, a vast majority of to-be-weds (80 per cent) are encouraging social distancing — between people and tables.
What do you think of these trends?