The coronavirus-led lockdown may have poured cold water on a lot of plans over the last few months, but some couples who had their weddings planned around this time have found a unique way to fulfil their dreams; take the virtual route.
This is what newly-weds Sushen Dang from Mumbai and Keerti Narang, a girl from Bareilly did for a wedding they had planned in October last year.
The couple tied the knot on April 19 thanks to Shaadi.com in a traditional Indian wedding style with sangeet and mehendi ceremony, pooja, mantras but all online.
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Shaadi.com got on board a pandit who performed pooja virtually, a makeup artist to train the bride to do her makeup remotely, a mehendi artist to show basic mehendi designs.
Along with this, the company reached out to friends and family to do their planned sangeet performances virtually.
Invitations were sent out online with video call link to the wedding.
Just before their wedding, the couple spoke to Moneycontrol and said, “The first reaction we got when we told our friends and family about the online wedding was: are you serious? But eventually everyone agreed.”
“Convincing my parents for an online wedding was difficult because they are not very active on social media. But they did say yes. For me, the most memorable part of this wedding is that I will wear my mother’s lehenga. Unfortunately, I was unable to pick up my lehenga which I had to get from Delhi. But I have no regrets. I would have never got a chance to wear my mother’s lehenga otherwise,” said Keerti.
As many as 80 people attended their wedding online.
"We always wanted a different wedding. And it looks like our wish was granted," said Dang.
Another couple Avinash and Kirti, who tied the knot online on April 14, welcomed 100 guests for their virtual wedding over a video call.
What’s more interesting is that there was a Dhol Tasha player playing live for their wedding.
So, for both the couples it was a complete wedding with band, baaja and baaraat but all online.
Talking to Moneycontrol, Adhish Zaveri, Director-Marketing, Shaadi.com, said, “For everyone, wedding date is important. In India, mahurats matter. This is why we thought of weddings from home to help people get married on the same date they had decided in advance. Just that it will be all virtual. And for this, Leo Burnett our partner helped us ideate and execute it.”
He added that “there are some people who value wedding dates a lot and these people are reaching out to us. We are in conversation with about 9-10 couples for virtual weddings.”
Along with a strong response to the wedding from home offering, Shaadi.com is seeing more engagement on its platform.
“We are seeing a lot of engagement. Lot of conversations happening on the platform. People now have time to take big decisions. Hence, the engagement on the platform has gone up by 20-30 percent in the last few months,” said Zaveri.