Wedding industry was considered recession-proof, but it took a global pandemic to make us realize that the weddings industry is also susceptible to the economic downfall. As many countries are in a state of lock-down and social distancing since March, weddings till June have been put on hold for now. As we are waiting for the situation to get normal, there will be a new "Normal" for wedding industry also. The slowdown of our lives has forced some people to think of their choices and move towards a greener and sustainable choices.
Big Fat Indian weddings have been common for many years, where the number of guests is 1000+ and luxury drip from every corner. There is tremendous peer pressure and social expectations regarding everything related to weddings, which results in extravagance and sometimes out of pocket preparations. Maybe it is time that we ponder what do we really want from our wedding ceremony? Some Indian marriages have happened since lockdown on 22 March 2020 with only 20 people as guests physically present, rest live streamed. As people will look for innovative ways to cut wedding budget while maintaining oomph level, conducting weddings online through video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom may become the new trend. Even digital gifting options like gift vouchers, wedding registry and online delivery of gifts may become the new trend as people will attend weddings virtually.
A limited number of physical guests is the need of today’s generation, as wedding couple do not know extended relatives and distant family friends anyway and will not remember five minutes after meeting them during the photo session. The essence of get-together and spending quality time with friends and family is often lost in the rush of wedding management and guest greeting. Although you may have hired a wedding planner to do the ground-level tasks, you have to eventually give Go in every little arrangement, from gifting options to decorations, food menu to dress and dances of the family. With a large gathering, you may not be able to enjoy the wedding, as you should. Besides philosophy behind the idea, less number of guests is a necessity now!
After corona-virus pandemic has revealed the increased need for social distancing and health sanitation as best practices for a normal lifestyle, the way we conduct weddings will change. There may be masks and hand sanitizer at the entry of the venue, so as to ensure hands hygiene. Seating arrangements at the venue may change to creative settings which will allow guest to maintain social distancing while eating food and enjoying the night. One side effect of social distancing during weddings will be, guest capacity of wedding venues may decrease by half. As a result, if you still want to invite 1000+ guests, be prepared to increase your budget.
Sustainable and eco-friendly wedding arrangements were already gaining attention among the millennial. After realizing the might of mother nature and how helpless we become in the presence of a natural disaster, there may be even greater focus to make our arrangements nature friendly. From sustainable clothing and up-cycled decorations to limited use of paper and bio-degradable cutlery are some of the few touch-points you can focus on. Having a provision to distribute leftover food to the NGOs’ and needy people will ensure hassle-free and timely food management.
Wedding industry as a whole will evolve after battling the effects of the global pandemic and economic slowdown, however, it will adapt itself to emerge as a winner in the final race. So, while we are pondering what changes we will have in our wedding arrangements, lookout for new policies and practices of various vendors and use of digital means to make your D day memorable. If possible, support local vendors through contracts and referrals.