'Virtual wedding' a hit in the times of coronavirus

'Virtual wedding' a hit in the times of coronavirus

Sushen and Kirti wedding.

BY PUJA GUPTA New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Avinash and Kirti had an online wedding on April 14 which was virtually attended by 80 of their close friends and relatives. They also held an online mehendi, and a sangeet ceremony apart from the marriage which was performed according to the Hindu custom wherein a 'pandit' (priest) was chanting Hindu matras while being connected on a video call. The lockdown has bounded many couples postpone their weddings planned in March and April. But those who hold their fixed wedding date close to their heart and want to get married on the same date amid this nation shutdown are not hesitant to try the idea of 'virtual wedding'. "We had a grand wedding planned in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, with over 8000 expected guests. But things got changed a bit. We did not want our wedding to go beyond April. So we thought of an online wedding. We had a proper Hindu marriage but online. And we are happy about it," said Avinash. Mumbai-based Sushen and Kirti from Bareily also had an arranged marriage online on April 19. Sushen said: "Even if the lockdown gets lifted in the next few days, I doubt we will be allowed to organise a social gathering like a marriage anytime soon. We did not want to wait for our wedding. And being responsible citizens, we felt this was one way to maintain social distance and at the same time making sure that we had all the fun like a typical wedding. So it was like an entire party we had online. It was a really cool idea and being a part of it is much more exciting for us." Their weddings were facilitated by Shaadi.com who has introduced �Wedding from Home' service to help couple tie the knot by making arrangements for all the online ceremonies even during the time of coronavirus when social distancing is the need of the hour. Adhish Zaveri, Director - Marketing, Shaadi.com, said: "There is no greater act than getting two people married. We realized that there are a lot of people who have planned their wedding during this period and the fact that we won't be able to do it was very disheartening for them. We decided that even if you can't be there in person, you can tie the knot virtually. That is something we can taken very seriously and try to make it as close to a real wedding." It starts with sending out e-invites for guests, followed by mehendi ceremony where we have a mehendi artiste takes online tutorial. We have make-up artiste who teaches the bride how you can get the bridal look at the comfort of your house. Overall grooming tips are taught virtually. Finally, we have a �panditji' who does all perform all the wedding rituals. Twelve Muslim couples in Madhya Pradesh also entered into wedlock on April 17, despite the lockdown, through video conference. Reformist Muslims have been organizing mass marriages at Guna every April for some years now. Just as the coronavirus crisis seemed to disrupt this year's schedule, the Sheher Qazi of Guna offered to conduct the 'nikah' online. All the 12 grooms and brides offered their consent to the marriage on a video call. In less than an hour, they were married without stepping out of their homes. (Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in)

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