With the new pandemic wave, the city is back to nighttime curfews and is limiting the number of guests at a rally. The wedding season is only a week ahead and planners, decorators, caterers and venue providers are once again facing significant losses in the business.
The new standard for guests – 100 for indoors and 50% for outdoor gatherings – has forced everyone to redefine the plans. Secondary functions are canceled; some people postpone wedding dates while many large weddings turn into a low-key affair.
Dr Jaideep Chandra, who booked a top club for his daughter Bhavya’s wedding this end of the month, needs to change his plans significantly. “I had predicted that we might see a new wave, so we had a back-up plan in mind. Previously we had planned 600-800 guests for the wedding, but now we have narrowed it down to 100-150 immediate family members and close friends. We’re also moving the venue, which will cause my deposit to be lost, but there’s no point in taking up such a large space for such a small gathering. Fortunately, I hadn’t given the rest of the Associates much down payment up front, ”he says.
Wedding planner Upendra Singh has booked performers like Jaslin Matharu, Milind Gaba, Silver String Band, and Rocky Star Band for upcoming weddings, but he’s not sure what to expect. “We’ve given advances to most of them, but now some customers are saying to wait and watch and not release more advances. Tickets were booked, but weddings turned into a smaller affair, so nothing can be done. While we’ve also asked celebrities to be on hold, we have no idea when everything will be streamlined. Again, we are looking at losses, ”he said.
After a good season from November to December, Manoj Bachaani has achieved a major expansion at Moti Mahal Lawns for the coming season, but the current scenario does not seem in his favor.
“We had anticipated a very good wedding season, but due to the fear of the new variant we are all extremely concerned. People are reducing 1000 packs to 100-200 and if that continues it will be a major loss. With the nightly curfew starting at 10pm, it’s obvious weddings will be minimalist, so for now, it looks like our planning and preparations have gone haywire.
Top designer Jameel Shamsi booked for people from various parts of the country and now with the rapidly changing storyline they have no idea how to proceed. “We use artisans from different parts of the country for themed weddings. Tickets were booked and planning was done months ago, but now customers have started to change their plans. It’s entirely possible if they don’t have guests outside and with the imposed nighttime curfew and the uncertainty ahead, it’s sure to happen, ”he says.
Umesh Ahuja, who runs the Golden Blossom Resort, adds that 13 departments are involved in a wedding and with every change things are bound to change. “We’ve been through a rough patch the last couple of years and now, when things finally started to improve, we’re back to square one. As service providers, we have no options as we have to meet government standards and modify according to clients’ needs. Most of them have already warned that if the spread of the virus increases, they will rework the plan. Unfortunately, we are once again facing a wave that does not seem so deadly, but there is still too much fear and uncertainty just yet, ”he said.
Ahuja adds, “Everyone is praying now that the phase will go smoothly because until June they have a good wedding season in front of Ahuja.”