Were you planning to get married this year? Or have you paid up for your son or daughter’s big fat destination wedding with all the bells and whistles?
Chances are that the wedding has either been cancelled, rescheduled or downsized, with something big planned for ‘when this is all over.’
All around the world, we hear the same story, of wedding vows postponed or extravagant weddings downsized. Simplicity is now the name of the game.
Instead of an exuberant wedding, many cut to the chase and have a virtual wedding, with guests attending from round the world to shower their love and blessings, all on the small screen.
Will we be telling future generations of those weddings of the glorious past, with thousands in attendance, the heaps of food, the entertainment, and the number of diamonds and emeralds sown on to the bride’s dress?
Along with the couple, so many others have been hit by this tidal wave, the entire flotsam and jetsam — wedding planners and providers, the dressmakers and caterers and florists and what-have-you.
Even the band and trumpet players, beauticians and henna-painters. Suddenly, an entire industry has been disbanded overnight.
Perhaps, along with all the other long-lasting changes that this virus brings in its wake is the big fat wedding itself. There are weddings, and there are weddings.
The simple act of two people exchanging vows and promising to spend their lives together for better or for worse, has in recent years been transformed into a mass entertainment with all stops pulled out.
That applies to both the well-heeled and the hoi polloi. Very rarely do you hear of a couple having a simple, quiet marriage with just family and close friends in attendance.
Tone down the extravagance
What naysayers had always warned about, to tone down the extravagance, has now been achieved almost overnight by a tiny, microscopic virus. Around the world, guest numbers have been drastically reduced.
Just as people are finally getting used to WFH, so too they’ll have a rethink about who to invite for their big day. The virus has made weddings a numbers game — limiting the number of guests.
Among all the jokes on corona going the rounds, the latest one is a video where some radio jockeys make a prank call pretending to be wedding event managers. It goes something like this:
‘Am I speaking to X?”
“Yes, I am X.”
‘We’re the event managers for your friend, Y’s wedding. We just want to inform you that your RAC is 55.1 per cent, and your wife’s 56.2 per cent.”
X is rightly confused, and asks what all this means. The prankster goes on to explain that RAC stands for Reservation Against Cancellation, and cheekily informs: ‘Now, if anyone cancels, your number will go up, and you may be one of the lucky 50 who can attend the wedding.’
X is naturally furious, and claims a friendship that goes back over two decades. The prankster goes on to say that if he pays a thousand rupees per family member, he’ll move his name up.
Some heated words are spoken, where the guest states he won’t be attending the wedding and will save money on the gift, and is about to cut the line when the RJ reveals his identity and says it is just a prank.
Well, as the saying goes, there’s a grain of truth in every joke. The takeaway from all this is, try to maintain good relations with your friends and relatives or else you may not make it into the wedding list!
But is that big fat wedding, with all its razzle and dazzle, a thing of the past? Will we be telling future generations of those weddings of the glorious past, with thousands in attendance, the heaps of food, the entertainment, and the number of diamonds and emeralds sown on to the bride’s dress?
I sincerely hope not. I’m waiting to attend the next flashy wedding (if I’m lucky enough to be invited) or at least read about one in the papers. Long live glitzy weddings!
— Padmini B. Sankar is a Dubai-based freelance writer and author of the forthcoming book, "The Mother of all Parties". Twitter: @paddersatdubai