With plans in kitty – from where to stand to the spot where rings would be exchanged, we had it all figured out two months before the D-Day. As OCD-prone as the family and the event manager had been about planning, it was not a surprise that there were excel sheets for items ranging from make-up to decorations that would be put up. I was never introduced to Microsoft Office better ever before.
However, COVID-19 had flushed all plans and dates down the drain and everyone was more than disappointed. Reminiscing about how excited we were while planning everything, we would sip our coffee and tea across the screens. Postponing the ceremony was going to be not just painful but also a tedious process as we would have to wait for another semester to be over. COVID has not left any hope of getting back home by August for most of us.
Aiming for December, we were going to find time to revive, rejuvenate, relax ourselves and reinforce our organizational skills, very much needed after cancelling flights, venue, and other bookings.
Two days before the D-day approached, the idea of performing the ceremony online dawned upon us. Zoom calls began with opening an excel workbook and discussing why a virtual engagement would or would not be a good idea. As expected most of the aunts and uncles were unhappy as they exclaimed, “Shaadi mein laddoo nahi khaye toh kya hi kar liya”. Fair enough! All of us wanted to see each other on the special day and some of looked forward to the day as an opportunity to come back home.
After a two hour long war of words, everyone finally agreed to do the virtual engagement followed by making everyone download zoom on their phones and laptops and doing a mock call. This was followed by arrangements to make sure nobody is left out due to limited number of participants. And as much as planning went into that, we had every minute planned.
Muhurta (the auspicious time) was to be strictly followed and there was no question about losing connection or availability. Also now that we were all at home with nowhere to go, none of the teenagers and the-next-in-line to get married youngsters were going to escape the nosy relatives. A separate WhatsApp group was created with a dress code (important to note that the bride and groom were in their semi-pajamas for the ceremony). We finished the hilarious ceremony where presents were taken and given out of thin air (a huge disappointment).
Relatives reminisced about how the bride and groom were annoying and naughty as kids and embarrassed them as much as possible and since this was happening in the common room there was no way the gossip was going to stay within a group of aunts in a corner (something we instantly regretted as soon as they started talking, the only time we regretted). There was poetry read and the father got emotional way earlier than we expected. He had already travelled into future and was bidding farewell to her.
What made us happy and the two hour call stretched to four was the fact that no one missed the ceremony. Every aunt, uncle, grandma and grandpa and not to forget few days old nephew of mine were able to attend it.
One of a kind and the very first experience for all of us, it has been the roller-coaster ride filled with endless laughters and some embarrassing moments. Would definitely recommend people to do their ceremonies online and celebrate when the lockdown lifts.