In sickness and in health

Here’s what you need to know about postponing or canceling your wedding due to coronavirus.

The world changed overnight even before we could grasp what was going on. It was peak wedding season when we heard whispers about coronavirus that soon grew into a noise that was hard to ignore and not long after that the world came to a grinding halt.

Couples who got married just before lock down were immensely lucky, but what about those who had paid for everything and the weddings were to take place soon. Where does this lock down leave them? Can they get refunds and start all over again, when can they safely start planning again? Then there are clients who have weddings booked as far out as November and December. Should they still go ahead with their plans? Will guests travel to attend? Will it be safe enough?

We don’t have answers to all these questions. However over the past few weeks we thought hard about the next steps to safe guard the interests of our existing clients as well as accepting future bookings. Below are scenarios that most couples planning to get married this year are facing and here’s our advice to them.

If you plan on going ahead with the wedding as planned:

If you have wedding dates set in the near future and, perhaps for auspicious reasons, you absolutely want to stick to these dates we suggest you have a registered marriage and postpone the celebrations with your loved ones until it is safe to do so.

If you have a wedding planned towards the end of the year and you are restricted by family and work related factors to still go ahead with the wedding as planned, we suggest you scale down the guest list, cut down the number of functions and make the wedding a simpler, more intimate and meaningful affair. Do make sure that there are no government restrictions at the chosen venue on social gatherings before you move ahead with the plans. Politely advise and request your guests if any one of them is feeling unwell not to attend the wedding.

Another category of people you will need to be sensitive about are the elders in the family. For most Indian families and couples the blessings of their grandparents and elders during a wedding is not just cultural but an emotional aspect. During this time of COVID 19 care should be taken that they don’t have to travel long distances by flights or otherwise as they are most susceptible to health risks.

If you plan on cancelling the wedding:

Most venues, vendors and planners have a force majeure clause in their contracts because of which they are not under legal obligation to return advance payments. However it is the first time mankind has faced a situation so unprecedented. Every vendor will hopefully do the right thing and help you minimize your loss by either refunding all or a fair share of what you paid them. It is completely understandable that you feel upset, frustrated and annoyed at having to not only cancel the most precious celebration of your life but also lose a lot of money for no fault of yours.

At such times its best to not let emotions get in the way. Discuss with your vendor calmly and come to a middle ground solution which is fair to both sides and helps minimize the losses at both ends.

If you plan to reschedule your wedding:

If your wedding was scheduled during the lock down then there is no choice but to postpone the wedding. In which case,

1. Find another suitable date. Speak to family, the priest and loved ones who will travel and come up with a date that is convenient for everyone.

2. Speak to your venue first and check availability for the new date. While venues might not be in a position to refund your money they will try their best to accommodate your new dates and transfer the advance towards that.

3. Speak to your wedding planner for their availability. At Divya Vithika Wedding Planners we are giving priority to our existing clients who will need to reschedule to next year before signing up with new clients.

4. If you don’t already have a list, start a list of all the vendors you have made advance payments to. Designers, decorator, caterer, photographer, makeup artist, etc. When reaching out to vendors about postponing your wedding, we recommend that you email them. That way, you’ll have a written record to refer back to and it’ll be a lot easier than trying to remember what you agreed with some many different vendors on phone call conversations.

5. Make sure you agree with them that your dates might change again if the situation on COVID-19 doesn’t improve or in the unfortunate case that one of you might test positive.

If you are still unsure about what to do:

Many couples who are in the middle of their planning for a wedding later this year are unsure about what to do. Right now, it feels like a gamble to reschedule because there is so much uncertainty about the future.  A lot of our clients are Non Resident Indians who were to get married in India in November and December this year. To them our advice has been to wait and watch and not make any major decisions just yet. Since we have time we can take that call by July or even August.

For couples that had celebrations lined up in April to July, domestically, at this time we recommend you move your wedding through August, and possibly into September with a clear understanding with all involved vendors that dates might be changed again if things haven’t opened up by then. For International destinations consider postponing all 2020 weddings to 2021 because there are travel restrictions and bans on large social gatherings to limit the spread of the coronavirus and we don’t know how long that might stay in force. Until there is a vaccine for the COVID-19, travel will continue to be a risk.

We have postponed all our weddings between now and July. Our clients are working towards new dates and we are working closely with the vendors to ensure that they are given priority.

We understand how uncertain, challenging and stressful this time is for couples. It is only natural for you to cry and vent. But remember as far as you have each other that’s the most important thing and when the time comes to celebrate your wedding it will mean even more, knowing what you have been through together and survived.

A Fairytale Indian Wedding Reception

Watch this fairytale wedding reception come to life as hundreds of professionals work day and night to make this a reality. While you won’t witness the months of hard work, endless sleepless nights and tight deadlines this video will give you some perspective of the challenges, commitment, teamwork and zeal that goes into planning a successful wedding.

Watch out for these Wedding trends

DivyaVithika Wedding Planners reveal their annual predictions for the hottest wedding trends on the horizon for this year.

From the right proposal to the best honeymoon destinations, we have you covered. Divya and Vithika give you a run down on the trends.

The Wedding Proposal: Proposals are getting more personal and unique; simply getting down on bended knee to pop the question now seems to be a thing of the past. In India the proposal trend is gaining momentum.  More men are opting to propose to their girlfriends with creative proposals even if they are having arranged marriages.

With the arrival of social media like Facebook and YouTube, guys are thinking outside the box.  More men are opting to document their marriage proposal by hiring professional photographers and videographers. Bollywood themed proposals are still the most popular and our personal favorite.

Orange-Wedding-Inspiration2Wedding Branding – We love how weddings are going more and more in the direction of unique and ultimate personalization!  From personalized monograms to fancy websites couples are going for the whole shebang and branding their entire wedding . And why not? Branding your wedding from beginning to end is a sophisticated way to carry through a theme and/or color palette.

Wedding Stationary – We will see more and more couples getting very creative with the way they invite their loved ones. Video wedding invitations will be the way forward in 2014. There are a lot of advantages of these invitations. They are very personal, you get to know when your guests have seen your invitation, RSVP ing is much easier than the traditional way of doing it, and there are no hassles of postage or couriers that can be unreliable. Check this simple video invite we created for one of our clients.

Wedding TrousseauWedding trousseau – Resort bridal wear will be big this year. With more beach weddings than ever designers will cater to bridal needs by designing clothes that are a classic fusion of East meets West with a good mix of traditional intricacies in modern silhouettes. Think gowns with ornamental trims, light weight and flowy saree and lehenga’s in romantic shades.

Airbrush makeup – The New Year will see brides choose air brush makeup instead of traditional make up. In case you are wondering what is airbrush makeup? It is just a different way of applying foundation. The airbrush pixelates a fine mist of foundation on to the face resulting in a flawless, even, and long-lasting finish.

The reasons airbrush makeup is gaining popularity is not having to worry about bleeding makeup- retouches and most importantly getting make up on your dress. The makeup is long lasting and that means flawless photos.

Photo booths – are nothing new for weddings. What is exciting is that this year marks the entry of the slow-motion video booth. Using a special infrared camera, a videographer creates an amazing keepsake.

Mimosa BarFood – Do it yourself bars are going to be very big this year.  Based on the event and the time of the day choose from different themes like mimosa bars for afternoon mehendi parties, popcorn bars for a fun sangeet and fruit bars for the dessert at the reception.

Another big trend this year is the late night snack after dinner. Couples love incorporating their favorite late night snacks to their wedding party.” After everybody’s been fed, the couple will send out trays of fun food – like pizza, tacos or mini idli’s. This is generally for the younger crowd looking for a snack after dancing and drinking.”

Honeymoon ideasHot honeymoon trends – As a new generation of tech savvy couples take their age old traditional vows they bring their own desires and tastes into their honey moon plans. Armed with their Googlemaps and information from sites like Trip Advisor honeymooners are choosing to venture to less travelled destinations like Morocco, Costa Rica and Turkey. More and more couples will look for interest specific destinations like Paris to experience the culinary delights, a cruise down the river Nile for an intimate cruise or a safari in Africa for an adventure of a life time.

However the unfavorable exchange rates will see more couples opt for honeymoons within India and thank god we are blessed with some amazing choices.

Our Top 5 Garden Wedding Venues in Bangalore

True to its reputation as the garden city of India Bangalore has some beautiful garden venues for your celebrations.This combined with its international feel and cosmopolitan appeal makes Bangalore a great wedding destination. Check out our top 5 garden wedding venues in Bangalore.

Tamarind Tree:

Nestled in a five acre garden of beautiful trees including the original tamarind tree after which it was named, a natural pond, colonial Bandstand, elegant pavilions, and ample open spaces, The Tamarind Tree is a place like none other.

Welcoming antique doorways lead you in to traditional courtyards, interwoven by cobble-stoned pathways. Elegant pavilions and panoramic beauty  make you surrender to the charm of this magical garden.

Two large kitchens, a very special Sheesh Mahal bar and ample food counter space, comfortably accommodate up to 1500 guests. The grand guest house and two villas can accommodate up to 25 guests. Engulfed in the midst of tropical gardens, the villas feature luxurious bedrooms, open to sky bathrooms, verandahs, outdoor seating, lotus pond courtyards, large water urns, a unique collection of art, antique furniture, and collectibles making it perfect your family gathering.

The Taj West End

Bangalore’s only legendary hotel is an event space like none other in the world. The Taj West End has 20 acres of lush captivating gardens and graceful gathering spaces. Some of the most valuable heritage tress in the city can be found on the hotel property. So pervasive is the influence of the surrounding flora that all the residential blocks have been named after flowers. Guests can stay in the Gardenia, Magnolia, Frangipani and Lotus blocks, just to name a few.

So treat your guests to one of the 117 rooms and suites. Each has a private balcony or verandah, luxurious bathroom, contemporary furniture and a vibrant colour scheme that emphasize the modern, yet warm, appeal of the interior.

At The Taj West End, our favorite venue for a wedding is the Prince of Wales lawn, which is spread over 11,000 sq.ft.

 

 

Elements

Choose to hold an afternoon wedding celebration as the fabric themed decor transforms the gardens to a riot of tastefully crafted sunshades. Then move to an evening reception where one flick of a switch will transform the gardens to resemble a moonlit paradise. Host a smaller celebration for your special guests by the private pool at the Bridal Villa. Walk the aisle to the Bridal Villa through a host of butterflies sharing your celebrations.

The uniquely designed Maharani’s Mandapa is floating on water and connected by a bridge to the mainland. Take your vows surrounded by water as you see a cascade of flowers falling down the slopes of the garden.

While the eight luxuriously appointed rooms, give your wedding guests an experience to remember, the Bridal Villa with its temperature controlled pool and its own manicured garden, will make it a night to remember.

The Oberoi Bangalore

The Oberoi Bangalore definitely lives up to its reputation of being an island of calm and green soothing beauty in the midst of all the noise and chaos of MG Road. All the tastefully appointed rooms have large balconies that overlook the beautiful gardens.

Start your wedding celebrations with a romantic dinner at Rim Naam a beautiful alfresco restaurant nestled amongst rain trees, bamboo groves and tropical gardens. There can’t be a better location to spend an evening together dreaming of all the beautiful things to come.

Host a pub style lunch at The Polo Club which stands out as a perfect reflection of the garden city! Offering breathtaking views of the garden. Celebrate your wedding/reception at the outdoor swimming pool amidst palm and frangipani trees.

Golden Palms Hotel and Spa

The Golden Palms Hotel & Spa is a 5 star property just outside Bangalore which is built in the rugged grandeur of the Moorish – Spanish casitas. Capturing the breath of fresh air with lush foliage, sprawling lawns, exquisite architecture and landscaping create an ambience that is perfect for your special day.

The Hotel comprises of 150 rooms including suites and provides a range of facilities for its wedding guests including a Spa with 75,000 square feet area, specialized restaurants and bars, a 135 meter lagoon shaped swimming pool and ball rooms which make great venues for weddings. Our personal favorite in the island in the middle of the swimming pool which makes for an amazing mantap.

Contact us to plan your next celebration at these stylish and peaceful locations combined with excellent service, lovely rooms and the wonderful Bangalore weather that can make every celebration blissful.