Planning a wedding post COVID, here’s what to expect

Now that the pandemic is in our rear-view mirror and we all adapt to a new normal, couples have started to plan their wedding with trepidation mixed with cautious excitement. Everything about the way weddings once were has been affected, from venues and service levels to food and entertainment, and everything else in between. There is now a clear distinction between pre and post COVID weddings.

As the world collectively hits the resume button the ‘wedding boom’ is affecting couples in more ways than one. If you are just starting to plan your wedding or feeling overwhelmed by all the change and chaos then this article is just the thing you need to handhold you through the process.

Higher costs, more than just inflation

Rising inflations, the combination of cancellations and supply chain shortages caused by the pandemic have necessitated raising the prices for most vendors as they struggle to recoup lost revenue. The wedding industry was one of the first to be hit and among the last to recover from the pandemic it has meant that a lot of people have had to start over from the scratch.  

How to keep your wedding budgets in check in the current scenario?

Choose less popular dates: India’s wedding season is dictated by auspicious dates. Steer clear of these dates if possible. Everything from your venue, food, décor, makeup and photography can end up costing exponentially more during these periods.

Cut down the number of events or combine them: Each event comes with its own individual costs from the venue, food and décor to name a few. Combining events like Mehendi and Sangeet or wedding and reception can cut down your costs significantly.

Look for interesting off beat venues: Instead of a high-end hotel in the heart of the city opt for a venue on the outskirts to get better deals. Keep an eye out for interesting spaces that could be a quaint farmhouse or a garden, amphitheater or wedding hall.

Reduce taxes: The tax component at a 4 or 5 star hotel is usually a lot higher compared to an alternative venue. Make sure you look into this one detail that alone can save you a significant amount.

Trim down the guest list: Take cue for Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt‘s intimate celebrations. Remember if there is one thing that we have all learned from the pandemic is the desire for human connection and to celebrate with loved ones, no matter what that celebration looks like as far as the ones that truly matter are present at your most important day that’s all that counts.


With a backlog of two years where all celebrations were on pause, to couples who kept putting off their wedding date until it was safer, everyone is now relishing in the excitement of getting family and friends back together again. The demand that this has created for venues are at an all-time high especially during auspicious wedding dates when places are getting booked up to a year in advance.

Hotels now insist that you book a minimum number of rooms if you want their gardens and ballrooms. This is not a problem if you are organizing a destination wedding, but it gets challenging for couples who are either on a budget or getting married locally and don’t have room requirements.

The best way to counteract this challenge is to –

  1. Look for alternative venues like farmhouses, wedding halls, garden spaces, etc.
  2. Wait until closer to your wedding date. Usually if hotels have not sold the space a month or two prior to your wedding date then they might be willing to give you just the banquet/garden spaces.
  3. Ask your priest for plenty of date options. Keep in mind when you are venue hunting that the corporate as well as government sectors are also making up for their lost events. Stay away from dates when there are huge conferences going on, especially in metropolitan cities.


There will be more contracts and they’ll look different. When it came to force majeure, postponement, and cancellation, no one had imagined that there could be such an unprecedented global event that could bring the world to a complete halt. The contracts were written with individual ‘Act of God’ type events like a flooded venue or just one couple choosing to cancel their wedding. When COVID first hit, there was a scramble to try to figure out the fine print, and the best way to move forward. The pandemic has taught wedding vendors to recreate their contracts to better protect them in cases of emergencies.

Our advice is to read the fine print carefully. Ask for flexible cancellation policies. While no venue or vendor will return your advance, they should be open to shifting the dates in certain circumstances and giving credit notes.

Food and drinks

While delectable food is still one of the most important details for Indian weddings, the manner in which dishes are prepared and served follow a lot more stringent safety precautions. Expect UV plate sterilizers and individually packed cutlery and glasses. Most caterers have their staff wearing PPE kits along with masks, gloves, shoe covers and face shields.

Self-service buffets now have dedicated food handlers serving food items to guests instead of multiple guests touching the same serving spoon. Wedding menus have a greater emphasis on wellness-oriented food sections for healthier meals and a greater level of immunity.

Live streaming for family and friends

The rise of wedding streaming for loved ones tuning in from afar has become a must. Obtaining visas is still a challenge, ticket prices are sky rocketing, older guests are still uncomfortable with travelling or with large gatherings thus making live streaming more of a necessity now than a novelty. 

Open-air venues rise in popularity

More and more couples are looking for venues that are open spaces like gardens or well-ventilated spaces.


The term YOLO – You Only Live Once, has taken on a whole new meaning. 2022 wedding trends show that millennials have started splurging on their weddings, and who can blame them. Now, more than ever, people want to celebrate life after so many months of doom and gloom.

Dreamy Wedding Decor

This stunning five day wedding came together so beautifully with months of hard work and meticulous planning.

Different themes that were visually stunning, with delectable cuisines, foot tapping music and entertainment tailor-made for each occassion. All this and more made every single event memorable and an experience for the wedding guests.

Our team worked tirelessly round the clock taking care of guest hospitality for the 300 guests who flew in from around the world.

Photographs by The Wedding Story

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.