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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Wedding Overload - catching up with celebrations in 2021

Examining the new expectations and concerns about attending social engagements

New Realities around Wedding

Celebrations are in full swing making summer of 2021 one of the busiest of wedding seasons as couples catch up with postponed ceremonies or continue with their nuptials this year. At the other end of the spectrum guests are facing an unimaginable dilemma. Even though most are excited to be traveling and seeing their friends, they are held back with a lingering sense of unease, related to attending social gatherings.

The push and pull is hard to ignore. Wedding protocols have evolved quickly, the ritual of invitation is not as simple as sending out a save the date card followed by the invitation with RSVP and wedding registry information. Everyone is exercising utmost caution. Couples are taking extra steps to keep communicating to the guests and sending out additional details regarding health and safety precautions pertaining to the celebrations as well as making adjustments to the seating arrangements until the last minutes. Guests on their part are trying to balance protecting themselves and keeping their own family dynamic safe, while wanted to participate whole heartedly in the celebrations.

All in it Together

For many the challenges of traveling and staying in hotels stack up additional layers making the situation more complex. Even though most of us are grateful to be out of the confines of our home, and excited to catch up in person with family and friends once again, there is no getting away from the fact that we are also feeling overwhelmed by conflicting sensations. There is a squirming sense of wedding fatigue which leaves us feeling physically fatigued, socially and mentally exhausted and financially constrained, since the prices of everything have sky rocketed.

Psychologists concur saying, "It's totally normal after being stuck in isolation for a year to be nervous about large group events. We haven't had that kind of social interaction in a while."

In the past, weddings constituted high stress events for the bridal party. Now this is true for the wedding guests too. While most of us have been comfortable in our own bubble, we are still testing waters when it comes to mingling in larger groups. Making these choices can feel fraught with tension and leave everyone involved feeling overwhelmed. As one picks wedding outfits, one must also remember to bring along their proof of vaccination and masks, all the while wondering if other guests are comfortable hugging, fist bumping and whether to avoid the dance floor or mingle at cocktail hour.

Moderation the new normal?

Many families and couples are questioning if the big mega wedding is going to be a thing of the past ? Are scale back intimate weddings going to be the new trend moving forward? Resources are stretched for everyone. Vendors are facing their challenges too as their business picks up. The supply chain disruption has hit everyone where it hurts. There are slim picking for personnel too and custom clothes are requiring longer lead times. Shipments are delayed and the service industry is affected worldwide. Naturally the wedding business is also feeling the impact of this phenomena, adding another dimension to an already complex situation.

In spite of the ever evolving post pandemic situation and the mixed signals between guidelines, recommendations and restrictions issued from different agencies, no one should be taking away from the fact that weddings are once in a lifetime special event to be cherished forever. Many couples are finding more creative, fun ways to memorialize their day by opting for weekday weddings, outdoor events and daytime brunch or garden weddings, complete with breakfast spreads and lawn games, forgoing the customary ceremonies. According to a wedding planner some couples are going even one step further and choosing to forgo the traditional linear aisles and option for bespoke seating layouts in order to segregate by household, family, or friend groups. Zoom streaming of weddings have become an inherent component to include participation of guests who could not attend the festivities.

Milestones need to be celebrated and Covid has taught us to be inventive about just about everything. So it is not surprising that weddings and celebrations too are evolving as we dip our toes in these new social waters. Do share your experiences if you have attended any such events and seen how well couples, families and guests have integrated safety, celebration and socialization.

We are stronger together


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