If you’re a bride-to-be and don’t wish to postpone the happy day, here’s how you can go about it while staying safe.

Getting married during COVID-19? Here are 6 things to keep in mind

Whether or not it’s something you’ve dreamed of since you were a little girl, having the ‘perfect wedding’ is a rite of passage for women (and men) around the world. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has not been too considerate about our major life plans for 2020. While the lockdown restrictions have been eased, the ‘big fat Indian wedding’ is still not easy to pull off. 

As a bride-to-be, you can go ahead with your wedding plans and tie the knot in 2020 itself, so long as you are willing to make some major adjustments and compromises. If getting married while wearing masks is not your idea of a dream wedding, or if you want to invite your extended family, it’s best to reconsider and postpone your wedding date. 

If none of that matters and starting a new life with your partner is what’s most important, here are some things you should keep in mind while you plan for the big day: 

1. Trim your wedding guest list

The only people needed at a wedding are the bride, groom, the wedding officiator, immediate family, and a few close friends. To that effect, the guidelines issued by the central government for weddings during the pandemic state that no wedding function can have more than 50 guests. So, you’ll need to sit down with your partner and do some furious brainstorming to decide whom to include in your guest list. Just think of the people you genuinely want to share your happiness with. For everyone else, social media pictures and celebrations can be a good alternative. 

2. Update your wedding invitations

Wedding invites in the time of coronavirus may have to be different from traditional ones, both in the format and the content. E-invites are the way to go, and you can use free design platforms such as Canva to create them yourself. This will save you a lot of money and allow some great customisation options. As for the content, you should clearly inform your guests of the required social distancing norms. For instance, it is mandatory to wear a mask during the wedding ceremony, which will have to be shorter than usual. Most importantly, remember that you cannot invite any guest who lives in a containment zone. 

Related: 6 Financial conversations you must have before getting married

3. Rethink the choice of venue 

If you had initially planned for a destination wedding, you’ll have to look for an alternative closer to home. While wedding halls are an option, it would be best if you can think of a venue that’s smaller, more intimate, and away from crowded/public spaces. Renting a villa with a huge yard that’s a short drive away can be a great option, both in terms of ambience and the ability to enforce social distancing. Alternatively, the venue can be your own home, if your wedding guest list is small (say, 15 or under). Just ensure that whichever venue you select, it’s not in or near a containment zone.

4. Get creative with entertainment and gifts

You may have planned to book a singer or band for the event. But now, the best thing to do is to check your guest list to see if any of your friends or relatives can sing well and/or play an instrument, and ask them to entertain guests at your function. For the décor, instead of hiring a wedding planner, you could rope in close friends and family. Since the venue may be smaller, DIY wedding décor will be easier to manage. When it comes to gifts, it may not be prudent to ask your guests to get them to the venue – all the handling and managing of parcels could be potentially unsafe. Instead, you could request them to deliver gifts directly to your home, or take a rain check. 

Related: How does a woman's financial situation changes when she gets married?

5. Be careful with the food on offer

No wedding is complete without delectable food and yours shouldn't be any different! Considering the pandemic, however, you will have to be extra cautious about the caterer you hire. You'll have to make sure that they follow all the required food and safety standards and practices. You may have to brainstorm with the chef about the meals which would be the safest to cook and serve and use disposable cutlery. If you and your partner don't feel comfortable with this, maybe you can opt for a potluck asking each of your guests to bring one of your favourite meals. With only 50 guests, it will be an intimate affair and eating homecooked meals may give everyone peace of mind. 

6. Reassess your wedding budget 

The one bright spot of scaling down a wedding due to the pandemic is that you’ll be saving a lot of money! Whether that’s because of changing your venue, doing away with the catering, or simply cutting down your guest list – your wedding budget will significantly reduce. It’s essential to reassess each of these categories in your budget as per the changes in your wedding plan and to save the excess money. You don’t have to think about what to do with it right now; simply invest it. Later, when things go back to normal, you can spend it on a luxurious honeymoon or make a down payment on your new home.

Related: Planning to share a property? Here are some pros and cons 

Government guidelines and lockdown restrictions change frequently, so it’s good to keep an eye on the news and be aware of the latest updates. Finally, it’s essential to remember that the most important thing about your wedding remains unchanged – the person you’re marrying and the love that you both share. Congratulations!