Do you know what's the latest #trend among the couples these days? Nah, it's just not about coordinating with each other or getting mehndi portraits of themselves. Rather, we've observed a sudden shift in mindset and weddings in particular where quarantined couples-to-be in 2020 are getting married in an intimate affair due to global pandemic.
Just like me, I am sure you also have your sweet wedding dreams where you see yourself wearing a stunning Sabyasachi lehenga, pairing up gorgeous baubles, and adorning your hands and feet with pretty lotus motif mehndi! But hold on! This wasn't the case at this wedding. Planning her wedding from the last 6 months, our bride Chaitali was supposed to have a big fat Punjabi wedding in Chandigarh but later it turned into an intimate lockdown wedding in Delhi, which the families never planned & anticipated about.
"Well, we met 6 years ago during our post-graduation. We became friends instantly and started dating a year after that. We were hesitant to get committed because we didn’t want to ruin our friendship cos what if our relationship wouldn't work, but we agreed since we really wanted to be together. And, guess what? 5 years later, we’re married and still each other’s best friend first. We’re the “Monica & Chandler” of our friend's group," said our bride Chaitali.
Soon after deciding to get hitched forever, they had a grand engagement ceremony that took place in Chandigarh on 16th March, a few days before the national lockdown was declared. Lucky enough that they celebrated this day with their loved ones. Following our bride thought to have a dream fairytale wedding but it looked like that God had some other plans for them.
The nation was under lockdown. And, for them, the series of events that followed were completely surprising & shocking! "Both of our families waited till 15th April, thinking the lockdown might get lifted and we’ll be able to have our wedding. But slowly we realized that those dreams might not come true. Me and my fiancé, who has been my best friend for years, decided to postpone the wedding further to the end of 2020 so that we can celebrate it with all of our friends and relatives. We contacted our vendors, discussed the way forward for postponing, or cancelling the wedding," revealed Chaitali.
Where the couple & families confirmed on cancelling the wedding, their intimate wedding at the bride's home in Delhi was all written in the stars! Chaitali Puri stated, "On 1st May, the day our sangeet was initially planned, my would-be father-in-law called at 12 pm asking if we’d still like to get married on the date we had initially planned, i.e, 2nd May. We were completely shocked and didn’t know what to do. But we wanted to try. Honestly, This lockdown made us miss each other more every day and we really wanted to start our lives together. We just wanted to be together, so we said YES!"
Now, what followed was 12 hours of complete madness!
Be it requesting the authorities for special permission to get married, which they received at 6 pm or quickly arranging for a pandit by 7 pm, this #PuriNitinKi Lockdown Wedding was an emotional roller coaster ride for the family. As everything in the nation was still dicey, the groom and his parents had to cross state borders on road to come for the wedding that seemed nothing less than a task. Travelling overnight, Nitin & his family finally reached Chaitali's place the next morning.
"I still hadn’t collected my wedding lehenga from Om Prakash Jawahar Lal, so I decided to wear my mother’s saree bought from Meena Bazaar. I hadn’t purchased my wedding jewelry, so I wore my Nani's vintage gold choker. I did my hair & makeup on my own on the day of the wedding. The same happened with my fiancé as well, he had not collected his sherwani and decided to wear a tuxedo. The wedding was an intimate beautiful affair. We did our pheras with our closest family, with our friends & other relatives joining the wedding on a Zoom video call. It took a pandemic to make me realize that spending my life with my best friend, who I’ve been dating for years, is what I wanted. We traveled the same day back to Chandigarh, where my in-laws have their family home," she said.
Dancing, wine, and everything fine! #Throwback to Chaitali & Nitin's engagement ceremony that took place in Chandigarh in March. For her ring ceremony, our bride wore a custom made raw silk midnight blue lehenga that was intricated beautifully with zari handiwork. Pairing a stunning meenakari jewellery by Soni Sapphire & glowy bridal makeup by Mohita Nangia Makeup Artist she made a happy bride! On the other hand, Nitin wore a black custom made bandhgala from a boutique in Lajpat Nagar.
"We absolutely loved creating her outfit from scratch with each motif carefully hand created and approved by her. The outfit took a month to create & the result was absolutely beautiful and graceful," said The Robe.
"I had always dreamt of having a big Punjabi wedding, with unlimited alcohol & a DJ that played music all night and festivities that lasted for days. Never did I ever imagine to get married in my own house with 10 people, wearing my mom’s saree & jewellery, with my friends/family watching my wedding at their homes on video calls. It made me realise how over the years we’ve associated weddings with fun, dances, food, alcohol, clothes & jewellery rather than cherishing the smaller things in life. There are so many people that I know whose weddings were cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, but God had some other plans for us. I am so happy we got married the way we did, with people closest to us."
When asked about any future plans for celebrating their nuptial ceremonies she said, "Yes, once the situation calms down, we will host a reception. We’ve decided to do small cocktail & mehndi functions a day before our reception to enjoy all the festivities. We’ve kind of fallen in love with the idea of intimate gatherings, it’s strange but true. His dream Baraat entry on his royal Enfield bike & my bridal entry with my mom & dad will happen on the reception and we might not do the pheras again but let’s see."
Do you have any tips or suggestions for the brides who're planning their wedding during the Coronavirus outbreak?
Photographer: Creatif Films By Sahil Arora | Venue: Chandigarh Club (Engagement Ceremony), Bride's Home in Delhi (Wedding) | Brides Outfit: The Robe (Engagement Ceremony), Meena Bazaar (Wedding) | Groom's Outfit: Boutique in Lajpat Nagar (Engagement Ceremony) | Makeup: Mohita Nangia Makeup Artist (Engagement Ceremony), Chaitali Puri (Wedding) | Jewellery: Soni Sapphire (Engagement Ceremony), Grandmother's Vintage Gold Choker (Wedding)