Love in The Time of a Covid19 Lockdown – An Intimate At-Home Sikh Wedding
There’s no denying how much havoc the Covid19 lockdown is causing South Asian couples all around the world.
As the wedding industry deal with postponements and cancellations, there are many couples out there who are choosing to continue to celebrate their nuptials in intimate, at-home wedding ceremonies.
For bride, Leena, she and her husband, Akash had been dreaming of their big fat Indian wedding since 2018. As the government though started introducing tougher Covid lockdown laws and restrictions on wedding gatherings, the reality for them started to kick in.
Leena and Aakash were expected to get married in a large celebration this Autumn season. Instead, they decided to completely scale back plans by hosting an intimate at-home wedding in their family home.
The couple were fortunate enough to tie the knot with their families, even hosting a live Zoom stream with family and friends from all over the world.
Today, Leena has been kind enough to share her beautiful low-key, intimate at-home sikh wedding with our audiences, along with some helpful advice for couples facing similar battles.
This is love in the time of a Covid19 lockdown.
What was your original date?
We had planned our wedding date almost 2 years ago. A grand celebration with the wedding date set for Friday 10th April at Bivianos in Dural with the reception to be held at Hyatt Regency, Sydney.
What made you decide to go ahead and get married on the original date?
Early during the Covid19 crisis, we realised that our wedding was not likely to go ahead as planned. Aakash and I had a chat about what we would do during the worst-case scenario. We decided that in the end.. rain, hail or virus, we wanted to get married on our original wedding date.
We spoke to our families and came up with plan A, B and C. As the Covid19 lockdown laws slowly came into force, we adjusted our plans accordingly.
Were your vendors accommodating?
Most of our vendors were extremely accommodating. Some of them even offered to return the deposits, whilst others offered to postpone the events at no extra cost.
Obviously, this will be difficult given that dates are taken years in advance. I think though, that it’s important to remember this is hard time for the wedding industry and small businesses.
As difficult and emotional it was to unwind our wedding, our hearts also went out to our vendors who lost their livelihoods in just a short few weeks. I realised that it was as equally as hard a time for these guys.
How did you put everything together with limited time?
This credit definitely goes to our families and siblings! They organised video calls with our friends and family from all over the world. Everyone was so supportive with all the last minute changes.
Also, a special shout-out to our last minute vendors. We initially thought we’d do everything without our vendors because we weren’t sure what was and wasn’t allowed with the restrictions. It took these guys less than 72 hours’ notice (some even less than 12 hours’ notice) and they all did such an incredible job. Thank you Panilla Photography, Décor A Shaan and Fareha Bridal Studio.
Where was the wedding held?
We decided to get married at my home. Initially, because my doctor-brain thought this was the safest option! In the end we fell in love with the charm of getting married at home.
Actually, my parents got married at my mum’s family home 28 years ago, and there was something special in that for me and Aakash.
Yes, many challenges!
Our wedding fell right before the Covid19 lockdown.
It was all very sudden, and we only really realised that we would have to either cancel or postpone the wedding with only 3 to 4 weeks before the date.
Everything was planned – all the outfits, decor, stationery, accommodation for overseas guests, dance routines.. everything!
It was heartbreaking when we realised our international visitors would no longer make it. Coming to terms with unwinding a wedding and all the excitement of having extended family around, was definitely the biggest challenge for us.
The other big challenge was understanding the restrictions in the very beginning! You could have a boot camp with 10 people but a wedding with 5 people only?!
Aakash and I both understood the need for these social distancing regulations and did support them, but the conflicting messages from the government were really hard to navigate as we were trying to plan our intimate wedding.
In the end, we spoke to our local police stations sergeant to make sure we weren’t breaking any laws. A big shout out again to Don from Pannila Photography for helping us out.
Tell us all about your Sikh wedding ceremony.
Right up until the last week, we were tossing up as to whether we should only have our legal registration or a Sikh wedding ceremony. We decided to stick with the latter.
We had a small intimate Anand Karaj at my home. Quite possibly, the smallest Punjabi wedding we had ever attended! Our haldi and mehndi events at our respective homes with our immediate family but unfortunately, we had to call off our Sangeet and reception. We organised Zoom chats with close family and friends. A kudos to my brother for setting up this for all our events. We decided to wear our original outfits for the events and used as much of our beautiful wedding stationery that Leena of Ratanji Rani had designed for us.
Tell us a little about the styling of your intimate wedding.
Where was your outdoor photography shoot held?
The photoshoot with Don was held at a park behind by house. Don did an amazing job! With such short notice, social distancing restrictions and limited time, he still created magic.
We met Don during my bridal shower party and we instantly clicked with him! Don is really great at what he does and goes above and beyond for his clients. We literally asked him 5pm the day before the wedding!
He managed to get permission for an outdoor photo shoot, purchase post-wedding celebratory donuts and coffee and capture such beautiful, timeless photos of us. We are so glad we asked him and that we got some photos to capture the memories of what was truly a special day.
Any recommendations for other couples out there, thinking of postponing or hosting a wedding during the Covid19 lockdown?
I would really recommend other couples to be, to do the same thing. Due to the level of uncertainty, there’s no right or wrong answer here. However, having a back-up plan and organising the discussions early, makes what’s already such an emotional time, a lot easier.
Marrying online doesn’t feel so weird anymore right? Is this the new normal? That remains to be known. But, as we continue to grapple with tight restrictions, let’s embrace love in the time of a Covid19 lockdown.
If you would like some support during these difficult times, feel free to reach out to us via email, firstname.lastname@example.org and join our FREE private Facebook community group, dedicated to South Asian brides, HERE.
We would also love to hear your story of postponing your wedding! Whether you’ve decided to host an intimate ceremony or postponed to a later date, let us know maharanis.