Wedding industry in the doldrums as families postpone events due to lockdown

Preparations were on in full swing for the wedding of the Chauhan family’s eldest daughter. The e-cards had been designed and mailed. The traditional invitation cards were being distributed and the women of the family were on a shopping spree with less than a month to go for the function.

But just four days before the ritual of peeli chitthi, a formal invitation to the groom’s family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown.

“We were hopeful that the situation would become normal before the wedding day but the lockdown was extended on April 14, just three days before the wedding,” said Satish Chauhan, a resident of Sector 4.

Soon, it became evident that the wedding would not be possible any time soon. All relatives and friends were accordingly informed. “We had to send cancellation e-cards,” said Mr. Chauhan, a manager at Rohtak Sarv Haryana Gramin Bank.

The wedding of his cousin’s daughter also had to be postponed.

Mr. Chauhan has postponed the booking at a wedding palace on Old Delhi-Gurugram Road to December 10. His cousin has decided on November 26 as the new date.

A manager of a wedding hall said they had three marriage bookings for April and May but they have all been postponed till the end of the year. “Usually we get a dozen bookings during the wedding season, but no bookings have been received for June and July. It is not clear how long the lockdown will last. People are confused, so there are no new bookings,” he said.

The manager added that besides marriage hall owners, allied industries such as tent owners, photographers, flower sellers, and caterers were also suffering.

A lean year

Vivah Party Lawns co-owner Dinesh Yadav said he is bracing for a lean year as the “current wedding season is lost... and there are few auspicious dates for weddings in November and December compared to previous years”.

Haryana Party Lawns Association president Anil Rao, representing 72 wedding lawns, said a vast majority of their members had taken the lawns on lease and were hugely impacted by the lockdown.

“Their business is not likely to revive for long,” Mr. Rao said, adding that the government should waived their income and local taxes, pay outstanding dues to tent owners and give financial help of ₹2 lakh each to small businessmen.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 11:14:48 AM |

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