Worried citizens cancel wedding, birthday parties

No one is willing to take risks in the wake of coronavirus scare

Popular spots like Church Street and Lalbagh were relatively empty on Friday afternoon and the weekend is unlikely to bring in the crowds as most families are staying at home in the wake of five people from Bengaluru testing positive for COVID-19.

Many people who were preparing for weddings and other functions are making alternative arrangements after Chief Minister Yediyurappa’s slew of precautionary measures. Large gatherings, including sporting events, have been banned for a week, and people have been urged not to conduct weddings and functions with more than 100 people.

Shortly after the announcement, caterers, wedding halls, party planners and other affiliated business owners were flooded with calls from clients. Manasa P. Kumar, a birthday party planner based out of the city, said “Around 30 birthday parties scheduled for March and April have been cancelled. Parents do not want to take the risk of engaging their children in large groups.”

One family in Bengaluru had to cancel their booking with a wedding organiser because it was scheduled to be at an exotic destination in India, and guests could not make travel arrangements. They finally decided to postpone celebrations. However many planners in the city said people had started cancelling functions from last week itself. “The government’s week-long ban has only intensified the trend,” said one planner.

Seetharaman Shetty, Managing Director of Pai Vista Banquet Halls, too, said that there has been a steep drop in the number of bookings from the past week. “Many weddings and other functions have been postponed as guests are wary of travelling from other cities,” he said.

Earlier, a client who had booked a marriage hall for 300 people reduced the guest list to 200. Now, they will either reduce the number to 100 or cancel it. “They said it was because most of them decided to not travel to the city,” he added.

COVID-19 has not only affected functions that were scheduled in March, but has events planned in April. Viveck Bharadwaj, Managing Director of Prratha Weddings, in Bengaluru, said, “One wedding scheduled for May got cancelled because the bride and groom were NRIs, and they could not travel.”

Caterers are worried about the slump. Shivaram, a caterer from Girinagar, predicted that cancellations will only shoot up in the coming weeks. “This will go on for at least a month more,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:39:38 AM |

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