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The wedding lockdown

elhi-based lawyer and chartered accountant Priyanka Mongia, 30, was supposed to get married on April 5 but had to call off the wedding celebrations on March 13 after India announced a ban on international travel to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While her friends suggested a simple ceremony, Mongia refused. Most of the guests of her three-day weekend wedding were coming from across the globe—UK, US, Malaysia and Singapore. “We had only read about pandemics like the Black Plague and the disruptions they caused in history books. I never thought I would ever witness a similar post-modern situation,” she says. A hotel in Gurgaon, which was supposed to be their wedding venue, has refused to issue a refund, but has agreed to put it towards an advance for a future date that the couple decides on. But it is too early for that decision, says Mongia: “I can’t foresee a wedding till a vaccine for the coronavirus becomes available.” A few thousand weddings across the country have been called off with couples unwilling to tie the knot without relatives and friends. Rescheduling weddings is not free of complications either. “Indian weddings, especially Hindu ceremonies, are specific about date and timings,” says Himanshu Sharma, founder, the Wedding Matinee, referring to the “mahurat” (a religious auspicious moment), that rules Hindu weddings. The weddings which were planned for April and May cannot be easily rescheduled, which will lead to losses. Akshay Tritiya, an auspicious occasion among Hindus, is a busy day for those in the wedding business. This year, however, they are all without work. “The Indian wedding market is estimated to be $50 billion according to a report by KPMG released in 2017. This year, 80 per cent of destination weddings have been postponed and it looks like the “big fat Indian wedding” will no longer be big or fa

Source : https://www.indiatoday.in/india-today-insight/story/the-wedding-lockdown-1671797-2020-04-27