The Big, Fat Indian Wedding: What To Do When Your Backup Plan Needs a Backup Plan

How to keep your spirits up when wedding planning in a quarantine

South Asian culture places little in as high regard as the grand and sacred ritual of marriage. The big, fat, Indian wedding is not just a ceremony where two people in love unite and make a life-long commitment to one another, but it is also a major milestone for the couple’s immediate family, their hundreds of extended relatives, and their droves of friends, near and far. It holds significance and impact for everyone involved, because in our culture, community is everything. In other words - when we celebrate, we celebrate together…and when we're mourning, we do that together too.

That’s why we at Riya Collective want to be your go-to guide and resource for this unprecedented time where COVID—19 has taken all planning for a toss. *(Besharam Plug: Join our FB community if you’re currently going through this, we have more resources for you.)* The only thing that can be done, given the uncertainty around the current state of affairs with nationwide (and global) travel restrictions and quarantines that have been put into place, is to find a way to move forward and to plan as best as you can for the unforeseeable future. Here is our take on what you can do to control the controllable and continue to plan your wedding during this global health crisis.

Let Your Fiancé Be Your Beyoncé 

Okay, to give some backstory - we LOVE Beyoncé and anytime we’re upset about something, we either let her croon and uplift us straight into a happy, energetic mood OR we wonder about what she would do in the predicament we’re currently in and act accordingly. Either way, it's a win-win. Spirits lifted, problem solved. What we mean to say is this - lean on your significant other in this troubled time and let them be your guiding beacon of light. After all, they are the reason you are having a wedding in the first place. Talk to each other and decide on a game-plan by figuring out what's a deal-breaker and what isn’t. Is the date what's most important, or keeping all of the same vendors you’ve already finalized? Can you reduce the guest count or maybe tier them (e.g. A, B, C) in accordance to how close they are to you? Go through all the details that have been worked on, and revisit what is the most essential for your happiness, and what can potentially be adjusted in light of the current climate. The most crucial thing is to rely on one another and move forward as a unit.

Plan B Will Be Your Best Friend

Many couples will be stuck on the decision of whether or not to postpone the wedding, given that the nature of COVID-19 is so unpredictable. Who’s to say that the tides won’t change and things will take a turn for the better right before your wedding date? In that case, you’d likely want to stick with your original plans. However, on the flip side, there’s no guarantee that the situation will significantly improve by the time your scheduled date rolls around either. If that happens, then what are you going to do

One thing is for sure - nobody has the right answer. Though staying optimistic and positive during this time is absolutely essential, more important still is to be practical and level-headed in the case that things don’t go as planned - that’s when Plan B comes into the mix. We suggest reaching out to your venue and other vendors as early as possible and finding out about their postponement policies. Start vetting out what dates they have available for the rest of the year. Considering that so many couples are in the same boat right now, dates are getting filled up quickly. While vendors are genuinely empathetic to your situation, they will likely need some notice if you want to have a tentative back-up date in place to roll your wedding out to --- just in case the first date is a no-go. Ask if they’d be willing to pencil you in for a back-up date, while still maintaining the original date. Check which back-up date has the most vendor availability and mark that across the board as your fall-back if things go awry. This way, you’ll be covered, whether your plan A comes through or not. If you have a planner, be sure to do this process with them as they might have more insight and pull with certain venues and vendors. If you don’t have a planner, work with your fiance and immediate family to come to a consensus you can all sign off on.

This Time Is A Blessing, Not A Curse

Once you have a plan in place for the logistics, it’s important to process and find a way forward. Remember that it’s natural to feel upset and overwhelmed by the state of affairs. Living in uncertainty, especially when it concerns such a significant, once-in-a-lifetime event like your wedding, is a lot for anyone to deal with. Be kind to yourself, be accepting of your emotions whatever they may be, and do your best to reframe the situation in your mind. Mindset can be a very powerful tool to battle anxiety - think about the fact that you get to savor this time being engaged to your partner a little bit longer. One way we think you can help change the perspective on the situation is by seeking inspiration together online to figure out fun and cute ways to add even more personal and special details into your wedding. From using Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, social media and even your married friends as a resource, research ways to incorporate little touches from your love story and relationship into your wedding festivities. These can go a long way in making it feel more intimate and magical for you. In doing this exercise with your soulmate, you continue fostering the excitement and energy you had when you first started the wedding planning process, and it will help pass the time as your big day approaches.

Manifest Your Perfect Wedding, Virtually

As we said, we are all for practicality, which is why we highly recommend having a Plan B, but at the end of the day, weddings are very much a “dream come true”, which means that you should keep taking the steps to turn your dream into reality. Something that will be infinitely helpful during this time is to continue working on what planning you can do from home, with the same vigor and enthusiasm as before. Looking forward to your perfect wedding band that’s going to match your gorgeous engagement ring? Start shopping online for it. Thinking about incorporating an element of vows into your ceremony? Begin writing all the reasons you’re grateful to be starting your new life together with your spouse-to-be. Excited to celebrate with your bridesmaids or groomsmen? Schedule bi-weekly virtual zoom calls where you sip on wine and touch base on any details you’re finalizing for the big day. Are you going to have your bridal party match? Start hyping them up by picking out patterns together! In this age of technology, anything is possible from the comfort of your home. You might as well take advantage of the digital age we live in.

We hope these tips are helpful and we want to continue supporting you in your wedding journey. Have a suggestion for what you’d like to see in our next blog post or a good tip to add to this one? Drop us a line at [email protected]. Remember, we rise together!

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