New Delhi: Vignesh KM and Anjali Ranjith - a couple from Kerala - had been planning their wedding for over a year when the coronavirus-induced lockdown upended their big day's plan.
The young couple, however, maintained a never-say-die attitude and decided to go ahead with the scheduled date and pulled off a spectacular wedding with more than a hundred guests from across the world, including the parents of the bride and groom, joining in the celebration over the video conferencing app Zoom.
The ceremony was held in the groom's flat with the help of his roommates, one of whom acted as the representative of the couple's family and performed the rituals with them.
"Luckily everything went well. A stable internet and technology enabled our family and friends from all around the globe to join the virtual marriage. It was an entirely different experience but a really memorable one," said Vignesh.
The groom, wearing a white shirt with a traditional white ‘mundu’ (a garment worn around the waist) and the bride in a white saree with blue border and gold zari work, exchanged garlands and floral bouquets as the wedding song - Mangalyam - from the Tamil film Alaipayuthe played in the background.
The couple also designed a special invitation card for the virtual wedding, carrying a Zoom id and password to log into the celebration.
Vignesh and Anjali, with their jobs in Pune, were supposed to travel to their homes in Kerala for their summer wedding but couldn't due to the lockdown.
"During the initial days of lockdown we had the hopes of being able to get home at least by the first week of May. But as the days went by, we started to realise that we won't be able to go, but still we did not want to postpone the wedding," said Anjali.
Their parents, who logged in from Kerala to watch the event, sent mangalsutra (an auspicious thread tied by the groom around the bride's neck) and wedding attire for the couple through speed post when the lockdown restrictions were relaxed in the state.
The couple also gave a big shout out to the Indian Post for the on time delivery amid the lockdown.
The national lockdown precipitated by the highly contagious coronavirus was imposed as the wedding season was in full swing.
India's marriage industry is estimated to be worth around $40-$50 billion with more than 10 million weddings annually, according to advisory firm KPMG.
The sector -- like the rest of the economy -- has been hard hit by the pandemic with those involved in the planning and execution of weddings incurring huge losses.
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