HYDERABAD: The pandemic had cast a gloom over several weddings last year. Small wedding celebrations came into vogue after the government imposed restrictions on the number of guests.
This year, though there aren’t restrictions yet, the second wave is witnessing mass cancellations of weddings. April-May is the season when several couples tie the knot, but Covid has other plans for us. Cancellations have resulted in major losses for people employed in the wedding industry, from hoteliers to caterers, wedding planners and florists.
“We have been planning to get married for the last two years. In 2020, many of our friends got married in smaller gatherings. We thought we’d wait till the situation gets better. So, this year we fixed the date for May 4. However, after our close relatives tested positive, we cancelled the wedding. A wedding should be a happy affair, not one where your life is in danger,” said 29-year-old Karishma Agrawal (name changed on request).
Another person, Kallepally Timothy, from Rajendranagar, whose daughter was going to get married on April 30 had to cancel the wedding as well. “The wedding was in Bengaluru. We had booked the venue, train tickets for relatives and other things in advance. The wedding preparations were going on since January, but now at the last moment, we cancelled the wedding as many of our close relatives are elderly people and we cannot put their lives at risk. We have lost a lot of money but safety is important,” he says.
Event planners, hoteliers, jewellers and other service providers are however down in the dumps. B Pawan, owner of 999 Events, says, “In Hyderabad, lakhs of people from West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Maharashtra, provide services like catering, decor and housekeeping during this peak wedding season. Now, people have called off their weddings. How do we pay the workers? As a consequence, several migrants have no choice but to leave for their native villages.” M Kapila from Hotel Aahwanam said, “This is the second fiscal year where the sector will incur huge losses due to Covid and it will take years to recover for the sector,” Kapila added.