Everything You MUST Know to Plan a COVID Wedding!

CPVID Wedding? Of course not a fun thing! With the shadi season in full swing and wedding celebrations embellishing these few months, the coronavirus threat does not appear to be waning and cases are still on the rise. This of course is a source of stress for any bride and groom preparing for their COVID wedding; with their plates already full with salon appointments, guest invitations, dance practices, and keeping their sanity amidst all the hustle, they now have to worry about the restrictions they now have maneuver through to stay safe and curb the spread of the virus. 

So if you’re a distressed resident of the twin cities and are on the brink of unleashing bridezilla mode (or groomzilla mode for that matter), this article might help you plan something to start your love story right and look back at memories that aren’t tarnished by the pandemic’s unpleasant effects. 

Planning is Your Best Friend

First and foremost, it is important to get a clear idea of the gravity of the pandemic and view everything from the perspective of a responsible citizen, because your safety and that of your loved ones come first. Alongside this, the government’s ever changing policies to control the spread of the virus must also be considered because at the end of the day these will be the most important determining factors of how your event will unfold. 

The government regulations change with the Covid situation so consider updating yourself with the latest announcements that affect your region. The restrictions may seem daunting at first but a bit of creativity and polishing will restore the shine of your celebration. The following rules bring with them an opportunity to test new avenues and introduce some unconventional additions to your event. 

COVID Wedding

For starters, outdoor COVID weddings have been all the rage these past few seasons, and Islamabad’s fresh air has always been celebrated, so what better time than now to take full advantage of all that your city has to offer? With the cold mornings of January being warmed by the gentle winter sun, these days are perfect to enjoy the daytime and the sun in all its splendor. Enjoy an afternoon of wedding festivities while the sun drapes your celebrations in its glittering glow, all while being cradled in the majestic Margallah hills and the cool azure of the January sky. 

When it comes to outdoor event venues, Islamabad is one city that does not disappoint. With attractive locations like Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa, both of which have hotels and lawns for booking medium-scaled events, to hotels like 1969 and Serena that have spacious gardens ideal for entertaining, the possibilities are endless.

A heartwarming day of wedding festivities under the rosy evening skies of Islamabad will be easy on your pocket and not to mention the beautiful sunkissed pictures you’ll get that will continue emanating that warm radiance for years and years to come.

If hosting an outdoor event wasn’t quite what you had in mind, it is always possible to go ahead with booking a marquee; one that complies with the government’s regulations. Some of the marquee managers have taken steps for adequate ventilation in their spaces by changing the setup of the marquee’s walls or ceilings. This practice allows the passage of fresh air throughout the event and has also been approved by the relevant authorities.

It is however to be kept in mind that this approach may have a higher risk of transmission of the virus amongst the people, so it is important to consider the safety of your guests before making a decision regarding the venue. 

With that being said, if you do decide to go for a wedding marquee, you’ll find a wide range of businesses operating in the E-11 sector as well as the Islamabad expressway, that will sit well with your budget and preferences

COVID Wedding SOPs

All of these marquees observe strict SOPs at all times:

  1. It is mandatory for the marquee staff to wear masks and gloves at all times. This applies to waiters, cooks, security guards, valets etc.
  2. Thorough disinfection of the premises before the event
  3. Organizing the tables keeping in mind the social distancing factor
  4. Temperature checking of all the guests at the entrance
  5. Some marquees will also ask the guests to pass through a disinfection station at the entrance

The Instagram Spam

Hiring the services of a good photographer will probably be the most crucial decision (maybe even more than your signature on the nikkah papers) that you’ll have to make. These captured moments will be what allows you to relive that magical day over and over again and will adorn the path of your fairytale with a timeless luminescence. So to make sure you get all those classic shots and some cute Instragrammable pictures with your significant other too, we did some digging, and here’s what we think:

  • When picking a photographer for your COVID Wedding, it’s best to sit down and discuss their hiring terms especially considering the covid situation. Some of the photographers we talked to, like coffeecloud photography and Asad Iqbaal, are accommodating their clients through flexible booking policies and shifting dates if it comes to that

  • Reviews are very important to go through to get an idea of the sort of person you’ll be working with for your photoshoots and whether you’ll be comfortable enough with them to get your desired shots

  • Most of these photographers are complying with the SOPs which is an added bonus. They do so by regularly disinfecting their equipment, wearing masks and social distancing

Makeup Matters (Literally!)

Finding a salon that caters specifically to your requirements is a hard job but this season, there is the added pressure of spending dollars on expensive salons and paying for advance booking, all while the threat of your event being cancelled looms over you. However, we dug around and found out that some salons and makeup artists are being particularly accommodating during these uncertain times, so that can do loads to ease the pressure on your already exhausted nerves.

  1. Be Salon Smart
  2. The trick is to look for salons that will go the extra mile to ensure your safety and also have flexible and accommodating policies that can be customized to suit your needs and peace of mind. Thankfully we did a little research for you and have a few examples of some salons in twin cities that will do just that, so you know what to look for when you go salon hunting. 

    With fewer weddings taking place this shadi season, some salons are offering promotional deals and discounted packages while others are trying to reassure their clients that their investment won’t go to naught and in some cases, they slash the advance payment unless the dates of your event overlap with the booking of another client. 

    1. One’s a Crowd

    Another option that you can opt for is the hiring of the services of a standalone makeup artist, which is both a feasible and a more convenient option in the pandemic. There are a number of makeup artists that provide home services all over the twin cities which makes their services safer than going to a salon for a makeover. 

    We talked to Asha who runs a bridal makeup studio that takes home appointments. You can find her on Instagram @asha.makeup_artist. The rates of her services range from Rs 24,000 to Rs 35,000 but it's her flexible policies during this season that are the real attraction. 

    • While her 50% advance payment is nonrefundable, Asha is very flexible with changing dates and updating the booking slots to accommodate the brides who have to cancel their events on the decided date.
    •  In order to make this a safe experience for both the client and herself, Asha disinfects all her products prior to the appointment and only the bride is allowed in the room during it.
     3. What are friends for?

    To make your experience of COVID Wedding even safer, another good idea could be to consider the services of a friend or a family member who has expertise in the makeup department. Apart from the risk of the transmission of the virus being reduced to a minimum, this comes with the added benefit of a reduced cost and a great bonding session with your friends or family. Not to mention that it’ll be easier to convey your exact preferences for the final look to your close ones so you won’t end up looking like a dish of falooda.

    So if you think you’re up for an unconventional (but more fun) getting-ready session, it is time to hit up that influencer friend of yours on Instagram or that one cousin who always looks flawless at every family event.

    The past few months have been tough for all of us and while we have been physically forced apart from our loved ones like never before, there is the capacity to form still more relationships and find pockets of joy amidst a storm. A wedding is more than a ceremony for us. From the shores of Karachi, to the quaint hills of Islamabad, and all the way to the valleys of Kashmir, our weddings bring families together and drum the air with laughter, music, colors, and joy. It’s not just a wedding. It’s a shadi. And we know how to do it right. Pandemic or not.