Big fat Indian weddings have always been known for being just that – lavish & larger-than-life, a massive celebration with all the couple’s loved ones present to shower them with blessings as they commemorate their union. But early in 2020, the world changed overnight and we found ourselves in uncharted waters. COVID weddings mean uncertainty around the wedding date, sacrificing that ideal destination wedding and extensive guests lists that once included loved ones from across the globe have now been minimised to intimate weddings with sometimes even parents attending via Zoom calls.
The onset of the COVID-19 epidemic has posed a host of new challenges to the wedding industry. It has transformed the functioning of our businesses & forced newly engaged couples to completely change the idea of their dream wedding. But through this, our community has found new, mindful ways to continue their operations.
At Cinnamon Pictures, the safety of both our clients and our team is our highest priority. We take all the required precautions in line with the current mandate: our team is either fully vaccinated or awaiting the second dose of their COVID vaccination, our equipment is sanitized and our entire team is checked for body temperature and/or other symptoms before & after each shoot, we wear masks at all times (you’ll still get to know us well enough by our constant presence, don’t worry) and most importantly, we maintain social distance at all times.
As much as we miss hugging our happy couples and making special connections with their lovely guests, we are committed to ensuring everyone’s safety first.
The pandemic hasn’t just affected wedding photographers, but the wedding industry at large. Wedding planners, make-up artists and venues have all quickly learned new ways to cope with the drastic changes. Elizabeth Betsy Joy, a wedding planner at 3Productions Wedding Planning & Décor, says, “Small, intimate weddings have their own charm. It’s the trend we have been moving towards in the past decade and now, with the onset of the pandemic, it has become the norm. The current situation has surely opened our eyes to the need for more sustainable & socially responsible weddings which we as a company have always encouraged and worked toward.”
The Tamarind Tree, a charming 35-year old property in South Bangalore & one of the most popular wedding venues in the city, has also found new ways to continue operations while prioritising their guests’ safety. They make sure to keep honest and open lines of communication with potential guests.
"We now conduct events at our grounds strictly following the government and BBMP policy and follow all the social protocols essential to ensure safety. We have offered free change of dates and postponement of events to our guests given the travel constrictions that are imposed.”
Arvind Elangovan | Property Manager, The Tamarind Tree
Being a wedding photographer means one has to work in large gatherings. In the midst of a pandemic, this means we are putting ourselves & our loved ones at risk in order to be there on your big day. Some may ask, ‘Well, why put yourself through that’? Because, like everyone else, we too need to get out there and make a living. Just a few mindful adjustments to the way things have always been done, could ensure that your wedding vendors feel safe at your COVID wedding too.
We understand that it is difficult to maintain social distancing at a wedding. Guests tend to close-in or form groups to join in the rituals or capture some moments themselves. We know better than anyone how much fun it is to be right in the middle of all the action! But now more than ever, it is imperative that you ask your wedding guests to put their phones/cameras away, sit back and take in the gorgeous ceremonies while we put our best efforts into capturing the memories for you, ensuring all of us are safe. Trust us, we got you!
This also brings us to the new trend of clients asking for “COVID discounts” because the event is scaled down, there are fewer guests, COVID weddings are smaller, etc. It’s important to understand that while a lower guest list may directly affect something like your catering budget, these factors do not affect the quality of our services or our creativity & commitment to creating only the best memories for you.
Wedding photographers & wedding filmmakers spend the same time and effort filming & editing your films, still deliver the same number of photos; the make-up artist still spends the same amount of time working on the bride & other family members—all while also being out of their comfort zone, thanks to the pandemic. Our primary focus has always been on the close, tight circle of friends and family anyway, and that still remains the case with COVID weddings. Our rates only go up when we need to scale up our team size for those big, fat Indian weddings.
Keeping these things in mind, we would really appreciate your consideration of the fact that our industry is a high risk one, and asking us for discounts devalues our effort. Most vendors have always had special rates or packages for intimate weddings, so a better approach could be inquiring about those packages rather than asking for COVID discounts. Arjun Kartha of Twogether Studios explains this wonderfully & in detail in his blog here.
We empathise with all the brides and grooms-to-be who’ve had to re-adjust their plans, give up their version of that grand wedding and faced logistical nightmares over the past year. But there is comfort to be found in the fact that it is still possible to plan a wedding that is memorable, special and keeps everyone safe from this contagious virus. From digital invites & virtual tours to shortlist wedding trousseaus, more and more couples are exploring interesting & sustainable new ways to plan their COVID weddings. Many are appreciating what already exists – like their beautiful backyard instead of a banquet hall at a luxury hotel and have the time experiment with DIY decor for the first time ever!
To tell you the truth, we love intimate weddings & love seeing #backyardwedding #intimatewedding trending all over Instagram because in our experience, intimate weddings are always less chaotic & significantly ease the pressure on most families. This leads to them enjoying the wedding more and that means better pictures & footage! There is opportunity to savour every person, every moment, and really feel the love in the room. So let’s make the best of our collective reality and like always, we’re so excited to give these special, intimate memories back to you.
Until then, stay safe and stay healthy.
Love, Team C.