Three months ago, we hadn’t even heard of a “Zoom Wedding”, and now couples across the globe are either looking for ways to host a virtual wedding or getting married virtually during these unprecedented times just like Shanti & Rishi.
The couple got married in an intimate wedding in Hong Kong with their closest friends and family, who attended the wedding personally and virtually.
The Wedding Story
Shanti & Rishi met at a mutual friend’s wedding in 2018. While Rishi was working his charm, he asked Shanti to join him for breakfast, and she accidentally replied, breakfast was “to the left” when in fact it was to the right. They both ended up waiting for each other at opposite wings of the hotel, both thinking they got stood up. Who knew this little mishap would start off their relationship as a running joke that leads to a real breakfast date later on.
Rishi proposed to Shanti at Rosewood Hotel, Hong Kong in April 2019, and it felt full circle and almost like fate that they were able to tie the knot at the same place.
What were the original plans to get married?
Their original plan was to get married in March at the Sheraton Grand Da Nang in Vietnam. They had a three-day wedding planned with over 500 guests, with a “Different Ways To Say I Love You” theme.
They had a spectacular celebration even during the lockdown, though they do hope to have a bigger celebration with family and friends once the global environment normalizes.
How did they decide on having a lockdown wedding!
They had initially taken the decision to postpone their wedding from March to May for the safety of their family and friends.
However with the uncertainty of global travel going forward, Shanti & Rishi felt that they wanted to begin their journey together, more than the destination wedding they had originally planned.
What were the ceremonies that happened?
They had a Misri, Mehndi, Navgrahi Pooja, and Wedding Ceremony followed by a Civil Ceremony.
Other than the wedding ceremony, all other functions were hosted in their respective homes, with a small group of family and close friends.
How many family members were part of the wedding?
Given the current situation and following government and hotel policy, the couple had an intimate ceremony of 50 people. And over 800 guests attended their wedding virtually through Zoom video call with 405 unique user screens.
Shanti shared, “We felt so blessed to be able to share this special moment with our loved ones. Our friends and family on Zoom even got dressed up and set up their homes in celebration of the wedding with flowers! It was so magical. We even had a chat wall with hundreds of messages and live chat where people could interact, comment, and feel like they were actually part of the wedding ceremony. We are lucky we could even go back and watch the recordings and interactions after our ceremony.”
How difficult has it been to get married during COVID 19?
The current situation has definitely forced the couple to be more agile and open-minded when making decisions. These included decisions to initially postpone their March destination wedding in Da Nang, Vietnam, to May, to doing the wedding at home in Hong Kong.
The couple shared, “It was definitely difficult trying to plan with all the restrictions and rules, nonetheless abiding by all of them. We were only allowed to have a total of 50 people in the wedding venue and even found it difficult to recruit vendors during this sensitive period. We learned there is always a DIY solution to every problem and how much you can achieve within your own home including DIY décor at home, Spotify music playlist, and even homemade mithai.”
Tips for to-be-brides
Our bride, Shanti shares some great tips for brides/couples planning to get married during the lockdown.
1. The first step is to decide what is most important to you. Is it the dream wedding or is it the desire to begin your life with your dream partner? For myself, I had spent months trying to meticulously plan the perfect wedding. However, when it came time to decide how to proceed, we either could wait with no idea when this would end, or try and make the best of the situation and try to be together.
2. Everything is possible – create your intention, make a plan, and go for it! The wedding, however it pans out, is going to be spectacular. Friends and family will come together to make it not just possible but beautifully possible. Every wedding is special in its own way, and you can always celebrate in the way you had planned in the future.”
Wedding Page: ShantisRishComeTrue
Photographer: Shah Studios Hong Kong; AliGPhoto
Heena Artist: HennaHongKong
Pre Wedding Makeup: Jennyd Mua ; Patrick Henri
Pre Wedding Hairstylist: Aaron Lam
Pre Wedding Jewellery: RoyalEntJewels
Bride Outfit: AnitaDongre
Wedding Jewelry: SabyasachiJewelry
Wedding Makeup Artist: Natasha Moor
Wedding Hairstylist: MudyWitty
Groom Outfit: ShyamalBhumika
Groom Shoes: ChanganiCouture