For the wedding industry in the nation’s capital, it was permission to reopen rather than the hope of making a profit that showed a silver lining after three months of inactivity.
The Delhi government on Saturday allowed weddings at banquets, wedding halls and hotels with 50 people in attendance, and the reopening of gymnasiums and yoga centers at 50% capacity as part of the gradual unlock process initiated with an improvement in the city’s COVID-19 situation.
The relaxations will take effect from 5 a.m. on Monday.
Wedding planners and banquet hall owners have welcomed the Delhi government’s decision. They said, however, that they had no hope of making a profit this season.
âWe’re happy to have at least been allowed to open. After paying employees out of our pockets and suffering losses, we can at least make ends meet, âsaid Sunil Juneja of Precious Moments Banquets.
He said previously booked weddings that had been postponed will now be given priority, while new bookings have also started to arrive.
In the last year since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, the wedding industry has been hit hard by episodic lockdowns in March-September of last year and since April of this year have barred any lavish weddings from ‘take place.
Wedding planner Jitesh Khanna of The Velvet Weddings noted that as Delhi maintains strict lockdown guidelines, banned weddings or any sort of congregation since April, most of the planned weddings have been moved out of the city.
âSo now that 50 people are authorized, we are happy with the decision. And we hope soon that 100 people will be authorized. It’s any day better than no business, âYadav said.
However, he added, it would be difficult to keep the budget in check because a wedding at 50 requires as much preparation as a wedding at 200.
Shrawan Yadav of Shubh Muhurt Luxury Wedding Planners echoed Khanna’s thoughts and said that “they are not looking to make a profit because the reopening of the business is more important at the moment.”
The pandemic year has not been favorable for the industry, said Mohsin Khan of Vivah Luxury Weddings, as he said several people postponed their weddings last November after the Covid guidelines were revised.
âWe had no business last year. This year, too, the full wedding season has been lost due to the lockdown. Either people have postponed their weddings or have canceled their reservations altogether, âKhan said.
More than 50% of reservations have been canceled this year, he added.
Khan, who has been in the business for over 10 years now, said he doesn’t think about profits, but it’s a relief the company has at least reopened.
âNow the coronavirus is part of our life. We have to manage our life around him, according to him. At least we’ve been allowed to reopen, if all goes well we’ll have bigger marriages soon, âhe added.
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