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Increase in wedding guests rejected by high court

Increase in wedding guests rejected by high court

For most couples, a Covid wedding is a no-no, while others are getting creative…

ARTICLE BY : Kaleel Anwar

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While we are now going through a second lockdown, the best we can hope for is that the wedding industry is allowed to return to the three-tiered Covid alerts system (which allows just 15 guests) from 2nd December.

These extremely burdensome restrictions are likely to cause an increase in action being taken by the wedding industry as wedding operators struggle to stay afloat. Last month, a large wedding operator applied for an injunction to the High Court in a bid to prevent the enforcement of these restrictions. But the company was unsuccessful, dealing a further blow to the industry.

While couples up and down the country are struggling to come to terms with this new norm, many are embracing alternative options in which they can adhere to Government guidelines, generating some form of income for the industry to keep it ticking along.

However, for Asian families, weddings mean something different, and so making it Covid-friendly is simply out of the question. Many couples have already bought a house and began paying the mortgage on it, unable to move in until after they are married, thus feeling the full financial and emotional force of Covid-19. Cohabitation prior to marriage isn’t permissible in Islam and frowned upon within other faiths prevalent in the Subcontinent.

Years of saving up for three days of celebrations amongst family members (who have flown in from all around the world) which cannot go ahead in the current climate, as a result, some couples have had to reschedule their wedding three times in the hope that restrictions will be lifted soon.

However, many Asian couples who feel that waiting is too much of a burden on them are now looking at creative ways for their big day to go ahead. Some are finding extravagant ways, such as one Asian couple who had a drive-in wedding in which their two hundred guests stayed in their cars and watched the ceremony on the big screen, while being handed hampers containing food.

Other Asian couples are turning to more low-key affairs, choosing to have a smaller wedding in the family home.

Whether cancelling weddings or finding alternative ways of celebrating, Covid is threatening to cause irreparable damage to the wedding industry, in many instances couples and their families feel they have no other choice, unsure about how long the pandemic and subsequent effects will go on for.

In the meantime, businesses continue their attempts to reason with the government, with suggestions that a similar logic be applied to weddings as there is in place with restaurants. Many venue managers argue that the size of a venue should be taken into account rather than an arbitrary figure of 15 being imposed. With Asian weddings usually taking place in halls that can seat over a thousand people, many are arguing that weddings should be able to go ahead provided social distancing is maintained.

Perhaps the government could look at how this is affecting religious groups and look at applying some more relaxed measures to empathise with the incredibly difficult position this is putting individuals in.

But in the meantime, while Covid restrictions are unlikely to be lifted any time soon, South Asian families would do well to consider the creative ways in which they can celebrate their nuptials so that they can finally begin moving forward with their lives.

Kaleel Anwar is a Partner specialising in South Asian, Islamic and Civil law at Stowe Family Law

Photography: David Bastianoni and Studio, Imaani Photography, Muse Motion Pictures, Zohaib Ali Photography 

Tags : Covid Wedding  Wedding Guests  Indian Wedding  Asian Wedding 
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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PLAN THE HAPPIEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE