Weddings globally have taken a massive hit since Covid-19 turned the world upside down; forbidding gatherings in fear of the disease’s transmission. Thankfully, Dhaka and other cities are gradually lightening up the preventive measures gradually despite the epidemic persisting this late into the year. Regardless, safety is still paramount; so here is how you can get married in Bangladesh during Covid-19.
The Engagement Ceremony
Despite facing a constraint in attendees for this festive occasion, throwing an engagement party before the big day is still very possible. In Bangladesh, it is common to commemorate an engagement: a celebration that the bridegroom organises to ask the bride’s hand in marriage in the eyes of close family. The celebration happens in the home of the bride and always involves a lavish feast and a formal exchange of rings to seal the deal before the actual marriage.
As of late, these events have commonly taken place in banquet halls, but seeing as the epidemic is far from over - organising the engagement ceremony within the confines of the bride’s home isn’t a bad thing as it sets an intimate environment for both sides of the family and does not hamper the chances of a celebratory feast. Ideally, the fewer the attendees, the safer; which leads us to recommend at least five members from each side of the family at the maximum.
Sangeet, Mehendi and Gaye Holud
Those who choose to organise a Sangeet, Mehendi and Gaye Holud Ceremonies can still add flair to the festivity with music, dance and decor, but it’ll have to be either carefully organised with vendors or done DIY style. With strong encouragement to keep guests to the minimum due to the epidemic, it is critical that any visitors outside of the family (DJs, caterers, etc..) will have to be staggered and carefully monitored while they carry out their tasks in your home.
If you choose to take the helm of planning these events; organising a potluck system, creating a playlist for your sound system at home and vacating your living room space for dancing will not only make the affair a lot more personal, but it will be easy on your wallet too. In this difficult time, it would be straightforward to merge all three into one event, but if the bride wants to have her own Mehendi ceremony with their closest friends separately, that could definitely be a wonderful alternative if the aforementioned has been carried out safely.
This sacred ceremony won’t suffer too much from the current global situation, as Akht is a very personal union in the eyes of God and society that requires the minimum of two witnesses to help commemorate the unification of the couple through the signing of the registry. More may attend, and Akht can be mixed in with the next two ceremonies, but safe distancing and a small group of guests are still mandatory precautions to take.
The Wedding Ceremony & Reception
The big day in any culture has always demanded a large gathering of loved ones from the bridegroom and the bride’s lives to commemorate the once-in-a-lifetime festivity (hopefully). However, Covid-19 has forced couples everywhere to downsize the official celebration. Booking a luxurious venue could definitely apply to other festivities on this list, but none is higher on the priority list than the actual wedding.
Once again, it is vital to keep guests to a minimum despite no official hard cap being enforced. With countries opening up to have more than 30 people allowed in a single area, slight leniency can be accepted. Ideally wedding vendors, organisers and guests have their temperature taken and seated at least a few meters apart for safe distancing. Ultimately, it will be up to the bride and groom to figure out how many people can fit into the venue while following the recommended safety procedures. Being Covid-safe does unfortunately require a little more effort and compromise, but if basic safety measures are followed, everyone at your wedding can still let loose enough for us to put the global situation aside for a just a while.