From big fat to short and simple wedding
COVID-19, News

From big fat to short and simple wedding

May 20, 2020

Will ‘at home marriages’ be the in-thing henceforth?

Mysore/Mysuru: Novel Coronavirus crisis has felled many. And the ‘big fat Indian wedding’ is surely one among them. Thousands gather for dazzling multi-day weddings which are fun, lavish and it fuels a massive industry. Thanks to a Coronavirus-affected world, these weddings are seen now as virus-super-spreader events and many stay away from them. 

So, the weddings adopted to a new normal – simple and a small affair with limited guests. While many couples have taken the easy way out and postponed their weddings hoping for better days, many weddings are conducted as spartan affairs with just the couple and their immediate families. And instead of choultries, such ceremonies are held at homes. 

Theetharamada Gagan Appaiah and Kuttanda Kavery.

Weddings at homes

The couple, their parents, a few relatives and some close friends can be in attendance at homes and it is possible to do a simple wedding with just 50 or so people as per the Government guidelines. At such a spartan wedding, all guests can wear masks and gloves and social distancing could be maintained at all times, and food could be served carefully to prevent any congestion at the tables.

This is the way weddings are happening in Kodagu district and in Mysuru for the past one month during lockdown which also covered a peak marriage season. Numbers of small marriage ceremonies that have taken place in the districts suggest that more and more people are liking it.

Kunchettira Jayanth Subbaiah, an Officer in the Indian Navy at Karwar, was to get married to K. Prajna at Napoklu Kodava Samaja on May 9 and 10 and had invited over 2,000 guests for a grand ceremony. But due to COVID-19 lockdown, the family elders decided to conduct the wedding in their house and only 20 to 25 close relatives were invited. Social distancing was strictly followed at the small event. 

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Small but traditional

Theetharamada Gagan Appaiah got married to Kuttanda Kavery (Kirthana) in a simple ceremony on May 6 at their homes in a traditional Kodava ‘single muhurtha’ ceremony. Their wedding was originally planned on Apr. 29 at Palm Valley near Gonikoppal and due to lockdown, the family decided to keep it a small affair. 

Gagan’s father Vijay told ‘Star of Mysore’ that only 20 to 25 close relatives participated in the wedding. “Both of our families were comfortable with the small ceremony. But we made sure that all the Kodava traditions were followed and we were happy for our children. It was a simple but traditional ceremony and I am planning a similar ceremony for my younger son Ben Aiyappa,” he said. 

Ranjitha and Sreenidhi were to get married on Apr. 29 and 30 and they had booked a Choultry in Mysuru after paying Rs. 90,000 advance. Due to lockdown, both the families decided to perform the wedding at the bride’s home in city. They got married on Apr. 30 at a simple ceremony and only 20 close relatives were in attendance. 

No lavish affair

Nayakanda Sona married Karthamada Sunil in a traditional ceremony at one of their elders’ home and over 50 guests participated. Both the traditional Kodava Oorkuduva ceremony and the Dampathi Muhurtha were held at home and all the traditions were followed. 

Sanjith, a resident of Mysuru, planned a lavish wedding on May 3 at a reputed Choultry on the Ring Road in Mysuru and had paid an advance of Rs. 1.25 lakh. “Due to lockdown, our families decided to hold the wedding in the first week of June. It will be a small ceremony at home and only close relatives will be invited,” Sanjith said. 

Nayakanda Sona and Karthamada Sunil.

Lockdown-forced move 

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Commenting on many people catching up with a trend of simple weddings at their homes, former President of Mysore Kodava Samaja Moovera K. Kuttappa told ‘SOM’ that it is a lockdown-forced move. “Once the lockdown is lifted, things will be normal,” he said. 

“Earlier, all weddings in Kodagu were held at homes and Ain Manes (traditional Kodava ancestral home). Later, we shifted to Kodava Samajas. Now due to lockdown, we are back to home weddings. I am happy that all Kodava traditions are followed. But if you take a larger picture, it is a loss to the Kodava Samajas who have properties, marriage halls and staff to maintain. If weddings are held at Samajas, there will be revenues to support Kodava institutions. If not, it is a loss,” he pointed out. 

“Marriages during lockdown are very slim affairs and may not find traction in the society. But we believe a trend has been set to reduce marriages to a one-day affair instead of two days. 100 guests are acceptable from either side and a marriage banquet for 200 people is much more manageable than one for 1,000,” said one of the office-bearers of Ponnampet Kodava Samaja.

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