Telangana weddings get creative: Covid-19 jab & OTT membership as gifts for guests | Hyderabad News – Times of India


HYDERABAD: Wedding planners in Telangana are busy these days, adjusting to the ‘new normal’ demands from families beyond the usual floral decorations and destination marriages.
As Telangana gears up for some 3 lakh marriages with the second Covid-19 wave ebbing, vaccinations for all guests, OTT memberships as gift, and YouTube premium passwords that can unlock the entire marriage as a three-hour package, are the flavour of the season.
“These days, demand is for innovative gifts for those who cannot attend the wedding due to restrictions. Bride or groom, many families are preferring OTT membership as return gifts. The trend began during the first wave of Covid-19, but now it has picked up a lot,” Ashok Patnaik, owner of a digital marketing company and a wedding planner, said.
While some are postponing weddings so as to hold grand celebrations later, many are organizing it in style, albeit with limited numbers.
Those who cannot make it to the wedding can watch the entire marriage, sitting hundreds of miles away, and still feel part of the proceedings.
“The video of my marriage will be posted on YouTube premium and with limited passwords. The passwords will be shared with near and dear ones, who otherwise would have attended the wedding but for the pandemic,” Sai Kumar, a groom, said.
Kiran Neta, an independent cameraman who works for several wedding photography companies, said the videos are hosted for two to three months.
The cost of such videos can go up to Rs 12 lakh. The shoot is in two parts, which includes two minutes of a promotional video, and 30 minutes of full video with celebrations,” Neta says, adding that the actual footage runs into several hours. Turns out, vaccines are also coming into play as part of the wedding preparation.
“Some families who are taking my help to perform the ritual have asked me to get vaccinated before the festivities. And some are even asking only vaccinated people to attend the wedding,” KVR Sharma, a priest from Chikkadpally, said.
A family in Jubilee Hills got the entire guests vaccinated before the marriage took place, while others are planning on similar lines.
“First, we asked our priest to get vaccinated; now, we told those on our guest list to get vaccinated. We were polite and said our wedding planner can also help, and it worked,” Chandrasekar Reddy, who got his daughter married a few days ago, said.
Every year, some 10-12 lakh weddings take place in Telangana, many in Hyderabad and its surrounding districts. Some are even sending digital video invitations to guests. “People are wearing masks, while fever checks and sanitizers are all in place. But during weddings, social distance goes for a toss,” Sharma, the priest, says.

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