THE SEASON FOR HYBRID WEDDINGS
Stand witness to the ‘dhoom-dham’ of a venue dressed up like a bride to match the ‘aarbhadam’ of the bride’s gold jewelry. Enjoy the ‘chehal-pehal’ of bride’s party running off with the groom’s shoes and in dramatic response the groom insists on taking off on a Kashi yatra. Piece all these elements together and you get the great big Indian wedding.
The year 2020, saw the big fat Indian wedding come to a jerky halt. The sudden outburst of the COVID-19 virus and the consequent disruptions and restrictions enforced on social events had couples and their families either cancel or reschedule weddings. With the pandemic uncertainty pervading into 2021, what will be the fate of the Indian wedding? Disappointed couples wonder “will we have to strike off friends?” The elders worry “will customs and rituals get chopped?” Distant friends and relatives fear “will I be able to participate?”
Words like “quiet,” “simple,” “intimate” and “cos y” do not resonate at all with Indian weddings. Such words mean that there is a great big something missing. But don’t hang up your Sherwani’s yet as all hope is not lost.
The second wave of the pandemic brings good news for wedding buffs in 2021 – it heralds the season of hybrid weddings.
You may have heard of a hybrid tomato or a hybrid car and if you are digitally updated you may have heard of hybrid cloud, but what is a hybrid wedding?
A hybrid wedding is one that has two components, an in-person segment that includes all the elements of a traditional wedding event – the bride & groom, their families, pre-wedding rituals, the ceremony itself and the post-wedding party time, the food, the music and dance, etc. The second part is a virtual one, that involves capturing all these activities closely using the latest AV and broadcasting technology and live streaming it.
Where traditionally all invitees were required to assemble into a single space to endorse and exalt the couple, a hybrid wedding facilitates everyone attending from anywhere. Much like the great Indian cricket match where all the action on the playing field is captured using high-definition cameras and cutting-edge technology. This is then replicated to a great big and excited audience almost as soon as it happens. Similarly, a hybrid wedding makes it possible for all the couples loved ones, family, friends and well-wishers from any part of the world to witness the big day just as it is plays out.
The elements vital to a successful hybrid wedding are:
- Hybrid events still need venues. Only the choice need not be based on the length of the guest list. A venue with multiple indoor and outdoor spaces to host the main ceremony and its allied pre and post rituals is best suited as it allows for the cameras to capture a lot of backdrop adding wonderment for hosts and guests alike.
- In a hybrid wedding it is the technology that acts as a bridge between virtual and in-person attendees.
The venue should have the technology capability and the digital infrastructure to support hybrid weddings. A robust high bandwidth Wi-Fi connection that supports the additional load of livestreaming is an absolute necessity.
- Top-notch AV equipment like high-definition cameras and high-quality microphones that provide a rich experience for virtual audience is paramount. A venue that plugs-in technology and filming support for hybrid events is an advantage for hybrid weddings.
The season for hybrid weddings is already here and it is expected to be around for quite a while. Hybrid weddings are the perfect answer to socially responsible weddings in the prolonged pandemic period. It is also the smart way to ensure that the bride and groom’s most important day will go exactly as it was envisioned and planned, but with the added advantage of everyone they want celebrating with them.
With its potential to make things really personal as well as flaunt it globally, such weddings will soon become a channel that carries the incredible spirit of Indian weddings forward, making it bigger and fatter than it already is.
It is about time that we embraced the hybrid weddings.