Bride and Groom’s Full Name:
Karishma Chouglay and Zayd Rawoot
Karishma Chouglay and Zayd Rawoot got married at home with a small intimate wedding with hundreds of guests watching the religious Muslim Nikkah via. Zoom. Many weddings have unfortunately been postponed due to Covid19, with some people opting for a small home ceremony that complies with Lockdown rules. Karishma kindly answers our questions on how she was able to create her lockdown wedding under the circumstances.
What was your initial reaction when you found out about lockdown?
Three weeks before our original wedding date we were facing imminent lockdown and we started to face the reality that our wedding may not go ahead as planned. I called my fiancé in tears not knowing what our next move was. We were offered the opportunity of possibly bringing the wedding forward but with Covid-19 on the rise, we did not want to put any of our loved ones at risk. With great sadness, we made the decision to postpone our wedding indefinitely.
How quickly did you manage to organise a lockdown wedding?
As we had planned for our wedding in April, everything was already in place. We decided on Monday 1st June that on Sunday 7th June we would be having our virtual wedding. Our outfits were ready, my jewellery in place, and the guests were on standby.
Were there any parts in particular which were challenging?
One of the most challenging aspects for me was having to do my own hair, makeup and mehndi and everything else in between. I had my makeup artist, Sana, on video call helping me every step of the way. The most difficult part was trying to get my hair into an updo and then pin my matha-patti on my own.
Any parts which were surprisingly easy?
The ease with which everything came together. Although we had a basic plan in mind, it turned out better than expected. Andria from @magicalcakery downsized our original four-tier wedding cake to a two-tier lockdown version. Mo from @kadiris_london pulled together a wedding menu that was fit for a royal banquet at such short notice. @blu.ivy florist created a fabulous bouquet that complimented my outfit perfectly.
Any virtual shopping tips for fashion and jewellery?
Check out Instagram for inspiration! I was fortunate enough to have had real-life consultations for my bridal jewellery with Anita at Red Dot Jewels. I had taken my outfit in and tried on several pieces before deciding on my wedding set. I based my hair and makeup style on a photo from their Instagram. My wedding dress was actually my mother’s wedding dupatta that I had re-made into a gown. I had always wanted to try and use my mother’s wedding dress and once I got engaged (Sept 2019), I took the dupatta to a local fashion designer and we brainstormed how we could make the dupatta into a wedding outfit. We browsed Instagram for inspiration for styles and agreed to make a long top out of the dupatta that would go over a floor-length dress.
Who was actually present at the wedding ceremony in person?
It was just our parents and the Imam, who is the groom’s uncle!
How many guests attended the Zoom wedding?
We had 200 devices logged in with circa 500 guests.
What surprised you about the zoom wedding?
We were both surprised by the number of people that logged in for our wedding and that the majority of them watched the whole 5 hours! We also loved the fact that they all dressed up in their wedding attire. Some even had biryani at the ready!
Was it more exciting than expected?
It was definitely more exciting than we expected, and we had such a fun experience. We got to interact with our guests and listen to all their beautiful messages. The actual Zoom coverage of the wedding was nothing short of amazing thanks to our three hosts, located in Bristol, High Wycombe and Dubai.
Any advice for other couples planning their lockdown wedding?
Be positive and make the most of the situation. Wear the clothes you planned to wear for your big day. Assign a couple of family members who won’t be with you as your Zoom hosts. They will be able to control the guests and help coordinate the technicality of orchestrating such an event.
We’re seeing more and more people choosing to continue with their wedding ceremonies at home with limiting the number of people that attend and allowing for virtual access to family and friends. We look forward to seeing the wedding industry go uninterrupted with people pursuing an intimate wedding. The message of love conquers all is evident in the pursual of weddings worldwide complying by safety measures.