British-Indian Couple Host UK’s First Drive-In Wedding; 250 Guests Watch From Cars

indian drive in wedding
by Sanjana Shenoy
by Sanjana Shenoy 1948

While many may agree that it is the coronavirus and not love, that is in the air, Cupid’s arrows continue to pierce hearts anyway. And we believe it is better to be lovesick then you know. Anyway, this pandemic played party pooper for all the soulmates who wanted to tie the knot this year. The social distancing guidelines cap on gathering posed a concern for many families. But one British-Indian couple tried a tongue in cheek method and well, we have swooned! A British-Indian couple hosted the UK’s first drive-in wedding. Over 250 guests watched the wedding from their cars. Read on to find out more.

Indian Couple Hosted The First-Ever Drive-In Wedding In The UK

Roma Popat and Vinal Patel were originally due to get married on April 20. But when lockdown disrupted their plans, they discussed the concept of a drive-in wedding. They talked about this concept in a matter of humour with their wedding coordinator, Saheli Events. However, what began as a joke became a reality. On October 2,  the couple married in front of a small gathering of their immediate family. They projected the ceremony onto a big screen in a field. Family and friends seated in more than 100 cars at Braxted Park in Chelmsford watched this wedding with bated breaths.

Picture Credits: BBC

Saheli Mirpuri, Founder & Director of Saheli Events remarked, “We’re delighted with how both the wedding ceremony and drive-in has gone.” She added, “This year has been so difficult for luxury Asian weddings and celebrations in particular, but this was a creative way to still ensure that guests felt they were with the couple on the day, and we’re delighted to have worked with so many amazing suppliers to bring everything together.”

Also Read: After Virtual Weddings, Now Graduation Ceremonies To Be Held Online

The UK government guidelines allows only 15 people at wedding ceremonies. As a result, many couples postponed their weddings or looked out for virtual options to invite guests on their big day. The bride Roma said, “When we had to postpone our wedding in April, we had no idea whether we might be ready to marry this year or not…We have numerous friends and family and that we wanted them to be a part of our celebration. It literally meant everything to us to possess everyone there, albeit during a slightly different thanks to the one we envisaged. it is a day we’ll always remember.”

Picture Credits:

Over 250 Guests Sat In Their Cars, Received Sanitisers & Ordered Food From Their Vehicles

On arrival at the drive-in wedding, guests seated in their cars received welcome hampers containing anti-bacterial hand gel.  Organisers requested them to remain in their vehicles throughout the ceremony. The guests ordered food from their respective seats through a COVID-safe delivery service. If they needed any help, they flashed their lights or hazard flashers. The traditional Hindu wedding unfolded on the large screen. The groom entered grandly, and travelled around the field, waving to the guests in their cars. Guests honked as he travelled past on a specially decorated golf buggy. A member of venue staff wearing a protective mask drove this.

Also Read: Maharashtra Couple Skips Grand Celebrations, Donates 50 Beds On Wedding Day

Picture Credits: BBC

Newly Weds Travelled Around In A Golf Buggy & Waved To The Guests After The Wedding

After the completion of the intimate ceremony, the newly-weds then travelled around the field on an equivalent golf buggy, waving to their friends and families inside their cars. The couple were also ready to watch a specially filmed tribute for them on the drive-in screen made by guests unable to be with them on the day.

Also Read: UK Couple Exchange Onion Rings At Burger King After Wedding Gets Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Picture Credits: BBC

Braxted Park, the marriage and events venue which hosted the weird drive-in wedding, said it’s since been receiving several inquiries from couples keen to organise their big day under similar COVID-secure settings. Under tougher restrictions that came in last month, maximum guest numbers at wedding ceremonies and sit-down receptions in England were halved from an initial 30 to 15 amid a spike in coronavirus infections. However, they were included as an exception to the broader rules banning groups of quite six from gathering.

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