The story of a real Hindu wedding at Battersea Arts Centre during covid. Join us in The Grand Hall with Toastmaster Sonal Dave at a Covid Wedding with the rules and regulations that no one really wanted or understood.
Wedding Venue – Battersea Arts Centre Grand Hall
As I arrive at The Grand Hall, on the wedding day of N and S, I walk up the few steps slowly and steadily, as I admire the architecture of the building. The entrance takes you into the Octagonal Hall with a mosaic floor and stained glass-domed ceiling. It really is impressive but there is more to come. The Octagonal Hall takes you to the actual Grand Hall with the stunning lattice ceiling, the huge windows and the height of the Hall is impressive. The beautiful architecture continues throughout the Grand Hall and even the corridors. It really is a dream venue for a Hindu Wedding Ceremony.
Covid Wedding Rules
Having to first understand the Covid wedding rules and then interpret them to make them understandable for the guests was an interesting task. It was something like, fill in the form on arrival to confirm you have done the lateral flow test before arrival, masks off when outside, masks on when in the Octagonal Hall, masks on when walking into The Grand Hall and masks off when you sit down. It was a definite challenge ensuring all guests understood but to help them I also explained in English and Gujarati. I suppose what makes this even more interesting is that I was never taught the word for masks.So it just became masks in both languages as did the names of the areas. I did get some smiles from the guests and thank you for explaining to help the elders.
The Wedding at Battersea Arts Centre
The Mandap, the decor, the use of the grand space was just so awesome. As each guest walked into the Grand Hall, you could see their faces shine bright with huge smiles. It really was just beautiful. With the limitations on numbers the guests had plenty of space to sit and enjoy the wedding. It all happened so smoothly, with the couple enjoying themselves and the family and guests quietly listening to everything that was said by the priest. My role as Toastmaster was made easy as the guests just followed my instructions. I was so ready with what needed to be done in advance, happily working with the suppliers as well as through the wedding ceremony that we finished early. Now that doesn’t happen often in an Hindu wedding but I know it helps.
The Wedding Reception at Battersea Arts Centre
A quick turnaround of the Grand Hall, after the Hindu Ceremony, ready for the Reception. Canapes and Drinks outside (no masks), music in the background and a huge round of applause and cheers as the couple arrive dressed to impress for their reception.
Everyone goes inside to the Grand Hall, masks on, and once seated on the long tables, masks off, chatter, catch-ups, food, speeches and the DJ playing intense tracks allowing the couple and guests to dance in their seats.
This will definitely be a day to remember. Not only because the couple were just so lovely, but the venue, the wonderful team of suppliers and we were able to ensure that the couple had their special day as planned.
As Toastmaster, it’s always lovely to have an event where everyone is there for the couple. Thank you for having me.
Catering – Payal Events
Mandap & Decor – Jay & I Events
Wedding Ceremony Music – Shyam Music
Reception Music – Divine Musiq
Dhol Players – The Dhol Show
Photography – Bhavesh Chauhan Photography
Videography – Kat Films
Live Stream – Avari Events
Priest – Ravi Shastri
Venue – Battersea Arts Centre
Wedding Car – Xclusive Service
Wedding Cake – The Dulcet Bakery
Toastmaster – Sonal Dave