It wasn't a wedding they envisaged but for Dubai's M Asim and Kanpur's Tuba Fatima, the virtual ceremony was just perfect keeping in mind the current Covid-19-related crises. The duo was due to get married in Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah on April 9 but due to the lockdown restrictions in India and the UAE, they decided to solemnise their wedding "virtually" through a Zoom video call.
The wedding was set to take place at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai with around 700 guests from Dubai and 300 more from India. But due to repeated lockdowns in India, the marriage had to be postponed a number of times. While Asim is a businessman based in Dubai, Tuba is pursuing higher studies in London, and had flown down to Kanpur from where she was set to fly to Dubai with her family for the wedding.
"Although we had distributed around 500 wedding cards here in Dubai for the marriage, because of the repeated lockdowns we decided to cancel the celebrations at the hotel and solemnise the affair through video conferencing," said the groom's brother M Amir.
The date for the 'online nikah' was scheduled for May 28 and the extended families of both the bride and groom were informed about the timings of the ceremony so they too could be virtually present.
The bride and the groom were dressed in their wedding attire and so were their kith and kin, who were present online to attend the virtual wedding.
"On May 28, Tuba's family had arranged for an Imam at their house. There were witnesses from both families present during the video conference along with around 20 members from both parties. The ceremony, which began around 2pm IST (12.30pm Dubai time) on Zoom video conference, was completed in just half an hour."
"All the paperwork with the required permissions were done in India and couriered to us here. We then signed the papers and couriered them back to India. With all formalities done, the marriage certificate is now being made in India, which we will then get attested by the UAE authorities concerned, once things open up and the bride is here with the groom," Amir told Khaleej Times.
Keeping marriage a simple affair, Tuba and her family said they would use the money, that they had planned for the grand wedding, to help those affected by the Covid-19 crises in India.
Amir said: "The online event truly was a unique experience for both the families as it completely changed our perspective on weddings. Indian weddings are always about pomp and show and involve a lot of money and people. But after this virtual nikah, we realised that weddings can be a simple affair and yet have the same amount of happiness, fun and satisfaction. Everything doesn't have to be so complicated and extravagant, even simple things can bring in the same joy and happiness."
The families of the bride and groom said they pray the lockdown and flight restrictions across the world ease so the newly-weds can be united and then hold a small reception function in Dubai, where they can invite their near and dear ones to bless the couple.