Wedding planners may be have been let in the lurch, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. However, love has given rise to enterprises called 'marriage shops' in the Panchkula district of Haryana. Amid opposition from family and friends, the demand for protection to 'runaway couples' increased significantly and so have enterprises that provide all the support that the grudging families usually do not.
Starting from wedding rituals in temples and gurudwaras to 'real' wedding certificates and a safe house for stay, these 'marriage shops' provide all services to couples looking for some safety.
These shops are located on the road to Mansa Devi Temple. The Times Of India reported that runaway couples usually want to hurriedly get married, collect proof and approach the High Court for protection from their families. The High Court receives over such 100 petitions every day, mostly from couples in Punjab and Haryana. The families of such couples oppose the union primarily on the grounds of caste, creed, or the same gotra.
Cost Of Wedding
The packages begin from ₹5,100 and range up to ₹16,000. The higher priced the packages are, the better the service is. For instance, the introductory price offers just wedding rituals and solemnising of the marriage, whereas the premium packages include wedding photography and a lawyer to assist the couple in filing a protection plea. These marriage shops also help in solemnising marriages of couples referred by advocates as proof of marriages to strengthen the petition.
Akhilesh Pandey, a priest, sitting inside one of the marriage shops, told the newspaper that his senior Pandit Rakesh Sharma is an expert in conducting such weddings and assists the couples to arrange for every possible document required for their petition. He said that the shopkeepers manage everything within two days, and nobody else guarantees this. They have conducted 70-80 weddings in a month.
After the process is complete, the newly married couples recommend these shops to other couples looking to marry without the family's consent.