My big fat socially-distanced drive-in Indian wedding is Covid-proof way to get hitched

More than two hundred guests attended an extraordinary socially-distanced drive-in Indian wedding in Essex.

Roma Popat and her husband Vinal Patel got round the government’s wedding restrictions, which limit attendance to 15, by keeping guests outside in their cars at Braxted Park in Chelmsford.

Roma Popat and her new husband Vinal Patel Credit: I-Maani Photography

They watched the four-hour ceremony on a big screen while family from around the world were also able to view the wedding.

Guests line up in their cars to watch the wedding on big screens Credit: I-Maani Photography

After the nuptials couple Vinal and Roma toured the field in a golf cart to wave to their friends and relations while horns were hooted and lights flashed.

According to their photographers the pouring rain and mud didn't dampen the atmosphere one bit.

Guests line up in their cars in the rain at Roma Popat and Vinal Patel's wedding in Essex Credit: I-Maani photography

Hampers containing snacks, anti-bacterial hand gel and bin liners for rubbish were handed out to guests, while food was delivered by waiters.

Ms Popat, a marketing executive from north London, and Mr Patel, an IT consultant, were due to marry in April but the ceremony was postponed because of coronavirus.

Wedding planner Saheli Mirpuri said she was just so happy the wedding had been able to take place.

It all started as kind of a little joke. The couple themselves approached me with this idea because during lock down there were so many drive-in cinemas and we thought oh wouldn't it be funny if we did a drive-in wedding. As we discussed it further we thought wouldn't this be amazing.

Saheli Mirpuri, Wedding Planner

The wedding adhered to all the guidelines and was completely Covid secure. Braxted Park helped with the arrangements and Saheli said it was a beautiful day.

Despite the fact they were only going to sit in their cars guests still dressed in their wedding finery.

Saheli said the couple had been overwhelmed with messages and calls from people delighted they had been able to get together in one place in a safe way.

Guests were able to get photos as the couple drove around on a golf buggy in the rain Credit: I-Maani Photography

Braxted Park said they were delighted to host the wedding, as the past few months had been incredibly tough for venues like theirs.


we are delighted to say this weekend we were able to overcome these new restrictions in a safe and secure way by hosting our first ever (and we believe first for the UK) drive in wedding ceremony here at Braxted Park.

Braxted Park spokesperson