A Rich Indian Couple Got Married Mid-Air Amid COVID Restrictions on Land

Love really is in the air — along with 160 guests to witness it. 
Shamani Joshi
Mumbai, IN
A Rich Indian Couple Got Married Mid-Air Amid COVID Restrictions on Land
Photo by alexey starki (left) and Jayesh Jalodara / Unsplash (right)

Rich Indians have been known to pull off the most extravagant and elaborate stunts on their wedding days, from a groom skydiving into his wedding, to India’s richest family hiring Beyoncé to perform at a pre-wedding event. 


But amid India’s unprecedented rise of COVID-19 cases, an Indian couple has taken wedding fever to a whole new level. Literally. 

An Indian couple tied the knot mid-air in a private jet on May 23 amid lockdown restrictions on land to fight India’s deadly COVID-19 second wave. 

The wedding reportedly had over 160 guests stuffed together in a two-hour flight. Viral photos and videos of the wedding that surfaced on social media showed that the guests did not follow social distancing or mask guidelines. 

According to local news reports, the groom’s father hired a chartered flight to take guests from the southern Indian city of Madurai to Bengaluru. The couple reportedly tied the knot just as their private jet hovered above the Meenakshi Amman temple, a historic Hindu temple in Madurai. The couple claimed that all guests were tested for COVID-19 and had to show negative certificates before boarding the special flight. 

The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where the couple hailed from, had just announced tougher lockdown restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, capping weddings at a maximum of 50 guests. This led social media users to speculate that the couple held their ceremony mid-air to avoid cutting down on their guest list. 


The couple has received mixed reactions on social media. While some find the idea ingenious or simply bizarre, others were quick to call out the insensitivity and the risk involved in holding such an event, even as India recorded the world’s highest daily death toll

The legality of such an event is yet to be explored, with local authorities deeming it a “peculiar violation”. Madurai Airport Director S Senthil Valavan told The New Indian Express that the couple did not notify airport authorities that a wedding would take place mid-air when they applied for the jet. 

A senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official told The Times of India that the airline’s staff has been taken off duty, and directed the airline to file a complaint against those flouting COVID-19 protocols. Authorities said an investigation was underway and appropriate action would be taken against the violators. 

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