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South Asian Wedding Planning Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic



South Asian weddings are getting bigger, louder, and more exuberant. What was once a weekend affair, has grown into nearly a weeklong series of events. According to a survey done by in 2019, the average Indo-Canadian wedding costs approximately $85,000 CAD for a 250-person wedding. A long guestlist, bright colors, and dancing, are all par for the course. However, the arrival of the coronavirus has proven to be a big disruptor for the South Asian wedding market (and the wedding market at large). As a result, countless brides and grooms have been left with the predicament of having to figure out how to plan their Sangeets, Jagos, Religious Ceremonies, Receptions, Mehndis, and more, around the pandemic.

With government mandates to close non-essential businesses, and restrictions on large gatherings and/or events, wedding events have not been spared. Vendors and couples have been left in an awkward position, making it difficult to forge a path forward. The purpose of this article is to share some options that vendors and couples in the South Asian community can use to adapt their wedding plans in an environment filled with uncertainty.

Before we jump into options, let’s first understand the problems that are being presented to wives and husbands-to-be. In dissecting the main challenges around wedding planning during the era of COVID19, there are two main variables at play. The first is, the uncertainty. As of the writing of this article, there are no known vaccines or anti-viral medicine available to the public. Therefore, knowing when society will be able to transition back to normalcy, is largely uncertain. The second element at play is the fluidity of government mandates. For example, one week there may be a restriction on gatherings of more than 50 people, and the following week the restriction may be reduced to 10 people. While such restrictions are done with good reason, the fluidity of restrictions pose a challenge for any wedding planning process.

Now let’s dig into some possible options for getting married amidst a pandemic. Given the problem areas that were mentioned earlier, there are really two levers that can be pulled for wedding planning. The first is, couples can keep their weddings, and reduce their guest lists down to a number that is within legal limits. For example, if you have a wedding guest list of 250 people, it may be necessary to scale back to a number that is lower than government restrictions.

If reducing the guest list is not something couples want to consider, the second option is to postpone to a later date. The biggest advantage with choosing to postpone is that couples can wait to see how COVID19 plays out, before committing to a new date. Not to mention, many South Asian wedding vendors in Surrey, B.C., have collectively rolled out flexible postponement plans. Examples of these vendors include and are not limited to Bancy Farms & Vancouver Event Rentals, as well as Decibel Entertainment. Therefore, there is an opportunity to work with vendors to coordinate events for a later date.

Finally, we have option 3. In observing South Asian couples in lower mainland area, it seems like most people are either about to postpone their wedding dates, or they have already postponed them. However, there is still a sizable population of couples who do not want to postpone their wedding, nor do they want to shrink their guestlist. This is where things can get creative, if there is flexibility around event expectations. For example, if a couple really wants to get married on their original date, they can still do that. Perhaps they can choose to have their religious ceremony (e.g. Anand Karaj, Nikah, etc.) with only 10 people physically present, and then everyone else can watch via a livestream. Then they can choose to have their other events, such as the reception, whenever it is safe to do so. Imagine having an intimate wedding ceremony, and instead of a wedding reception, having a reception on a 1-year marriage anniversary…it is an option.

Overall, couples planning their South Asian weddings do have options. While the options may not be ideal, they may be the most realistic. Ultimately, alternatives seem to come down to trimming down the guest list or postponing events, or a combination of the two. If you’ve figured out an option that wasn’t mentioned here, please let us know by commenting on this article!

Kamran is a Pacific Northwest Native and a technologist. Outside of his time being a contributor to Surrey 604, Kamran is also a team-member of, a platform for South Asian wedding planning in Canada. He spends much of his time researching and learning about ongoing trends in the South Asian wedding market, so much of his writing on Surrey604 revolves around the topic.


Burb Awarded Two British Columbia Cannabis Retail Licenses



Vancouver-based lifestyle brand adds cannabis products to brick-and-mortar stores

Burb, a cannabis lifestyle brand based in Vancouver, Canada, has been awarded two cannabis retail store licenses by British Columbia’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch. The licenses allow Burb to add recreational cannabis products to the shelves of both its retail stores in Port Coquitlam.

Earning steady acclaim as a coveted retailer of Canadian crafted apparel and cannabis accessories, Burb opened the doors to its 3,700-square-foot flagship store in April. The holistic emporium houses a showroom displaying Burb’s streetwear collection, and sells branded accessories like grinders, papers, stash jars, lighters and waist bags. Thanks to Burb’s new retail licenses, starting Wednesday, September 25th, the flagship along with a second express-concept store, located on the other side of town, will carry a curated selection of high-quality cannabis products in flower, pre-roll, oil and gel capsule formats. The inventory will expand as new product categories, such as concentrates, beverages, edibles and topicals, become available in late 2019.

Consumers worldwide (outside of B.C.) can shop the brand’s apparel and cannabis accessories on, Burb’s newly introduced e-commerce platform. The website also houses episodes of Light Culture, Burb’s editorially driven podcast hosted by David Hershkovits, Co-Founder and Publisher of PAPER Magazine. The show explores the budding cannabis industry through provocative conversations with some of the world’s most highly followed voices, including Fab 5 Freddy, Abdullah Saeed and Steve DeAngelo.

Burb’s dynamic multi-platform concept forges a unique narrative marrying e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail with streetwear, media and cannabis products, all supporting the growth and expansion of B.C. Bud culture. Throughout the next year, Burb will activate events in Vancouver that bridge communities across country lines while further elevating the B.C. Bud brand. By 2021, the company’s goal is to open eight retail stores within the B.C. market.

“Our licensing approval allows us to connect with people on multiple levels and establish Burb and B.C. Bud as trailblazers of cannabis culture and awareness on a global stage,” says John Kayne, Co-Founder and CEO of Burb. “Rather than pursuing a quantity-driven, store front accumulation strategy, we are hyper-focused on delivering an authentic, curated and unmatched level of customer experience both in-store and at”

Burb will celebrate its new cannabis retail licenses with a grand opening event on Saturday, September 28th from 11am to 11pm hosted at the company’s Port Coquitlam flagship store at 1502 Broadway Street. Get a sneak peak of the store here. For more information about Burb, or to shop the brand’s collection of apparel and cannabis accessories, visit

Burb locations:

Burb, Port Coquitlam: 1502 Broadway Street, Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 2M8
Burb Express, Port Coquitlam: Unit #24 – 2755 Lougheed Hwy, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 5Y9

About Burb:

As an emerging voice in the industry, Burb’s brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce platform capture the current state of cannabis culture, resonating with educated professionals, artists, technologists, parents and everyone in-between who has experienced the benefits of the plant.

About LightCulture:

Celebrating the power of light: whether it’s lighting up a joint, lighting up a room or lighting up your life, Burb embraces #LightCulture and encourages the wide-ranging community of cannabis enthusiasts to shine a light on the amazing benefits derived from this plant.

About B.C. Bud:

This phrase pays homage to the world-renowned history of cannabis in British Columbia, where 40 percent of all Canadian cannabis is produced. B.C. Bud is widely regarded as the “best weed on Earth”.

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