Actor couple Saloni and Viraf Patel declared their status as wife and husband on May 6 after signing the court papers in Mumbai. However, what caught everyone’s attention were their social media posts detailing the expenses of their marriage, which totaled Rs 150. Now, as she begins the new phase in life, Saloni speaks to us about how her exemplary, low-key ceremony took place and their plans of donating a part of the marriage fund towards coronavirus relief efforts. She opens up about their relationship timeline and how excited they are to find happiness during the Covid crises.
How are you settling into your new life?
Settling into this new phase is beautiful. During this time, if something brings a smile for your families, friends and yourself and gives you hope, it makes it all the more special. Times are difficult but we are trying to find our own happiness and moving forward because life keeps moving on. Viraf is very happy. He wanted to tie the knot for two years. I took a little bit of time. He is on cloud nine now that it has finally happened.
Saloni details, “We met in 2018 during shooting. We got along really well and it resulted in a beautiful friendship. It led to becoming something more as we got to know each other better. I remember Viraf telling me that he was in a phase of life where he wanted to settle down, get married and start a family. I was not there yet at that time. But our bond was strong, and we started dating. I made him meet my parents within 6-7 months of dating. We wanted to get married. In 2020, we thought about it but the pandemic happened. Everyone was in lockdown and we had to push it. We thought things would get better in 2021 and we would do it then."
“In January, when things started to open up, we fixed our date in May. But this time we got hit even worse. We had already waited for a year, so we finally decided to go ahead and start our lives together. We did not know when things will be normal again."
The low-key wedding
“In Jan-Feb, we started talking about what we want to do. We’d always thought of getting married in court and holding a reception in Mumbai and Delhi. We had booked everything. It was going to be a small affair amid Covid, with whatever number of people allowed to gather at that point in time. In the end of March, when the second wave hit us, we were unsure what we will be able to do or if it all we’ll be able to get married.
“In April, both of us got Covid and then my parents got infected as well. In fact, they were in the last leg of recovery when we got married. Till about May 3, we did not know whether we were going ahead with it or not because there was so much sadness in the world and we did not want to offend anybody. The functions that were planned for May 15-16 were already cancelled. Our court date was May 6. A couple of days prior to the date, we were sitting with our families on call and discussing. They told us to go ahead and formalise it. The next day we decided that we were doing it. Viraf found out that the court was operational. We did not have clothes, rings or our families. We told each other, come what may, we are going to start this new phase of our lives together. There will always be another time for celebrations. Now, I think we will just end up celebrating our first anniversary next year. I just hope things are normal by then and we are able to do something.”
How was it getting married without your families around?
“It was hard. It is one of the most important days of your lives and your parents are not there to hold your hand through it. But somewhere Viraf and I started focusing on the good part of it.”
You wore a borrowed saree and exchanged rubber bands instead of rings…
“A day before, things finally started falling into place. We did not know what to wear. I had a friend send me her saree that fit perfectly. Viraf has something to match it in his closet. I had one of my friends do my hair and make-up at the last minute. It was difficult but it was beautiful. The rubber bands were Viraf’s idea. The only thing I kept telling him before the wedding was I want a ring. It was the one thing from the day that I was going to carry with me for the rest of life. He could not manage it because everything was closed. But he knows how to make me smile.”
What do you think about your special wedding day?
“I thought it won’t be as exciting and memorable as it would have been if there were functions, but the day was as memorable and special as it could have been. It was simple and at the end of the day we were discussing how tired we were with all the video calls. Now, I think how do people manage with all the functions because we were exhausted with our court marriage.”
“We have set apart a portion from the savings for Covid relief fund. We are still figuring out the NGOs or individuals we want to support. We are looking forward donating the money we did not spend.”