When we talk of weddings, what are the things that come to your mind? A classic red heavy lehenga, hundreds of baraatis and gharatis, dhol nagade, sangeet competition, four to five days of functions, destination venue, fancy menu, top-notch decor, and a whole lot of bling, right? Coronavirus’ rapid spread did put a break on all those for a while. But, for a couple of months now, big fat weddings are back in all their glory. However on April 14, 2022, the full taam-jhaam and chamak-dhamak narrative went low-key as the Kapoor-Bhatt jodi took the nation by surprise with their intimate, and understated ivory wedding. And the icing on the cake was the sincere appeal of the bride (one of the top actresses of Indian Cinema) and groom (a brilliant actor, a heartthrob, and a member of one of the elite families of the Tinseltown).
As someone who is all Bollywood at heart, I was constantly on my Instagram to get a glimpse of the bride and groom, and when I did, the refreshing take on a Hindu wedding had me at the moment. Hair down, nude lips, no-make-up makeup look, tiny red bindi, the embroidered ivory organza sari (a colour that Hindu brides usually refrain from) by the man himself (Sabyasachi, obviously!), minimalistic shagun ki mehendi, and a whole lot of chirpy Alia-ness brightened up my screen.
Keeping aside the Sabyasachi jewellery featuring diamonds and pearls that Alia carried effortlessly, I could see the joy in minimalism. It made me extremely happy to imagine that the to-be-bride didn’t have to sit for hours and swell up her arms for mehendi. I was also glad to see that the pictures were giving the Alia that we usually spot on paparazzi footage, or see in interviews, and not a whole new version of her. There she was, flaunting the same smile, and same dimples with the same sparkle in her eyes. Isn’t that how every bride needs to be captured like on her D-Day; just her honest happy self? What also gathered a lot of appreciation was the hair-down look instead of a tightly tied bun featuring a heavy gajra.
Meanwhile, the groom, Ranbir Kapoor, opted for an embroidered silk off-white bandhgala featuring white-gold buttons (also by Sabyasachi), and embroidered shawl paired with a pearl necklace. Ranbir’s shawl matched Alia’s veil as he held his Dulhania in his arms; almost symbolic of the gatbandhan that binds them together. In addition, Ranbir flaunted his stubble (rarely seen on grooms in Indian weddings), which was definitely the show-stealer.
It’s not that Alia and Ranbir are the first ones to opt for an ivory look; but the fact that one of the most awaited weddings, and one of the most loved couples of B-Town looked as pure, as elegant, and as understated as the colour itself, worked wonders.
What really is a conversation starter for our society is the venue of the ivory summer wedding. Don’t you think so? Let’s take a look at what Alia wrote alongside the dreamy pictures, “Today, surrounded by our family and friends, at home … in our favourite spot – the balcony we’ve spent the last 5 years of our relationship – we got married. With so much already behind us, we can’t wait to build more memories together … memories that are full of love, laughter, comfortable silences, movie nights, silly fights, wine delights and Chinese bites.” The couple ditched grand palaces, exotic beaches, and magnificent mountains, and chose to tie the knot where they have seen and experienced their love grow. Isn’t that something to think about?
This idea could be a saviour for any middle-class family, or a lower-class family who cannot afford to have a destination wedding. Even if it’s not a destination wedding, families actually go through a financial crisis after marrying their kids in order to live up to society’s expectations. Do you know that booking a hotel for a couple of hours costs people the savings of a lifetime? So wouldn’t it be great if Alia-Ranbir’s wedding could be seen as an example of how beautiful and sustainable home weddings can be? Of course, it won’t be as luxurious as Vastu (Kapoor’s house), but still, it’ll be a house where you have memories etched in every corner. Leave it to the decor to work the magic, like Ralia (as the newlyweds’ fans like to call them) did.
Coming to the guest list…according to several media reports, around 28-30 guests were invited to the nuptials. We have not verified the count, but we are certain that it was an intimate wedding. Intimate wedding -A term that a larger section of our society is not familiar with; even if we are, often we choose to leave it unheard. Why? Because agar sabko nahi bulaya, toh log bura maan jayenge, and society mein naak kat jayegi!
Let’s keep all our beliefs aside for a moment, and think about the families who are actually going beyond their financial capacity, to feed hundreds and hundreds of people, and are arranging stays too, just to get their one child married. Is that really necessary? And let’s not forget how much the bride’s side spends on “gifts” for the groom’s family, relatives, and friends. Yes, it happens even today in a certain section of society! Some families call it dowry, while some just go for a fancy word; but the intention and thought behind, remains the same.
I spoke to a few parents who said that it’s their dream to do whatever they can for their child’s marriage and leave no stone unturned, even if it means they have to go through a crisis. But, I want to ask those parents something, “Have you ever given a thought to what your child feels like when they see you giving your blood, sweat, and lifetime savings, to get them married? How terrible and guilty do they feel to see you hit rock bottom?” Think about it.
Maybe it’s high time for us to prioritise ourselves and our families, instead of giving a thought to log kya kahengey? And maybe it’s high time to evoke the understated elegance in our next family function, the same as Ranbir and his dulhaniya? – Srivalli