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December 19, 2018

Style Files | The big Bollywood wedding has never been more private

The clock struck 7. Me, and almost everyone in India (and the world, to be honest) who has even the slightest interest in Bollywood glanced anxiously at their home screens. A few refreshes later, it arrived. And by that I mean, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh's first official photos as a married couple. After years of shipping and weeks of waiting, it wasn't a surprise that the coveted pictures went viral within seconds. But why? Marriages happen every day; even in the celebrity world. So what made this one so special? Apart from the fact that they are currently India's most loved celebrity couple, what further heightened the anticipation was that most of the affair was kept under wraps.

Illustration by Leo Alemao / Style File

Last December, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli made a quiet escape to Italy and returned as a married couple with the only intimation being pastel toned Sabyasachi clad wedding pictures on Instagram. This year started off rather differently in Bollywood with updates of Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja's summer wedding being readily shared online. But days later, maybe Neha Dhupia's surprise wedding to Angad Bedi should have been a telling sign that the secret shaadi was here to stay. Even Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' union, which saw numerous ceremonies marrying Eastern and Western rituals, came to life in a select spread in People Magazine.

For as long as I can remember, celebrity weddings in both Bollywood and Hollywood have had a reputation for being glitzy, larger-than-life and most notably, public. In 2012, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor's regal wedding spanned across days with the country's finest in attendance. Two years later, Kim Kardashian married Kanye West in a lavish Italian wedding that included multiple designer gowns, a flower wall and 7 tier cake, all of which costed cool millions. In what could be considered a parallel universe, many quieter celebrity weddings have taken place since then. Lisa Haydon's 2016 hushed wedding to Dino Lalvani as well as Preity Zinta's vows to Gene Goodenough in the same year are proof. So was the surprising hush-hush marriage of Justin Beiber and Hailey Baldwin that took place months ago.

It looks like Bollywood took a note out of their book to make their weddings incredibly opulent and luxurious but even more private. On one hand; exotic locations that have only been seen in movies, couture crafted by the world's most talented designers and close pals staying in posh suites. On the other handthe one which we can seea handful of pictures on social media that look like something out of a magazine. It's resplendent and magnificent and we're privy to only as much as they choose to show us. No paps or livecasts; just pictures that are worthy of being turned into a coffee table book.

By no means is this a grouse or complaint; just commentary on the shift of the big celebrity wedding in Bollywood. The paparazzi may be unhappy with the trickle of precious wedding content and so may be the rest of the media. But at the end of it, the celebrity couples are making their wedding their own and driving up their following, who keep hitting refresh. Now all that's left is the anticipatory wait to see if the trend continues. That all starts by checking your mailbox to see if the next wedding invite has arrived.

x Dayle

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