When we talk about a big Indian wedding, it is not only the pomp and spectacle of lavish ceremonies, but also age-old customs that are performed to perfection. And when it comes to Bollywood celebrities, weddings are only growing in every way. From exotic venues and extravagant bridal sets to immaculate decorations and an intimate affair, this is what Bollywood weddings usually involve.
However, over the years celebrity brides and grooms have changed the customs to exceed the established standards of a traditional wedding. Sharing glimpses of their fairytale weddings on social media, they motivated their fans to follow suit.
From Dia Mirza and Vaibhav Rekhi choosing a female priest for their wedding to Rajkummar Rao sending a social media buzz with his sindoor ritual, here are a few moments that broke the internet and inspired us all.
A look at celebrities who broke the standards of a traditional Indian wedding
Katrina Kaif’s sisters holding the phoolon ki chadar
Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal tied the knot in the presence of family and close friends at Fort Barwara in Rajasthan in December 2021. The couple shared dreamy photos from their wedding ceremonies, causing fans to swoon.
From donning gorgeous Sabyasachi outfits to adorning the otherwise rustic venue with gorgeous floral arrangements, everything has been perfectly mixed to make this one of the most beloved celebrity weddings. But one of the highlights was Katrina’s bridal entry to the site, with her sisters wearing the phoolon ki chadar over his head.
Phoolon ki chadar, which literally translates to “flower blanket,” is a custom where a bride enters with her brothers holding what looks like a canopy of flowers above her head. This means that the bride was brought up with a lot of love and is protected by her brothers.
However, the photos Kaif shared from her wedding ceremony showed her sisters wearing the phoolon ki chadar. In the Instagram post, she wrote: “Growing up, we sisters always protected each other. They are my pillars of strength and we guard each other… May it stay that way! (Sic).”
Patralekhaa putting sindoor on Rajkummar Rao
Rajkummar Rao and Patralekhaa are another celebrity couple who got married in 2021. After being together for 11 years, the Bollywood celebrities got married in an intimate and fun ceremony (their wedding photos are proof of that. ) at the Oberoi Sukhvilas Spa Resort in Chandigarh.
However, a moment in their wedding ceremony touched the hearts of people across the country.
the Newton the actor shared a wedding video on his Instagram account where he can be seen asking Patralekhaa to apply sindoor – a vermilion mark worn by married Hindu women in the Indian subcontinent – on him too after he did the same on their nuptials.
What seemed like a spur of the moment was a big step towards breaking the established standards of a Hindu wedding ceremony to achieve gender equality.
Dia Mirza Rekhi’s lasting marriage to a woman priest
The rituals of a traditional Hindu wedding are usually performed by a male priest. However, this was not the case when Dia Mirza married Vaibhav Rekhi at her home. A female priest performing the rituals was something that touched the hearts of her fans across the world.
Mirza Rekhi is the torchbearer for many things, including sustainable living, charity work, and awareness of several issues. Adding another feather to her cap, she broke centuries-old patriarchal norms upon her marriage by choosing a female priest. Mirza Rekhi, in an Instagram post, wrote a heartfelt note explaining how she got to know the woman priest during her friend Ananya’s wedding.
He said, “The highlight for us was the Vedic ceremony led by a female priest! I had never seen a woman attend a wedding ceremony until I attended the wedding of my childhood friend Ananya a few years ago. Ananya’s wedding gift to Vaibhav and I was to bring Sheela Atta who is her aunt and also a priestess, to perform the ceremony for us. She also thoroughly completed several hours of training to soak up the essence of the scriptures so that she could help Sheela Atta and translate the shlokas! It was such a privilege and a joy to get married in this way! (sic). “
For her “sustainable” and “waste-free” wedding day, Mirza Rekhi chose a simple but beautiful hand-woven red saree, which she can repurpose. She wrote on Instagram: “The garden I have passed every morning for the past 19 years was an absolutely magical setting and the most intimate and perfect space for our simple and moving ceremony! We are very proud to have been able to organize a completely sustainable ceremony without plastic or waste. The materials used for the minimalist decor we chose were completely biodegradable and natural. (sic) ”
The actress’s wedding rituals did not understand kanyadaan and bidai. Kanya and daan, in Hindi, mean “daughter” and “gift” respectively. So, kanyadaan literally means the gift of the daughter to the groom and is a ritual that is performed by the parents of the bride.
On the other hand, bidai is the bride’s farewell ceremony after the wedding. It symbolizes the bride leaving her maternal home to start a new life and take on the role of wife and daughter-in-law.
Gul Panag’s doli on a bike
All Gul Panag knew before marrying longtime boyfriend Rishi Attari in 2011 was that she wanted to have fun on her wedding day. And they had a great time, making it a day that the people of Chandigarh remember.
Panag got married in her mother’s pink onion lehenga in a Chandigarh gurudwara. When the doli left for their reception at a nearby hotel, it was a sight to see.
Doli, formerly, was used for a palanquin or the closed chair on which the bride sat on her way to her husband’s house after the wedding. Lately, the palanquin has been replaced by cars, or the sidecar of a bicycle in the case of Panag.
Together with her husband, Panag and some members of their families drove Royal Enfields to the site. As the actress was worried about spoiling her mother’s outfit, she sat in the sidecar which took her husband an entire night to attach to the Bullet. On her birthday two years ago, she shared the details of the day with her followers.
“8 years and over. I knew I wanted a super fun, small and intimate wedding. I had no idea how to go about it. Then when we attended Shruti Seth and Danish Aslan’s wedding in Goa, we found our inspiration. Our main goal was to enjoy marriage with our loved ones. My mom was the “wedding planner” and she executed our vision to perfection by presenting each custom with a fun twist! She wrote in an Instagram post.
She added, “I wore my mother’s lehenga for the wedding and my mother-in-law’s for the sangeet. I am often asked questions about doli or “escape vehicle”. The original plan was to ride a bike. Since I was wearing my mother’s lehnga, I was afraid of getting it stuck in the wheel. So the husband found a manufacturer in Nangal who made sidecars and ordered one. He arrived the day before the wedding. The husband, his brother @rusty_clicks and @sherbirpanag stayed up all night to tie him to the bike (it’s quite a task). We then got all of our friends and family to ride Royal Enfield bikes as part of the procession which included women (Simrit Kaur and my Bhoa their mother, then 65) with the Doli. This ride was definitely the highlight! ”
Dilip Joshi’s daughter Niyati flaunts her natural gray hair on her wedding day
Niyati, daughter of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah actor Dilip Joshi, also broke stereotypes during his recently celebrated traditional wedding. The actor shared beautiful images of his daughter looking like a dream in her bridal ensemble and making a bold statement at the same time. The stunning, breaking beauty standards expected of a bride on her wedding day, opted to flaunt her natural gray hair.
This step was applauded on all social networks.
Besides those celebrities who lead the way when it comes to breaking social norms and patriarchy, there were a few others who in their own way strayed from traditions that have long been associated with Indian weddings.
For example, traditional bridal attire is usually red, symbolizing the color of the longest bride. However, Sultan Actress Anushka Sharma broke that standard in her pale pink Sabyasachi lehenga which she adorned with floral embroidery.
Singer Neha Kakkar and actresses Ankita Lokhande and Anushka Ranjan, among others, have also been seen wearing bridal ensembles in colors other than red.
Hero Image Credit: Katrina kaif/ Instagram; Feature image credit