By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
If we say that on our left is someone with long hair wearing a pink shirt and on our right is someone with a crew haircut wearing a blue tracksuit and ask you to identify their genders, it would be easy, right? To the left is the ‘she’ and to the right is the ‘he’! After all, we live in a society that is predominantly patriarchal and since childhood, we are implicitly inculcated with such gender stereotypes. Men and women are supposed to fit into predefined boxes and as they grow up, the stereotypes and patriarchal norms become stronger in their complicated world and everyone’s expected to adhere to them.
When it comes to weddings, there are A LOT of expectations from the bride as to what she should wear, how she should behave at the wedding, when she should get married, whom she should marry, and that she must properly follow the rituals and traditions. Having said that, women are slowly but steadily rejecting this social conditioning and accepting diversity by rewriting the wedding rules, set by society. With the progressive steps taken by some brides, a lot of stereotypes persisting in our society pertaining to marriages are broken. Though stereotypes stand in the way of happiness, those who dare to break those social norms are condemned by society itself. Let’s take a look at the brave-hearted celebrity brides of Bollywood, who broke the stereotypes in one way or the other at their own weddings and became an inspiration for others.
Since forever, inter-caste and inter-religion marriages have been unacceptable in our society, which in some extreme cases result in honour-killings. But fortunately, love knows no religion or caste or faith or even nationality. When someone is in love, the least they care about are the socially-constructed barriers of caste, religion, nationality, faith, ethnicity etc. Celebrity brides like Nargis, Genelia D’Souza, Soha Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Farah Khan, Ratna Pathak Shah, Shabana Raza, Vidya Balan and Urmila Matondkar have followed their hearts, over dictates of the society, with their inter-caste marriages. Proving that love knows no conservative boundaries and geographical lines, celebrity brides like Sania Mirza, Priyanka Chopra, Celina Jaitly and Preity Zinta found their life partners saat samundar paar in a foreign land and are living their ‘happily ever afters’!
Considered the most emotional and soul-stirring moment of the entire wedding, vidaai is the time when the bride bids adieu to her family and embarks on a new journey with her husband. It also consists of the rice-throwing ritual in which the brides, as a gesture, thank her parents for all the love she has received. It is also believed to be a sign of assurance that even after leaving her parents’ home, she will pray for their prosperity. Some vidaai moments happen with quivering smiles and teary eyes, some are just shattering and heartbreaking. Contrary to what is expected from them, brides nowadays are happily enjoying every bit of their vidaai ceremony. Celebrity brides like Anushka Sharma and Sonam Kapoor are perfect examples of happy-cheery dulhans, who are an inspiration to all the bridezillas out there. The candid shots of Anushka and Sonam from their vidaai and rice-throwing ceremonies make for an overwhelming moment and it will surely leave you awed!
Expectations: Act coy and reserved. Don’t laugh. Don’t dance. No alcohol.
Reality: Experimenting with her bridal entry. Slaying it with her dance moves. Posing for quirky pictures with her husband, friends and family. Sipping till she trips. Switching her swag mode on.
After all, why should boys have all the fun!? Gone are the days when a bride was supposed to sit for her wedding ceremonies with her pretentious smile and poise. Ditching the societal expectations, the brides are now making sure to enjoy their weddings to the fullest by dancing their hearts out, indulging in some PDA with their partners and doing what they love, without caring about log kya kahenge. Celebrity brides like Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Asin Thottumkal, Priyanka Chopra, Kajal Aggarwal, Neha Dhupia, Sonam Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Dia Mirza and Soha Ali Khan have made the most of their weddings, and the glimpses of the fun they had at their special day were a sheer delight for their millions of fans. What made the pictures even more special was the way the brides laughed their hearts out without giving a damn about the society!
If there’s one wedding that broke the stereotypes in the truest sense and in more than one way, it has to be of Dia Mirza and Vaibhav Rekhi. Dia had taken a constructive stand to break the patriarchy and set some serious goals for millennials to incorporate at their wedding. Unlike celeb weddings, or even marriages in general, Dia’s simple and soulful wedding was an intimate one, exuding simplicity and elegance. To begin with, challenging the age-old patriarchal norms, Dia preferred a female priest to officiate her wedding. Being a connoisseur of eco-friendly living, Dia made sure her wedding décor was sustainable, without any usage of plastic. The wedding was held in her garden of the house, where she has stayed for the last 19 years.
Dia Mirza chose to forgo the age-old rituals of kanyadaan and vidaai because "change begins with choice." And we couldn’t agree more with her! Dia redefined ‘wedding’ as a whole with her own close-knit ceremony. In a world where weddings are synonymous with extravagance, Dia organised a ‘completely sustainable ceremony without plastics or any waste’ and the materials used for the minimal décor were ‘completely biodegradable and natural’. Last but not the least, this was Dia’s second marriage and she had walked down the aisle with her husband, Vaibhav Rekhi’s daughter from his first marriage, leading her way. Even today, in the 21st century, divorce and second marriages are considered taboo in our society and with her wedding, Dia proved that irrespective of gender, age and past, everyone has the right to love and be loved!
Some say it's 26, some say it's 27 or 28 or 29… and so on! As soon as a girl hits her mid-20s, her family and relatives start taking interest in her love life and she is asked almost every day, “Beta, shaadi kab karoge?” But is there even a ‘right’ age to get married? The only ‘right’ time for you to walk down the aisle is when you are ready. When you and your partner are on the same page, be it on managing finances, gender roles, relevant issues, boundaries, or sexual compatibility, that is when one must consider getting married. Bollywood actresses like Sonam Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Preity Zinta, Bipasha Basu, Rani Mukerji, Soha Ali Khan, Anushka Sharma, Kajal Aggarwal, Deepika Padukone and Kareena Kapoor proved there’s no ‘right’ age to get married and one must walk down the aisle whenever she’s ready, and not when the world thinks she is!
In our country, every auspicious moment is incomplete without the colour red and at weddings too, it holds special importance. Red never goes out of fashion and there’s something enchanting about this conventional bridal colour but it is also a surreal experience to witness millennial brides, breaking the traditional hue barriers. Known as suhaag ka rang, the red colour stems from Indian cultures and customs. But nowadays, brides have no qualms about experimenting with offbeat colours for their bridal ensembles. Celeb brides like Sharmila Tagore, Anushka Sharma, Neha Dhupia, Soha Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Asin Thottumkal, Natasha Dalal, Neha Kakkar and Kajol are no different as they have compelled the millennial brides to think beyond the traditional colour of red for bridal couture. The brides are now setting the trend by breaking the conventional barrier of choosing the red colour for their bridal ensembles.
Every girl wishes to wear the best traditional heavily-embellished designer outfit with beautiful jewellery and LIT makeup for her wedding day. Planning the sartorial line-ups for wedding ceremonies, traditional outfits always take the monopoly. But deep down inside, she wishes to slip out of her heavy ensemble to something more comfortable. Celeb brides like Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor stood out with their respective post-wedding reception ensemble changes as they slipped into comfortable outfits. Deepika had opted for a red Zuhair Murad gown, which featured a detachable skirt that the diva had paired with white sneakers and on the other hand, Sonam changed into an ivory kaftan by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla featuring chikankari work. Sonam and Deepika’s outfits were perfect and the most comfortable picks for after-parties. Brides like Sonam and Deepika prove that comfort is way over the cyclical fashion wedding trends.
It is rightly said that a change starts with just one action! And even though the celebrity brides have shown us a way forward by rewriting the wedding rules which were set by society, we must also credit their supportive partners, who cheered the loudest for their better-halves while bashing the stereotypes. In the truest sense, these celeb ‘couples’ have proved that a wedding is their day and it should be celebrated how they want, not how the society wants them to! Thankfully, the trends are changing for the better and weddings are now becoming a perfect blend of traditional aspects and a spin of modernity!