From traditional customs to personalised touches, Kishwer Merchantt and Suyyash Rai's wedding was greatly inspired by the silver screen
Surviving reality TV
Merchantt and Rai met on the sets of Pyaar Ki Yeh Ek Kahani (2010) and instantly connected with each other. While their friends dismissed their relationship as ‘just another fling’, the two realised they had something special going on. Six years later, their stint in Bigg Boss 9 reinstated their faith in each other.
“A couple of friends, who had participated on the show, advised us against it. They suspected we might break up because of it,” says Merchantt. But the two were confident about their relationship. They even devised a plan to come out unscathed. “Our strategy was to be ourselves inside the house. And that worked out quite well,” says Merchantt. Finally, after six years of courtship, they married in December 2016.
The couple chose a simple court marriage with a fun mehendi ceremony. “We didn’t want to splurge too much on the wedding because we were saving for the honeymoon,” shares Merchantt. So the wedding was a short celebration that took around six months of planning. “We did everything—from planning our outfits to organising the phoolon ki chaadar—for the wedding day. It was hectic, tiring and emotionally challenging, but it was fun,” recalls Merchantt.
While the couple did their bit, Merchantt’s girlfriends left no stone unturned for the bridal couple. From the rustic cycle rickshaw to personalised monogrammed jootis featuring the word ‘pataka’,the squad had the bride’s wish list figured out. “I love my girl gang. They were there with me throughout—from planning my bachelorette to running every little errand with me. They helped me pick my outfits and jewellery and also planned a surprise performance for my reception. Undoubtedly, they made my wedding unforgettable. I was dancing, laughing and crying at the same time,” says Merchantt, remembering the performance.
Rai and Merchantt’s friends and family flew from around the world for their special day. Their guest list included their peers such as actors Asha Negi, Karan Wahi, Krushna Abhishek, Riddhi Dogra, Rakesh Bapat, Pooja Banerjee, Keith Sequeira, Ravi Dubey, Sargun Mehta, Vahbiz Dorabjee, Karan Mehra, Sana Khan, Kashmeera Shah, Rohit Verma and Vivian Dsena.
Merchantt also makes a special mention of her wedding lehenga, which was first discussed on Bigg Boss 9 by the show’s winner Prince Narula. Merchantt says, “Prince and I bonded on the show and he promised to gift me my wedding lehenga. He kept his word and three days before the mehendi, he invited me home and presented me with the outfit. It was an emotional moment for me—a rather overwhelming one. People talk about relationships being transient in the house, but it’s not true. I have made friends for life in that house,” says Merchantt.
And even though it’s been a few months since the wedding, Merchantt still remembers it fondly, “It wasn’t lavish, but it was my dream wedding because everything was exactly the way I wanted it to be.”
Photos: Knotting Bells