About Me
When singer Akriti Kakar tied the knot.

Listening to Akriti Kakar talk about her significant other feels like they’ve been together forever.

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About Me
Kalki through the looking-glass

As we entered Amy Billimoria’s House of Design in Juhu, Mumbai, we knew we were not in Kansas anymore. The store exudes a happy feeling. From the décor of the store to the clothes housed within it, we could tell that this was going to be a departure from a traditional bridal makeover.

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We met at a common friend’s wedding in Lonavla, after which we started meeting almost twice a week with friends. We got along like a house on fire; it felt so comfortable talking to each other, it was like we were long lost friends. The initial courtship felt more like a game of hide and seek. We didn’t want to tell people yet as we were still getting to know each other.

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5 Jan

Mrinalini Chandra’s simply royal wedding

The little details that went into planning the elegantly royal wedding of Mrinalini Chandra and Aditya Singh have added a magical touch to it and how!

All it took was a chance encounter for the unconventional jewellery designer Mrinalini Chandra, to meet her husband Aditya Singh, a trading entrepreneur. As Chandra traces back to the day she met Singh, she narrates nostalgically, “Three years ago, I was celebrating Holi and was extremely homesick. It also happened to be my debut at Lakmé Fashion Week. Being away from home, I decided to celebrate the festival with my cousin, who had organised a party at Aditya’s house. That’s where we met for the first time—at his house! Till date, Aditya jokes about it saying that out of all the places he had imagined to meet ‘the one’, I walked right into his home, heart and life,” says Chandra, with a chuckle.

A royal affair

The couple decided to wed at the heritage palace Safed Baradari, Qaiserbagh, Lucknow. “We wanted an elegant venue like the Safed Baradari for our Mughal-themed wedding,” she says. The task of tastefully decorating the venue rested upon the shoulders of dear friend, Abhinav Bhagat of Abhinav Bhagat Events. Bhagat retained the natural beauty of the monument, only enhancing it in places by using strings of marigolds and fairy lights. “It was simple, but grand with minimal accessories and just the right kind of emphasis,” points Chandra.

A memorable trousseau

It wasn’t the jewellery shopping that worried Chandra since she designed it all; the wedding outfits were her prime concern. Being a designer herself, Chandra wanted her trousseau to be detailed and thoughtful. “It became such a task to find clothes that complemented the jewellery. That’s when my mother suggested I design my own outfits as well,” says Chandra.

It took Chandra close to six months to design outfits for herself and Singh, but the experience was a satisfying one. Chandra decided on a turmeric yellow chikankari lehenga for the pheras and a tomato red zardozi sharara for the wedding dinner. Speaking of her bridal trousseau, Chandra was clear that she didn’t want either her jewellery or her outfit to overshadow her simple demeanour. “It is possible to achieve this balance and brides must not succumb to the pressure of what’s trending. Be who you are, on the most important day of your life,” she says, dishing out sound advice to all to-be brides out there.

Kalira love

Traditionally, kaliras only feature in Punjabi weddings and not in Lucknowi ones. But that didn’t deter Chandra from wearing one at her wedding. “I have designed kaliras for many brides before and it is so much fun that I wanted it for my own wedding too. The kaliras were designed with messenger birds that carried a message in the bottle for all my friends and sisters,” says Chandra, reliving the moment she left her entourage pleasantly surprised.

Jewellery box

The jewellery designed by Chandra was made in Jaipur and Varanasi. “The motifs were inspired by temple jewellery, but I gave them a modern twist with English enamel colours with a technique called Benarasi Meena ,” reveals Chandra. And, the contrast worked well. For the wedding, Chandra wore a peacock maang tikka, choker, lotus-inspired earrings and nath , bangles and haathphool . “I drew all my inspiration from nature because it has its own charm,” says Chandra.

Photos: Umesh Daundkar

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