Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s Carefully Planned Instagram Wedding Made You a Part of It
Instagram is a powerful tool in the hands of many, but most celebrities like Padukone and Singh know how the photo-sharing app can be a valuable apparatus for manufacturing public image.
Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. (Image: Instagram)
Matching photos on Insta accounts—check. Matching outfits for different wedding rituals—check. Matching smiles for the paparazzi—check. Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh's carefully curated wedding that unveiled on Instagram was so put together that at a glance one could have easily mistaken it for a Vogue photo shoot where the actors wore clothes designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee and were photographed by popular Greek fashion photographer Errikos Andreou.
But, it was no shoot. It was Padukone and Singh—two of the biggest Bollywood stars—who, after dating for years were finally getting married. This wedding was bound to cause a Twitter storm and an Insta photo-flood. People, especially the fans, would obviously want to know everything about it—from food, location to guest list—and the media, as well as the paparazzi, will, of course, want access.
It isn't easy for any couple (even celebrity couples) to handle that kind of external pressure, especially when you still have a wedding to plan and keep all your work commitments, but thanks to Padukone and Singh's flawless PR machinery (or their own meticulous planning, let's not jump the gun here), things appeared to be straight out of a fairytale book at their wedding.
Padukone-Singh's wedding unfolded in two different timelines, one beyond the Instagram filter, and the other through it.
The actual wedding, which happened by Lake Como (in Italy)—sans the charcuterie I presume—with delicious Konkani and Sindhi food (as news reports say), in a lavish Indian setting inside an exotic Italian villa that is worthy of a song-dance sequence of a Karan Johar or Yash Raj movie, was beyond the Instagram filter. We were not privy to anything that happened there.
I am guessing (and can very well be wrong in doing so) that not everyone present in that beautiful villa dressed like they were about to walk the ramp for Sabyasachi and some of the guests may have had a more flamboyant or different fashion sense that did not go with the muted blush pink theme (unless there was a dress code of course).
It may also have taken some coaxing from Padukone I assume to get Singh to don those too-bland-by-his-fashion-standard men's wedding wears. There may as well have been annoying auntijis and/or drunk mamaji/chachaji, like there mostly are, in big fat Indian weddings. But we will never get to know about any of them, well not unless Karan Johar asks detailed, prying questions to the couple about these things the next time he gets them on his chat show.
What we as the public saw was the second timeline of their wedding, the one that unfolded on the Instagram accounts of the two stars. Some of the first photos of Padukone and Singh as a married couple were shared by the duo themselves on their respective Instagram accounts. By doing so, they sent out a clear message that they are the ones in control of their public image as a couple and media as well as paparazzi have no option but to follow their lead.
Yes, there were photo ops for the paparazzi at the airport when they returned to India, the balcony waves from their residence and the pre-reception media shoot but that is about it. The rest of the wedding we saw through the Instagram filters of the newlyweds and their guests.
Instagram is a powerful tool in the hands of many, but most celebrities like Padukone and Singh know how the photo-sharing app can be a valuable apparatus for manufacturing public image. Singh and Padukone have been dating for several years, for example, and yet, it wasn't until recently that their Insta PDA/flirtations flared up as each started commenting on the photos of the other amid the 'wedding rumours'.
Not just Padukone and Singh, many actors use Instagram to declare their love for their significant other or announce that they are in a new relationship, or over an old one. All the rumours about Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor dating were confirmed when she posed with Kapoor at Sonam Kapoor's wedding and later posted a picture of it on Instagram. Likewise, even in Hollywood, from Justin Bieber to Ariana Grande, they all fall back on Instagram while announcing their love for their beaus to the world.
Celebrities often are the embodiment of oxymorons. On one hand, they obsessively talk about their rights and need for privacy, and on the other, they compulsively construct and re-construct their public images and go to great lengths to have one. While most off-the-grid celebrity weddings, like that of Padukone-Singh's, happen so that the people involved in them get their desired space to be with their 'dear ones', the moment these ceremonies are over, the world get a notification on their phones telling them in carefully staged candid shots or airbrushed photos that it had happened. The notification that we all received last week was that 'Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh had tied the knot'.
We saw photos of beautiful wedding ceremonies—it appeared to be a real-life fairytale not made on celluloid. Their wedding photos gave amateur wedding photographers new camera angles to explore with and told many brides-to-bes which lehenga and accessories to get. These photos, however, said little about Padukone and Singh except that for now they are wrapped in a cosy quilt of nuptial bliss.
For celebrities to pull off such well-choreographed, picture perfect weddings where they make the fans feel a part of their wedding without actually delving much requires good planning. Far off locations, away from the prying cameras of the paps, helps because these locations empower these celebrities to tell their stories in their own way, without media or paps telling them on their behalf. However, what is required, above all, is the complete compliance of the invitees. Those who actually do get invited to these high profile weddings, or are involved in them, also try or are asked to dignify the couple's wish for 'privacy' and while videos and photos from the guests surface on the Instagram feed in a few days, it is the couple or some chosen near ones who quickly drop a few photos introducing the individual celebrities as a formal couple. As media takes a back seat and paps are restricted, it is the stars who give you a selective glimpse into their wedding.
They share many things about their weddings, from invites to photos of mehendi and videos of sangeet dance practice. But, once the wedding bells are done ringing, and they are back on their sets, if you revisit their Instagram feed or all the photos that news media share as 'Inside photos' you will come to realise how much of a fence sitter you have been too, even when you thought you knew everything about their wedding and had religiously read all the articles and liked all their photos on Instagram. They are stars, after all, they only show themselves when they shine.
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