Forums Dancehall Reggae Why are we obsessed with celebrity weddings?

Posted April 14, 2022 02:34 PM

The allure and appeal of star nuptials
Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Assistant Editor – Features

Brooklyn Beckham and Hollywood actress Nicola Peltz were married last week, and Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt exchanged vows on Thursday. These are the latest in celebrity weddings, which are covered in minute detail worldwide.

The world loves celebrity weddings. They are intoxicating affairs where nothing is off-limits. Exotic locations, a guest list of stars and luminaries, designer dresses, dazzling jewellery, and the finest cuisine make for an enchanting experience. These are beyond the reach of ordinary folk. For them, it’s a fantasy come alive.

So when celebrities tie the knot, the world swoons and some of these weddings often assume epic proportions. What stokes the obsession with celebrity weddings? It is emblematic of a society that’s ‘desperate for joy and celebration’, according to media mavens, brand managers, and image consultants from India’s entertainment industry.

“We are now a society in desperate need for joy, and weddings have become this opportunity to celebrate, even if it’s a vicarious guilty pleasure,” Pritish Nandy, author, producer, and media maven, said in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.

Starry weddings are a byword for decadence, glossy wealth display and glamour. Whether it’s Hollywood dreamboat George Clooney marrying British lawyer Amal in a destination wedding at Lake Como in Italy or global power couple Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas tying their knot in a palatial palace hotel in Rajasthan, the interest around them peaks.

“Earlier, when you opened a newspaper, I used to find good news, bad news, arts, music, theatre … But now, all we have is political news which is invariably about crime, lynching, or some horrid news. So today, there’s this desperate need for something to entertain us and celebrity weddings are now our answer,” Nandy said.

During the pandemic, weddings were scaled down, resulting in ‘revenge voyeurism’. Even if it’s an obscure star or a talent with fading bankability, the interest around their nuptials never wanes. The Ranbir-Alia wedding is on a different level.

“With Ranbir-Alia Bhatt wedding, we have a male actor who comes with the Kapoor dynasty name … Earlier, celebrity weddings used to happen in secret with a handful of people in attendance. Now the stars surround themselves with an entourage of sycophants, and the whole thing reeks of being this grand brand building exercise,” he adds.

A star wedding in any part of the globe has the power to transfix you and transport you to a fantastical world, according to Shefali Munshi, Dubai-based celebrity manager and former Director of Culture & Lifestyle for Expo 2020.

“Celebrity weddings are aspirational. Even if you don’t have access to it, you pick up fashion trends through guest watching. There’s so much interest that I have seen some clients offer tons of money to be a part of such weddings. Remember, these people are their biggest idols, and marriages give them a sense of access and familiarity. By watching them closely on their wedding day, you feel a sense of bonding with these elusive stars who live in a fishbowl,” said Munshi, who has handled the UAE visits of actors like Salman Khan, and Janhvi Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh in the UAE.

Another popular theory on the fanatical interest in celebrity culture is that when people watch their favourite stars marry, it makes them ‘more human’.

“You realise that they are normal people who fall in love off-screen. You are curious to see what they look like when they are naturally happy, and you also get to see their families’ reactions. Celebrity weddings help bring the person behind the screen one step closer to your world,” said Ahmed, an image consultant who runs the PR firm Buzzy Bee.

Ahmed, who also handles social media profiling of celebrities, admits to ‘celebrity wedding stalking’.

“My recent guilty pleasure was watching the famous ‘Crash Landing’ duo Bin Jin’s wedding. I find that social media only works to curry our excitement and curiosity … They are collectively aspirational, and watching them marry makes you feel one step closer to these big stars who are otherwise inaccessible and elusive,” she adds.

What the wedding planners say
Anjana Kumar, Senior Reporter

Social status, culture, rituals and financial power drive celebrity weddings, say event planners in the UAE.
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