While the bride is almost always the center of attention - what with her heavy lehenga, exquisite jewellery and perfect makeup - the groom is no more far behind. He is as eager to look his best and show the world his most stylish and elegant side. Here's how you can become the king of the party...
By: Rahul Kapoor, Co-Founder, Excedo Luxuria
Posted on: October 10, 2011
Half the fun of an Indian wedding is getting dressed up by going all out to match dress, shoes, jewellery, makeup, purse, bangles, nail polish – anything. It’s supposed to be the grandest of days in a couple’s life – why not make it the most glamourous as well? In times long gone past, on the wedding day, the groom did nothing more than shaving off the beard, wearing the traditional sherwani or a formal suit, combing his hair and applying a bit of perfume. At least, ostensibly so. Today the groom is almost as conscious of his looks as the bride. He also wants to look his best on the wedding day and is ready to make efforts, right from taking an appointment at the hair stylist’s to working out in the gym to get a fit look on the most special day of his life.
With six main traditional events in a typical Indian ‘Shaadi’, starting with the Roka, Religious Day, Engagement, Sangeet and Stag Night, Wedding and finally the Reception, there are so many points to consider! There are various themes (set up by an expensive and efficient wedding planner) to follow and a number of looks to flaunt! And as always, there just isn’t enough time anywhere to help you understand the items available.
Accessories have become a key statement piece in modern day, especially for the elite and tasteful. Rather than being limited to just the wedding ring and shoes, the whole ensemble is now subject to review – right from the buttons on your sherwani to the sheath of the sword which many Indian grooms carry!
Starting with the Pagri (turban), there are many bespoke houses in Paris, Milan, Rome, London and New Delhi who would create a special turban for you - maybe a blend of silk and pony skin. Even a replica of Maharaja Shivaji’s turban has been made by Belle Amesse for an undisclosed customer and sum, but with an estimated cost of 22,000 GBP.
From the Pagri to the Kalri, once worn by the Maharaja’s in India and also by the Sikh gurus, modern day grooms can, at their ease, become royalty. Kalris, a small piece of jewel which is attached on the Pagri, is normally made of gold, ornately adorned with diamonds and semi precious stones like rubies, emeralds and sapphires among others. They give an added sense of decoration and also provide one the opportunity to get back in touch with their roots. Many households have a seal or some sort of symbol which was once used as a mark of houses and occupations. If you are able to research and find that item, shape, symbol or seal, it could be made as a Kalri!
It is said that one of the first things a woman notices about a man is his watch and shoes. So why should it be any different with the groom at his wedding? With some of the best complications and most exclusive brands available in India, the groom can strap a piece of true exquisiteness on his wrist as well! An only tourbillon brand, Cecil Purnell, recently announced their Joallerie 43mm tourbillion, available in rose gold, white gold, palladium (a high-strength material) and yellow gold. It is tasteful, yet exclusively momentous. For a groom, who likes something just as momentous but less eye-capturing, can look at something by BRM (Bernard Richards Manufacture), which is sporty and associational, yet low key, inspired by racing cars and Le mans, with serving complications which are pocket friends. This brand should give you some excellent company on your bachelor’s party! An idea - the stag party could even be themed on sporty, racing cars!
With brands such as 59BondSt, you are now able to match your shoes to your watch, be through colour, style, materials and embellishments - there is so much scope for all! While the superbly created and traditional joothya’s (Indian style, pointed shoes) are much preferred during the actual religious rites, pre and post you can opt for relaxed moccasins such as the Oliver in a range of shades and materials. Being Hindu would mean that you may want to avoid cow/bull hide and leather. There is an easy way around by opting for mountain goat or pony skin. Speaking of pony skin, the Midnight Stallion shoe by 59 BondSt has been a favourite with many grooms and it’s available with diamonds or swarovski in as well!
Cufflinks, special buttons and traditional jewellery can be made-on-order through any fine jeweller, while most of the Indian designers would be ready to create regal attires for the groom. Brands would be willing to make anything for a premium, but what you need to do, is apply a little creativity and innovation. After all, it’s the biggest and most important event of your life. You can’t make it bland or usual, can you?
Rahul Kapoor, co-founder of Excedo Luxuria, works with exclusive boutique brands including Thomas Prescher Haute Horlogerie. Aided with experience in bespoke creations, Excedo Luxuria has also created the first all-services bespoke and customized accessories boutique for the ‘media-shy’. An avid watch collector, he loves scrutinizing and talking about watches as well.