A portrait of Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal's wedding celebrations
A portrait of Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal's wedding celebrations Image Credit: Supplied

Indian actors Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal, who will celebrate their union in Mumbai tonight with a grand star-studded reception, is a great example of how inter-faith marriage celebrations can be a superb blend of traditional rituals and modern thinking.

The couple, who formalised their union in March 2020, decided to wait till the pandemic eases to celebrate in earnest. Initially, they had plans to marry in April 2020 but postponed their revelry until they could hold big gatherings without worrying about being a super-spreader.

Their patience paid off.

Richa Chadha and Ali Faizal
Richa Chadha's love for flowers was one of the recurring themes of their wedding Image Credit: Supplied

In the last few days, glorious pictures of the loved-up pair in their ethnic best have been doing the rounds. It’s no secret that this couple, who met on the sets of their whacky comedy ‘Fukrey’ in 2013, are the portrait of a modern-day couple. Unlike their peers who are secretive about their partners, Fazal and Chadha were open about their growing bond. From making their relationship public by walking the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival to speaking openly about their growing love for each other, these two have never shied away from acknowledging each other in public.

As they celebrate their union with a series of festive parties held in Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai, we give you the highlights of their week-long festivities and how this handsome couple hit it off …

How they met?

Ali Fazal and Richa Chadha met in 2012 when they both signed on to be a part of the hit whacky comedy ‘Fukrey’. They began as co-stars, but their relationship grew deeper with time. In 2015, they made it official by walking hand-in-hand at the Venice International Film Festival on the red carpet call of Fazal’s Hollywood venture ‘Victoria and Abdul’. After that, there was no looking back for this couple. Their banter on social media cemented them as one of the sturdiest couples in Bollywood.

Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal
Bollywood actors Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal Image Credit: Gulf News

How did Ali Fazal propose to his lady love?

Trust Ali Fazal to do away with syrupy traditions and go with his gut. Bollywood folklore is rife with stories of how Fazal popped the question while they were vacationing together in Maldives. A routine romantic dinner by the beach became a lot more significant when Fazal reportedly asked Chadha to marry him. It was an impromptu proposal and he had no ring on his person. In an interview with an Indian lifestyle magazine, Chadha claimed that Fazal was so exhausted from the pressure of asking her to marry him that he took a 10-minute nap right after she nodded her approval.

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How did their pre-wedding rituals pan out?

Vengeance shopping and vengeance celebration is real after the pandemic. The couple chose to celebrate in various cities of India. Think cocktail receptions and a sangeet ceremony in Delhi, followed by a star-studded reception in Mumbai with their peers. For their first round of celebrations in Delhi, a starry sangeet with their close friends and family, Chadha chose a rose-coloured hand embroidered ‘Parizaad’ lehenga by designer Rahul Mishra along with a 3D off-shouldered crop top paired with an embroidered silk organza dupatta (stole).

Ali Fazal, Richa Chadha pre wedding
Flower power: Check out Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal for their pre-wedding ceremony in Delhi earlier this week

Fazal chose to keep it simple with a tunic from Abu Jani Sandeep & Khosla. For their cocktail reception in Delhi, Chadha chose to wear a golden sari by designer Kresha Bajaj, while the groom wore a sherwani by Abu Jani Sandeep & Khosla. Around 300 guests were invited for their Delhi do.

Their mehendi and sangeet — pre-wedding rituals celebrated by Indians — were characterised by their love for nature. Natural elements like florals, jute, wood were used plenty to make their theme come alive. According to their publicists, the couple enjoyed ‘a phoolon ki holi’, which roughly translates to holi played with flowers instead of colours, during their sangeet and mehendi.

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The groom was in dapper form. Here's a look at the revelry featuring the man-of-the-moment Ali Fazal Image Credit: Supplied

Apparently, Chadha’s brother sang them a song but the highlight of the evening was when the couple danced to their popular song ‘Ambersariya’ from ‘Fukrey’. After their fun gatherings in Delhi, the two headed to Fazal’s native place in Lucknow. The evening affair was hosted by Fazal’s family for their newest member in their family, Chadha. The evening kicked off with a Qawwali performance by the Sabri brothers of Rajasthan and the cuisine was an ode to Awadhi Lucknow culinary culture.

What does the guest list look like?

While the pre-wedding rituals were mostly attended by their close friends and family, the Mumbai reception on October 4 will have a galaxy of stars attending. The red carpet call is studded with names including Ayushmann Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal, Vidya Balan, Huma Qureshi, Karan Johar, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Shweta Tripathi, Aparkshakti Khurranna, Taapsee Pannu and Shefali Shah. For the first time, the couple will also address the local media on the red carpet. The Mumbai reception will be held inside a 176-year-old mill that has been transformed into a luxurious space for weddings and receptions.

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The couple danced to the hit song from 'Fukrey', where it all began Image Credit: Supplied

What do the couple have to say about each other and their wedding festivities?

The two took to their Instagram to make their plans for their union public.

“Two years ago, we formalised our union and just then the pandemic hit us all. Like the rest of the nation, we too were struck by personal tragedies one after the other. And now, as we all enjoy this window of respite, we are finally celebrating with our families and friends and are so very touched and grateful for all the blessings that are coming our way. We offer you nothing but our love,” said Chadha and Fazal.

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Richa Chadha, the bride, has always marched to her own tunes Image Credit: Supplied

In several other interviews, the couple have spoken highly of each other. In an interview with lifestyle magazine Femina, Chadha said that their celebrations will reflect their personalities.

“I think you’ll witness celebrations that resonate with our personalities, where we respect our cultures, music, art and things that make us who we are as Indians. And, being artistes, it’s lovely to have the love and support of other artistes as well. You’ll see I can’t say too much.”

Richa Chadha and Ali Faizal
Here's a look at the couple in Abu Jani Sandeep & Khosla Image Credit: Supplied