We've already been lucky enough to see Meghan in a sari - and she rocked it.
The biggest wedding of 2018 is none other than the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. So, what would it be like if this royal couple were to have a Desi Wedding?
The most eligible ‘dulha’ in the United Kingdom is tying the knot with the American ‘dulhan’ who is most well known for her role in the Netflix drama Suits.
There’s no doubt that this shaadi will be the most talked about wedding of the year. A royal ceremony, A-List celebrities and enviable outfits are sure to be on show.
Though the day will undoubtedly be lavish, when it comes to weddings, Desi weddings do take the cake for being the most extravagant. From colourful and vibrant outfit choices to the length of the celebrations, South Asian weddings certainly know how to celebrate a union.
Extravagant weddings in Bollywood give us inspiration and a glimpse into the extravagance of Desi celebrations. DESIblitz looks at what this royal event would be like if it took place in the pukka Desi way!
For starters, it wouldn’t simply be a one-day ceremony. Most Desi weddings have a Sangeets or Mehndi function to kick-off the celebrations.
So, this would invite Meghan and Prince Harry’s families to showcase their singing and dancing skills at Sangeets and a Mehndi function.
Giving Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, Doria Ragland, Thomas Markle and the rest of the families to really get into the singing, dholki playing and groove of the first round of Desi beats.
Meghan, the dulhan to be, would most likely don a traditional yellow suit, with minimal makeup.
Prince Harry too would keep it casual with a nicely groomed ginger beard and a sundar Kurta pyjama.
Meghan’s hands, arms and feet would be covered with intricate mehndi (henna) patterns, in preparation for the wedding day.
With their shaadi falling in the spring, an outdoor Mehndi potentially on a foreign location would be a blast. Brightly coloured decorations, marques and a selection of spiced and bland finger food (for those who can’t take the spice) would be a perfect choice.
Arguably the most important decision and the biggest talking point of a Desi wedding are the outfits. Even though Prince Harry is the Royal, most eyes will be on the dress that Meghan wears.
Though most English wedding dresses are very similar in colour, styling and length, Desi bridal gowns are a whole other ball game!
In recent years, we have seen a Bollywood royal wedding with jaw-dropping outfits when Saif tied the knot with Kareena.
As with most royal events, tradition is often most important.
Meghan and Prince Harry would most likely choose prestigious designers such as Sabyasachi Mukherjee or Manish Malhotra to design their wedding outfits.
We’ve already been lucky enough to see Meghan in a sari – and she rocked it.
With her beautiful golden complexion, we can picture Meghan in a traditional rich silk red lehenga with intricate golden beadwork and tiny jewels on the skirt and also on the edges of the dupatta.
For Prince Harry, we can see him wearing a lush layered silk golden sherwani with embroidery. Together with a red pyjama, pagdi and gold khussa shoes. Giving a very regal look as you would naturally expect for an important Desi shezadha (prince)!
We would expect all the key family guests to be wearing exquisite Desi attire.
Prince Harry’s side would include his father, grandfather and elder brother, Prince William, all dressed in a nawabi style sherwanis and matching accessories.
Makeup and Accessories
Meghan Markle’s makeup would be special and very different from the Suits set with an incredible Desi bride look which could feature classy smokey eyes with a golden touch and hint of colours, bold lipstick for that lovely pout and an overall stunning facial finish.
Of course, no Desi wedding outfit is complete without expensive and spectacular jewellery and accessories.
So, we would dress Meghan with a gorgeous tikka on her forehead with a matha patti (jewelled headband), a distinct nath (nose ring and chain) for her nose, gold and jewel encrusted kangan (hand jewellery) and a dazzling necklace with matching earrings which would be a must!
Shezadah Harry would, without doubt, be given a kirpan (sword) to carry with this his sherwani outfit. After all, he is a real and royal prince!
In the past, the Royals have arrived in a luxury black car. Escorted with a parade of guardsmen and police protocol to ensure security.
Desi arrivals, royal or not, are often pretty impressive! As we see in many Bollywood glamorous weddings such as Salman Khan’s younger sister, Arpita’s wedding.
With the wedding taking place at the St George’s Chapel inside of Windsor Castle, we would see Prince Harry arrive on the grounds in Desi style.
Prince Harry would enter as a traditional Desi dulha and he would definitely be on a blinged out horse. On top of that, Prince Harry’s face would be concealed behind a dazzling sehra which will be tied to his pagdi (turban).
A sehra is a decorative head adornment that has garlands hanging down from the turban and would be tied by a sister or cousin sister in the morning. Since he has no sisters, it could be that Princess Eugenie of York or Princess Beatrice of York would do this loving ritual.
Another Desi wedding tradition would be for Prince Harry to have kohl (eyeliner) put on his eyes by his bhabhi (sister-in-law) Kate Middleton, prior to leaving Buckingham Palace.
Accompanying Prince Harry would be a sarbala, meaning the groom’s ‘protector’ who would be smartly dressed and is usually a nephew or cousin brother. So, to cute things up, this would be his nephew little Prince George of Cambridge dressed in a little sherwani and pagdi!
Prince Harry would enter the chapel accompanied by his little sarbala and family.
If the traditional touch is desired for the bride, then Meghan may be brought to the entrance of the chapel on a doli. Where she is carried by the man-held carriage.
Once all the guests are seated in the chapel, they would then wait for Meghan to enter.
The dulhan, Meghan, dressed up as the gorgeous Desi bride would enter gracefully and walk up the aisle accompanied by her father, Thomas Markle.
Both would then be united taking their vows in lavish matrimony.
Venues for the Desi wedding reception is what it is all about today.
From humble beginnings with men just celebrating a Desi wedding while women stayed at home to everything goes from castles to stately homes. Yes, the venue is the hallmark of a Desi wedding day.
So for the jodi of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we would see them having their big day celebrated at the stunning venue of Windsor Castle but decorated reminiscent of a Rajasthani palace. Known to be a popular spot for lavish Desi weddings.
The decorations would include the latest in regal styles and full of colour. Including use of beautiful flowers, silk drapes and stunning wedding themed ornaments.
The seating for all the guests would be arranged so everyone has someone they know around them or not, to encourage mingling! And of course, a dancing area would be a must for a reception party to be filled with guests blasting their Desi moves!
The Food and Drink
As with all Desi weddings, the menu would be critical!
The food and drink are the most important aspect of any Desi wedding which must aim to please the guests. For they are the biggest critics when it comes to any Desi occasion!
After greeting guests with canapes including exotic fruits, mojitos and chaats, an exquisite seven-course dinner is most likely for the royal wedding.
Chefs would even be flown in from South Asia to cook the dishes for such an auspicious royal occasion.
Gourmet Desi food, made with the best spices and ingredients would give the food the royal edge it deserves.
Each course would delight every person with mouth-watering taste and individuality. A good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes is essential on a Desi wedding menu to meet the needs of the varied guests.
Naturally, the food would have to be made usually 1.5 times the guest list. To try and compensate for those who were not on the guest list but still came!
Alcohol is a major feature at Punjabi weddings. So, there is no doubt that the best in cocktails, wines, spirits and beers would be on show for consuming at this royal party celebrating such a huge and important wedding. Remember no one pays for the drinks at Desi weddings so it is free flowing all the way!
For some Desi weddings depending on the religious rituals, the wedding entrance is immediately after the arrival and the ceremony itself takes place at the venue prior to the reception instead of at a separate religious location.
The entrance of the couple is always a major time for excitement at a Desi wedding reception.
The buzz of people waiting to see the happy couple arrive, enjoyment of the drinks and snacks and the natter of Desi aunties humming in the room is the norm for a venue full of guests!
When Meghan and Harry would arrive at the reception, there would be most likely a line of dholi’s either side and a band baja group playing their favourite entrance song.
Many Desi weddings feature indoor fireworks upon the entrance of couples and even escorted by Bhangra dancers behind them. Which would really add a dazzling effect to the entrance of Prince Harry and Meghan.
Once they arrive they would be seated on their ‘thrones’ which are the seats especially decorated for the lucky jodi.
Once the couple is seated the Desi reception party gets into swing including the cake cutting ceremony too.
So, for Prince Harry and Meghan, it’s likely going to a be a very luxurious cake with many layers and tiers.
It Desi tradition, there will be tons of photos being taken and most family members and relatives may want to feed the couple small cake pieces too!
After the cake ceremony, it’s party time giving the family and guests ample time to get into the dancing mood!
Wedding Party Playlist
The best part of every wedding is when we hit the dance floor. With the right playlist and background music, guests can jig all day long.
With the likes of Ed Sheeran expected to entertain the Royals, an A-List Desi musician would surely perform at the Desi wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan.
Big names who names contending to perform would include Arijit Singh, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sonu Nigam – to add a true romantic Bollywood flavour to the wedding.
With the assistance of a full band and backing singers, a top class show would be in store for the couple and wedding guests.
To pump up the beats, a DJ like Baadshah would be a perfect choice! With Bhangra anthems from Diljit Dosanjh and Yo Yo Honey Singh playing, the guest would dance non-stop to their most popular tunes live!
So, we would see Prince Charles and Camila swinging to the Desi beats with the rest of the families from both sides. A few moves from the Duke of Edinburgh would be a delight and of course the Queen herself!
The pinnacle dance would be that of the couple as the highlight event. Where Prince Harry and Meghan would be seen gently swaying to a song that they both love to show a glimpse of their affection on the dance floor.
The Guest List
Western weddings, especially Royal weddings have an exclusive and often limited guest list. Desi guest lists, on the other hand, are often exceptionally large. With the Ambani weddings attracting superstars, a Royal wedding would no doubt feature them too.
If Meghan and Prince Harry were to go down the Desi route, hundreds if not a thousand guests wouldn’t be a surprise.
Because usually, there is the ‘list’ of people invited and then there is the ‘list’ of people who tag along! And in true Desi tradition, you do not turn away anybody who has come!
The guest list for Sheazadah Harry and Meghan would include important family and friends, but also political figures, A-list actors, singers and prevalent socialites.
Whereas Kate and Prince William were all smiles and romance on the conclusion of the ceremony, most Desi weddings end on an emotional note.
No matter how loved up the couple are, tears usually ensue on the bidai for the bride. Which is the time when the Desi bride leaves her parental home to start a new life with her husband and in-laws.
A special union between father and daughter is very reflective in Desi weddings, where the father finds it hard usually to console himself after seeing his little girl, grown-up, married and now leaving the place where he cared for her from the day she was born.
So, Meghan would bid farewell to her parents and family members, tears or joy for the occasion could also be met with tears of sadness from parents. With Meghan leaving her family and career in the US, saying goodbye to that at the wedding will be an emotional milestone in her life.
Desi’s love a celebration – especially weddings! A chance to dress up, dance and meet our loved ones is an opportunity we welcome with open arms.
The Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will certainly be an extravagant event, but if it were Desi, it would definitely be even bigger, colourful and full of lots of drama!