Inside The Enchanting World Of Bollywood Celebrity Wedding Films The wedding videography industry in India has undergone a paradigm shift, compared to the way the videos were made in the 80s and 90s.

By Kabir Singh Bhandari

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The Wedding Filmer

The wedding videography industry in India has undergone a paradigm shift, compared to the way the videos were made in the 80s and 90s. Pick up any of the video files of weddings from that time, which first were converted from the VHS tapes they were in, and you can see the difference. Instead of the stage by stage retelling of the wedding functions, there is a certain styling that has become part of the videography.

Vishal Punjabi, founder, The Wedding Filmer, is someone who has seen the change take place as he started his company 13 years ago, when wedding videos were merely a function of documentation - a chronological record of events with little storytelling or artistry involved. It was an industry that was largely overlooked, tucked away in the shadows of wedding photography. However, in the years since, Vishal saw a radical transformation, driven by a newfound demand for quality, creativity, and personalization. The rising middle class and their increasing exposure to global cultures have played significant roles in this shift. People started seeking not just documentation, but narration; they wanted their wedding films to reflect their personalities, their love stories, their unique moments of joy, and sometimes, even their struggles.

This transition brought along opportunities for innovation and growth, but also challenges. One notable issue is the influx of wedding photographers venturing into wedding filmography without fully understanding the fundamental differences between the two mediums. Unlike photography, filmmaking requires a deep understanding of movement, timing, and sound, alongside storytelling.

And as far as celebrity weddings are concerned, Vishal was at the centre of it all, making the wedding films of India's power couples - Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli and Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal.

"Deepika, who I had the privilege of directing in Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani, asked me to film her wedding during the filming of a wedding sequence in the movie. True to her word, she kept her promise, a testament to her integrity and an endorsement of my work.

However, it's important to note that we value quality and preparedness above all. For instance, we chose to decline the opportunity to film Ranbir and Alia's wedding as it was so last minute, and I believe in ample preparation to ensure we deliver nothing but the best. Similarly, we decided to let go of filming Priyanka Chopra's wedding, who had chosen People magazine for filming. At the time, we were deeply committed to Deepika's Mumbai reception and Isha Ambani's wedding. We decided to focus on our ongoing projects to ensure we continue to uphold the standard of excellence we are known for," Vishal told us.

Another major player in the game is Siddharth Sharma, Founder of House On The Clouds, who filmed AAP politician Raghav Chaddha and Bollywood actor Parineeti Chopra's engagement. "The engagement of Parineeti and Raghav gave us as filmmakers a fascinating perspective because of their distinct backgrounds and origins. As these two diverse worlds came together, we anticipated interesting moments. Our strategy for documenting the ceremony was to completely immerse ourselves in their auditory world because we knew - in small groups, even the tiniest whispers, giggles, and discussions added to the story," Sharma said.

When Sharma started off in 2015, wedding videography was still viewed as an option, and only a few couples chose it. At the time, it was gradually being recognised as a significant art form. Only extensive videos of the ceremonies, which were rarely watched, were produced.

Along with wedding films, another related filed which has undergone massive change is the wedding event management industry, turning into a completely professional space, something which Devanshi Patel, Founder of Shreem Events, sheds some light on for us. Patel's company was the one behind cricketer Hardik Pandya's wedding with Nataša Stanković, which was spread over two days. "The union of their cultures and rituals made it a unique and beautiful occasion. Planning a celebrity wedding is exciting and pressurising, but the satisfaction of flawlessly executing the event without any hurdles made it immensely rewarding," Patel told us.

Whether it is those entrusted with filming the wedding or the ones organising it, they end up forming an intimate relationship with the family, in the entire wedding, which includes traditional rituals like the Chuddha ceremony, Mehendi, Haldi, and the welcoming of the bride or groom or the fact that so many weddings are now being held in overseas destination weddings in places like Europe and SouthEast Asia.

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Kabir Singh Bhandari

Senior Assistant Editor

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