Arpita Mehta, the Mumbai-based designer who recently tied the knot with long-time beau and menswear couturier Kunal Rawal, reveals intimate details of her subtle-yet-stylish wedding. By Ismat Tahseen
It’s been a few weeks since designers Arpita Mehta and Kunal Rawal got married and the new bride is still getting congratulatory messages with the question, “How did you manage to keep it all understated and so aesthetic?” smiles Mehta. The couple tied the knot on August 28, 2022 and their cream-and-gold affair saw everyone perfectly in sync from their customised clothes to the jewellery, make-up and décor, making people wonder whether months of planning had gone into it. But 30-days is all they had says Mehta, as she opens up about all that went into her beautiful nuptials…
Behind The Scenes of designers Arpita Mehta and Kunal Rawal’s wedding
“Kunal and I were extremely involved in everything from the clothes to the décor.”
Looking back on her big day, Arpita says, “I have never had so much fun than on our wedding weekend. It was very intimate, just 70 of our near-and-dear ones and as a bride, I had a complete blast! It wasn’t easy, of course, to plan it all in one month. Kunal and I were involved thoroughly in the look and feel of everything.”
The wedding clothes were naturally a big part of the planning as both Mehta and Rawal are powerful names in fashion. “Being designers, one thing we knew for sure was, the boys would have to be dressed in Kunal and the girls, in Arpita. We decided on a cream-and-gold theme as this is our favourite palette and something we do a lot in our lines as well,” she says.
“We sat down with every guest and asked them, ‘What do you want to wear?’”
Mehta wanted to customise outfits for each girl, who was invited. She shares, “Usually at weddings, all eyes are on the bride and groom and so, guests dress up as they wish. But the pictures end up looking uncoordinated. In this case, it wasn’t just about customising each outfit, but also about putting together each individual’s look with the jewellery, hair, etc. and it wasn’t easy. For one, everyone’s body type is different, and you can’t fit everyone into the same style. A sari may work for one, but a sharara would be apt for someone else.
We sat with every guest and asked them what they wanted to wear. I ended up having in-depth make-up, hair and jewellery discussions to match each outfit, too. The whole month pre-wedding was when all the execution had to happen. I’d wake up at 5.30am to be in my office right, until the last day. Finally, on the wedding day, it was a sheer joy to have everyone wear our clothes. Similarly, for the décor, Kunal and I selected every cushion, plant, light and rug by ourselves.”
“I made the lehenga of my dreams to not change into something else post-pheras.”
On D-Day, Mehta made for a stunning bride in her cream-and-gold cutdana lehenga detailed with 18,700 mirrors, that had a beautiful four-metre-long tulle veil with dainty 3-D mirrorwork flowers and thread work. “You may see your outfit in a picture any number of times, but seeing it on you is another feeling,” she shares. “I remember doing five samples of the same piece to get it exactly as I wanted.”
Mehta was certain she did not want one element that is cliched. “As much as I love beautiful, fully hand-embroidered lehengas, I don’t enjoy them as it can get heavy and uncomfortable. I prefer softer, free-flowing numbers. So, while the ghera remained, I added soft tulle to my lehenga. In spite of it being heavy, I could still be in it from 6am to 6pm, as I did not want to be that bride, who wears it just for the pheras and then changes into something else. I had decided, if I am going to be making the lehenga of my dreams, I might as well be in it for a long time on D-day,” reveals the designer.
Mehta’s veil also had a special touch. She adds, “It had to look Indian because a veil can be passed off as a borrowed tradition. To tie it within my look, I added the same mirrorwork flowers from the lehenga and made them 3-D. I wore minimal make-up for a soft glam look for the morning. Being petite, I feel less is more.”
“When I walked in on the bridal entry song and saw Kunal dancing, my gait changed.”
She recalls the bridal entry as being one of her best moments. “Everyone loved it and I remember how I decided my song just five minutes ahead. It was from a movie we had gone to watch, when Kunal and I had just started dating. I walked in slowly, assuming it would be a quiet and serious scene and there I saw Kunal, dancing in the mandap. Naturally, my walk changed and from treading in a straight line, I started swinging a bit! This changed the mood to a fun and lively one. Kunal lifted me off my feet — it was the most impromptu moment, which turned out to be our favourite moment from the wedding. With somethings, you’ve to go with the flow.”
Did Rawal get a peek beforehand of what she was wearing and vice versa, we ask? “No, he only saw glimpses of the outfit, when it was in the process of swatches. On D-day, when I walked into the hall, I could just see what he felt in his eyes, in his dance and all over his face, and it was the same for me,” she reveals.
“It’s like marrying your best friend…”
For the newlyweds, their equation has only gotten stronger. Says Mehta, “I’ve known Kunal for very long and we know one another inside out. So, it’s literally like marrying your best friend and it’s the same for him. It’s about unfolding a new chapter with a best friend and partner, for life.” When we prod Mehta to divulge their honeymoon plans, she says: “We haven’t decided on that yet. We’d just treat it like a trip or a holiday, keeping work in mind as we both have hectic days. We will figure out where to go soon.”