Celebrity Weddings' No Phone Policy: Does It Say Something About Us?

Celebrity weddings and social media are both phenomena that have taken on a life of their own. But what about respecting privacy? A lost cause in the internet age?

Tanvi Akhauri
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As Varun Dhawan and Natasha Dalal, the latest to-be-married celebrity couple, gear up for their big day in Alibaug, word on the block is their wedding is reportedly going to be a 'no phone' zone. The two have apparently stressed the decision to have a media-free wedding, with staff allegedly not being allowed their phones inside. It's not clear whether the same applies to the guests in attendance. But while the two families prep for the (yet officially unconfirmed) ceremony on January 24 at The Mansion House property, away from prying eyes of social media, it begs a look at their 'no phone' rule that, of late, seems to be the underlining trend at many celebrity weddings. 


Dhawan and Dalal's 'mobile-less' wedding, as multiple reports claim, follows on the tail of other high-profile weddings in Bollywood, most notably that of Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas, both in 2018. The two celebrity couples, that got married in Italy and Jodhpur respectively had ensured that no photos - save for the ones they themselves shared - left their wedding premises. It's not too difficult to guess at the reasons for such rules. It allows these celebrities regulation over how much they let the public into their personal lives. So what does that say about us, the public? Has our adulation over celebrities trespassed into obsession? Is that healthy for either party? 

Celebrities Cracking Down On Privacy Invasion? 

Celebrity weddings and social media are both phenomena that have taken on a life of their own, what with the kind of fanatic energy that is poured into them. Both entities have come to share a symbiotic relationship, feeding off of each other, perhaps in capacities more than either can bite. And we, the audience, mediate willingly. As soon as news of an upcoming celebrity wedding breaks, everyone rushes to hunt for leaked pictures or videos from the event. Who wore what, who attended, what was the menu - the entitlement with which we want to know all this (and more) is equal in measure to that of nosy neighbours. 

Much of our excitement may stem from genuine happiness. After all, most of us have heaped praises on film actors for the kind of talents they possess or issues they depict on screen. But even if the nosiness comes from a positive place, does it warrant an encroachment of personal space against the person in question's wishes? Should we take on the begrudging attitude of a spurned lover if the celebrity bars us from even a social media peek into their big day? 

The matter transcends weddings. It appeared prominently in the case of Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli recently. When the new parents were still expecting their daughter, a big news publication had snapped the couple in a private moment on their balcony. Sharma had to resort to naming and shaming them publicly on Instagram, issuing an anguished plea against the invasion of privacy. Should it even have come to that? Must media and gossip-hungry audiences wait to be admonished by a celebrity to retain basic decency?

Respecting Privacy: A Lost Cause In The Internet Age? 


It did not end there for Sharma and Kohli. When their daughter came, the couple had to send what I deem 'tokens of goodwill' to the paparazzi in exchange for a simple request (that any parent shouldn't even feel the need to request for, since they owe the right to it): don't click unsolicited pictures of our daughter in respect of her personal space. Their gesture was a dignified one, but their plight instantly evokes pity. Should anyone have to put forward a bargain for a little baby's privacy? Mustn't that come naturally to both, the media and its audience? 

Other celebrity parents like Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor and Raveena Tandon have also been vocal about their children's lives impacted by constant media glare. The logic behind it is same as that for an adult wedding. Why must a person, by virtue of their public status, be held at ransom to share with us their private milestones? Are we not content with however much they already give us glimpses into? How much of that is driven by the media ratrace for higher viewership and TRPs? 

Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja's wedding, in 2018 again, comprised celebrations that unfolded on social media every day, through pictures and videos. But the couple chose that. The ones that don't, have no reason to be scorned. Because anything that reaches the stage of social media risks being speculated about, manipulated, and sometimes even morphed. And must we blame anyone for avoiding that travesty? 

Views expressed are the author's own.  Image Credit: Mumbai Mirror

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