“There is no stylist here – the ladies of the house have styled the wedding themselves.” When Gayatri Ruia, the bride’s mami, told us this about the picturesque people and decor at this wedding, we were quite surprised, like everyone else. The nuptials of cool young couple Devanshi Dalmia and Ashiis Goenka on Sunday were a meticulously planned event, conceptualized and driven by the power ladies of the family, Abha and Sharmila Dalmia. Devanshi’s dadi ‘Abhaji’, as everyone calls her, Sharmila, her mother, and Gaurav Dalmia, her father, had not a spare moment over the past few days. Despite running around all day, the older Dalmia matriarch was flawlessly dressed, not a hair out of place, and Sharmila’s famous good taste dictated every little detail of the stunning wedding – from the temple bells and potlis at the entrance to the masses of flowers artificially planted into acres of grass. Sangeeta Goenka, Ashiis’ mother, was complimented for her jewellery, especially her striking nath.
Power ladies: While Gaurav Dalmia and Sanjay Goenka, the dads, had not a spare moment either, it was the ladies who dominated the event. Devanshi’s nani, Amla Ruia, told us that the women really drive the weddings. “The ladies take all the decisions, look into all the nitty-gritties, even the tiniest details. You have to choose from all that’s available online, find the best people to execute it, and then micro-monitor the execution itself. The ladies of Dalmia House stood through the night to make sure that the venue looked like this.” Gayatri, her daughter-in-law, did stress that the men were an equal part of the preparations, but agreed that weddings like these were the ladies’ “tour de force”. Old-school, heritage saris and the most elegant ensembles and jewellery marked them out. Gayatri herself got her lehenga stitched using her mother-in-law’s old Banarasi brocades and wore her bor (Rajasthani tika). Avantika Dalmia, the bride’s aunt, completed her traditional look with a maang tika and elaborate nosering. Even the younger women are now closely monitoring what the grandmoms and moms and moms-in-law wear. “It’s coming back into fashion now,” Gayatri agreed. From jadau necklaces to old minakari chokers, the family heirlooms and jewels were on full display, including in the bride’s ensemble.
Kejri goes Marwari too! The most talked about guest was Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who spent a lot of time with MH Dalmia. Members of the Marwari community surrounded the CM at the dinner table, and discussed everything from the odd-even rule to Kejriwal’s proficiency in Marwari. When asked to say something in Marwari, Kejriwal said, “My parents speak that at home, but I am still learning. Abhi toh Punjabi seekhni hai,” hinting at AAP’s Punjab ambitions. But in his imperfect Marwari, Kejriwal did try, saying, “Mane Marwari bolni koi na aawe!”