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!"
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The wedding industry is notorious for a lot of things, and it gets a bad rep for a lot of them. Often times the extravagant costs cause criticism, but perhaps one of the most legitimate critiques is lack of body diversity in fashion and planning tools. Thankfully, these eight plus size wedding gown designers are helping to alleviate a bit of the frustration plus size brides feel. With sizes that can range from zero to 32, they're letting all brides know that no matter their body size or shape, there's a wedding dress perfect for them.
As a plus size (soon-to-be) bride looking through bridal magazines, bridal blogs, and planning tools, it's been more than slightly discouraging not seeing women who look like myself. While every body type deserves representation, the vast majority of representation in the wedding industry is of smaller bodies, and as a result, bridal fashion tends to cater to those straight bodies. For me, that's the most significant issue when it comes to plus size brides.
Not only does wedding fashion often seem to implicitly exclude larger bodies, it completely bypasses bodies outside the typical 14-24 range. In my research, finding gowns that go beyond a size 24 is not a simple task. While there have been strides made in many avenues of the fashion industry — like the rise of the extended size bikinis courtesy of incredible women like GabiFresh — the wedding industry seems to be lagging behind more so than most.
These designers and brands, however, have an incredible range of sizes in styles that are just simple the "flattering" a-line that plus-size ladies are often told to wear. Some have even begun to feature plus size women in their ads. So, if you're a plus size bride seeking a gown, don't fret —these brands are crazy size-inclusive.
Not only are Allure gowns completely gorgeous, but they offer a specifically plus size line as well as offering their straight size styles in plus sizing. To top that off, they extend to size 32! Basically, Allure is doing so much right.
Mori Lee's Julietta line features a stunning array of wedding gowns that reach size 28. Like Allure, Mori Lee features all styles and silhouettes for your bridal desires.
Roz la Kelin
Roz le Kelin gowns are nothing short of breathtaking, and their plus size line is one of the most incredible on the market. Plus, these gorgeous gowns come in a size 44. Roz le Kelin for the win!
While some of the Watters labels only go to size 15, the Watters WToo Curve line extends to size 32! Yes for size inclusive and plus inclusive sizing!
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Against the sound of thousands of hearts collectively breaking, there's an eerie quiet in the All Blacks camp over Richie McCaw's engagement news.
Fans were quick to congratulate the rugby star and his hockey-playing bride-to-be Gemma Flynn (or mourn that they'll never be the future Mrs McCaw), while the Black Sticks also shared a tweet of congrats to their player.
But from the rugby fraternity, there was nary a peep, with more player tweets about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (looking at you, Piri and Liam) than of congratulations.
Our guess is the silence means super-secret nuptials, with the planning - and the A-list guest list - kept well away from the public eye.
We've compiled a list of possibilities to help plan what will arguably be the biggest wedding in NZ history:
The hardest part of any wedding is culling the guest list. It's even harder when you're a celeb, with the public wanting to know who made the cut, who didn't, and what it might mean.
Will the entire Rugby World Cup-winning side be invited, along with their +1s? Or will Richie have to pick his faves? Kieran Read, Conrad Smith and Keven Mealamu seem like certain invites, and our money's on Dan Carter as best man.
Alongside the inevitable rugby and hockey A-list, we're expecting a small number of who's who from outside the sporting world to attend, but the guest list will mostly be made up of the media-shy couple's close friends and family.
Will John Key make the list, and pester Richie for an altar-side selfie? We sure hope not.
Auckland, Christchurch, or somewhere far, far away from prying eyes?
If the happy couple's engagement photo was any give away, central Otago might be a good spot for a white wedding, while Gemma's hometown of Tauranga also has plenty of picturesque venue options.
An estate would be ideal: The private pair will likely want to reduce their travel between the ceremony and reception to avoid unnecessary exposure to paparazzi, and give their celeb guests as much privacy as possible.
Queenstown's Stoneridge Estate could be a goer - but will Richie and Gemma want the same wedding photo backdrop as Ali and Casey Williams?
Instead, chopper pilot Richie could jet the pair into Omarama Airfield, marry in the aerodrome, and put their guests up in the on-site chalets. If they ask nicely, they could probably get the overhead airspace closed to keep snap-happy media out.
The other big decision is: glam or rustic? While our money's on a luxury lodge, there are also plenty of 'grammable options off the beaten track for this laidback couple.
We wouldn't be surprised if top New Zealand designers have already got their bids in to dress the couple for their big day. Will All Blacks sponsor Barkers dress the boys? And, most importantly, who'll design Gemma's dress?
Kiwi designer Jane Yeh is the obvious choice, having dressed several All Black wives, including Casey Williams and Amy Kahui, and top female sports stars like Kayla Sharland, Casey Kopua and Temepara Baily.
Another possibility is Anna Schimmel, who was enlisted to create the gorgeous gowns of Honor Carter and Amber Vito.
Will Richie and Gemma go the full celebrity route, and do a photo deal with a women's magazine? Though not possible for us common folk, an exclusive over pics is the perfect way to stop guests watching the ceremony through their cellphones, and posting unauthorised photos online.
Security is bound to be tight on the big day, to keep VIP guests feeling safe and ensure their privacy. Will Guy Williams pose as an All Black and try to sneak in? We wouldn't be surprised.
It's anyone's guess what song the couple's first dance will be set to. Richie's previously revealed he's a bit of an easy listening fan, but we hope it'll be something a bit more upbeat to get the All Blacks on the dancefloor. Might we suggest We Are The Champions?
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