Our Instagram feed was recently beaming with wedding pictures of popular Bollywood couples like Rajkummar Rao and Patralekhaa, Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif, and Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, too. Apart from keeping a close eye on their guest lists, what also made these shaadi sagas beautiful was how these couples were announcing their D-day by sharing the most mesmerising photos from the event on social media. This gave us a chance to notice one big wedding trend that is not going anywhere — the art of playing with subtle colours, when it comes to grooms. Though in recent times, many have chosen to match their wedding attire with their better halves, most of them have opted for safe colours in ivories and pastel hues. 

Rajkummar Rao, who tied the knot with his longtime sweetheart, Patralekhaa on November 15 last year, wore a silk kurta and churidar from designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. He impeccably paired his kurta with an embroidered raw silk ivory jacket that had gold-plated Bengal Tiger buttons. 

Vicky Kaushal, on the other hand, looked handsome in an ivory silk sherwani with intricate marori embroidery, silk kurta, and churidar for his December wedding with actor and girlfriend, Katrina Kaif. His attire featured iconic handcrafted gold-plated Bengal Tiger buttons, again from Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s collection. Also, the shawl that Kaushal wore was a tussar georgette featuring zari marori embroidered pallu and borders.

Ranbir Kapoor, too, looked charming as he complimented Alia Bhatt in an intricately embroidered silk ivory sherwani, also from Sabyasachi, with a layered pearl necklace, a matching white organza saafa with a stone-studded accessory on it, and a shawl with zari marori embroidery for his April wedding. So are Indian grooms not ready to experiment with colours?

Designer Tarun Tahiliani says that as women are becoming increasingly understated and subtle with their use of colour and with more brides sporting the natural look, men are following suit.

“While we do love colour in India — at least for the wedding — the overarching preference is for tones of ivory, beige cream, dusty gold, and any tonalities in between; maybe with a touch of red. I feel that this colour palette suits Indian men very much,” he says. “Also because men’s wedding clothes themselves tend to be quite elaborate in terms of embroideries, patterns, motifs, kamarbands, and shawls, the monochromatic silhouette is much easier on the eye. Do bear in mind that most people typically wear Western clothes that tend to be less formal on a day-to-day basis, so to suddenly dress up in multi-coloured zardozi will surely feel out of character. The trend also stems largely from celebrities sporting simpler, cleaner looks, that are well-tailored, so it all seems to go hand in hand,” he adds.

In the past too, actors like Shahid Kapoor opted for a serene white-coloured, bandhgala sherwani for his wedding and we loved how he completed the look with a contrasting pagri and formal shoes. Even actor Saif Ali Khan opted for a classic golden piece during his wedding with actor Kareena Kapoor Khan. Designer Raghavendra Rathore created a Benarasi brocade achkan for him with inputs from the groom and references from his father’s wardrobe.

“The classic palette of ivory, off white and beige tones, remains the preferred choice. They’re considered regal and classy, and the best part is that they can be paired with contrasting accessories. Whether you are a groom who prefers a classic sherwani or someone who prefers bolder or, modern shades, bespoke services create that sentimental yet subtle, thoughtful, and practical personal style individually created for every groom,” Rathore notes. While many grooms are hesitant to try out colours in their wedding outfits, there are celebrities like Ranveer Singh who believe in doing things differently — even with costumes.

At the mehendi ceremony, Singh was seen in a printed cotton angrakha and an embroidered silk bundi by Sabyasachi. For his Sindhi wedding, he chose a red Kanjeevaram sherwani from the same label, and paired it with a leheriya safa and layered jewellery made of diamonds, emeralds, and garnets. Maybe this is the reason why the menswear wedding market is ready to experiment only if the men are ready. Designer Rahul Mishra says that some grooms prefer pastels, ivory, and gold, which are more subtle, and a few have also opted for fully hand-embroidered colourful pieces made in base colours such as mint, periwinkle blue, coral, salmon, and burgundy. “I believe Indian grooms are quite open to experimentation, and deserve more credit when it comes to making informed choices beyond what trends dictate. Our craft is central to our design approach, and we have quite organically made the vibrant colour palette, floral motifs, and landscape artworks that are synonymous with our brand, key features in our menswear. To us, it isn’t a statement, but an artistic expression in its purest form.” He also says that there is a misconception that wedding outfits need to be traditional.

“In fact, the traditional wedding attire, as we know it today, has evolved from the time of the industrial revolution, when natural dyes were replaced by synthetic ones and sewing was mechanised. I think, there has been a dearth of options in the market in terms of colour for the groom, but as this changes, it has become clear that men are open to wearing colours apart from the traditional ivory, gold, and pastels,” he says. The Indian wedding market is valued at $50 billion, second only to the United States, and this shows how important bride and groom wear is. According to reports, nearly 11 million weddings are expected to take place annually, this year, so you get the drift. Bidyut Bhanjdeo, Head-Sales, Large Format Stores & E.Commerce, Lifestyle Business of Raymond Ltd, says that grooms are experimenting with silhouettes, like an open sherwani with a kurta instead of experimenting with colours. Consumers are asking for different cuts and styles for their wedding attire be it sherwanis, kurtas, or suits. They are looking for kurta bundi combos, sherwani kurta combos, etc. There’s a preference for contrast waistcoats in three-piece suits. “New colours that are working this season are mint, maroon, teal, etc and these colours are also seen in suits,” he shares.

Adding to this, Rathore points out, “It’s all about tailoring an individual look. Wedding outfits have always been considered similar to pieces of art — heirlooms that have been passed down to generation. The aesthetic celebrates the rich, layered culture of Indian, which is timeless. Classic bandhgalas and achkans have forever brought grandeur and a touch of decadence to groomswear,” he adds.

There seems to be a wave, where individuals are looking for clothes that are expressive of personal style. Echoing this, Mishra says, “I think it is being perceived in that way since people are now diversifying their choices. We see that trickling down as more options in terms of silhouette, colour, prints, and patterns become available. This is a very welcome shift in consumer behaviour. We see this when our clients come to us wanting a personal touch to their clothes, and when they opt for pieces that call out to them personally, rather than what trends suggest,” he says. 

Parthip Thyagarajan, CEO of WeddingSutra.com, suggests that the trend could have something to do with intimate weddings gaining more currency, because that would mean having an overall understated vibe. “What I have observed is that even if the groom is picking a light or understated colour and his bride is in bright colours, he may opt for something that looks rich and colourful in his pre-wedding functions. Now that big weddings are slowly back where the setting is glamorous, soon you will see embroidered fabrics with a rich bright colour palette, especially during the evening and day functions.”

Now that you have the complete guide on tips and trends, get wedding ready, you handsome groom.