Mega Indian Weddings
As the buzz around the recent Ambani wedding proves yet again, the mega Indian wedding is all about razzmatazz –location, decorations, number of guests, who’s who in attendance, menu, couture dresses, designer jewellery…every single detail just blows the mind.
Over the past 15 years, a handful of weddings have wowed us with their mega scale magnificence and massive budgets.
The trend of mega weddings seems to have begun with Sahara. In February 2004, Sahara Chairman Subrata Roy Sahara celebrated weddings of his sons Sushanto and Seemanto. The month-long twin extravaganza cost a whopping INR 550 crores at that time.
By considering inflation only the cost today would be around INR 1,250 Crores. The 2004 Mittal wedding of Vanisha Mittal with Amit Bhatia was billed at 220 crores. The wedding of her cousin Shrishti Mittal to GulrajBehl in 2013 came with an INR 505 crore price tag.
There was also the 500-crore 2016 wedding of Brahmani Reddy with Rajiv Reddy where just the saree of the bride cost 17 crore! The 2018 wedding of Isha Ambani with Anand Piramal is believed to have cost INR 724 crores.
Count in inflation and Sahara’s INR 550 crores tag seems by far the biggest for an Indian wedding.
What’s a grand wedding without a grand venue! The Akash – Shloka wedding was celebrated at Jio World Centre in Mumbai, Isha –Anand wedding was held at Udaipur. Sahara weddings were held at Sahara Shahar in Lucknow.
The Mittal brothers chose European cities – Paris and Barcelona – for their daughters’ weddings. One thing that has been common among all venues is amazing decor complete with imported flowers, fairy lights, crystal, carpets, candles and chandeliers.
Goes without saying; each of these weddings had fancy invites costing five to six figures each, guests flown in private jets, top chefs hired for catering and bigwigs from politics, corporate and entertainment vying to bless newlyweds.
Sahara weddings had then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Bajpayee, Vice-President Bhairav Singh Shekhavat, ex-PM of India Narsimha Rao, Dy. PM L.K. Advani, Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray (who travelled outside Maharashtra for the first time in a decade), and a large line up of Central Ministers along with governors, chief ministers and ministers from across the country. The Ambanis had Hillary Clinton at Isha’s wedding and the Blairs at Akash’s. Film stars and sports luminaries made the guest list at every mega wedding.
At Sahara wedding, guests were greeted by Subrata Roy Sahara, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Ambani, Kapil Dev and Aishwarya Rai. At IshaAmbani’s wedding, Amitabh Bachchan and Amir Khan served food to select invitees.
What’s a wedding without live music! Beyonce sang at Isha’s wedding, Coldplay and Maroon 5 at son Akash’s pre-wedding and wedding bashes. Vanisha Mittal had Kylie Minogue crooning and Sahara had the 101 piece Royal British Symphony Orchestra flown in from Birmingham.
On a philanthropic note, Sahara hosted a ‘SamuhikVivahSamaroh’ (mass marriages) for 101 couples from weaker economic sections. Since then, conducting 101 marriages has become an annual affair for Sahara. It also served meals to 1,40,000 poor people across India. The Ambanis have held a musical fountain show for army and police officials as post-wedding celebrations.
We look forward to more big bang weddings