The wedding season this year has been scaling the charts, right from the spectacular DeepVeer wedding in Lake Como, followed by the trail of receptions, to NickYanka’s magnificent Jodhpur ceremony.
And while we are still reeling from the unimaginable scale of opulence, the spotlight is now on Reliance heiress Isha Ambani and industrialist Anand Piramal, whose wedding is sure to trump even the grandest and most expensive shaadi of year.
Their three-day engagement bash at Lake Como in September was probably the most expensive betrothal of the decade and the wedding celebrations are in all probability going to be humongous, considering Isha is the daughter of India’s richest family.
The couple will tie the knot in Mumbai on December 12, and have chosen Udaipur’s scenic Lake Pichola to be the venue for the three-day pre-wedding festivities. The rituals began on Thursday with the Ambanis feeding 5,100 orphans, homeless and differently-abled thrice a day in a ceremony called ‘Anna Seva’. The function at the Narayan Seva Sansthan in Udaipur will go on till December 10. The beaming bride Isha posted a picture of herself at work with the caption, “My fav moments and pic “Anna Seva” serving food to children (sic).” The pre-wedding festivities also include a unique exhibition called Swadesh Bazaar that will showcase 108 traditional art and craft forms from various regions of the country.
A statement from the Ambani family said, “Depicting folktales and local legends, artists will showcase ancient painting forms like Gond, Madhubani, Phad, Warli and Thangka. Weavers, potters and sculptures from all around the country will make this a mega-celebration of art and culture. This unique exhibit has not just provided livelihoods to thousands of such artisans, but also giving an opportunity to showcase their rare works from every nook and corner of India, for people’s interest, appreciation and support.” There will also be a mehendi, sangeet and cocktail function. It is rumoured that Priyanka Chopra, who is a close friend of the bride will be performing at the sangeet. Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar and international sensation Taylor Swift will also regale the audiences. Performances by singers A.R Rahman, Arijit Singh and Shankar Mahadevan are also on the cards. It is also said that American politicians Hillary Clinton and John Kerry will be flying down to Udaipur and a source informs, “Hillary will be flying down today for the sangeet.” Reportedly, the guests have access to a map that has a detailed insight on the events of the days and the schedule.
A fleet of luxury cars Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar have been specially hired by the Ambani family to pick and drop their guests at the venue. Over 100-chartered flights have been flying in and out of the otherwise sleepy Udaipur airport. Reportedly, special customs and immigration counters have also been set up at the airport and will be functional for the next five days. The wedding is a tightly guarded affair, but B-town’s most famous paparazzo Viral Bhayani has his eyes closely fixated on the venue. He says, “The inside of The Oberoi Udaivilas and the City Palace look grand and beautiful.” The photographer also recently posted a picture of the massive Lord Krishna idol built on Lake Pichola for the auspicious Shrinathji maha aarti that took place ahead of the festivities. A number of floating boats on the lake firmly hold the idol of Ambani’s patron deity Lord Shrinathji.
Designer Manish Malhotra will work his sartorial elegance at the pre-wedding functions. A source says, “Manish will be doing everything, including the design on the napkins for the wedding.” The couple will tie the knot in a family-only affair at the Ambani’s Mumbai residence, Antilla. The families announced in a statement, “We are delighted to share that the marriage of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal will take place in the residence of Shri Mukesh Ambani and Smt. Nita Ambani in Mumbai with family members and close friends on 12th December. The ceremonies will be performed in accordance with Indian traditions, customs, and culture.”