Some of India's top film stars, business leaders and political personalities were arriving at a lavishly decorated Mumbai venue on Saturday for the wedding of Akash Ambani, the scion of India's richest family.
Akash Ambani, 27, is set to tie the knot with his childhood friend Shloka Mehta, 28, in extravagant celebrations spanning several days.
Akash is the son of Indian business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, whose estimated worth is 50 billion dollars, according to Forbes' 2019 Billionaires List. He is the chairman of the oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries.
Shloka, 28, is the daughter of Russell Mehta, the managing director of Rosy Blue, ranked as one of the top diamond companies in India.
She and Ambani attended school together, according to a source who knows both families. Both hold positions in their respective family businesses.
Among the first guests to arrive were Britain's Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, Bollywood celebrities Priyanka Chopra, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar and Sri Lankan cricketer Mahila Jayawardene, Bollywood magazine Filmfare tweeted.
Hindu wedding rituals are to be held at the Jio World Centre at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. The multi-use convention complex was recently dedicated to the city of Mumbai by Nita Ambani, the groom's mother and chairperson of Reliance Industries' philanthropic arm Reliance Foundation.
The convention centre is set to be completed later this year but on Saturday it was transformed into a fabulous wedding venue decorated with horses, elephants, peacocks and an image of the Hindu god Krishna all made of fresh flowers.
The Ambani family - Mukesh and Nita, the groom Akash and his siblings Isha and Anant, as well as grandmother Kokilaben - were clad in sumptuous shades of pink with gold and silver.
Nita Ambani held up an engraving of the Hindu elephant god Ganesha as she posed for photographers. Ganesha's blessings are sought before every auspicious Hindu ceremony.
The evening's ceremonies will be followed by a blessings ceremony on Sunday at the same venue and a grand reception at the Ambani home in Mumbai on Monday.
One of the highlights of the wedding venue was a sprawling musical fountain in the grounds, the IANS news agency reported.
A special show was planned on Sunday when the movement of the fountains would be combined with a performance by musicians.
The wedding festivities were preceded by a three-day pre-wedding bash at St Mortiz in Switzerland on February 23-25 which saw performances by Chris Martin of Coldplay and The Chainsmokers, Vogue India reported.
The pre-celebrations in Mumbai included a Harry Potter-themed party at Antilia, the 27-floor skyscraper residence of the Ambanis near the Mumbai seafront. The street in front of Antilia has been decorated with lights for weeks leading up to the events.
The wedding of Akash Ambani's twin sister Isha in 2018 made headlines with festivities in Lake Como in Italy, Udaipur in Rajasthan where Beyonce was among the performers and the December wedding at Antilia.
Founded by Dhirubhai Ambani in 1966 to manufacture fabrics and textiles, Reliance Industries is today one of India's largest private sector enterprises engaged in petrochemicals, refining, organized retail and telecommunications.
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