Over the last few months, there was immense and intense speculation about where Sonam Kapoor would tie the knot, with speculated venues being sprawling palace hotels in Rajasthan and exotic resorts in Switzerland. However, the actress chose to host her mehndi and wedding in her family’s homes in Mumbai. For the post-wedding celebrations, she chose The Leela Hotel in Andheri (East), Mumbai.
Next, every luxury wedding maker is speculating on the ‘where’ and ‘when’ of the Ambani weddings; family insiders expect them to be grand events, though they may not necessarily be the most expensive weddings of the decade despite the stature and wealth of all the families involved. While Isha Ambani is engaged to Anand Piramal, her twin brother Akash is engaged to Shloka Mehta. Both weddings are expected to take place in Mumbai in December, or one of them later in another location!
Here are five reasons why celebrity weddings are going from big, fat bashes to slimmer, simpler soirees:
1. Large VIP Homes: Many celebrities and industrialists live in sprawling homes, typically bungalows or penthouses, that come with large terraces and gardens spacious enough to host big weddings. For example, Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan tied the knot at Prateeksha, the Bachchan family home in Juhu. Mukesh Ambani’s towering residence Antilia, as well as the Piramal bungalow, are grand enough to host large-scale weddings. Ace wedding planner Bhavnesh Sawhney of Wedniksha who managed Sonam Kapoor’s wedding says, “Hosting a wedding at home makes it more convenient for the hosts for everything is under their control. Moreover, adds Sawhney, “All celebrities have a huge circle of friends and professional acquaintances. So hosting their wedding celebrations in their own hometown is a practical decision.”
2. Busy Calendars: “Given their hectic schedules, many VVIP guests find it challenging to block dates on their calendars for faraway week-long destination weddings” explains Mahesh Shirodkar, Managing Director – Tamarind Global. “Also the sanctity of RSVP’s rarely exists in the Indian diaspora, making it that much challenging on zeroing in on the exact attendance for the events”, states Shirodkar who has managed some of the most high-profile weddings in India and overseas. The last few years have seen many more destination weddings at locations which are a short flight away. Many celebrity weddings have taken place at venues such as Hyderabad’s Taj Falaknuma Palace, the Taj properties in Jaipur and Jodhpur, and Udai Vilas in Udaipur. Luxury resorts in Oman are also proving to be magnets for A-listers and their VVIP guests.
3. Less Cameras Please: Celebrities have to deal with cameras and paparazzi daily, unlike regular couples who are in the spotlight only on their big day. Celebrity wedding photographer Anand Rathi of Reels and Frames explains, “Many A-listers do not enjoy extra attention at their wedding and prefer to keep all – or at least some functions – intimate and private, with only their closest family members and friends in attendance.”
4. Friendship Factor: Most celebrities own impressive homes that can double up as events venues or have close friends who have amazing spaces. The friendship factor often overrides other considerations when choosing wedding venues for the A-listers. For example, Sonam Kapoor hosted her post-wedding party at The Leela Hotel in Mumbai which is owned by her bestie Samyukta Nair’s family. The Ambanis own Jio Gardens in the popular BKC area which has become a hotspot for large events.
5. Close-knit Celebrations: Celebrities such as Urmila Matondkar and Soha Ali Khan’s wedding celebrations were low-key and simple despite their wide networks in Bollywood. These actresses did not host post-wedding receptions after their weddings. Model Lisa Haydon got married to her billionaire boyfriend Dino Lalvani in a very intimate beach wedding in Phuket, Thailand, surrounded by just their close family and friends. Rishi Rochlani of The Wedding Designers says, “Celebrity weddings of Mumbaikars may be much in the news due to the high-profile guest lists but their celebrations (except for the reception) are often much more intimate and less ostentatious compared to those hosted by big business and industrialist families all over India.”