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Bollywood Weddings- how much do they cost?

The sangeet at the recently organised GVK Reddy wedding in Hyderabad was termed India’s most spectacular not because SRK and a host of b-town stars were there, but also because the Big B and his entire family was there. There was a lot of speculation on how much each star billed the family and one newspaper even reported that Salman Khan was offered Rs 20 crore for his presence (untrue). Here, we present to the best of our ability, how the business of inviting Bollywood stars as guests or performers to a wedding actually works, and what families shell out for a Bollywood theme sangeet.

A-league actors charge between Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore while SRK’s fee is Rs 2 crore. Sources say Akshay Kumar is the most business-savvy when it comes to negotiating, while among the actresses, it’s Katrina Kaif. The actresses fee range between Rs 30 and Rs 45 lakh. Says Wedding Planner Veena Bachani: “The three most sought-after names@ Weddings today are SRK, Salman and Katrina.”

Bachchans senior we are told are an exception in that they don’t regard ‘attending weddings’ a money-making exercise. They only attend weddings of families they are close friends with, like the GVK Reddy’s. And the presumption is that the Bachchans did not charge the Reddys any fee for their presence at the wedding. When families invite just one or two actors or actresses’ they or their Wedding Planners interact and firm up the deal with the Managers of the stars, but if they’re organizing a big bollywood extravaganza they hire the services of specialist firms like the Moranis owned Cineyug or Wizcraft who are considered the most powerful when it comes to getting the dates or the best rates of A-league stars.

Malaika Arora Khan is one of the most sought-after entertainers @ destination weddings in popular locales like Bali, Thailand and Goa. Source say pre Dabanng, Malaika charged Rs 5-6 lakh, and now her fee is around Rs 12 lakh. Besides flying down Malaika in business class and arranging for her stay at a suite, there are the costs of flying down her troupe—manager, choreographer, makeup artist and sometimes a dance troupe, and their fees. Sophie Chowdhary who charges around Rs 3.5 lakh is also popular and so is Yana Gupta.

While the not in the A-league actors/ actresses charge between Rs 3 and 5 lakh, other actresses like Mehak Chahal, Shveta Salve, Mona Singh, are quite popular at the grand yet not grandest destination weddings. They usually charge around Rs 1.5 lakh. But as Veena Bachani informs us the star fees is just a percentage of the spends@ the sangeet. When there is a big sangeet and performances by Bollywood stars there are several other costs like choreography, decor & stage, compere, DJ, music & sound, dancers and lighting—and the typical budget at a big, fat sangeet (not including the venues, food or an international act) hovers around Rs 50 lakh!

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