A fortnight back WeddingSutra broke the story of J Lo coming to India for the Hinduja wedding in Udaipur. Since then we have been chasing the details on the next big Indian wedding. It doesn’t take us much time to scoop out the most interesting news in the world of weddings, everyone loves to talk to WeddingSutra. So here it is: the next big Indian wedding will be taking place at the St Regis Clemente in Venice.
The St. Regis Venice San Clemente Palace (left) and newly opened JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa.
According to one of the guests from Mumbai, the families have bought out the entire hotel room inventory for the three-day celebrations in June. While the wedding program and venues for the celebrations are not announced yet, most of the guests will be staying at the St Regis property and the newly opened JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa. The groom (Ashwin Grover) and his bride-to-be (Riya Khilnani) are both from London. His parents are well known in London’s A-list circuit. The groom’s mother Pamela Grover is a close friend of many bollywood superstars while his father Kimi Grover is a business tycoon. In 2013, the Grover’s hosted their elder son Kunal’s glamorous wedding in Cannes. The celebrations took place at some magnificent venues including Chateau Dieter, a glorious renaissance castle that was once home of acclaimed artists Henry and Marie Clews. Many of Bollywood’s biggest names were in Cannes for that wedding including Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan, Rakesh and Pinky Roshan, Ekta Kapoor, Rishi and Neetu Kapoor.
Ria Dubash and Kunal Grover’s wedding in Cannes.
Interestingly, some of the grandest Indian weddings have been taking place in Italy since 2010. It started with industrialist Sajjan Jindal hosting his younger daughter Tanvi’s wedding in Florence. The celebrations were held at five magnificent venues and the nuptials were solemnized at Villa Le Rose which is run by fashion czar Ferragamo’s family. Later, in 2012 UK based industrialist Pramod Agarwal hosted his second daughter’s wedding in Venice. In 2013, Thailand based NRI tycoon Aloke Lohia had his daughter Aradhana’s wedding in Florence- at venues like St Regis, Westin Excelsior and a spectacular estate owned by Italy’s Corsini family.
Last year, two grand Indian weddings took place in Puglia. The UK based Agarwals (whose second daughter wed in Venice) hosted their youngest daughter’s wedding in Borgo Egnazia, one of the most luxurious resorts in Southern Italy. The event with over 800 guests was orchestrated by Marco Balich of Balich Worldwide Shows that specialises in designing and staging big events worldwide, from Olympic Ceremonies to the Carnival of Venezia. A few weeks before the Agarwal wedding, Google head honcho Nikesh Arora tied the knot with Ayesha Thapar (scion of Delhi-based Vikram Thapar group) at an exquisite wedding ceremony that saw the global glitterati in attendance.
Agarwal wedding in Puglia, Italy.
While the Jindal, Grover, Agarwal and Nikesh Arora-AyeshaThapar weddings have made news in India, Florence has hosted a few more extravagant and intimate shaadis. Some very well-heeled Indians based in Europe have chosen venues like Villa Le Corti a renaissance era villa owned by a well-known aristocratic family and located in S. Casciano, a small town nestled in the countryside outside of Florence. And IL Borro, one of the most unique luxury resorts in Tuscany- the magnificently restored property is an oasis of charm with its own medieval village, 19th century villa, farm and farm buildings. And for the local event managers as well as the hotel’s staff this was all a unique, cultural experience– serving up rustic Tuscan dinners complete with wood oven baked pizzas, buffets of seasonal delights and wines to men in regal turbans, and women in colorful lehengas and sarees. Little wonder whenever we travel outside India to visit new resorts or speak at conferences, hoteliers as well as event organisers & specialists have so many questions to ask us on Big Indian Weddings, hoping they too will get a chance to host or manage one someday!
Indian wedding at Villa Le Corti in Florence, Tuscany. Photos courtesy- Wed In Italy.
Indian wedding at IL Borro, Tuscany. Photos courtesy- Distinctive Italy Weddings.