Christmas is usually a busy period at all hotels and retail establishments here, but for the staff at The St Regis Mumbai and its adjoining Palladium Hotel, the Christmas weekend was also an unusually exciting one. That’s because exactly one day after Christmas, The St Regis Mumbai will host the Reception of the Year.
After a secret wedding in Italy, and a grand reception for family and top politicians in New Delhi, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli are hosting a party for Bollywood A-listers, select business barons and the Mumbai cricket fraternity at The St Regis Mumbai on December 26th.
This will certainly not be a mega-scale event for the hotel staff or wedding and event managers like Shaadi Squad who are used to managing events with 500 or more guests. Virushka’s reception will have less than 500 guests, but the profiles of the expected attendees and the fact that this reception will be the finale event of the #Virushka wedding celebrations make it something on a different scale altogether.
The Wedding Makers
At the 9th floor lobby of The St Regis Mumbai, one of our team members spotted wedding planners Tina Tharwani and Saurabh Malhotra of the now famous company Shaadi Squad with Team WE (Weddings & Entertainment) Hospitality and ace bodyguard Yaseen Khan. A favorite for most Bollywood and high-profile cricketers’ weddings, Yaseen Khan was earlier Shah Rukh Khan’s personal bodyguard and now runs YK Protection Services.
We got talking to one of the Shaadi Squad team members but he was tight-lipped about arrangements for the reception. All he was willing to divulge was his role at the event – to coordinate with the key teams also involved with the #Virushka reception such as photographers Aayushi Sachdeva and Kanishka Sonthalia of The Wedding Salad and Vishal Punjabi of The Wedding Filmer.
Business as usual at restaurants
We spoke to a senior manager at The St Regis Mumbai to enquire if their hotel’s indulgent restaurants– from the all-day diner Seven Kitchens, the Pan Asian restaurant By the Mekong (our favorite) and Yuuka, the Japanese restaurant will be open for business on the evening of December 26th. “Of course,” he answered, emphasizing that the entry to the reception venue will be from another entrance so it will be business as usual at the hotel while admitting that the lobby and restaurants are likely to be full of guests.
Celebrity wedding guests
With so many celebrities expected in the evening, how do the hotel plan to keep curious onlookers at bay? The manager shared details with us off the record, “All arrangements have been put in place by our crack team in coordination with Shaadi Squad. The runway leading to the reception venue will be masked with black cloth so no one will be able to see who is entering. Special arrangements have been made for over 50 media photographers to click pictures of the celebrity guests. Virat and Anushka will, of course, step down for a photo op for ten minutes.”
Virushka Photo Courtesy: Camera Crew