Anant Ambani & Radhika Merchant's Pre-Wedding Fête Will Include Rihanna, Hillary Clinton, & 200 Elephants

Anant Ambani, the son of India’s richest man, is set to wed his childhood sweetheart later this summer on July 12th, 2024. But before Ambani and his soon-to-be wife Radhika Merchant, whose industrialist father Viren A. Merchant is also very, very wealthy, say “I do,” they have a lavish pre-wedding ceremony planned from March 1st to the 3rd. Temples have been erected, A-list performers and guests have flown out, and no expense has been spared. Below, everything to know about the pre-wedding bash of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant.

The Itinerary

The pre-wedding fête, a tradition in Indian nuptials, will begin on Friday, March 1st in the western city of Jamnagar with a cocktail reception that The Times has described as “an evening in neverland.” The following day, guests will put on their best “jungle fever” attire (oh, they’ve also been sent a nine page dress code for the weekend) to embark on a trip to the Reliance Animal Rescue Center, a project of Ambani who cites wildlife as one of his passions. After, the crowd will change into “dazzling” looks for a Moulin Rouge-themed bash. Reportedly, Merchant will be dressed by Indian designer Manish Malhotra for this portion of the real life fairytale.

The final day will send guests off with a bang. They’ll begin Sunday with “tusker trails” which The Times explains will feature 200 elephants, 300 big cats, and 120 reptiles which have been “previously at risk of being sold or poached.” Afterward, there will be a Hastakshar or “signing ceremony” to round out festivities in which guests have been asked to abide by “Heritage Indian” dress.

The Venue

Proceedings will take in and around the city of Jamnagar, mainly the sprawling Ambani residence, however it is Sunday night’s venue that has caused the most discussion. Per local outlets, the Ambani family has renovated or built 14 temples for the singing ceremony with each boasting “intricately carved pillars, sculptures of different deities, and colorful fresco-style paintings,” according to The Times of India. Oh, the perks of having billionaire Mukesh Ambani as your father.

The Guest List

While most Indian pre-wedding ceremonies are kept to close friends and family, the Ambani family have invited guests from around the world (apparently just over 1,200 in total). The list is reported to include Bill Gates, the Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, members of Bhutan’s Royal family, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ivanka Trump and Qatari diplomat Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani are also set to make an appearance.

The Performance

Rihanna (yes, Rihanna!) is set to perform for the couple and is reportedly being paid a hefty sum (well over seven figures) for her talents. The singer, whose last major performance came well over a year ago, was spotted arriving to Jamnagar with her partner A$AP Rocky on Thursday, February 29th.

Mukesh Ambani, whose company Reliance Industries is valued at over 100 billion, is no stranger to enlisting A-list performers to attend the weddings of his children. For his daughter Isha Ambani’s vows in 2018, Beyoncé put on a performance (with outfit changes and all) and was reportedly paid around four million for her vocal chords. Isha also had John Legend play at her engagement ceremony in Lake Como, Italy. The eldest Ambani son, Akash, was lucky enough to have Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Maroon 5 sing at his pre-ceremony and wedding, respectively.

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