Who: Seemanto Roy’s wedding to Chandni Toor, and Sushanto Roy’s wedding to Richa Ahuja. This was a double wedding, held between February, 10th 2004 and February 14th, 2004. The father of both grooms, Indian industrialist Subrata Roy of Sahara, is estimated to have a net worth of over $5 billion.
Where: The double wedding was held in Sahara, in Lucknow.
How much: Subrata Roy pushed out the boat for his sons’ weddings, spending at least $64 million per couple, which adds up to a whopping $128 million. Guests reportedly feasted on over a 100 different types of entrees including Indian, Italian, Mongolian, Lebanese, Chinese and American fare, with the food managed by Chef Hemant Oberoi and his team from the Taj Group of Hotels. Guests were also treated to live music played by the British Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra also played over 20 Indian songs. Artistes from the UK performed Flamenco dance, classical ballet and tap dance, and noted Bollywood Director Raj Kumar Santoshi filmed the event.
Who: Vanisha Mittal’s wedding to Amit Bhatia. Vanisha is London-based Indian-born steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal’s daughter. Mittal’s net worth at the time of wedding, held in 2004, was estimated to be approximately $6.4 billion.
Where: The wedding was held in France, and the festivities were spread out over at least five days.
How much: The wedding was estimated to have cost over a whopping $55 million. Guests were put up at a five-star hotel in Paris, and Mittal hired the 17th century Vaux le Vicomte for Vanisha’s wedding. The chateau was originally built for Nicolas Fouquet, King Louis XIV’s finance minister.
Who: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s wedding to Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum in 1979. Sheikh Mohammed is the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and absolute monarch of Dubai. Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum is his first cousin.
Where: The wedding was held in Dubai. Since there was no venue large enough to accommodate the 20,000 guests invited, the sheikhs’ family reportedly built a special hall from scratch.
How much: The wedding allegedly cost around $45 million, which would amount to over $100 million today. The festivities lasted over seven days, during which time Sheikh Mohammed rode his horse to every village in the UAE and fed everyone.
Who: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum is on the list again, but this time, in 2004, he married a different woman — his wedding to Her Royal Highness Princess Haya of Jordan was only slightly less lavish than his wedding to first wife, Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum.
Where: The wedding was held in Dubai, like his previous marriage celebrations.
How much: The festivities were said to amount to around $44 million. Once again, a special pavilion was built to house the thousands of guests that attended. Interestingly, it is said that the amount spent on the wedding is enough to feed the people of Dubai for several years.
Who: Russian billionaire Andrei Melnichenko’s marriage to former Miss Yugoslavia and Serbian model Aleksandra Kokotovich.
Where: They celebrated their marriage in Cote d’Azur, France in 2005.
How much: The couple spent an estimated $30 million on their nuptials. The businessman and former Miss Yugoslavia invited Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston to perform at the wedding, and the stars were reportedly flown in on private jets and paid $3.6 million each.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, January 23rd, 2011.