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6 of the most expensive weddings ever, ranked – Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant are getting married, so will their nuptials top Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal, or Prince Charles and Princess Diana?

6 of the most expensive weddings ever, ranked – Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant are getting married, so will their nuptials top Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal, or Prince Charles and Princess Diana?

The three-day festivals reportedly cost the Ambanis US$100 million – and the couple aren’t even married yet. With the actual wedding scheduled for July 12 and the Ambani flair for over the top weddings – Mukesh’s daughter Isha’s wedding to Anand Piramal was celebrated in equally lavish fashion in 2018 – this is shaping up to be one of the most expensive weddings in history.

Ahead of the much anticipated Ambani nuptials, here are six of the most extravagant and expensive weddings to date, ranked – with what they cost at the time, plus what they would’ve cost today, adjusted for inflation.

6. Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia

US$55 million to US$60 million (around US$90 million today)

Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia pose with guests at their engagement ceremony in December 2018. Photo: Handout
According to Guinness World Records, Vanisha Mittal, daughter of Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittala billionaire and one of India’s wealthiest men, reportedly had a US$55 million wedding, per Guinness World Records, that spanned six days and is considered the most expensive wedding ever officially recorded – although Forbes estimates the number closer to US$60 million.

Vanisha got engaged to British businessman Amit Bhatia in 2004 in a lavish ceremony at France’s Palace of Versailles, which was followed by a supper at the renowned Jardin des Tuileries. Kylie Minogue even performed amid fireworks at the Eiffel Tower and was reportedly paid US$330,000 for her 30-minute set. The actual wedding was a star-studded affair held at the 17th-century Chateau Vaux le Vicomte, per Financial Express.

5. Brahmani Reddy and Rajeev Reddy

US$74 million (around US$96 million today)

Brahmani Reddy and Rajeev Reddy smile during their 2016 Hindu wedding ceremony in Bengaluru. Photo: AFP

Another extravagant wedding that made headlines was that of Brahmani Reddy, the only daughter of Indian mining tycoon Gali Janardhana Reddy, in 2016. The five-day extravaganza cost an estimated US$74 million, per The Economic Times, was held in a royal palace, and featured Brazilian dancers.

Guests received personalised wedding invitations via LCD screens and ate with utensils crafted of pure gold and silver. Many in India criticised the wedding, which came at a time when Indians were struggling to find money to buy food following the government’s decision to pull high-value notes out of circulation in an attempt to tackle tax evasion.

4. Chantini Toor and Seemanto Roy; Richa Ahuja and Sushanto Roy

US$75 million (around US$124 million today)

Subrata Roy, the founder of Sahara, once one of India’s largest conglomerates, threw a lavish double wedding for his two sons, Seemanto and Sushanto Roy, in 2004.

The six-day festivals were attended by some 11,000 guests, including some of India’s biggest celebrities. The family reportedly chartered 27 private jets to ferry their guests and a fleet of 200 Mercedes was at their disposal to provide transportation within Lucknow.

In addition to the elaborate festivals – which cost US$74 million at the time, per The Economic Times – the Roy family also extended their wealth to the poor by reportedly donating meals to 140,000 homeless people across India and handing US$2,560 each to 101 underprivileged local couples so they could marry, per The Guardian.

3. Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal

US$100 million (around US$124 million today)

Anand Piramal and Isha Ambani at their 2018 wedding ceremony. Photo: @WforWoman/Twitter
The Ambani family spent nearly US$100 million on Mukesh’s 2018 wedding daughter Isha Ambani to Piramal Group executive director Anand Piramal, per The Straits Times.
The celebrations spanned three different locations: first, an engagement party at Lake Como, Italy, followed by a sangeet party at the City Palace in Udaipur and finally, the wedding at the Ambani residence in Mumbai.

The elaborate nuptials included over 100 chartered flights, a private concert by Beyoncé, and high-profile attendees like Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra. To top it all off, the families expressed their gratitude to the city of Udaipur by feeding 5,100 people for four days.

2. Sheikhs Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

US$45 million (around US$137 million today)

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with a horse. Photo: Handout

The wedding of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to his first wife (and first cousin) Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum was reportedly a US$45 million affair.

The week-long extravaganza, held in 1979, went down as one of the biggest events in the country’s history with the Sheikh issuing a five-day national holiday in the Emirates to celebrate his nuptials. The Sheikh had 20 camels adorned in jewels deliver his wedding gifts to the bride and a stadium was built to host the couple’s 20,000 guests.

1. Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles

US$48 million (around US$163 million today)

Princess Diana and Prince Charles at their 1981 wedding at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral. Photo: AP Photo
The royal wedding between Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981 was considered the “wedding of the century”.

Witnessed personally by over 3,000 people and broadcast to 750 million TV viewers across 74 countries, the US$48 million wedding – per People – saw the “People’s Princess” chauffeured to the wedding in the royals’ Glass Coach.

She arrived at the St Paul’s Cathedral in her iconic puff sleeve wedding gown embellished with 10,000 pearls. Having 27 wedding cakes and heightened security also added to their hefty budget.