The Ambani Wedding Will Set “Trends for Decades to Come,” According to Fashion Insiders

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For most, it would be impossible to top two ultra-lavish pre-wedding festivities, featuring concerts from Rihanna, Katy Perry, the Backstreet Boys and Andrea Bocelli—not to mention the finest of couture. But the Ambani wedding, which will unite billionaire scion Anant Ambani, youngest son of the richest man in Asia, and Radhika Merchant, who works for her family’s pharma empire, is already upping the ante.

“This wedding is going to set trends for decades to come,” says luxury bridal stylist and consultant Nisha Kundnani of Mumbai-based Bridelan. “It’s going to leave a very big cultural imprint.”

She explains that the couple’s traditional Gujarati multi-event celebration, inclusive of around 16 events, is already underway. Friday’s Sangeet welcome jubilee bonded both families and their Bollywood superstar guests through music—in this case, a viral frenzy-causing concert by Justin Bieber. (The not-so-retired singer, who reportedly flew over via private jet, also chilled with the engaged couple backstage.) Earlier that week, the Garba—the traditional Gujarati song and folk dance ceremony—set the bar high for style. The bride stunned in an opulent deep amethyst three-piece lehenga set. Kundnani predicted that the Garba would be “a fashion spectacle.”

The ongoing extravaganza will culminate in an auspiciously timed July 12 wedding ceremony in the Ambanis’ sparkling new and sprawling—as in more than 10 times the size of the Empire State Building—cultural hub, Jio World Centre. More fêtes, including a grand reception, ensue over the following two days in the home of the groom’s parents, Mukesh and Nita Ambani. Home is Antilia, the family’s 27-story mansion designed by Chicago-based Perkins & Will and reportedly built for an estimated $1 to $2 billion. Considering that Beyoncé graced the stage at Anant’s older sister Isha’s 2018 wedding, expectations for the surprise performers are sky-high, with current bets on Drake, Adele, and Lana Del Rey.

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Radhika Merchant and Shloka MehtaCourtesy of Manish Malhotra.

“[Planning the wedding] has taken over a year of dedicated meetings, countless brainstorming sessions, and endless attention to detail,” explains Malhotra, via email, for translation purposes. Bringing the Ambani matriarch’s “essence of India” vision to life, the couturier and Bollywood costume designer weaves vibrant cultural heritage together with “modern elegance” for the overarching theme. “The wedding events are crafted to be immersive, bringing to life new stories and experiences while staying true to the core vision of celebrating Indian heritage and grandeur.”

What Will the Bride, Radhika Merchant, Wear?

Leading up to the July nuptials, Merchant has already showcased resplendent couture and an edgy fashion sense, from a sparkling corseted lehenga by Malhotra, to pink Versace with Hollywood provenance, to a 3D-printed toga by Grace Ling. “She has a great sense of personal style: more fresh, more millennial,” says Kundnani, who emphasizes that Merchant will continue to maintain tradition for her prolific wedding finery.

Creative director Manish Malhotra custom-created an entire “collection” for the bride, including a sumptuous orange and rani pink lehenga with real gold zari embroidery, and an uber-glam chainmail saree for an after-party “Each ensemble is crafted to reflect her distinct personality, blending traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics,” he says, underscoring the finest of fabrics, ornate embellishments and dramatic silhouettes. “Every detail is curated to celebrate her grace and elegance.”


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