The most expensive wedding ever staged took place in 2004 at the 17th Century Vaux le Vicomte; a home built for Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s finance minister that is often described as the finest chateau and garden in France.
The engagement ceremony of Amit Bhatia, a London-based investment banker to 23-year-old Vanisha Mittal, daughter of Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, one of the world’s richest men, was held on June 20th at the world famous Palace of Versailles, the former home of Louis XIV, France’s “Sun King.”
The five days of celebratory events kicked off with a cocktail party celebrating the happy couple’s engagement. During the party, can-can girls entertained the guests. After the cocktail party the guests were taken on a tour of this exquisite palace and its surrounding gardens.
Following this, guests were taken to lavish dinner at the Jardin des Tuileries on the right bank in Paris. At this dinner, guests were treated to an hour-long play that chronicled the love story of Vanisha and Amit. Mr. Mittal and his wife Usha portrayed themselves in this Bollywood production that was written by leading Indian movie star Javed Akhatar, and enacted to a musical score created by music director Shankar Mahadevan, with choreography by dance director/filmmaker Farah Khan.
From beginning to end, this entire affair was first class all the way, from the silver-clad wedding invitation cards containing specially written poems, to the gourmet wedding feast.
Proud father Mittal literally spared no expense to ensure his daughter’s happiness.
The 1,000 wedding guests were all put up in a five-star hotel in Paris, and reportedly feted like maharajas and maharinis.
Top Bollywood entertainers, including Aishwarya Rai and Shah Rukh Khan were reported to be the entertainment for the wedding reception party.
Suneet Verma and Tarun Tahiliani, two India’s most prominent fashion designers, designed the bridal trousseau.
Mr. Mittal also flew in Munna Maharaj, one of India’s premiere caterers and restaurateurs all the way from Calcutta to prepare a gourmet Indian feast for the celebrants.
This has got to be one of the most lavishly staged weddings of all time, and it reportedly cost the proud papa a whopping $60 million dollars, which is just pocket change for a man worth in excess of $6 billion dollars.
The vast sum spent on his daughter’s wedding is just one indication of Mittal’s power, wealth, and ego.
To think that he could spend so much money on wedding festivities when so many of his countrymen dwell in poverty and misery.