Three Volvos, 120 Toyota Innovas, 50 local policemen, 35 journalists and eight hours of waiting.
Those were the numbers in play at Jodhpur’s otherwise-sleepy airport yesterday, as the celebrity couple of the hour, the Nayars, was scheduled to arrive in a special Kingfisher airbus-320 at 6 pm.
Umaid Bhavan staff stood armed with trays of freshly rolled napkins, cans of soft drinks and bottles of mineral water. Drivers stood in starched uniforms and colourful turbans to receive the guests, who began trickling in from 12.30 pm onwards, in five special flights
Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar’s wedding comes at a price — a price that’s too steep for any celebrity wedding so far.
Video – preparations for liz Hurley – Arun nayyar wedding
To begin with, the couple will stay at the Maharajah suite at the Umaid Bhavan Palace. The bill is a whopping Rs 1,25,000 a night, says Sanjay Umashankar, general manager of the hotel.
But a hotel staff said Arun Nayar had managed to strike a deal “of Rs 45 lakh for 24 hours. It was initially Rs 65 lakh but was finally settled at Rs 45 lakh”.
That’s just the room rent. The beverages — and surely, the champagne will flow freely — have been billed separately. “Arun has ordered 200 bottles of wine and 250 bottles of champaign and there are tonnes of other drinks including scotch,” said Umashankar.
So how much would that cost? “About Rs 5-6 lakh.” Vishal Vyas of the Royal Event Management Company, which is handling the sangeet at Nagaur, said, “Money is not an issue. We were briefed about the ambience. I can’t reveal the exact amount but they have spent roughly Rs 10 crore so far.” Event management teams from Jaipur and Bombay have also been hired.
The sources said the Rajasthani wedding would take place on March 7 night. On March 8 afternoon, the couple are expected to host a party in Balsamand Palace, five km from Jodhpur, while Nagaur Fort would be the venue for a night party. And on March 9, the couple are hosting a post-wedding party at Mehrangarh Fort.
The fort, housing one of the best museums, would be closed for others on that day. Historic Mehrangarh Fort – built by Rao Jodha, founder of Jodhpur in 1459 – will host a lavish multi-cuisine dinner at Daulatkhana.
While Liz is expected to wear a Tarun Tahiliani creation, Arun would sport a saffron coloured turban.
A fine blend of Mughal and European architecture, Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last of the great palaces of India. It is also known as Chhittar (honey coloured sandstone of Jodhpur) Palace.
Designed by famous Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester, the lavish interiors and walls decorated with game trophies are complimented by great murals of self-exiled Polish artist Stefan Norbin.
The palace has been converted into a heritage luxury hotel for the last one-and-half years.
A part of the palace still forms the residence of the royal family while another section houses a museum.
Though Nayar loves Devigarh palace near Udaipur, where the couple had thrown many pre-wedding parties, this time he opted for Umaid Palace as it was not possible to accommodate more than 100 guests there.
Nayar and Liz would spend three nights here before flying back to Mumbai. The couple are expected to land in Jodhpur on Wednesday morning by a chartered flight and the airport staff have been briefed to whisk the couple away soon after arrival. Airport staff, however, refuse to confirm this. “We have no such information as of now,”they said.
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