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Inside Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s Pre-wedding Celebrations

Ahead of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's July wedding, the couple and their families celebrated a three-day pre-wedding event with 1000+ business tycoons and celebrities gracing the event. Read all about the celebration here.

anant ambani pre-wedding

Photography: Stories by Joseph Radhik

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani's youngest son, Anant Ambani, will tie the knot with industrialist Viren Merchant's daughter, Radhika Merchant, on July 12th, 2024.

Anant Ambani leads the energy vertical at Reliance Industries, and Radhika Merchant is the marketing director at her family’s company, Encore Healthcare. They met through a mutual friend in 2017 and have been dating ever since. 

In 2023, Anant Ambani proposed to Radhika for marriage during their visit to the Shrinathji Temple in Nathdwara, Rajasthan. Upon their return, the families hosted Anant and Radhika’s engagement ceremony in January 2023 in a Gol Dhana ceremony. This year, the couple hosted the biggest pre-wedding ceremony India has ever seen from Mar 1–3, 2024, in Jamnagar, Gujarat. Their pre-wedding event and hastakshar went viral for all the right reasons!

Read all about the pre-wedding celebrations of the biggest wedding of the year.

Inside Anant Ambani & Radhika Merchant’s Pre-wedding Festivities

anant ambani wedding pictures

Image Credit: Getty Images

Ahead of the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant, the Ambani family was seen performing an 'anna seva' at Jogwad village, near Reliance Township in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The Ambani family members served Gujarati meals to about 51,000 residents. 

According to Forbes, Mukesh Ambani, the 9th richest person in the world, celebrated his youngest son’s 3-day pre-wedding event from Mar 1 to Mar 3. More than 1,000 well-known people worldwide attended the event in honour of it. His guest list included: 

  • Business magnates like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, Gautam Adani and family, Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Aditya Birla Group Chairperson Kumar Mangalam Birla, Wipro's Rishad Premji, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla, and his family, to name a few.
  • Cricket legends include Sachin Tendulkar and his family and MS Dhoni and his family.
  • Bollywood megastars Amitabh Bachchan and family, Shahrukh Khan and family, Amir Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna, Ajay Devgan and Kajol, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and family, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, Aditya and Rani Chopra, Karan Johar, Boney Kapoor and family, Anil Kapoor and family, to name a few.

Both families chose Jamnagar as their pre-wedding event venue to honour the roots and legacy of the Ambani dynasty. In a recent interview with the press, Radhika revealed that, according to her and Anant, Jamnagar is their karma bhoomi, or land of duty. It is not only Anant’s grandmother Kokilaben’s birthplace but also the home ground of Vantara, a project that is very close to the couple’s hearts.

Day 1: An Evening in Everland

An Evening in Everland Set-up (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

An Evening in Everland Dinner Set-up (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

Floral Decor by Jeff Leatham  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

India's largest drone show at Anant Ambani's Pre-wedding  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

On March 1, the first day of the three-day pre-wedding celebrations, Anant Ambani, his fiance, and his family chose a sophisticated cocktail dress code for an evening themed 'An Evening in Everland'. The bride-to-be was flaunting a custom Versace dress with bespoke jewellery from Kantilal Chhotalal. To Radhika’s utter surprise, the evening venue had been converted into a glass palace, representing Radhika’s favorite spot in New York City—the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The entire glass palace was adorned with flowers by Jeff Leatham. Post-dinner, guests saw India’s largest drone show as 5500 drones took to the sky, shining the story of Vantara with sparkling lights. 

Rihanna performs at Anant Ambani's pre-wedding event  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

The grand highlight of the evening was global sensation and pop icon Rihanna’s exclusive performance on the first night of the celebrations. According to sources, Rihanna was paid around $5 million to perform at Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's pre-wedding celebration. Radhika changed into a beaded Ashish dress for this event. Guests were seen dancing to the tunes of this grand celebration till 7 a.m.

Day 2: A Walk on the Wild Side and Mela Rogue

Set-up for the 'Walk on the Wildside' Brunch  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

Anant Ambani, who holds a directorial position at Reliance's diverse energy ventures, announced the launch of the Vantara (Star of the Forest) program in February 2024 and revealed that this program has been designed to focus on rescuing, treating, and rehabilitating injured and threatened animals worldwide. On March 2, the second day of their pre-wedding celebrations, 'A Walk on the Wildside' at the Ambanis' animal rescue centre in Jamnagar was planned for all guests. To mark the beginning of this enormous initiative, the couple went to great lengths to host all 1500 guests at the rehabilitation centre and shared complete audio-guide systems with them to create a seamless connection with the animals that have been given a new life here.  The dress code for this event was 'jungle fever’, and all guests were encouraged to don jungle-themed attire.

Mela Rouge-themed Carnival Decoration  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

Radhika Merchant's performance at Mela Rogue  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant perform with their friends  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

Later that evening, the Ambani family hosted 'Mela Rouge', a playful spin on the original conceptual film Moulin Rogue. All guests were advised to bring their dancing shoes and put their best foot forward at this party. Renowned illusionist and endurance artist David Blaine gave an enthralling performance for all guests. Multiple family performances followed this. The evening was chimed with Bollywood performances, including Ace designer Manish Malhotra dancing to the Bollywood wedding anthem 'Bole Chudiyaan', with young talents like Janhvi Kapoor, Ananya Pandey, Sara Ali Khan, and Khushi Kapoor; Diljeet Dosanjh’s exclusive performance; the 3 Khans - Aamir, Shahrukh and Salman Khan’s groovy performance; and Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s short couple performance.

Day 3: Tusker Trails and Hastakshar

Hastakshar Ceremony Decoration  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

Radhika's dreamy bridal entry  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

The adorable couple at their Hastakshar ceremony  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

Nita Ambani's Bharatnatyam performance after the Hastakshar ceremony  (Stories by Joseph Radhik)

March 3, the last day of the pre-wedding gala, began with ‘Tusker Trails', an activity that allowed all guests to immerse themselves in Jamnagar's natural beauty and breathtaking scenery. The final event of the day was the formal hastakshar. The bride-to-be wore an iconic traditional ensemble, a concept sari from Tarun Tahiliani. The groom-to-be carried an ivory sherwani by Rohit Bal, accessorised with diamond buttons by Raghavendra Rathod, and a custom brooch by Lorraine Schwartz. Guests donned heritage Indian attire to celebrate India's cultural richness. After a breathtaking bridal entry, the couple signed their wedding papers legally on this day. Marking a classic and emotional end to the events, Nita Ambani performed a Bharatnaytam-style dance, adding to the divinity of the night. 

The Pre-wedding Event Menu

There are many great things about an Indian wedding, but food always tops the list. According to sources, the menu for Anant Ambani’s pre-wedding event is as grand as possible! Around 100 chefs produced 500 dishes, and 21 of these culinary experts were flown down from various parts of the world to India. The menu's cuisine ranged from Thai, Japanese, Mexican, and Parsi. 

Editor's Pick: Best Dressed at the Pre-wedding Events

Designer: Tarun Tahiliani

Radhika Merchant’s concept sari by Tarun Tahiliani represented a traditional Indian bride’s contemporary reinterpretation of bridal fashion. The saree was integrated with meaningful images of Indian tradition. Her bridal veil was handwoven in banaras with actual gold threads, and her dupatta was hand-painted and designed as a tribute to Nathdwara's art.

Designer: Manish Malhotra

The queen came enveloped in grace, and how! Nita Ambani's look for the hastakshar ceremony in a stunning handloom Kanchipuram saree by Manish Malhotra is my absolute favorite look from the entire event. The emerald jewellery styling took the whole look up a million notch! 

anant ambani wedding pics

Image Credit: Diet Sabya

For the first evening celebration, Radhika Merchant chose to wear the custom Versace gown exclusively made for Blake Lively for her Met Gala wardrobe in 2022. I do not like Rhea Kapoor’s styling here, but why should we rain on a happy bride’s parade?

Image Credit: Anaita Shroff Adjania

Isha Ambani's wardrobe choice for the Mela Rogue event ate and left no crumbs behind. She looks stunning in this bespoke, handcrafted ivory and light golden lehenga by Falguni Shane Peacock, styled by Anaita Shroff Adjania. 

Image Credit: Diya Mehta Jatia 

Shloka Ambani looks breathtaking in this intricately detailed gold lehenga from Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla. Kudos to stylist Diya Mehta Jatia for adding so much finesse to this royal look without the need for color-contrasting. 

anant ambani wedding pics

Image Credit: Diet Sabya

Isha Ambani’s outfit for Day 2 has my heart. She wore a black floor-length gown from Karl Lagerfeld's Spring/Summer 2018 collection.

Designer: Manish Malhotra

Shloka Ambani chose a custom made lehenga by Manish Malhotra for the Mela Rogue celebrations. As the guest list shimmered in sequins, Shloka looked radiant in this lehenga designed with 3D floral. 1000/100 for standing out with this unique design!

anant ambani wedding pics

Image Credit: Diet Sabya

The bride is back on my list, wearing a beaded Ashish dress that was displayed at the William Morris Gallery. Cheers to adding museum ensembles to your wedding trousseau!

Image Credit: Rhea Kapoor

Fashion's forever favorite, Sonam Kapoor, flaunts a silver and white custom lehenga from Anamika Khanna with the most flawless emerald jewellery. 

anant ambani wedding pics

Image Credit: Ivanka Trump's Instagram

Ivanka Trump looked like a dream in this blingy gold and silver sequinned sari from Manish Malhotra.

anant ambani wedding pics

Image Credit: Sara Ali Khan's Instagram

Pearls? Check. Mermaid cut? Check. Manish Malhotra? Check. The newbie B-town diva came wrapped head-to-toe in 2024 wedding trends.

anant ambani wedding pics

Image Credit: Mark Zuckerberg's Instagram 

He who holds the reign of Meta chose a black Alexander McQueen for the first night. His other half, Priscilla Chan, looks ravishing in a Rahul Mishra ensemble. I am a fan!

anant ambani wedding pics

Image Credit: Diet Sabya

Behold Ranveer Singh—the man who never fails to make news for his wardrobe choices in a custom Gaurav Gupta ensemble.

anant ambani wedding pics

Image Credit: Lakshmi Lehr's Instagram

Bollywood sweetheart Kiara Advani looks ravishing in a black strapless form-enhancing leather gown from Albina Dyla.

Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant are all set to tie the knot on July 12, 2024. Stay tuned to read all about their wedding details and look at WeddingWire India.