Everything You Need to Know About The Ambani Wedding and Pre-Wedding

By Elle Cashin
Photo: Stories by Joseph Radhik

Pre-wedding events, and any additional celebrations that extend the wedding timeline, are trending in a big way; couples are paying homage to their love throughout the months leading up to the big day. But, no one’s done it quite like this before. The pre-wedding celebration for Anant Ambani—son of Reliance Industries tycoon and India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani—and his bride, Radhika Merchant, spanned three days in March; drew 1,200 guests, including tech billionaires, Bollywood stars, and Rihanna; and reportedly cost $150 million. (It wasn’t all excess: The night before the festivities kicked off, the Ambani family hosted a communal dinner for more than 50,000 villagers in Jamnagar, in the Indian state of Gujarat.)

Photo: Stories by Joseph Radhik

You may have been following along as the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg posted snapshots to social media. We dug a little deeper, scouring the Internet and following along with the bride’s stylists to get the low-down on the incredible fashion choices of the weekend and other fun details. Here are some favorite FYIs. 

An Evening in Everland Photo: Stories by Joseph Radhik

The celebration was planned in just three months. 

You’d never know by the looks of it: There were fireworks, drone shows, multiple days of events, a host of resources at guests’ fingertips, and even a Rihanna concert. The planning duo behind it all? The groom’s mother, Nita Ambani, and Indian fashion designer Manish Malhotra, who served as creative director and created looks for the bride. 

Photo: Stories by Joseph Radhik

Every day had a theme (or two).

The weekend began with An Evening in Everland, a fashion-forward fête that kicked things off with the much-talked-about Rihanna performance. Next came a Mela Rouge party. Day three started with a jungle-themed brunch at a wildlife refuge and ended with “Hastakshar at Valley of the Gods,” a celebration of Indian culture and traditions that included a seated outdoor dinner, a maha aarti ceremony of light, and music from the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. To prepare, guests were provided with a nine-page style guide and received assistance from a team of artisans, drapists, hair and makeup artists, launderers and more on-site. 

Photo: Epic Stories

Radhika’s fashion was flawless.

The bride-to-be worked with stylists Shereen Sikka and Rhea Kapoor to curate looks for each event, and, with the exception of a stellar Versace, the selections were an ode to Indian designers.

The first night, Radikha wore Versace—and the piece may look familiar: The look was originally designed for Blake Lively when she co-chaired the 2022 Met Gala. Radhika’s version had a few notable customizations: It featured rose gold hues rather than the copper and turquoise tones of Lively’s and a shorter ankle-length hem.

Photo: Courtesy of Anant and Radhika Ambani

As Rihanna took the stage, Radhika changed into a rainbow fringed mini by London-based Indian designer Ashish, paired with Cartier sunglasses and Manolo heels, to dance the night away. 

Radhika Merchant and Shloka Ambani. Photo: Stories by Joseph Radhik

For Mela Rouge, the bride donned not one but two luxe lehengas by Manish Malhotra (who also creative directed the weekend). The first was a corset-inspired gold gown with coordinating shawl; the second a steel blue ensemble adorned with Swarovski crystals. “The diamond cutwork blouse, crafted over 5,700 hours and [featuring] 300,000 globally sourced crystals, showcases a blend of art, time, and elegance,” the designer stated on social media. 

Photo: Dinesh Ahuja

To best celebrate her culture, Radhika closed out the festivities in a custom couture Tarun Tahiliani ensemble with a veil to mark her as a bride. The designer worked to craft a nearly weightless but still rich veil. “Tahiliani and his team meticulously crafted a handwoven tissue veil, a delicate masterpiece that, despite its lightweight nature, bore witness to countless hours of intricate hand embroidery,” the design team posted. 

Photo: Stories by Joseph Radhik

Wedding preparations remain under lock and key. 

If the pre-wedding festivities are any preview, we’re in for a big treat come July—but internet sleuths are hard-pressed to find any information about the upcoming nuptials. Here’s what we do know: 

  • Much like the pre-wedding, the wedding itself is sure to span multiple days: Indian weddings typically comprise at least three events, and sometimes more, including a haldi, mehndi, sangeet, and wedding ceremony followed by a reception. Assuming there will also be a farewell brunch, we’d recommend having your phones at the ready July 10-13 to follow along.
  • The Ambani family is constructing a brand-new Hindu temple complex to house the various rites and ceremonies. After the wedding, the temple complex will be opened for public use. 
  • If past Ambani weddings are any preview, we’re anticipating another concert of epic proportions. Beyonce performed at Anant’s older sister’s wedding festivities in 2018; Coldplay and The Chainsmokers played at his older brother’s celebration. 
  • Fashion, fashion, fashion. We cannot wait to see what Radhika wears and anticipate that she’ll continue to work with her dedicated styling team, led by Rhea Kapoor.