The affordable education loan option
Johannesburg - The Gupta family have booked Sun City’s five-star Palace of the Lost City hotel for four nights for a wedding.
And high-profile guests from around the world are expected to jet in to South Africa next week to attend Gupta daughter Vega’s multi-million rand wedding.
The Gupta family, owners of The New Age newspaper and Sahara Computers, have planned a three-day extravaganza at Sun City next weekend for Vega.
For their more than 400 guests they have booked the entire Lost City hotel in the resort complex for four nights, as well as rooms at the Sun City Main Hotel and Cascades. Suites at the Palace hotel cost between R4 600 and R44 000 a night.
Vega, 23, is Achla’s daughter, the only sister to the three powerful Gupta brothers. Her father is Anil Kumar. The three Gupta brothers are Ajay, Atul and Rajesh.
Vega will tie the knot with her fiancé, Aakash Jahajgarhia, who also comes from a very wealthy family in New Delhi, India. Guests will include Bollywood singers and actors including Sonu Nigam, Anil Kapoor and Shankar Mahadevan, as well as actress Esha Gupta, together with several other high-profile guests from around the world and South Africa.
Several sports stars will also be attending, but the Guptas were tight-lipped about who exactly will be there.
Two hundred guests from overseas have been invited as well as 150 guests from South Africa. Planning for the wedding began in October last year, soon after Vega and Jahajgarhiagot engaged.
Speaking to the Saturday Star on Friday, Atul Gupta said the family was happy about the wedding.
“We are excited but also very nervous,” he said.
“It’s the very first wedding of one of our kids and we want to make sure that everything goes perfectly.
“Also in Hindu tradition it’s important that when a girl from the family gets married you must pull out all the stops, and we most certainly will be doing that.”
There are going to be six ceremonies for the wedding, with the main wedding reception taking place at the Sun City Superbowl.
The functions will take place in the afternoon and the evening and each function will have its own dress code.
The Gupta family have flown in three of India’s best fashion designers including Manish Malhotra to assist with the bride and groom’s wardrobe.
“There are many functions which require the bride to be constantly changing, so we are flying in a few good designers to organise the couple’s wardrobe.”
Aside from the wedding reception and other ceremonies, the Gupta family will also be hosting a Bollywood night for their guests, which will include live Bollywood entertainment.
The wedding will be covered by more than 40 camera crews who will broadcast the event around the world. The wedding will also be made available on DVD in 3D.
The invitation – a colourful box containing the invitation as well as six fancy containers with a delicacy from each of the six continents – has been custom-made in India by a well- known designer.
In terms of food, the Guptas have flown in world-renowned New Delhi chef Marut Sikka.
They will have cuisine from around the world, but all food will be strictly vegetarian according to Hindu custom.
“We most certainly will have traditional Indian food, but will also have cuisine from other countries like Lebanese food, Italian food, Spanish food and the rest.”
Although Gupta did not give an exact figure of how much the three-day wedding would cost, he confirmed it would be a “multi-million rand” wedding. He said it had been a dream of Vega’s to be married in South Africa.
“We gave her options like Mauritius, Italy, Spain and many other countries. She specifically asked to be married here as she holds the country close to her heart.”
Vega has lived in South Africa since she was 11. Gupta said the family considered themselves patriotic South Africans.
The wedding will be paid for in full by Vega’s father, and the Guptas have insisted that they have not spent a cent.
“Vega’s father wants to pay for everything as it is his daughter who is getting married. We have offered him money but he refuses,” said Atul.
The Guptas have also hired out the Valley of the Waves for exclusive use of their guests next weekend and Sun International insiders confirmed that the Valley of the Waves will not be open to the public between May 1 and 4 “due to a private function”.
Gupta has described the wedding as possibly the “wedding of the century”.
“I say it is the wedding of the century not because of the money that is being spent, but rather about the culture we are embracing,” he said. “We will be following exact Hindu traditions and culturally it is going to be magnificent.”
Both the bride and groom were born in India into Hindu families.
The ceremony is expected to embrace Hindu customs.
Vega is based in South Africa and holds an honours degree in financial management from the University of Johannesburg, while her husband-to-be was educated in India and London.
Gupta confirmed that another wedding ceremony would take place in the Guptas’ home town in Saharanpur, India, for their people back home. About 5 000 guests are expected at the wedding in India.
Also, in two weeks time, the brothers’ side of the family will host a function in New Delhi.