The youngest son of Asia's richest man is getting married, and the pre-wedding event features Rihanna, a 9-page dress code, and live animals

The youngest son of Asia's richest man is getting married, and the pre-wedding event features Rihanna, a 9-page dress code, and live animals
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  • Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Mukesh Ambani, is getting married.

  • He and his bride-to-be, Radhika Merchant, kicked off pre-wedding festivities this week in India.

  • Here's what we know about the lavish three-day bash.

Anant Ambani is getting married, and his father — Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani — is sparing no expense to celebrate the nuptials.

As the chair of the Fortune 500 company Reliance Industries, the elder Ambani has an estimated net worth of $111 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. That makes him the richest person in Asia and the 11th-richest person in the world.

The younger Ambani is set to wed Radhika Merchant, the daughter of Encore Healthcare CEO Viren Merchant, in July. The couple's three-day pre-wedding party started on Friday in Gujarat, India.

Here's everything we know about the festivities.

The couple hosted a communal dinner for 51,000 people.

Anant Ambani, son of Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, and Radhika Merchant, daughter of industrialist Viren Merchant, serve traditional Gujarati food to villagers ahead of their pre-wedding celebrations on the outskirts of Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, February 28, 2024.
The younger Ambani and Merchant serve traditional Gujarati food to villagers ahead of their pre-wedding celebrations on Wednesday.Reuters/Stringer

On Wednesday, Ambani and his bride-to-be hosted a communal dinner for 51,000 local residents in Gujarat, The Hindu reported.

The event took place in the Jogwad village, near the Reliance Township in Jamnagar, The Hindu reported.

According to the outlet, serving food to the community during auspicious family occasions has long been a tradition of the Ambanis.

Rihanna performed her first full-length show in 8 years at the pre-wedding bash.

Rihanna poses during the Super Bowl LVII Pregame & Apple Music Halftime Show press conference at Phoenix Convention Center on February 09, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rihanna is expected to perform during the pre-wedding bash.Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Rihanna took to the stage barefoot to perform in a lime green and pink local-inspired outfit at the pre-wedding event on Friday night.

She performed 19 songs, including hits such as "Umbrella," "Diamonds," and "Work," NME reported.

"I'm here tonight in honor of Anant and Radhika. Thank you for having me here. God bless your union. I wish you all the best. Congratulations," she said to the couple, who at one point joined her on stage.

As she departed from Jamnagar airport, Rihanna told reporters: "The show was the best. I haven't done a real show in eight years."

Reports estimate that the singer had been paid between $6 and $9 million for her performance.

Rihanna had previously been spotted arriving in Jamnagar with ASAP Rocky. In the clip, she can be seen exiting a building and getting onto a cart.

A fan also uploaded an Instagram video of multiple wooden crates being transported out of an airport arrival hall, with the caption, "Rihanna's luggage has arrived in India."

"What she bring with her? A folding house?" one comment under the post said, to which Rihanna responded, "The stage couldn't fit in my carryon."

The Ambanis have had megastars perform at weddings before.

In 2018 Beyoncé performed at Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal's pre-wedding ceremony. Isha Ambani is the family patriarch's only daughter.

In 2019, Coldplay's front man, Chris Martin, and The Chainsmokers entertained guests attending Akash Ambani — the soon-to-be-wed Ambani's older brother — and Shloka Mehta's pre-wedding bash in Switzerland. The couple also had Adam Levine serenade them at their post-wedding bash.

Some 1,200 guests have been invited to the celebrations.

Ivanka Trump and Mark Zuckerberg were among those that attended the glitzy event.
Ivanka Trump and Mark Zuckerberg were among those that attended the glitzy event.-

Some of the world's most rich and famous have been pictured at the bash, including Ivanka Trump and Mark Zuckerberg.

The extensive guest list for the weekend includes celebrities, billionaires, and tech leaders such as Bill Gates and Sundar Pichai.

Disney CEO Bob Iger is also likely to be on the list of invitees, Reuters reported.

Reliance Industries and Disney announced an $8.5 billion merger of their India TV and streaming media assets earlier this week.

The itinerary for the weekend includes a cocktail party and a trail featuring live animals.

Family of Indian elephants in the wild.
Elephants for the festivities are not pictured.Manoj Shah/Getty Images

According to an event itinerary obtained by The Times, there was a cocktail party on the first day.

Video published on social media shows the ornate venue festooned in flowers and brimming full of A-list guests, who were treated to a drone show in the night sky.

On the second day, guests were taken to the Reliance animal rescue center for "a walk on the wild side," The Times said. The center is the groom's pet project.

In the evening, guests attended a "mela rouge," The Times added. "Mela" can refer to a fair or a festival.

The last day included a "tusker trails" event where guests could spend the afternoon "surrounded by the wonders of nature" — including over 200 elephants, 300 big cats, and 120 reptiles previously at risk of being sold or poached, per The Times.

Guests have been given a nine-page document detailing the dress code for the various events.

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani (L) along with his wife Nita (4L) pose with their elder son Akash (R) his wife Shloka (2R), daughter Isha (4R) her husband Anand Piramal (3R) and younger son Anant (3L) his fiancée Radhika Merchant (2L) during Anant's engagement ceremony in Mumbai on January 19, 2023.
The Ambanis in traditional Indian clothes at Ambani and Merchant's engagement ceremony last year.SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP via Getty Images

On top of the nine-page dress code, hair stylists and makeup artists were also available for guests, The Times reported.

The dress code includes a "jungle fever" theme and "comfortable shoes" for the visit to the animal rescue center on the second day, and "dazzling" Indian outfits for the mela, per The Times.

The Ambani family constructed 14 temples in Jamnagar ahead of the wedding.

Nita Ambani and Mukesh Ambani attend the Nupur Shikhare and Ira Khan wedding reception on January 13, 2024 in Mumbai, India.
The Ambani family built 14 temples in Jamnagar, India, ahead of the wedding.Prodip Guha/Getty Images

At the end of February, Reliance Foundation shared a video on its official YouTube channel showcasing the construction progress of the temples.

In the video, the founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani — the Ambani patriarch's wife and mother to his three children — can be seen speaking with various worshippers and the artists involved in designing the temples.

Around 130 flights arrived at Jamnagar airport for the celebrations, officials said.

Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries, his wife Nita Ambani and their son Anant Ambani pose during the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant and Radhika Merchant, daughter of industrialist Viren Merchant, in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, March 2, 2024
Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, his wife Nita Ambani, and their son Anant Ambani.Reliance Industries/Handout via REUTERS

In an X post on Saturday, Jamnagar airport said around 130 flights had arrived for the event.

The post said, "As the pre-wedding event of AnantAmbani & Radhika merchant begins, Jamnagar Airport today welcomed many VIP guests from across the globe including Business Leaders, Sports personalities & Actors from the Film Fraternity."

Tech bosses like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates attended the pre-wedding festivities.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.-

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan were among the wealthy elite and Bollywood stars who gathered in Gujarat, India, for the pre-wedding celebrations over the weekend.

They wore two black outfits with a dandelion and dragonfly design, which Alexander McQueen created, Vogue reported.

For the "jungle fever" themed dress-code party the next day, Zuckerberg wore a shimmering tigress-themed shirt designed by Rahul Mishra, who shared photos on his Instagram account.

Zuckerberg was seen admiring Anant Ambani's luxury watch in a video circulating on social media. The video, reported on by several Indian news outlets, including The Hindustan Times and The Indian Express, shows the Meta chief telling the groom-to-be that he never wanted a watch before then.

He said, "But after seeing that, I was like, watches are cool."

Bill Gates also went to the parties with his girlfriend Paula Hurd, and the couple wore Indian outfits.

Ivanka Trump and her daughter learned an Indian folk dance.

Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and their daughter Arabella.
Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and their daughter Arabella.-

Ivanka Trump and her daughter Arabella Rose were taught the
Gujarati folk dances garba and dandiya at the weekend.

Choreographers Samir and Arsh Tanna shared a video on Instagram of them learning how to do the traditional dance, which involves decorated dandiya sticks.

Read the original article on Business Insider