At the stroke of the twilight hour, Shilpa Shetty wed long-time beau Raj Kundra. The godhuli lagna had specifically been chosen by her mother Sunanda and the family astrologer since it's considered to be the most auspicious time for a wedding this year. Said a source, "The Shettys have always been and will remain an extremely superstitious family. They have always consulted astrological timings and charts before embarking on any major event."
"In fact", adds the source, "Raj had approached a numerologist at the beginning of their two-year affair to find out whether he could get married to Shilpa. At the time, he was going through an acronymous divorce with his first wife Kavita and he wanted to be very clear about the way ahead."
The decision on the godhuli lagna, added the source, seemed to have worked well as Shilpa's father Surendra, who was hospitalised with malaria and could not make it to the mehendi and sangeet ceremonies on Saturday, could attend the wedding yesterday and give her away.
Shilpa married Raj yesterday in a traditional south Indian Bunt ceremony at her best friend Kiran Bawa's bungalow in Khandala. Said a source close to Shilpa, "At around 2.30 pm, Shilpa and Raj had a traditional Mangalorean pooja, which takes place before the wedding. It was attended by both their families and close friends." After the pooja, Raj left for Duke's Hotel in Khandala and then arrived in a chariot at 5 pm to the wedding venue at Bawa Villa with his baraat.
The source added, "All the guests invited to the wedding were pampered by Kiran's spa and salon staff, who had been specially brought over for the wedding. The second floor of Bawa Villa resembled a mini-spa." After Raj entered the Bawa bungalow, Shilpa's sister Shamita, mother Sunanda and father received him in the traditional style as they would their damaad with a tikka and thaali.
"The wedding ceremony started at 6 pm and was according to the rites of Godhuli lagna. It was over by 8 pm," said the source.
Glitter and Glitz
At the wedding, Shilpa wore a traditional red and gold south Indian brocade sari designed embellished all over with ruby and Swarovski pearls. It was designed by Tarun Tahiliani. Designer-duo Shantanu-Nikhil designed a maroon and gold sherwani for Raj. Shilpa wore a kamarbandh with rubies and Swarovski crystals, while Raj wore a neckpiece with precious stones.
B-town attendance was limited. "Apart from Shilpa's family and close friends, there were Vashu and Jackie Bhagnani (Raj has business ties with them) and Rohit and Ronit Roy (who handled the security)," said the source. Shilpa and Raj returned to Mumbai last night immediately after the wedding.
A lavish buffet comprising Hyderabadi and Awadhi dishes from Mumbai's Foodlink restaurant was served to the guests after the wedding. The sangeet ceremony held on November 21 had Shilpa and Raj dance to Teri Ore from Singh is Kinng, while Shilpa's family performed a skit imitating Raj's family and danced to Aahun Aahun from Love Aaj Kal. The entire sangeet ceremony was choreographed by Ganesh Hegde. Daler Mehendi sang a few numbers too.
Did you Know?
Shilpa had first met Raj in 2007 when she won the reality show Celebrity Big Brother in the UK. The couple got engaged on October 24 this year in a private ceremony in Mumbai at Raj's Juhu flat. Shilpa and Raj are also business associates, co-owning the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals and a food chain in the UK.