Russell Brand's wedding fit for a maharajah

Comedian and his fiancée Katy Perry arrive in India for week-long marriage celebration

When Barbara Brand gave birth to her only child in a dingy Essex hospital, she probably never imagined that, 35 years later, she would watch him arrive on a white horse at a Maharajah's Palace, before joining guests for a bit of wild-tiger spotting.

However, Mrs Brand is now readying her hat for her son Russell's marriage to the Californian singer Katy Perry in a weekend of celebrations that, even by the comedian's own flamboyant standards, will be outrageously extravagant.

Brand, 35, and 25-year-old Perry arrived in the city of Jaipur in India's northern state of Rajasthan yesterday, the historical home of India's maharajahs, or high kings.

The couple will have a Hindu engagement ceremony today and then – in keeping with Hindu traditions that neither party is known to have followed hitherto – will begin several days of festivities.

Among those expected to attend are Jonathan Ross, David Baddiel, David Walliams and Perry's pop-star friend, Rihanna. The wedding itself is expected to take place in the Rambagh Palace Hotel, the former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur and now amongst the world's most opulent hotels. It was a favourite of Jackie Kennedy's, and the Queen and Prince Philip rated it highly. It was here that Brand proposed, last New Year's Eve, three months after first meeting Perry at the MTV Music Video Awards.

The couple have booked all 10 of the £830-a-night tents at the luxurious Aman-i-Khas camp in the nearby Ranthambore National Park, one of the few places left on earth where visitors have a reasonable chance of catching a glimpse of a wild tiger.

Perry is expected to have her hands decorated with henna tattoos in a traditional Indian pre-wedding ritual, while the ceremony itself will feature many traditional Hindu elements, including the arrival of Brand on a white horse.

Perry has been reportedly getting stressed ahead of the big day, resulting in a resurgence of the anxiety-induced acne she has previously admitted to suffering from.

Brand, meanwhile, has been keen to play down the perceived extravagance of the wedding – a tricky task for a ceremony incorporating at various stages tigers, elephants, a horse, and a reported live performance from the rapper P Diddy – claiming it will be no different to anybody else's nuptials.

"It will have a first dance, it will have all of them things, like anything else," he said. "It's no more interesting or no less spectacular than any marriage of anybody. So it's very beautiful and incredible and wonderful, but it's also utterly mundane."

Their big fat Hindu weddings

* Russell Brand's is by no means the first extravagant Hindu wedding, though the most expensive of all took place not in India but France. In 2004 Vanisha, the daughter of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, married Delhi banker Amit Bhatia. A thousand guests were entertained for five days, with fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. The ceremony cost £30m.

* Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall converted to Hinduism in November 1990, before their marriage on the Hindu island of Bali. A Hindu priest presided over both ceremonies. The relationship was annulled nine years later at the High Court in London on the grounds it was not valid under either English or Indonesian law.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz