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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links