Beyonce! Hillary! India revels in a very big wedding

Beyonce! Hillary! India revels in a very big wedding
In this handout photo released by Reliance Industries Limited, newlyweds Isha Ambani, right, and Anand Piramal sit holding hands in Mumbai, India. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (Reliance Industries Limited via AP) (Vivek_Sequeira)

NEW DELHI (AP) — In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all.

The bride, Isha Ambani, is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. Forbes estimates his net worth at over $43 billion.

The groom, Anand Piramal, is the relative pauper. His father, industrialist Ajay Piramal, is thought to be worth $10 billion.

The wedding is being held in Mumbai on Wednesday but festivities began weeks ago, starting in September with an engagement party at a lakeside Italian palace.

Over the weekend, thousands attended pre-wedding parties at a 16th century palace in the Indian desert city of Udaipur, where videos shot by partiers showed Hillary Clinton dancing with Shah Rukh Khan, one of India's biggest movie stars, as former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry danced just a few feet away.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo) (AP)

A highlight was a performance by Beyonce, who sang "Crazy In Love," among other hits, with a band backing her up and a series of costume changes that included at least one India-inspired outfit.

The groom's procession arrives at the house of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. The bride, Isha Ambani, is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. Forbes estimates his net worth at over $43 billion. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
The groom's procession arrives at the house of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. The bride, Isha Ambani, is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. Forbes estimates his net worth at over $43 billion. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

"Beyonce Lights Up Udaipur," the Times of India shouted in a Tuesday headline.

In this Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 handout photo released by Reliance Industries Limited, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stands and Nita Ambani, right, visit a curated showcase of traditional Indian crafts and art forms on display ahead of the wedding of Isha Ambani, left, in Udaipur, India. Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest mogul, is to wed Anand Piramal, the son of one of India’s biggest industrialists, at the Ambani estate in Mumbai on Wednesday, capping off an extravagant days-long event. (Reliance Industries Limited via AP)
In this Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 handout photo released by Reliance Industries Limited, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stands and Nita Ambani, right, visit a curated showcase of traditional Indian crafts and art forms on display ahead of the wedding of Isha Ambani, left, in Udaipur, India. Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest mogul, is to wed Anand Piramal, the son of one of India’s biggest industrialists, at the Ambani estate in Mumbai on Wednesday, capping off an extravagant days-long event. (Reliance Industries Limited via AP) (AP)

Indian weddings are famously elaborate, driving many families into debt with expectations that they invite hundreds or thousands of people, and arranging professional song-and-dance shows.

FILE- In this Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 file photo, singer Beyonce arrives to perform at the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of India's richest mogul, and Anand Piramal, the son of one of India's biggest industrialists, at the airport in Udaipur, India. Beyonce performed at a pre-wedding event Sunday at a 16th-century palace in the Indian city of Udaipur. Guests included Hillary Clinton and a host of Bollywood A-listers. (AP Photo/Rohit Kothari, File)
FILE- In this Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 file photo, singer Beyonce arrives to perform at the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of India's richest mogul, and Anand Piramal, the son of one of India's biggest industrialists, at the airport in Udaipur, India. Beyonce performed at a pre-wedding event Sunday at a 16th-century palace in the Indian city of Udaipur. Guests included Hillary Clinton and a host of Bollywood A-listers. (AP Photo/Rohit Kothari, File) (AP)

Among India's rich, weddings are displays of almost unimaginable wealth, with guests flown in on chartered jets from around the world and celebrities paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for brief appearances. In 2004, a daughter of Indian steel baron Lakshmi Mittal held her engagement party at Versailles.

The car carrying the groom Anand Piramal arrives at the house of Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. The bride Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
The car carrying the groom Anand Piramal arrives at the house of Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. The bride Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

The Indian media noted that the actual Ambani wedding, in Mumbai, was expected to be a relatively small affair, with just 600 or so people in attendance. More parties will follow the marriage ceremony.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani waits for the arrival of the groom in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. The bride Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom Anand Piramal is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani waits for the arrival of the groom in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. The bride Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom Anand Piramal is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

Antilla, the Ambanis' 27-story Mumbai home, has been strung with lights for the wedding, looking like a small skyscraper at night. The family is said to have reserved hundreds of hotel rooms for their guests.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani's sons Anant, left, and Aakash ride on horses during the wedding of their sister Isha in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom, Anand Piramal is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani's sons Anant, left, and Aakash ride on horses during the wedding of their sister Isha in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom, Anand Piramal is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

Indian grooms traditionally ride to their weddings on horses, but Piramal arrived at the Ambani home in a classic Rolls Royce, with marching bands playing in the procession and scowling bodyguards scattered through the crowds.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, center left, walks with his brother Anil Ambani during the wedding of his daughter Isha in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom, Anand Piramal is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, center left, walks with his brother Anil Ambani during the wedding of his daughter Isha in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom, Anand Piramal is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

Near the family home, Mumbai resident Kashyap Sompura said he was not bothered by the extravagance.

A street is lit-up outside the house of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani ahead of the wedding of his daughter Isha in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest mogul, is to wed Anand Piramal, the son of one of India’s biggest industrialists, at the Ambani estate in Mumbai on Wednesday, capping off an extravagant days-long event. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
A street is lit-up outside the house of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani ahead of the wedding of his daughter Isha in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest mogul, is to wed Anand Piramal, the son of one of India’s biggest industrialists, at the Ambani estate in Mumbai on Wednesday, capping off an extravagant days-long event. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

"People, even when they don't have money, they take loans and do lavish weddings," said Sompura, 50. For someone of Ambani's wealth, "I don't think there is anything wrong with him sparing money for that."

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and her musician husband Nick Jonas arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and her musician husband Nick Jonas arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

Mukesh Ambani controls the conglomerate Reliance Industries, which has businesses ranging from petroleum to chemicals to mobile phones. The Piramal family businesses include pharmaceuticals and real estate.

Indian Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, right, his wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Indian Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, right, his wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

The competitiveness of India's wintertime wedding season is growing more extreme, according to Archana Dalmia, a social activist in New Delhi.

Formet Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, left, his wife Anjali and son Arjun arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Formet Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, left, his wife Anjali and son Arjun arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

"A farmer might commit suicide because he can't save enough money to get his daughter married," she said.

Indian superstar Rajinikanth and his wife Latha Rajinikanth arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Indian superstar Rajinikanth and his wife Latha Rajinikanth arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

The wedding of Indian actress Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas earlier this month — which included palace parties, lots of celebrities, an appearance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and fawning coverage — has been quickly overshadowed by the Ambani festivities.

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and her musician husband Nick Jonas arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and her musician husband Nick Jonas arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

While opulence has always been a feature of Indian weddings, families used to hand down bridal saris as heirlooms. No more, Dalmia said.

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao arrive to attend the wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Piramal in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. In a season of big Indian weddings, the Wednesday marriage of the scions of two billionaire families might be the biggest of them all. Isha is the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, thought to be India's richest man. The groom is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10 billion. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)

"This generation is very different. Priyanka Chopra will never be able to wear it again and she won't be able to pass it down," Dalmia said.

Mumbai police personnel stand guard outside the house of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani ahead of the wedding of his daughter Isha in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest mogul, is to wed Anand Piramal, the son of one of India’s biggest industrialists, at the Ambani estate in Mumbai on Wednesday, capping off an extravagant days-long event. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Mumbai police personnel stand guard outside the house of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani ahead of the wedding of his daughter Isha in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest mogul, is to wed Anand Piramal, the son of one of India’s biggest industrialists, at the Ambani estate in Mumbai on Wednesday, capping off an extravagant days-long event. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (AP)
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 file photo, Chairman of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani, left, and his daughter Isha Ambani, arrive to attend the wedding of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas in Jodhpur, India. Isha, the daughter of India’s richest mogul, is to wed Anand Piramal, the son of one of India’s biggest industrialists, at the Ambani estate in Mumbai on Wednesday, Dec. 12, capping off an extravagant days-long event. (AP Photo/Sunil Verma, File)
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 file photo, Chairman of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani, left, and his daughter Isha Ambani, arrive to attend the wedding of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas in Jodhpur, India. Isha, the daughter of India’s richest mogul, is to wed Anand Piramal, the son of one of India’s biggest industrialists, at the Ambani estate in Mumbai on Wednesday, Dec. 12, capping off an extravagant days-long event. (AP Photo/Sunil Verma, File) (AP)