After months of speculation and five years of dating, Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan have set the date for their big day as October 16, and details about the nuptials have begun to emerge.
Last week, Saif's mother, legendary Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore announced - much to the surprise of fans of the power couple - that the wedding would be a low-key affair, spilling, "There will be a reception too, but not a very big one."
The couple have opted for a modest celebration, in the wake of Saif's father's death in September last year, with a source close to family saying, "Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi died only recently, so the family wanted a low-key wedding. Kareena and her family [have] agreed." In keeping with tradition, the wedding ceremony will take place at the Pataudi's ancestral New Delhi home and insiders have revealed that "[It] will only be attended by immediate family members."
In contrast to the laid-back ceremony, insiders predict that the reception won't be such a quiet occasion, saying, "There may be a large reception bash after the wedding, considering both Saif and Kareena have many friends in the film industry." And with Bebo's position as the highest paid actress, and one of the most powerful women, in Bollywood, B-Town watchers expect the likes of Arjun Rampal, the three Khans, Karan Johar and Imran Khan to attend.
The dress! The jewels! The honeymoon!
The wedding ceremony might be more toned down than your usual Bollywood affair, but the jewellery will be far from understated as the couple have turned to Rajkot-based Kruti Jewellers for their big-day jewels. The gem experts are the company behind the gold ring designed for Ash and Abhi for baby Aaradhya, and Pradeep Kansara, the owner of the jewellers has revealed that they will be designing "a full dress necklace stretching from head to waist." Pradeep hinted that Bebo's exclusive design, which experts have estimated will cost around Dh300,000, will be fit for a princess, saying, "We have received a special order from a Mumbai-based jewellery firm for Kareena Kapoor. It's a unique designer set which is generally used for royal weddings."
Making a sentimental choice when it comes to her wedding dress, Kareena is rumoured to have picked Delhi-based designer, Ritu Kumar - the man behind Anoushka Shankar's and Genelia D'Souza's big-day looks - to create her gown after Sharmilla recommended him.
And Bollywood-watchers have revealed that the newlyweds will be going nowhere fast for their honeymoon, with the 31-year-old actress intending to follow in the footsteps of her soon-to-be mother-in-law and staying focused on her career. "The honeymoon will have to wait," a source close to Tagore spilled. "Kareena has no intentions of letting her films suffer after marriage… Sharmila's best innings as an actress started after marriage, Saif was a baby on the set of one of her best films, Aradhana. Kareena will follow in her footsteps." And things won't be slowing down for the actress, who has made 10 films in the last two years, with the source going on to say, "After marriage, she will do two films a year. Right after she completes Madhur Bhandarkar's Heroine, she'll begin shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Ram Leela."
When the Bollywood hunk and his girlfriend of nine years, Bipasha Basu, split in February last year, the industry was left in shock as it was assumed the seemingly happy couple would wed; but John moved on nine months after the break-up, finding love again with US-based investment banker, Priya Runchal.
And when the 39-year-old actor was pressed for details about his new relationship he shocked fans by announcing his wedding plans, exclaiming, "I am an impulsive guy. So I might get married next week." And rumours are rife that the couple will host two separate ceremonies, one in India and another in Los Angeles where Priya's family are based.
But before fans could get excited about a big wedding, the Desi Boyz actor revealed that it won't be a big event, spilling, "Our wedding might have just the two of us or 10 people, if we include family members." And among the lucky handful of Bollywood A-list likely to be invited are Akshay Kumar, of whom John has said, "I think I've learnt a lot from him as a human being, as an actor," and the Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who Abraham calls "my best friend".
"I will admit that I am at a stage in my life where I do see myself settling down to become the ideal husband; that is my goal," says John about his impending nuptials. "My mother, of course, would be thrilled at such a prospect"
And when asked about his relationship with the US-based Priya, he gushed, "I can talk to her about anything. Ours is a very honest relationship. We can tell each other everything. That is the benchmark for a healthy relationship."
It seems that Saif's October 16 nuptials won't be the only wedding bells in the Ali Khan household this year as the actor's little sister, 33-year-old Mumbai Cutting star Soha, also plans to walk down the aisle with her long-term boyfriend, 29-year-old actor Kunal Khemu.
Sources reveal that Soha, who is mourning the death of her cricket star father, might even be getting hitched before her brother, with a friend of the family revealing, "Both families want Soha and Kunal to settle down after the first anniversary of Saif's father passing away [on September 22]." Adding, "Saif has become more responsible towards his siblings and family. He does not want Soha to wait for his wedding with Kareena."
And Soha's mother, Sharmila Tagore, recently gave her daughter and husband-to-be a plush Dh6.6 million apartment located in Mumbai's upmarket Sunder Villas, with an insider revealing, "The flat is their wedding gift".
B-Town's Best Weddings… So far
If Bebo, John and Soha want to go down in Bollywood wedding history, these are the big days they'll need to beat
Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai
Cost Dh15 million
When April, 2007
Location Bachchan family home in Mumbai
Dress Non-designer traditional South Indian Kanjeevaram Saree
A-list guests Karan Johar, Preity Zinta, Sanjay Dutt and Kajol
Hrithik Roshan and Suzanne Khan
Cost Dh8 million
When December, 2000
Location Golden Palms Resort and Spa, Bangalore
Dress Adarsh Gill
A-list guests Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Jeetendra, Dimple Kapadia, Uday Chopra and Farah Khan
Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra
Cost Dh33 million
When November, 2009
Location A Farmhouse in Khandala, Mumbai
Dress Tarun Tahiliani
A-list guests Aishwarya Rai, Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and Suzanne Khan, Sunil Shetty, SRK and Jermaine Jackson
Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza
Cost Dh12 million
When February, 2012
Location Grand Hyatt, Mumbai
Dress Ritu Kumar
A-list guests Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgan, Kajol, Asin, Shah Rukh Khan, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor and Sunil Shetty