A wedding that could rival the ostentatious ones shown in Bollywood musicals with its colour, pomp and pizzazz was played out aboard a cruise across the Mediterranean Sea as UAE businessman Adel Sajan got married to his childhood sweetheart Sana Khan last weekend.
But it wasn’t just their family and friends who jumped aboard the luxury liner from April 6 for a three-day cruise to heap blessings, but a string of Bollywood stars including Shilpa Shetty, Malaika Arora, Gauahar Khan, Sushmita Sen, Shasta Shetty and Sophie Chaudhry took turns to bless the couple.
“The song, the dance and the colour are a part of our culture. We don’t know how to do things differently and why be pretentious about it. There are no half measures here,” said Malaika Arora who attended the celebrity-studded wedding of the scion of UAE’s Danube group of companies. But Arora, who recently filed for divorce from her actor-producer husband Arbaaz Khan, wasn’t willing to dole out marital advice.
WATCH: Our Bollywood reporter Manjusha Radhakrishnan & Sushmita Sen, long lost friends at Danube Home's Adel and Sana Sajan's big fat Indian wedding. It's all taking place on a luxury cruise across Europe.
“The one thing you shouldn’t give is advice. Every couple has their own dynamics and a way of functioning. Just live, love and have fun,” said Arora who was dressed in a glittering gown with a high slit.
But Shilpa Shetty, who has known the Sajans for a long time and was one of their brand ambassadors, had no such hesitation.
“I don’t think marriage is difficult. I think Adel has found a friend and life partner in Sana. They just need to be ready for the consistency and the change that’s bound to happen, and adapt to it,” said Shetty.
She also revealed that her honeymoon with her billionaire husband, Raj Kundra, was on a cruise and that this wedding brought back fond memories.
“My husband took my entire family and his family on a cruise. It was wonderful, so the beginning of my honeymoon was on a cruise. But, we needed another honeymoon to get over that honeymoon,” said Shetty, laughing aloud at her own joke.
WATCH: Our Bollywood reporter Manjusha Radhakrishnan getting her moves on in a beautiful dress by VESIMI on the big fat Indian wedding cruise across Europe celebrating Adel and Sana's marriage.
The wedding was modelled closely after director Zoya Akhter’s romantic comedy, Dil Dhadakne Do, a film about a family who go on a luxury cruise and rediscover the warmth among each other. The movie had a lot more drama with secrets tumbling out, but this wedding was all about warmth, openness and hospitality. Every night musicians such as Meet Bros, Vishal-Shekhar and Badshah performed live on stage as guests dressed in Indian finery danced to Bollywood hits on a European ship.
WATCH: We are cruising across Europe for the big fat Indian wedding of Adel & Sana of Danube Properties. And here's Malaika Arora on why she never gives marriage advise.
“This is an epitome of a big fat Indian wedding. I love the way they have embraced the various themes. Each day is getting bigger and better. Celebrations are fun but it turns amazing when your loved ones are beside you,” said Sophie Chaudhry, who attended the retro-themed night by channelling her old school glamour in an ethereal Manish Malhotra gown.
The three-day wedding celebrations saw 1,000 of well-heeled guests put their best foot forward as they experimented with themes such as the elegant white and Indian ethnic royal.
Actress Gauahar Khan, who is all set for the release of her film Begum Jaan this Thursday, took time out to host the fun-fuelled wedding celebrations.
“It was great to host this wedding. I found a great co-host in Hussain because our friendship goes a long way back. If I am goofing up, he has my back and vice versa,” said Khan, who plans to head straight to Calcutta once she disembarks from the luxury ship, Costa Fascinosa, that travelled through Marseille, Cannes and Savona in Italy.
“My character in Begum Jaan is one of the interesting roles that I have taken on in my acting career and I can’t wait to see how my fans will react to it,” said Khan, who was travelling with her sister and family.
WATCH: The beautiful Sophie Choudry is also here at the big fat Indian wedding of Adel and Sana Sajan of Danube Properties as we sail across Europe.
Pakistani actor Javed Shaikh was also a part of the star-studded guest-list.
“A wedding as we cruise is one of the most novel and iconic ideas,” said Shaikh, who is currently working on directing a film with an Indian actress. He isn’t too worried about the ban of Indian artists in Pakistan and vice versa following political tensions.
“Artists shouldn’t have boundaries,” said Shaikh.
But politics wasn’t a talking point during this lavish destination wedding. Indian food made by chefs flown in exclusively for this event and dancing through the night to Bollywood songs set the tone of the wedding revelry. Short films that feature the members of the Sajan family enacting scenes from hit film such as Raees and dance performances by the bride, groom and their friends were a constant fixture.
“This is our dream wedding for our son. We have been planning this wedding on a cruise for months and wanted family, friends and stars to bless us,” said Rizwan Sajan, the father of the groom.
But what’s a wedding without some good old Bollywood dancing and singing?
Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen waltzed into the guests’ hearts by dancing to the song Main Hoon Hero Tera on the last day of the white-themed party. Pulling the bride, groom and the family onto the stage, she twirled in her red gown just like in her movies.
“Riz and Sush had it all planned so that they could all dance impromptu … Adel and Sana had no clue that they would be dancing too,” said Sen.
Juhi Chawla went one step further and sang the song Main Aisa Geet Gaoon from her hit film Yes Boss.
“Adel [the groom] has hit the jackpot here with Sana,” said Chawla.
So naturally, the groom and his family made sure that they celebrated their win with a no-holds barred party.