India Mega Weddings Go Global

Families spend millions bringing traditional ceremonies to exotic locations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2009 1:48 AM CDT
Models display creations by designer Raj Mehtani during the Marriage-n-Vouge wedding collection fashion show in Calcutta, India.   (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
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(Newser) – India's wealthy elite have started taking their famously lavish wedding ceremonies on the road. Luxury hotels in locations like Macau, Thailand, and France compete fiercely to host the giant weddings, which often involve hundreds of guests and support staff flown in for a ceremony and celebrations that can last up to 5 days. One recent Indian wedding in Macau cost $5 million and required 60 chefs.

"It is not keeping up with the Joneses but keeping ahead of them—'Eat your heart out, Joneses, you pretenders!'" an Indian author tells the Wall Street Journal. One traditional trapping of an Indian wedding that families struggle to find abroad is an elephant for the groom to ride in on. The Macau party eventually settled for a horse after being told that only circuses were allowed to import elephants.