The youngest son of Asia's richest man is getting married, and the pre-wedding event features Rihanna, a 9-page dress code, and live animals

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The youngest son of Asia's richest man is getting married, and the pre-wedding event features Rihanna, a 9-page dress code, and live animals
  • Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Mukesh Ambani, is getting married.
  • Anant and his bride-to-be, Radhika Merchant, are set to kick off their pre-wedding festivities in India this week.

Anant Ambani is getting married, and his father — Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani — is sparing no expense to celebrate the nuptials.

As the chairman of Fortune 500 company Reliance Industries, the elder Ambani has an estimated net worth of $111 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. That makes him the richest person in Asia and the 11th-richest person in the world.

The younger Ambani is set to wed Radhika Merchant, the daughter of Encore Healthcare CEO Viren Merchant, in July. The couple's three-day pre-wedding party is set to start on Friday in Gujarat, India.

Here's everything we know about the festivities so far.

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The couple kicked off celebrations by hosting a communal dinner for 51,000 people.

The couple kicked off celebrations by hosting a communal dinner for 51,000 people.
Anant Ambani, son of Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, and Radhika Merchant, daughter of industrialist Viren Merchant, serve traditional Gujarati food to villagers ahead of their pre-wedding celebrations on the outskirts of Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, February 28, 2024.Reuters/Stringer

On Wednesday, Ambani and his bride-to-be hosted a communal dinner for 51,000 local residents in Gujarat, per The Hindu.

The event took place in the Jogwad village, near the Reliance Township in Jamnagar, The Hindu reported.

According to the outlet, serving food to the community during auspicious family occasions has long been a tradition of the Ambanis.

Rihanna is expected to perform at the pre-wedding bash.

Rihanna is expected to perform at the pre-wedding bash.
Rihanna is expected to perform during the pre-wedding bash.Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Reuters reported that the "Umbrella" singer would be providing entertainment for the event.

A video of her arriving in Jamnagar with A$AP Rocky has surfaced online. In the clip, she can be seen exiting a building and getting onto a cart.

A fan also uploaded an Instagram video of multiple wooden crates being transported out of an airport arrival hall, with the caption "Rihanna's luggage has arrived in India."

"What she bring with her? A folding house?" one comment under the post read, to which Rihanna herself responded, "the stage couldn't fit in my carryon."

The Ambanis have had mega-stars perform at weddings before.

In 2018, Beyoncé performed at Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal's pre-wedding ceremony. Isha is Mukesh Ambani's only daughter and Anant's older sister.

In 2019, Coldplay front man Chris Martin and The Chainsmokers entertained guests attending Akash Ambani — Anant's older brother — and Shloka Mehta's pre-wedding bash in Switzerland. The couple also had Adam Levine serenade them at their post-wedding bash.

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Some 1,200 guests have been invited to the celebrations.

Some 1,200 guests have been invited to the celebrations.
The pre-wedding party guest list includes tech execs like Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai.Aurelien Morissard/IP3/Getty Images

Some of the biggest names in the tech world are said to be attending the bash, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sundar Pichai.

Disney's CEO Bob Iger is also likely to be on the list of invitees, per Reuters.

Earlier this week, Reliance Industries and Disney announced an $8.5 billion merger of their India TV and streaming media assets.

The itinerary for the weekend includes a cocktail party and a trail featuring live animals.

The itinerary for the weekend includes a cocktail party and a trail featuring live animals.
Actual elephants from the festivities are not pictured.Manoj Shah/Getty Images

According to an event itinerary obtained by The Times, there will be a cocktail party on the first day.

On the second day, guests will be taken to the Reliance animal rescue center for "a walk on the wild side," per The Times. The animal rescue center is the groom's pet project.

In the evening, guests will attend a "mela rouge," per The Times. "Mela" can refer to a fair or a festival.

The last day includes a "tusker trails" event where guests can spend the afternoon "surrounded by the wonders of nature" — including over 200 elephants, 300 big cats, and 120 reptiles previously at risk of being sold or poached, per The Times.

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Guests have been given a nine-page document detailing the dress code for the various events.

Guests have been given a nine-page document detailing the dress code for the various events.
The Ambanis in traditional Indian clothes at Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's engagement ceremony in 2023.SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP via Getty Images

On top of the nine-page dress code, there will also be hair stylists and make-up artists available for guests, The Times reported.

The dress code includes wearing "jungle fever" theme and "comfortable shoes" for the animal rescue center visit on the second day, and "dazzling" Indian outfits for the mela, per The Times.

The Ambani family constructed 14 new temples in Jamnagar ahead of the wedding.

The Ambani family constructed 14 new temples in Jamnagar ahead of the wedding.
The Ambani family built 14 new temples in Jamnagar, Gujarat, ahead of the wedding.Prodip Guha/Getty Images

At the end of March, Reliance Foundation shared a video on its official YouTube channel showcasing the construction progress of the temples.

In the video, the founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani — the elder Ambani's wife and mother to his three children — can be seen speaking to various worshippers as well as the artists involved in designing the temples.

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