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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Want Shah Rukh as a celebrity guest?
Shweta Thakur, IANS
New Delhi, December 20, 2007
First Published: 12:16 IST(20/12/2007)
Last Updated: 14:30 IST(20/12/2007)

Want your favourite celebrity to shake hands with guests, dance or sing at your wedding? All you need to do is to burn a hole in the pocket - that is, to shell out anything up to Rs10 million (Rs1 crore).

Shah Rukh Khan may not agree to do a jig, but he might happily be a guest for Rs10 million. Bollywood actors and item girls like Celina Jaitley, Malaika Arora Khan, Dia Mirza, Isha Koppikar and  Rakhi Sawant charge nearly Rs1 million each to perform.

Koena Mitra, Shefali Zariwala, Priti Jhangiyani, Payal Rohtagi, Neha Kakkar, Sanobar and Mandira Bedi charge between Rs.500,000-Rs.700,000 to perform at marriage ceremonies.

The schedule includes two high-voltage dance performances of eight-and-a-half minutes each.

"It was unheard of even a decade ago. But today it's different because people have more money. Weddings are no longer rituals for them," Rahul Nagpal, senior manager (entertainment) of event management firm Touchwood Entertainment, told IANS.

"It is a chance to stand out among others by calling in Bollywood stars. But a lot depends on the availability of the star," he added.

<b1>Singer Sonu Nigam charges Rs. 3 million and Shaan's tag is nearly Rs. 2.5 million. While Kailash Kher charges Rs1.5 million, Daler Mehendi is ready to entertain guests for Rs120,000, Sukhbir charges Rs.800,000, Mika Rs.500,000, and Harbhajan Mann Rs.400,000. They are in great demand at Punjabi weddings.

Praneeta, operations head of wedding planner Luxury Weddings, said: "Apart from making weddings distinctive, people also want to reflect their personality by inviting actors to their weddings."

Fifty percent of her firm's clients demand celebrities at their weddings every year. The demand also depends on the region a customer belongs to.

"The demand is more in north Indian cities like Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana. Simply because these cities are away from tinsel town, stars are more sought-after. They also have more purchasing power," said Praneeta.

The mood of the wedding - subtle or elaborate - also dictates which celebrity will grace the occasion.

"For subtle extravaganzas, ghazal singers like Jagjit Singh charge Rs. 800,000, Talat Aziz charge Rs.400,000 and Peenaz Masani charges Rs. 250,000 - for an hour's concert.

"Where there are more youngsters, rock bands like Sukhbir, Jaggi D, Veronica, Bombay Rockers, Jal, Junoon and Raeth charge over Rs1 million for an hour's show," she added.

The list also includes reality show celebrities, the Chak De! India girls and Bhojpuri actors. They charge no less than Rs. 500,000.

"Bangalore, Mumbai, Aurangabad and Jaipur are the other cities where celebrities are required for marriages," Nagpal added. His company organises at least 10 star-studded marriages every season.

"It is difficult to convince cricketers. However, Kapil Dev and Yuvraj Singh come when event organisers request them personally," Nagpal said.

Other than paying for the appearance of celebrities, the client also has to pay for passage and the entourage of about 10-11 members.

"Clients pay around Rs. 50,000 extra for pictures and video. Singers charge Rs. 50,000 for singing live or else they just lip sync. Some celebrities request for special lights - dim or bright," said Praneeta, who is upbeat about the future of this trend.


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