Chefs and wedding planners travelled from India to Budapest last week as Akhil Paul, prominent London-based industrialist Swraj Paul’s grandson, tied the knot with his Pakistan-origin fiancee Bisma Mowjee in traditional Indian ceremony spread over three days.
Paul, 84, performed the role of a ‘pandit’ by reading out wedding ‘mantras’, as top Hungarian ministers were among over 600 guests at the wedding reception in the Buda Castle in Budapest. Music included popular numbers from India, Pakistan and Hungary.
Swraj Paul told HT: "I have known Hungary since 1954 and we used the occasion to discuss potential investment in the country. It felt like the whole of Hungary rose to occasion and the wedding became the talk of the town".
How much did it cost? Paul – one of the richest in Britain – did not disclose figures, but remarked: "That was very little".
Swraj Paul during the wedding ceremony of his grandson Akhil Paul in Hungary. (HT Photo)
Guests included Hungarian national development minister Miklós Seszták, deputy minister for foreign affairs and trade László Szabó, deputy speaker István Jakab, Indian ambassador Rahul Chabra, and the British embassy deputy head of mission Adam Kettle-Williams.
The two Hungarian ministers and their families joined the 'sangeet' and 'mehndi' ceremonies, Paul said.
Some super-rich Indian families have held weddings in western Europe in recent years.
In September 2014, in an elaborate four-day ceremony, Ritika Agarwal, daughter of London-based mining magnate Pramod Agarwal wed Rohan Mehta, son of Arun Mehta, a former partner of a leading fashion brand, in Fasano, south Italy.
Agarwal had previously organised his other daughter Vineeta’s wedding in Venice in 2011. Steel baron Lakshmi Mittal’s daughter Vanisha’s wedding to Amit Bhatia was held in France in 2004, and his niece Shrishti married Gulraj Behl in Barcelona in December 2013.