Spending a cool $146 million on a wedding might seem like something outside the realm of possibility for almost everyone — but when your dad is the wealthiest person in Asia, with a fortune of $63 billion, that bill is pocket change.

Isha Ambani, the daughter of Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani, was married earlier this week in a days-long celebration that was attended by royals, celebrities and politicians.

The family also live in what's known as the world's most expensive home, rivalled only by Buckingham Palace in London — Queen Elizabeth II's home sits on Crown land and hence the Ambanis hold the number one title.

The wedding, their Mumbai home and the toys that go with it are all supported and paid for by the family business, Reliance Industries.


The business was launched by Ambani's father Dhirubhai Ambani and is the ultimate rags to riches story in India.

Starting as a humble materials business, the family later turned Reliance Industries into the world's biggest producer of polyester fibres and yarns.

The conglomerate has since grown to become a Fortune 500 company worth more than $105 billion and responsible for a fifth of India's exports.


The wedding of Isha Ambani, 27, and Anand Piramal, 33, the kids of two billionaire families, might be the biggest of them all.

The groom Anand Piramal is the son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $US10b ($15b).

The wedding was held in Mumbai on Wednesday but festivities began weeks ago, starting in September with an engagement party at a lakeside Italian palace.

Over the weekend, thousands attended pre-wedding parties at a 16th century palace in the Indian desert city of Udaipur, where videos shot by partygoers showed Hillary Clinton dancing with Shah Rukh Khan, one of India's biggest movie stars, as former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry danced just a few feet away.

A highlight was a performance by Beyonce, who sang Crazy In Love, among other hits, with a band backing her up and a series of costume changes that included at least one India-inspired outfit.

Pop star Beyonce performed at the wedding. Photo / Instagram
Pop star Beyonce performed at the wedding. Photo / Instagram

Indian weddings are famously elaborate, driving many families into debt with expectations that they invite hundreds or thousands of people, and arranging professional song-and-dance shows.

Among India's rich, weddings are displays of almost unimaginable wealth, with guests flown in on chartered jets from around the world and celebrities paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for brief appearances.

In 2004, a daughter of Indian steel baron Lakshmi Mittal held her engagement party at Versailles.

The Indian media noted that the actual Ambani wedding, in Mumbai, was expected to be a relatively small affair, with just 600 or so people in attendance. More parties will follow the marriage ceremony.

The family is said to have reserved hundreds of hotel rooms for their guests.

Nita Ambani arrives at the IPL auction in Jaipur, India on Tuesday. The family's interests own the Mumbai Indians IPL team. Photo / AP.
Nita Ambani arrives at the IPL auction in Jaipur, India on Tuesday. The family's interests own the Mumbai Indians IPL team. Photo / AP.

Indian grooms traditionally ride to their weddings on horses, but Piramal arrived at the Ambani home in a classic Rolls Royce, with marching bands playing in the procession and scowling bodyguards scattered through the crowds.

Near the family home, Mumbai resident Kashyap Sompura said he was not bothered by the extravagance.

"People, even when they don't have money, they take loans and do lavish weddings," said Sompura, 50. For someone of Ambani's wealth, "I don't think there is anything wrong with him sparing money for that."


Before the wedding of the century, the Ambanis were best known for the home they live in.

Stretching 27 storeys, Antilia became the world's first apartment to cost more than a billion dollars when it was finished in 2010.

Six years after Ambani lost his father to a stroke, the billionaire businessman dipped into his fortune and started construction on Antilia in the heart of Mumbai, on one of the world's priciest streets.

Ambani, his wife Nita and their three children Anant, Akash and Isha have lived in the home since 2010, two years after construction started.

The sprawling, glass-covered building stretches more than 150 metres into the Mumbai sky, towering over the city's 20 million residents and well above the smog the city is known for.

In 2012, Nita invited Vanity Fair into the home, showing off Antilia's lush, multi-level gardens, stunning water features and their three helipads perched on the roof.

The 27 storeys, most of which have extended ceilings, also feature a 50-seat theatre, nine elevators stretching up from the lobby and a grand ballroom for entertaining guests.

Swimming pools hover over the edge of the apartment and the parking garage stretches six levels to fit 160 cars.

It's all maintained and kept clean by over 600 staff, 24 hours a day, but when the kids come home from studying across the world, they're still made to clean their own rooms.

"It's a modern home with an Indian heart," Nita told Vanity Fair.

"We made our home right at the top because we wanted the sunlight … so it's an elevated house on top of a garden."

Nita told the magazine the apartment had been modelled on the lotus and the sun and decorated with rare wood, marble and mother-of pearl.

Its controversial design, exorbitant price tag and only being home to one family of five earnt Antilia an infamous reputation around the world, well before it was finished.

"This is a gated community in the sky," author Gyan Prakash told the New York Times in 2010.

"It is in a way reflective of how the rich are turning their faces away from the city."

Author Hamish McDonald, who chronicled the Ambani family history in a 2010 book, said the over-the-top apartment was for the businessman to show India he had finally made it.

"It's kind of returning with a vengeance to where they made it into the middle class and trumping everybody," McDonald told the New York Times.

"He's sort of saying, 'I'm rich and I don't care what you think.'"

But the Ambani family don't just live in luxury in Mumbai.

When Ambani needs to leave his beloved home in India, he jumps on the family's private Airbus and flies to wherever he has to go.

Ambani bought the Airbus as a birthday gift for his wife in 2007 for $63m, a year before he forked out more than a billion for Antilia.

After the plane purchase, Ambani paid to have the 180-passenger aircraft refitted.

Now, its custom design includes a living room, bedroom, satellite TV, a sky bar and a spa.

Ambani also owns the cricket team Mumbai Indians, a franchise from the Indian Premier League.