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EXCLUSIVE: Actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan Marriage reception party in New Delhi.

The Capital city Delhi played host on Thursday to possibly the most extravagant and high-profile wedding reception in decades.

The Dawat-e-Valima of the Bollywood power couple, and more importantly Bollywood royalty, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan, witnessed the who’s who of Delhi’s power circuit, megastars of the Indian film Industry, sports and entertainment’s biggest names come together under a single roof; all dressed to the nines.

From First Lady (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife) Gursharan Kaur to Congress general Secretary Rahul Gandhi, celebrities like Nandita Das and Imtiaz Ali, the guest-list for the Dawat-e-Walima (wedding reception) of star couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, read like a roll-call of the country’s most famous and successful individuals.

Among other attendees at the event were Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dixit, ministers Farooq Abdullah, Rajiv Shukla, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kamal Nath, Congress’ Renuka Chowdhary and Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, and politician-writer Shashi Tharoor with his wife Sunanda Tharoor.

Celebrities from the world of cricket included Bishen Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev and Ajay Jadeja, while Ritu Kumar, Meera and Muzaffar Ali and Manish Malhotra represented the fashion fraternity. Lyricist Prasoon Joshi and sarod player Amjad Ali Khan also came for the extravaganza, and wished the couple “all the best”.

With a guest list so eclectic and VIP such as this, the security was upto the mark. At least a force of 300 security personnel were appointed for the event since 6 p.m. Thursday, an official told reporters.

Dressed in elegant sherwanis and colourful ghagras, lehengas and saris, some of the country’s noted personalities attended the grand event, hosted by Saif’s mother, veteran actress and Begum of Pataudi, Sharmila Tagore. The celebrations marked the culmination of a five-day wedding gala for Saif, 42, and Kareena, 32.

“Bless the couple and join in our happiness,” Sharmila, who looked regal and resplendent in a gold sari, told reporters here outside the well-decked government bungalow at Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi.

Manish Malhotra, who took care of Kareena’s entire trousseau, only hinted that the new bride, daughter of Randhir Kapoor and Babita, wore a gold gharara with shades of pink for the event. Saif, son of the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, is said to have worn a black sherwani by designer Raghavendra Rathore.

The bungalow was decorated in cream and gold, with mogra flowers and traditional brass hanging diyas. A major attraction at the entrance was an intricately embroidered carpet, said to be an over a century old possession of the Pataudi family.

According to the buzz, the interiors for the function were inspired by the Mughal period, and the set up had several royal artefacts.

This was the last function in the wedding revelry of one of the most awaited unions of tinsel town. The celebrations began with a pre-wedding bash at Kareena’s Mumbai residence Sunday, followed by a registered wedding at Saif’s Bandra residence Tuesday afternoon.

The couple exchanged vows at a Mumbai hotel in the presence of Bollywood’s glitterati, including Shah Rukh Khan with wife Gauri, Karan Johar, Tusshar Kapoor, Preity Zinta, Anil Kapoor with daughter Sonam.

The couple is reported to take off for their honeymoon to a secret destination, on October 21.

(With inputs by IANS)

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