Pune-based business tycoon Suniel Mutha, chose the MGM Grand, Macau to
host his son Sidaarrth’s traditional Jain Wedding. The celebration in
July 2008 was managed by Ahmedabad-based Red Events, with decor inputs
from Mumbai’s Gurleen Manchanda Puri.
Suniel Mutha wanted to organise something spectacular for Sidaarrth’s
marriage to Niyati Karia, a jewellery designer. It took eleven long
months of planning to organise the grand celebration in Macau, the
former Portugese enclave now a gambling mecca. In a newspaper
interview Mutha was quoted as saying that he made made six trips to
Macau, 60 kms from Hongkong to pick a venue and arrange the logistics.
They also considered Turkey as a destination, but the difficult visa
requirements discouraged them. Macau met their requirement of
uniqueness and exclusivity and the groom’s father paid for the wedding
guests to fly commercial airlines to Macau; and the special wedding
logos were printed even on the in-flight towels.
Vegetarian Food@ Chinese resort
Mutha settled on the MGM Grand, mostly because the hotel was willing
to give the group full access to the kitchen that serves the ballroom.
Since the Muthas are Jains, and a lot of elderly relatives were
coming, they had to be picky and fastidious about every ingredient
that went into making the lavish treat. MGM Grand in consultation with
the catering company Ahmedabad-based Bhagwati group spent extensive
time in training their staff on the food and other ceremony
requirements, and handling special requests from elders.
Interestingly, before the guests came in, they even sterilized the
ballroom kitchen, to remove all traces of carnivorous Chinese feasts.
Since most of the waiters didn’t understand English or Indian food
combinations, they came up with the idea of numbering the dishes so
that the order would be according to the dish number. The Bhagwati
group ended up carrying long ingredients and even kitchen utensils for
18 meal menus with no repeats, taking into account import laws and
The Elephant and the Horse
A total of 250 support staff who included the catering team, set
decorators, choreographers, hairdressers and mehendi artists were
flown in from India. The Muthas wanted the groom to arrive in an
elephant, and since there was no elephant in Macau, they wanted to
import one from India. But that was not permitted by the Macau
authorities. Finally, the groom arrived on a horse.
The Sacred Pheras
The tricky issue was the pheras around the fire— unlike many families
who give this a miss, since it’s an issue with hotel authorities the
Muthas wanted the traditional symbol there. So they had to sign
contracts indemnifying the hotel against any damage or illness
resulting from the fire or the cuisine!