NEW DELHI (Reuters) - British comedian Russell Brand and pop singer Katy Perry were married in a closely guarded traditional Hindu ceremony at an exclusive hotel resort in India’s Rajasthan on Saturday, police and local media said.
While the festivities commenced on the grounds of the Amaan-i-Khas resort in the deeply wooded Ranthambore National Park, a tiger reserve some 100 kilometers south of the fort city of Jaipur, the world’s media strained to catch a glimpse.
As the sounds of traditional Rajasthani music drifted from the dozen specially erected tents across the moonlit resort, over 80 international journalists, including 15 British photographers, jostled for space with their telephoto lenses at the gates of the complex, more than 150 meters away.
Private security guards, black screens and a mobile phone ban have ensured a veil of the highest security has shrouded the wedding from unwanted eyes after exclusive publicity rights were sold to a London magazine.
“The wedding rituals began around 7 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) and have now completed,” Kajod Mal, a local police officer, told Reuters by telephone from Kotwali town, close to the wedding venue. “We sent some of our men there for security.”
Brand, who has been seen with henna patterns on his hands, arrived on a decorated horse for the wedding, flanked by camels and elephants, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
Other reports said Barbadian pop star Rihanna played the maid of honor as a priest chanted Hindu hymns around a sacred fire.
As the sun set through the early evening, the guests, who are staying at two nearby resorts, arrived in cars with blacked-out windows. British singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher was also reported to be attending the ceremony, as well as Brand’s close friend television presenter Jonathan Ross.
The couple, who landed in Mumbai on Thursday, reportedly chose the resort for their wedding after Brand proposed to Perry at the same location last December. Perry wore an Indian bridal nose ring as she passed through the airport.
On Friday, a Reuters witness said four photographers were attacked by a member of Brand’s security detail while trying to take pictures of the groom-to-be on a safari trip.
One of the actor’s bodyguards smashed camera equipment and injured one of the photographers before taking the keys to their vehicle, leaving them stranded in the tiger reserve.
Additional reporting by Adnan Abidi in Ranthambore