NEW DELHI (Reuters) - British comedian Russell Brand and pop singer Katy Perry married on Saturday in a closely guarded traditional Hindu ceremony at an exclusive hotel resort in India’s Rajasthan.
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 kms (62 miles) 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 secrecy over the, but a representative for the couple said publicity rights had not been sold to a London magazine as had been reported.
“The wedding rituals began around 7 p.m. 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 for the wedding that featured two elephants, the representative said. An official statement described the event as a spiritual ceremony attended by the couples’ family and friends and performed by a Christian minister.
The maid of honor was not pop star Rihanna as had been reported, but was a family friend, the representative said.
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 reported to be attending the ceremony, as well as Brand’s close friend, television presenter Jonathan Ross.
The couple, who landed in Mumbai Thursday, reportedly chose the resort for their wedding after Brand proposed to Perry at the same location last December, but the representative denied those reports and said the celebrity couple had not been engaged there. 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