We’ve heard of rolling out the red carpet, but a makeshift helipad to welcome VIPs for a wedding?
Vasai-Virar strongman Jaynendra Thakur alias Bhai Thakur ferried VIP guests in choppers for his daughter’s wedding on Saturday. The likes of MNS chief Raj Thackeray and senior leader Nitin Sardesai landed in a chopper at the makeshift helipad near VIVA College in Virar (West).
The wedding reception of Priyanka Thakur with Mumbai-based doctor Suchit Mahale was a grand affair at the VIVA Melange ground covering an area of 1.5 lakh sq ft apart from parking zones. At least 10,000 guests, including a host of dignitaries, attended the wedding. Two top-most security agencies deployed 500 personnel at the venue to manage the crowd.
Sources said Raj Thackeray and Nitin Sardesai were among the first to arrive. They landed at the makeshift helipad before they were escorted to the venue. Thackeray and Sardesai were then taken back to the chopper. Other guests included MNS MLA Pravin Darekar, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and deputy chairperson of the MLC Vasant Davkhare. Rakesh Wadhwan, executive chairman of HDIL, also came in a chopper.
“Because of the damage to the Versova bridge on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway, guests were ferried in choppers to avoid traffic snarls,” sources said.
Priyanka’s was one of the biggest weddings in Virar. “The flowers were specially chosen from across the globe. Special arrangements were made at gate number 1 from where the VIPs were brought inside. A total of 18 shamianas were erected,” said Sangam Khaire, manager, Bhoomi Events and Planners. He refused to divulge the amount spent on the decorations.
There were 18 food counters serving different cuisines. “We prepared a variety of dishes, including sweets, for 20,000 guests,” the caterer said.
“It was a traditional Maharashtrian wedding... in fact, the arrangements during MLA Kshitij Thakur were much better. It was a last-minute plan to ferry VIPs in choppers... in fact, I think the choppers belonged to the VIPs,” said a member of the Thakur family.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray, party leader Nitin Sardesai and Rakesh Wadhwan, executive chairman of HDIL, came in choppers and landed at a makeshift helipad. Others who came included Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, actors Jackie Shroff and Govinda. Politicians like Ram Naik, Ganesh Naik and Ram Kadam were also seen. Singer Honey Singh was expected to attend, but he could not as he had to go to the US.