It was not your regular sleepy Sunday morning in Coimbatore. All roads led to CODISSIA trade fair complex, where happening Tamil actor Karthi and English literature postgraduate Ranjani tied the knot at about 6.30 a.m. on Sunday.
It was Coimbatore’s first star wedding in a long time, and it lived up to all the hype - what with a grandly-decorated hall and stage, thousands of people thronging the venue, a huge posse of security men and the presence of stars, old and new.
Among the stars who descended on the stage were actor Prabhu and his wife, actors Rajesh, Poornima Bhagyaraj, Nanda, Karthik and his wife Suchitra, yesteryear music director Shankar Ganesh, ace lensman G. Venket Ram and directors Bala, K.S. Ravikumar and R.V. Udhayakumar. Orator Solomon Pappiah was there too.
For the wedding, Karthi wore a white silk shirt and a silk veshti. His bride was dressed in an elaborate orangish-yellow creation. Both wore garlands made of rose, golden flowers, lotuses, orchids and carnations.
In the afternoon, about 4,000 fans of the actor were treated to a special lunch. The other guests partook of a feast prepared by Lakshmi Catering of Madhampatty, featuring traditional fare from the South.
Before the rituals began, members of the Manikavasagar Arutpani Mandram, Perur, led by P. Kumaralingam, recited the Thevaram, Thiruvasagam, Periya Puranam and Tirupugazh.
This was followed by kaikorvai, the act of sealing a relationship between two families. This was accompanied by a 'mangala vaazhthu', peculiar to the Kongu Vellala Gounder community.
Chennai-based Chandirrasekar Decorations had worked on the green-silver-and gold, Grecian theme wedding hall for more than a month, and it showed. The colour scheme was the same as the elegantly put-together wedding card. Subtlety was the key word.
Lakhs of flowers — orchids, gerberas, liliums, carnations and roses — had been used to decorate the venue and the effect was classy.
Tall columns rose to the ceiling, done up in dyed, gossamer fabric, in keeping with the Grecian theme. Long crystal strands caught the light from the dais and the jewellery the women wore.
Apparently, Karthi wanted a circular wedding mantap. And that was what he got too.
Karthi’s father, painter-actor-orator Sivakumar and brother Suriya bustled about the stage, greeting friends and family. Said Suriya: “It feels great to organise a wedding in the very place where you began your journey. Despite all the chaos, people have waited overnight to attend the wedding. This love is humbling.”
Karthi felt the same way too. “It’s wonderful to get married in front of family and friends, and in my home town. More importantly, I always wanted a traditional wedding, and I’m happy it turned out so. Amma and Appa are delighted too.”
But, despite the star-spangled presence, at its very soul, the wedding was just what it was meant to be - a day when a boy called Karthi and a girl called Ranjani began their new journey together!