Some of the biggest stars in India have landed in the historical city of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu to celebrate the wedding of South Indian superstar Nayanthara and film director Vignesh Shivan. The couple, who have been in a relationship for seven years, tied the knot early on Thursday morning in a traditional ceremony. A star-studded reception is soon to follow.
Shivan shared photos of the wedding on Thursday.
"On a scale of 10… She’s Nayan and I'm the one by God’s grace. Just married Nayanthara," he posted.
The bride and groom's outfits were custom-made by Jade, the label by designers Monica Shah and Karishma Swali, known for their use of Indian arts and crafts.
"Nayanthara wears a handcrafted saree in Jade’s signature Vermillion Red, custom-designed by Monica Shah. The intricately realised tone on tone embroidery is inspired by the carvings of the temples of Hoysala," the designers posted on Instagram. "In a thoughtful tribute to the actor’s love for tradition, Monica and Karishma reimagined Goddess Lakshmi motifs as bajubandh on the sleeves of the blouse. In addition, the Fourth Vow running across the ensemble has been personalised with the couple’s names, symbolising togetherness, commitment and mutual respect."
The groom's ensemble, meanwhile, resonates with four of the seven pheras — the sacred walks that the bride and groom take around the holy fire — signifying dharma, arth, kama and moksha, the designers said.
Each phera signifies a vow that the bride and groom make to each other, and only once they've completed the seven rounds, are they considered husband and wife.
Shivan wore a veshti, the sarong-like robe wrapped around his waist, paired with a kurta and shawl, handcrafted by Jade.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who will soon appear in a film with Nayanthara, was seen at the ceremony and so was Rajinikanth, one of the biggest and most revered Indian actors. Other major stars on the guest list included actors Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi, Suriya, Ajith, Karthi, Vijay Sethupathi and Samantha Ruth Prabhu.
Following a pre-wedding mehndi celebration on Wednesday, Nayanthara and Shivan married in an early morning ritual that reportedly began at 8.10am at Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Centre, in the city famous for its Unesco World Heritage Sites.
Khan's manager Pooja Dadlani Gurnani shared a photo of the star arriving for the ceremony, dressed in a beige Nehru jacket paired with a white shirt.
"For Nayanthara’s Special Day," she wrote.
Entry to the resort is limited to only guests with an entry code, and a big reception is planned for Friday. The dress code for the reception is ethnic pastels, according to the wedding invitations seen by Indian media.
The wedding was initially meant to be held in Tirupati, known for its ancient Hindu temples, but was moved to Mahabalipuram owing to "logistical issues".
"We wanted to call our friends and family members, and we can’t take everyone there. So, we have to decide to get married, here, in Mahabalipuram," Shivan told Chennai Times.
Who are Nayanthara and Vignesh Shivan?
Popularly referred to as the "lady superstar" of Indian cinema, Nayanthara is one of the biggest actors in South India, known for her work in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. She's also the only actress from South India to make it to No 69 on Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list in 2018, with an estimated earning of 150 million rupees.
Born Diana Kurian in Kerala, Nayanthara made her acting debut in 2003 with the Malayalam film Manassinakkare and has since starred in more than 75 films. She will make her Bollywood debut with Khan in Jawan, an action film set to be released in 2023.
Nayanthara and Shivan first met when she starred in his 2015 film Naanum Rowdy Dhaan, an action-comedy which also featured Sethupathi. The pair began dating soon after but only made their relationship Instagram-official in 2021 after Shivan proposed to Nayanthara. That year, they also launched their production company Rowdy Pictures.
'It's Nayan's day'
Hours before the wedding ceremony on Thursday, Shivan posted a tribute to his future wife on Instagram, calling her "My thangamey", which translates to "my gold" in Tamil.
"Today is June 9 and it’s Nayan’s. Thanking God, the universe, the goodwill from all the lovely human beings who have crossed my life. Every good soul, every good moment, every good coincidence, every good blessing, every day at shooting and every prayer that has made life this beautiful," he shared. "I owe it all to the good manifestations and prayers.
"Now, it’s all dedicated to the love of my life! Nayanthara, my thangamey, excited to see you walking up the aisle in a few hours. Praying to God for all the goodness and looking forward to starting a new chapter officially in front of our beloved family and the best of friends."