Inside cricketer KL Rahul and Bollywood actress Athiya Shetty's intimate wedding ceremony

The couple tied the knot surrounded by family and close friends

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Indian cricketer KL Rahul and Bollywood actress Athiya Shetty were married on Monday at an intimate ceremony in Khandala, a lush mountain getaway about 80km from Mumbai.

The couple, who have been dating since 2019, exchanged vows at a farmhouse owned by Athiya's father, Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty.

The wedding was an intimate affair, with only 100 guests comprising the couple's family members and close friends.

"Today, with our most loved ones, we got married in the home that’s given us immense joy and serenity. With a heart full of gratitude and love, we seek your blessings on this journey of togetherness," the couple posted on their Instagram accounts, along with pictures from the ceremony.

They were both dressed by designer Anamika Khanna for the ceremony. Athiya wore a heavily embroidered pink lehenga and paired it with a chunky stone-studded necklace, while Rahul was in an ivory sherwani paired with an emerald neck piece.

"You make it special. Congratulations and huge love," Khanna posted on her Instagram page.

Following the ceremony, Rahul and Athiya appeared outside to pose for photographers who have been camped out throughout the day.

"The wedding is officially done and I am officially a father-in-law," a beaming Suniel said, while actor Ahan Shetty, the bride's brother, distributed sweets to the media camped outside.

Who is KL Rahul?

Rahul, 30, is the vice-captain of India's test cricket team and the captain of Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League.

Born in Bangalore to a cricket-obsessed family, he began training in the sport at a young age and made his state-level debut in 2010. He made his international cricket debut in 2014 with India's Test cricket team.

Rahul swiftly rose through the ranks as a batsman, earning fans in India and around the world.

His unblemished sporting record was slightly blighted in 2019 when he appeared on the talk show Koffee with Karan alongside fellow cricketer Hardik Pandya.

When the two were asked about their personal lives by host Karan Johar, Pandya and Rahul's responses about the women they dated were fiercely criticised, with many calling their views sexist and misogynist.

The backlash was so severe in cricket-mad India that both players were sent home in the middle of their Australia tour and suspended from the team for weeks. The episode of the show was also taken off-air.

“It’s like a wake-up call, like go in the right direction,” Rahul said later about that episode. “I didn't know how to handle that whole time initially. But it is what it is, it made me stronger.”

Who is Athiya Shetty?

Athiya, 30, is the eldest child of Suniel and Mana Shetty. A New York Film Academy graduate, she had her eyes on a movie career from a young age.

She made her debut in the 2015 action film Hero alongside fellow debutant Sooraj Pancholi. A remake of a 1983 film of the same name, it was largely panned, with many critics failing to warm to Athiya's performance.

She later appeared in Mubarakan (2017) and Motichoor Chaknachoor (2019) but has not made much of a dent in Bollywood.

But Athiya has endorsed many global brands and has more than 3.9 million followers on Instagram.

In 2018, a comment by Drake on one of her Instagram posts led many to speculate that she and the rapper were dating.

The Times of India reported that Drake saw Athiya at a London nightspot in 2017 and added her to Instagram because he "thought she was pretty".

Athiya's younger brother Ahan also made his Bollywood debut in the 2021 film Tadap.

How did KL Rahul and Athiya Shetty meet?

Rahul and Athiya are believed to have met through mutual friends in 2019 and immediately hit it off.

It is unclear when the couple decided to be exclusive, but rumours that they were dating have been doing the rounds since.

In November 2021, Rahul finally made it Instagram-official with a post wishing Athiya a happy birthday.

The couple have shared a number of loved-up posts since and appeared at film screenings and events together. Athiya is often seen at Rahul's matches.

Relationships between India's cricket stars and Bollywood actresses are popular in a country obsessed with the sport and movies.

Couples who have gone on to tie the knot include Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech, Harbhajan Singh and Geeta Basra, Zaheer Khan and Sagarika Ghatge, Mohammed Azharuddin and Sangeeta Bijlani, and the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore.

The wedding

While the wedding ceremony and party were intimate, with many of Rahul's teammates on cricket tours, a lavish celebration is being planned for another date.

Guests at Monday's ceremony were reportedly asked to observe a strict no-phones policy.

Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor was seen dancing at a pre-wedding ceremony along with his sister Anshula Kapoor. Other famous people spotted included Krishna Shroff and actor couple Anushka Ranjan and Aditya Seal.

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Updated: January 24, 2023, 6:55 AM