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Abhishek BachchanAbhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai wedding in April
28th Mar 2007  09.01 IST
By Agencies  

Bollywood's most talked about pair - Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai - will take the plunge into matrimony on April 20 in a "small, intimate affair" without the trappings of film industry weddings.

Unlike the recent Elizabeth Hurley - Arun Nayar wedding, where the paparazzi went berserk, the Abhi-Ash marriage will be a very private affair at the Bachchans' home Prateeksha in Juhu, sources close to the couple said Tuesday.

"The families met and a decision has been taken on the date," the source said.

"It will be a small family affair attended by close friends like Mukesh and Tina Ambani and Amar Singh. The ceremonies are likely to be spread out over three days, culminating in the marriage on April 20," the source said.

Only the Bachchans' close friends - who could be as few as 15 - will be invited to the wedding.

Speculation about the date and venue for the marriage has been rife since Abhishek, 31, and Ash, 33, got engaged on January 14.

The Bachchans and Ash consistently denied all reports about a date for the marriage but on Tuesday, the actress' manager Hari Singh said he could neither confirm nor deny the news.

Sources said the wedding will be held on April 20, the Akshay Tritiya, considered the year's most auspicious day by most Hindus. The wedding date was apparently advanced because of the condition of Bachchan's mother Teji, who is being treated at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai for some months.

Since rumours of the Abhishek-Ash romance began floating from the sets of their film Umrao Jaan in 2005, the couple has consistently maintained silence and refused to speak about the relationship in public.

After their engagement, they were seen in public, hand in hand, and visited various temples to perform poojas, but it was Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan who did the talking on the forthcoming union.

Former Miss World Ash, described as a "simple" and "domesticated" girl by Bachchan, is said to be "manglik" and had to make trips to several temples to nullify the bad omen.

At a recent awards ceremony, Jaya gave an emotional welcome to her future daughter-in-law. "She has a beautiful heart and a beautiful smile and I welcome her into the family," she said, bringing tears to Ash's eyes.

Abhishek's very public engagement with Karisma Kapoor ended in 2003 while Ash's relationship with Salman Khan was the talk of tinsel town before they broke up. She was also linked with Vivek Oberoi .

On screen, the couple have not had much luck with films like Dhai Akshar Prem Ke , Kuch Naa Kaho and 'Umrao Jaan', but their latest movie, Mani Ratnam 's Guru , was helped to a large extent by news of their engagement on the weekend of its release.

Abhishek had in fact proposed to Ash while on a trip to New York to publicise 'Guru'.

Ash was crowned Miss World in 1994 and then entered the world of films.

Abhishek has gone from being known as Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan's son to carve a niche for himself in Bollywood by delivering knockout performances in films like Yuva and 'Guru'.

Abhishek Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai
Elizabeth Hurley
Umrao Jaan
Amitabh Bachchan
Jaya Bachchan
Karisma Kapoor
Salman Khan
Vivek Oberoi
Dhai Akshar Prem Ke
Kuch Naa Kaho
Mani Ratnam

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