Not even the Central Bank’s bothersome takeover of Crane Bank, her father’s bank, where she too works as business development manager, in the very week of her wedding, could dampen her spirits or blight her function.
In her own words, Sheena Ruparelia, the second daughter of billionaire Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, was going to have her fairy tale (wedding) in Uganda. And indeed she did, for the second time!
The lovebirds first held two ceremonies at the exclusive Savoy and Dorchester Hotels in London, hotels that are patronised by international celebrities, the wealthy and royalty.
The Munyonyo black tie affair was a culmination of week-long events that included a beer festival on Tuesday and a give-away at the Ruparelia mansion on Friday night.
The guests came from over 30 countries, including family, friends and business associates.
The cards read 6:00pm but guests started streaming in as early as 5:00pm for a cocktail by the lakeside. At 7:30pm, there was a volley of fireworks from a boat stationed metres from the lakeshore and illuminated with the newlyweds’ initials – J&S.
Guests then made their way inside the marquee where the evening’s emcee, comedian Patrick “Salvador” Idringi set the ball rolling. From the exquisite décor to the choice of entertainment that evening – Silver Springs, an orchestra flown in all the way from Russia and Oriental Fire, an acrobatics group from India – this ceremony was truly meant for a transnational audience.
The speeches were brief and pretty much your usual wedding rhetoric; nothing as eventful as an announcement on Crane Bank’s dilemma (which many expected). That went for Rajiv Ruperalia, brother of the bride, Jay’s family as well as Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, whose only allusion to the situation was to thank everyone who came out that evening for standing by the family at such a time.
Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kuteesa in his speech said Sudhir, a self-made man is an example of the opportunities that Uganda has to offer.
He also lauded Sudhir for integrating himself in Uganda, his country of birth, despite having Asian origin.
“Sudhir has integrated himself in the Ugandan society more than any other Asian. We shall be there for him as he has been there for us,” he said in reference to the midweek Bank of Uganda takeover of Sudhir’s Crane Bank.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” he said before congratulating the young couple on the bold step of marriage because it is what ensures family continuity.
The couple narrated how they met, each claiming they fell for each other first … probably that’s something we will never know.
The emcee of the evening comedian Patrick Salvado Idringi peppered the ceremony with jokes while a female band from Russia provided the entertainment performing a mixture of Indian and pop songs.
Guests left at will after midnight but there was still plenty to eat and drink, probably for the next two days.