World-famous musicians including ex-Police frontman and J-Lo entertain guests at oligarchs sons grandiose marriage
Russias economy is in recession as it languishes under western sanctions and low oil prices. Three million people fell down poverty last year.
But oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev didnt seem to be feeling the pinch as he shelled out millions of dollars for his sons weekend bridal in Moscow, which featured foreign superstars such as Sting, Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias.
Gutseriev, estimated by Forbes to be worth $6.2 bn( 4.3 bn ), owns assets including the oil company Russneft and has also written songs for famous Russian vocalists. It was little wonder, then, that he brought in top performers for the wedding on Saturday of his Oxford-educated 28 -year-old son, Said, to 19 -year-old Khadija Uzhakhova, a dentistry student from the Gutserievs ethnic homeland of Ingushetia.
J-Lo reportedly performed choreographed makes with a troupe of dancers, at one point joking that pronouncing the bride and grooms names was the hardest thing I had to do today. She has commanded up to $1.4 m for similar performances in the past.
Sting, who served as the de facto marriage band with sungs such as Message in a Bottle and Every Breath You Take, was photographed holding a bouquet and talking to a somewhat awkward-looking Said. Other musicians included Iglesias, French star Patricia Kaas and Russian singer Alla Pugachyova.
About 600 guests, including the Ingushetian president, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, attended the celebration at the upscale Safisa restaurant, which was covered floor-to-ceiling with elaborate flower arrangings that Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported cost about $200,000. The bride was bedecked with diamonds and wore a custom-beaded Elie Saab gown, which can reportedly expense up to 18,000. The nine-tiered bridal cake was topped with a Muslim crescent moon and star.
A second wedding celebration in London this weekend will also feature famous vocalists, according to Russian media reports.
The impoverished Ingushetia has the highest unemployment among any region in Russia, and media noted that the wedding probably expense more than the regions planned expenditures this year on health care and education.
Many social media users were disgusted by the extravagance, with one uploading a video of the elder Gutseriev advising Russians to start saving on everything.
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