What’s in name?: She is now Sonam Kapoor Ahuja

Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor has finally tied the knot with her longtime beau Anand Ahuja in an intimate yet lavish ceremony. The reception party of the newly-weds took place in a suburban Mumbai five-star hotel, with the who’s who of Bollywood, including Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Kangana Ranaut, attending it.

The couple got married according to Sikh customs, Anand Karaj. At the ceremony, cousins Arjun and Ranveer Singh sang a hip hop version of Sonams chartbuster Masakali from the film Delhi 6. Post the nuptials, Sonam made a quick change to a rust-pink lehenga choli and then the couple cut a quirky two-tier cake decorated with toppers that showed a bride dragging the groom out of a basketball court, hinting at Ahujas love for the sport.

Her brother, Harshvardhan, distributed sweets to the media with a thank you note on the boxes, post the wedding ceremony.

Sonam and Anand, who have been dating for the past two years, announced their wedding a week ago. The wedding was preceded by two-day long celebrations that included mehendi and sangeet functions.

Sonam is one of the highest-paid actresses in the Bollywood and is the recipient of several awards, including a Filmfare and a National Film Award. The daughter of actor Anil Kapoor, Sonam studied theatre and arts at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore. She was an assistant director to Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the 2005 film Black.

Sonam made her acting debut in Bhansali’s romantic drama Saawariya (2007), for which she was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She had her first commercial success three years later in the romantic comedy I Hate Luv Storys (2010).

After a series of commercial failures, the sleeper hit Raanjhanaa (2013) marked a turning point in her career, earning her Best Actress nominations. She then featured in the 2014 romantic comedy Khoobsurat and the 2015 comedy drama Dolly Ki Doli, both of which earned her Filmfare Award for Best Actress nominations.

Sonam played a princess in the melodrama Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015), one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films. She received the National Film Award – Special Mention and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for portraying the titular role in the biographical thriller Neerja (2016), one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films featuring a female protagonist.

Sonam supports the raising awareness of breast cancer and LGBT rights. She is married to the businessman Anand Ahuja. Known in the media for her outspoken personality, she is frequently credited as one of Bollywood’s most fashionable celebrities. Starting in 2012, she appeared in Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 based on her income and popularity.

Sonam was born in the Mumbai suburb of Chembur on 9 June 1985. Her father is actor and producer Anil Kapoor, the son of the late filmmaker Surinder Kapoor and the founder of the Anil Kapoor Films Company. Her mother, Sunita, is a former model and designer. Kapoor has two younger siblings: film producer Rhea and brother Harshvardhan. She is the niece of film producer Boney Kapoor and actor Sanjay Kapoor; actress Sridevi and producer Mona Shourie (Boney’s wives) are her aunts. Kapoor’s paternal cousins are actors Arjun Kapoor and Mohit Marwah, and maternal second cousin is actor Ranveer Singh.

The family moved to the suburb of Juhu when Kapoor was one month old. She was educated at the Arya Vidya Mandir school in Juhu, where she confessed to being a “naughty” and “carefree” child who would bully the boys. She excelled at sports such as rugby and basketball, and trained in Kathak, classical music and Latin dance. Kapoor, who practices Hinduism, states that she is “quite religious”, and that it is a way of “reminding myself that I need to be thankful for so much”.

Sonam’s first job was as a waitress at age 15, although it lasted only a week. As a teenager, she struggled with her weight: “I had every issue related to weight that I could have. I was unhealthy, I had bad skin, and I had hair growing on my face!” Kapoor was diagnosed with insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian disease, and has since begun an initiative to increase awareness of diabetes. Kapoor enrolled at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore for her pre-university education, where she studied theatre and arts. She has said she later started courses in economics and political science through University of Mumbai correspondence programme, after returning from University of East London where she began her bachelor’s degree in the same subjects but returned to Mumbai soon after she began.

The actress Rani Mukerji, a family friend, visited her family in Singapore on holiday while working on Black (2005). Kapoor, who had originally wanted to be a director and writer, expressed a desire to work as a crew member on the film. On her father’s recommendation to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, she was appointed as his assistant.

Sonam is a popular figure nationally, with a significant following on Twitter since 2009 and Facebook. She appeared on The Huffington Post’s list of “100 most influential women on Twitter” in 2015. She has been described by the media as a style icon, and featured on Rediff.com’s list of “Bollywood’s Best Dressed Actresses” in 2012 and 2013.

In 2013, the newspaper Hindustan Times and Indian edition of Vogue called her Style Icon (Reader’s Choice) and Beauty of the Year, respectively. Though Sonam has earned praise for her dress sense and style, she has faced some criticism for wearing traditional Indian dresses.

Sonam was ranked seventh on The Times of India‘s 2010 “Most Desirable Woman” list, placing 14th, 28th and 14th the next three years, and was in the top ten of UK magazine Eastern Eye’s “World’s Sexiest Asian Women” list from 2011 to 2014. In 2012 and 2013 she also held 48th and 45th place, respectively, on the Indian edition of Forbes’ “Celebrity 100” lists, based on the income and popularity of Indian celebrities.

She was named Woman of the Year by the men’s magazine GQ India in 2013. In 2014 and 2015, Kapoor reached 31st place and 26th position, respectively, peaking at the 18th position the following year with an annual income of ₹200 million (US$3.1 million). Sonam has acquired several titles at the Filmfare Glamour and Style Awards—in 2015 she won for Most Stylish Star (Female) and Absolut Elyx Style & Substance Award, and in 2016, she was named Most Stylish Star (Female) and Red Carpet Royalty.

She has been endorsing brands such as Colgate, Electrolux, Lux, Mont Blanc, Oppo Mobile, Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. and Signature, Kapoor is the Indian ambassador for international cosmetics manufacturer L’Oréal. In 2011, she was named Brand Ambassador of the Year at the NDTV Good Times Gadget Guru Awards. Rediff.com reported in 2012 that she received ₹30 million (US$460,000) for each endorsement, making her one of the highest-paid celebrity endorsers in India.

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