Video by Emily Verdouw
It's the most talked-about Australian wedding since Scott and Charlene, or at least since Geoffrey Edelsten's most recent nuptials.
The deputy mayor of Auburn, NSW, Salim Mehajer tied the knot with partner Aysha over the weekend, in a wedding swollen with excess including a $50 million phalanx of white Ferraris and Lamborghinis, a fleet of helicopters, a squad of motorcycles and a ceremony even Kim and Kanye wouldn't have scoffed at (more on that later).
The media has lapped up the spectacle in all its lavishness and self-indulgence, and Mehajer has seemingly welcomed the attention -- but, inevitably, the attention has now turned sour, with the deputy mayor receiving sanctions from his council, probes into the property developer's deals, police investigations into possible gun charges and calls for his resignation.
It's been a ridiculous few days, so let's recap the most bizarre moments from the entire Mehajer "wedding of the century" saga.
1) The videos
Mehajer allegedly unilaterally shut down his street to traffic to accommodate his wedding party, prompting localised outrage. But it was the bizarre -- yet strangely compelling -- pre-wedding videos that exploded on Australia's social media feeds.
First, the cringeworthy acting and faux-dramatic atmosphere of a story retelling (supposedly) the story of how the pair met at Sydney University, and how Mehajer "will do anything to keep" his partner; including, it seems, firing a fake gun at the camera and chemically bleaching his teeth. Full of luxury cars, shameless lingering shots of his property and possessions and a whole lot of makeup (for him, as well as for her), it was Australia's first introduction to the Mehajers. The original video has disappeared from Youtube, but here's a version somebody captured before it was deleted.
Later, a professionally shot wedding day video emerged; then, a bizarre clip showing the pair "transformed by a team of special effects make up artists to get a glimpse of what they may look like from 50 to 90 years old."
2) Those teeth
You could turn the lights off and these pearly white chompers would glow in the dark. There's "white teeth," then there's "scary white teeth that pose blinding dangers to passing motorists." They look battery-powered. Truly something else.
(And yes, that IS Australian songstress Missy Higgins there. She was invited to perform at the reception.)
3) This face
Seriously. This face. This is the "love at first sight" scene, where Mehajer spies Aysha for the first time and knows their love will be true. Clearly, all that complex emotion is reflected authentically in his face. Flawless dramatic work. Someone get this guy an acting contract.
Well, now you mention it...
4) Asking Kyle Sandilands to "hook him up" with Hollywood
The groom went on radio to talk with KIIS FM hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O after the wedding, fobbing off criticism but revealing perhaps the real reason behind the over-the-top wedding -- fame, or infamy.
“I want to be the next superstar,” he said.
“You’ve got to hook me up with Hollywood, Kyle.”
No word yet on whether he is set to star in his own version of Groomzillas, but even now, he seems to be trying to surround himself with celebrities...
5) Lil Bow Wow is involved somehow?
Of all the strangeness, this possibly takes the cake. Mehajer posted this image on Facebook on Wednesday, of himself, his wife, and American rapper Bow Wow -- formerly Lil Bow Wow, who shot to fame in 2000 as a child rapper. The 'Lil' was dropped after Shad Gregory Moss himself was no longer 'Lil,' and Moss has since starred in numerous movies and TV shows including Entourage, CSI: Cyber and the Scary Movie franchise.
6) Aysha, AKA April
It turns Aysha wasn't always Aysha. The SMH went digging, and found out the new Mrs Aysha Mehajer started life as April Amelia Learmonth. She previously worked as a beautician in Wollongong, NSW, before meeting Salim and undergoing a remarkable makeover - changing her face, her hair, her religion and her name.
April Learmonth, in 2009 (Fairfax Media/Dave Tease)
7) The Kim and Kanye-style flower wall
When Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got married, the most iconic image of the nuptials was the photo Kim posted on Instagram of the couple kissing in front of a wall of flowers.
It was the most-liked photo ever on Instagram, and no doubt the inspiration for a million weddings. Including, perhaps, the Mehajer's. This photo ringing any bells?
8) The gun
This snippet of the original pre-wedding video has Mehajer in hot water. The Daily Telegraph reports police are investigating after a replica gun was allegedly seized from a car Aysha was travelling in several weeks ago. For his part, Mehajer isn't too worried about possible guns charges, posting the below image on Facebook on Thursday.
9) The council backlash
Unsurprisingly, the Auburn council was a little unhappy about the deputy mayor making the news for all the wrong reasons. Mehajer attended his first council meeting after the wedding on Wednesday, 200 fans waiting outside the building to show their support. Arriving 15 minutes late -- in a white Ferrari -- he skated through the meeting with ease. The Sydney Morning Herald reports two councillors tried and failed to pass motions to censure Mehajer for "bringing shame to Auburn" and to have the Minister for Local Government investigate the circumstances around the wedding. He was fined $220 for illegally blocking a street while filming his wedding, but for a man with net worth in the millions, it was described as "a tap on the finger" by another councillor.
Mehajer's supporters at the council meeting at Auburn council (Fairfax Media/Wolter Peeters)
A petition titled 'Sack Salim Mehajer' has more than 7000 signatures, while a counter-petition supporting Mehajer also has several thousand.
As you could guess, however, the man still isn't too fazed. He's just busy #BlockingOutTheHaters.