The bash held at New Government Complex in Lusaka was attended by former President Kenneth Kaunda along with Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Emmanuel Chenda who was guest of honour.
The high-profile guest list included the likes of Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda, Vice-President Guy Scott’s wife, Charlotte, Minister of Labour Fackson Shamenda, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Mwansa Kapeya, Bank of Zambia Governor Michael Gondwe, former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa and Kabwata member of Parliament Given Lubinda.
Deputy ministers, permanent secretaries and members of the diplomatic corps were also in attendance.
Melissa, a journalist with CNN in London, wed Andy Wagner four days prior to the bash at a sunset wedding in Mfuwe.
Music by Uncle Rex & Band kick-started the evening and settled in the guests as they arrived. This was followed shortly after by a praise and worship segment led by members of Miracle Life Family Church, where Dr Mahtani is a member.
Also among the performers on the night was the seemingly ageless Jane Osbourne.
The groom, Andy, remarked at how he was thrown aback by the generous reception given to him and his wife by Dr Mahtani.
“My wife Melissa told me that dad would like to have a small reception for us. Little did I know what a small reception is in Zambia,” Andy jokingly said with indirect reference to the clearly grand event.
Dr Mahtani himself had some heartfelt words to share about his daughter and offered the best advice he could as one who has been married for 36 years.
“A few days ago, I had to give away one of my priceless and precious treasures, my beautiful Melissa. I had to give her away because her mother wouldn’t and Andy could not afford her anyway!” he said in jest.
And Dr Kaunda shared that he and late wife, Betty, had been married for 66 years and went on to give Melissa and Andy advice from his incontestable marriage experience.
“Allow me to misbehave and sing a song,” he said, unable to resist the temptation of performing his favourite love song,” Pagan Moon.