The world’s richest heiress, 23-year-old Petra Ecclestone, married James Stunt last Saturday in Bracciano, Italy. Proud father Bernie Ecclestone splashed out a slice of his considerable fortune to ensure his daughter had the wedding of her dreams.
The $5 million wedding took place at Odescalchi Castle, the same venue where Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes in 2006.
The medieval town of Bracciano ground to a halt, as the bride and her father Bernie Ecclestone arrived at the Odescalchi castle, costing 310,000 pounds to hire in a vintage Rolls Royce, with former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi at the wheel.
The castle grounds had been transformed into a “magical world” themed setting, with air-conditioned, flower-filled canopies to keep guests cool.
The air was filled in with music by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tenebrae Choir-”one of the greatest choirs in the world”, Andrea Bocelli performed during the hour-long outdoor ceremony.
Everything in the fairytale wedding went off well except for a last-minute hitch that came when there were reports of the groom having been struck down with a painful throat virus, hours before the service.
The bride wore a custom-made $130,000 Vera Wang wedding gown with her blonde hair left loose accessorized by a diamond tiara and drop earrings.
One of the most highly anticipated celebrity events of the year witnessed fleets of cars ferrying 250 VIP guests including members of the royal family and hotel heiresses.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, attended the grand wedding bash along with her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie. Hotel heiresses Paris and Nicky Hilton were also spotted alongside their mother Kathy.
Beatrice, as befits her new fashion credentials looked lovely, having picked a long dress in deep pink – the same color as her mother, while Eugenie was in a sassy strapless that showed off her curves.
Her attendants also included her 27-year-old sister Tamara and two bridesmaids, close friends Skye Mellar and Ines Raddock.
Tamara later tweeted: “My sister’s wedding was the most beautiful night she looked incredible I am so proud of her.”
Guests watched the couple – who have been together for four years – pledge their love in a religious celebration conducted at 6pm by Rev Nick Papadopolous from St Peter’s church, Eaton Square, in London’s exclusive Belgravia district near the £56 million home they share.
Members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra had been flown especially for the service.
Once pronounced man and wife, the newlywed was serenaded by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who performed his hit Time to Say Goodbye, then Somos Novios, ending with Can’t Help Falling in Love.
At the champagne reception to celebrate their nearest and dearest toasted the bride and groom with vintage Louis Roederer Cristal champagne while watching fireworks performing amid an acrobatic show.
The Black Eyed Peas who were reportedly paid 1.5 million pounds and DJ David Guetta, believed to have received 500,000 pounds for his night’s work. Eric Clapton’s gift to the young lovers was to serenade them during their first dance as man and wife.
The evening was finished in truly breathtaking style with another fireworks display at midnight.
Congratulations to the couple!