Clooney weds lawyer Alamuddin in lavish Venice celebration
Bono, Matt Damon and Cindy Crawford among guests at ‘party of the year’
George Clooney smiles as he arrives to the venue of a gala dinner ahead of his official wedding ceremony in Venice yesterday. Photograph: Reuters
George Clooney and his fiancee, Lebanese-British lawyer Amal Alamuddin stand on a taxi boat as US model Cindy Crawford kisses her husband Rande Gerber in Venice. Photograph: Andrea Merola/EPA
According to media reports, the wedding of Clooney and Alamuddin takes place in Venice this weekend. Photograph: Andrea Meola/EPA
Actor Matt Damon and his wife Luciana Barroso on board a boat after landing at Nicelli airport. Photograph: Andrea Merola/EPA
Bono arrives to board a taxi boat transporting guests to the venue of a gala dinner ahead of the official wedding ceremony of US actor George Clooney and his fiancee Amal Alamuddin in Venice yesterday. Photograph: Reuters
Bono and his wife Ali Hewson arrive to take a taxi boat transporting guests for the wedding of US actor George Clooney and his fiancee Amal Alamuddin. Photograph: EPA
The Italian city of gondolas and palazzi looked like Hollywood on the Adriatic as A-list guests cruised between luxury hotels for the extravaganza, billed as the party of the year even as details were kept largely secret.
Clooney‘s representative, Stan Rosenfield, broke a long silence about the actor‘s personal life last night, issuing a statement confirming the marriage.
“Confimed. They were married Saturday evening in Venice,“ he said in an email.
The pair had been expected to wed officially tomorrow in a civil ceremony at Venice‘s 14th-century town hall. It was not clear if that would still take place.
Venice‘s Grand Canal turned into an aquatic red carpet as the tuxedo-clad actor and his guests crossed the lagoon from the Cipriani hotel for dinner at the seven-star Aman Canal Grande Venice, housed in the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli.
Passing “vaporetti“ public boats tilted sideways as passengers crowded to see two-time Oscar winner Clooney, who waved to onlookers and rubbed his hands together on arrival at the Aman.
Drinks were laid on in a rear garden before dinner in the main dining room of the Aman, where local media had reported the pair was to say vows informally.
Kentucky-born Clooney, who shot to stardom in the television series “ER“, had vowed never to remarry after his 1993 divorce from actress Talia Balsam and is said to have made a $100,000 bet with Michelle Pfeiffer that he would stay single.
The Lebanese-born Alamuddin, who had no previous connection to Hollywood, has represented Ukrainian former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko at the European Court of Human Rights, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in extradition proceedings.
“She will keep him on his toes because she is bright,“ said Judith Graham (59) of Surrey, England. “He‘s had all these actresses fawning over him before. I hope he‘ll be happy.“
Clooney has also led campaigns to highlight the plight of refugees in Darfur, Sudan, and is expected to donate the fees earned from selling rights to the wedding photos to that cause.
As the sun shone over Venice, locals and tourists alike were excited to witness a memorable moment in the city‘s long history of hosting stars for its film festival, the world‘s oldest.
A slick, wooden speedboat called “Amore“ brought the couple into the city on Friday in a convoy of boats, a modern-day version of the ceremonial entrances of the Doges of the Venetian Republic, which lasted from the late seventh century until 1797.
Alamuddin, who is rumoured to have 12 outfit changes prepared for the weekend, wore a black-and-white striped dress as she arrived with Clooney on the speedboat.
The 36-year-old picked a more formal red dress with black butterfly patterns for a party in her honour on Friday night. She reportedly chose an Alexander McQueen wedding gown.
Guests were ferried around the city in speed-boats bearing small flags marked with “AG“, for Amal and George, and a brown swagged canopy was put up in front of the Aman yesterday to shield guests from prying eyes and photographers‘ long lenses.
People magazine reported that the pair had been married by the former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, a film buff and Clooney’s friend, confirming previous Italian media reports.