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Celebrity's most spectacular and memorable city weddings


The bright lights of the world's most beautiful cities have set the stage for a host of iconic weddings over the years. From Marilyn Monroe embracing Joe DiMaggio on the steps of San Francisco City Hall in 1954 to Catherine Zeta-Jones bringing 20,000 cream roses to New York's Plaza Hotel for her "homespun wedding" in 2000, urban landscapes have long provided a dynamic backdrop for all kinds of star-filled ceremonies.

Whether it's Noel Gallagher and Meg Mathews being serenaded by an Elvis impersonator at the Little Church of the West in Las Vegas or Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban saying "I Do" at a gothic clifftop cathedral in Sydney, these celebrities just can't get enough of city life as a springing board for their nuptials. With George Clooney following Salma Hayek's lead by hosting an extravagant Venice party this weekend, we take a look at a few other spectacular city weddings:

Pictures: Rex Features and Getty Images

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin, Venice, September 2014

Venice's Grand Canal came alight this weekend with hundreds of water taxis ferrying A-List stars, photographers and security around for George and Amal's lavish four-day wedding extravaganza. Hollywood's most eligible bachelor dressed in an Armani tux to swap vows with his leading human rights lawyer wife in a ceremony just after sundown on Saturday at the seven-star Aman Canal Grande hotel. Their intimate service took place in front of around 100 guests including best man Rande Gerber and his wife Cindy Crawford, Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, Ellen Barkin, Anna Wintour, U2 frontman Bono and Bill Murray.

The exclusive venue was decked out with a host of tiny white roses, lilies and carnations and a wall of white candles to match the bride's dramatic white off-the-shoulder gown by Oscar de la Renta. The party supped champagne and feasted on an opulent menu of lobster, lemon risotto, and fried polenta with mushrooms. Come night time, they were grooving away to disco hits from the likes of Blondie, Jackson 5, Amy Winehouse and Daft Punk. As well as the wedding itself, the couple and their celebrity entourage spent plenty of time touring around the city aboard the aptly-named motor boat Amore.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, San Francisco City Hall, January 1954

One of the most famous city hall weddings of all time was that of Marilyn Monroe to her baseball player beau Joe DiMaggio in 1954. The couple tied the knot in what was meant to be a low-key, secret ceremony at San Francisco City Hall. But Marilyn mentioned her plans to someone at a film studio and news spread quickly, meaning the new Mr and Mrs were mobbed by fans outside, as photographers scrambled to capture their first kiss (above, inset).

Monroe and DiMaggio epitomised the ultimate Hollywood romance in many ways - he, the handsome athletic hero and she the buxom blonde movie star. But their relationship was short-lived; after honeymooning in Japan, they filed for divorce 274 days into their marriage, with Monroe accusing her husband of "mental cruelty".

Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola, Manhattan, June 1993

There was nothing understated about Mariah Carey's wedding to Sony Music CEO Tommy Mottola in 1993. Carey said "I Do" in typically flamboyant style at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Manhattan. There were no less than fifty flower girls present for the lavish ceremony and the 23-year-old bride wore a Vera Wang pale ivory dress with a 27-foot train and a rhinestone-encrusted veil and tiara.

After they exchanged vows in front of 300 guests, including Barbra Streisand and Robert De Niro, the happy couple went onto toast the nuptials with a reception at the Metropolitan Club. The entire affair is estimated to have cost half a million dollars. The couple divorced in 1998.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III, Palace of Monaco, April 1956

Film star Grace Kelly became Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco as one of the most hotly anticipated weddings of the 20th Century got underway on the French Riviera in April 1956. Resplendent in an ivory gown made of silk taffeta and lace - the handiwork of MGM studio costume designer Helen Rose - Kelly became royalty during a Nuptial Mass held in the Cathedral of Monaco. A day earlier, she and Prince Rainier III attended a civil ceremony held in the throne room in the Palace of Monaco. For this, Hitchcock star Kelly wore a beige lace dress and hat, and according to the BBC, was "noticeably nervous throughout the proceedings".

At the end of their church wedding, a message was read out from the Pope (naturally) and then the newlyweds drove through the streets of Monte Carlo in an open-top car, waving to thousands of well-wishers. The couple honeymooned on a Mediterranean cruise and went onto have three children. Princess Grace died in a car crash in 1982.

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Sydney, June 2006

Romance, class and luxury was the order of the day as Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban became man and wife during a candlelit ceremony in Sydney. The couple said "I do" at sundown in the city's Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel - a cliff-top gothic cathedral, decorated with hundreds of candles and red flowers. Kidman arrived in a vintage Rolls-Royce with her father, Antony, who walked her down the aisle. Her wedding party also included her sister Antonia, who was her maid of honour, and daughter Isabella, 13, who was her bridesmaid.

The Oscar-winning actress wore a one-shoulder Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga and veil (which she wore over her face for the ceremony), along with a boquet of white freesias, gardenias and carnations. Around 200 guests attended the reception including Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, New York's Plaza Hotel, November 2000

Hollywood royalty and Wales were put on a collision course of the finest kind, as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas got wed in an estimated £1.5 million celebration at the iconic New York Plaza Hotel in 2000. Zeta-Jones, then aged 31, had wanted a "homespun wedding—with no gimmicks" and the hotel entrance was bedecked with Welsh dragons alongside the American flag, in a nod to her roots. But there was unmistakable air of movie star glamour as 350 guests congregated, including Goldie Hawn, Jack Nicholson, Meg Ryan and then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

With fans and photographers lining the streets outside, the couple tied the knot to the sound of a 40-member Welsh choir (joined by Douglas' long-time pal Danny DeVito) and the scent of 20,000 fresh cream-coloured roses in the Plaza ballroom. The bride and groom's three-month-old son, Dylan, played a key part in proceedings. Zeta-Jones wore a head-beaded Christian Lacroix gown and the party feasted on Welsh lamb, lobster and a 10-tier vanilla and buttercream cake.

Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors, LA's Hotel Bel-Air, July 1973

These two got married on the fifth anniversary of their first date, at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, California. In what was an unmistakably 70s day (check Farrah's amazing hat!), both the bride and groom wore outfits made by costume designer Theodore Van Runkle. "It was quite the extreme," Majors later said, of the hype they created as one of Hollywood's most glamorous couples of that era.

"It was probably like Brad and Jennifer when they were together. The press was all over us and of course she was doing a show also which was pretty popular. Naturally we really couldn’t go anywhere." The couple got married in a garden ceremony at the hotel, with around 150 guests and Farrah's sister Diane Walls as maid of honour. They divorced in 1982.

Noel Gallagher and Meg Mathews, Las Vegas, June 1997

Well, if you're going to do Las Vegas, do it in the style of Noel Gallagher and Meg Mathews. The cool Britania couple made it official with a secret ceremony at Sin City's Little Church of the West. Only a handful of loved ones were in attendance for the Oasis singer's nuptials, including Gallagher's mother, Peggy, the bride's parents, Stan and Christine Mathews, and the band's manager and his wife. The chapel's resident Elvis impersonator played a part in proceedings and there was also a pianist who played music by the Beatles. After the ceremony, the newlyweds spent some time milling around and taking photos. According to chapel owner Greg Smith, groom Gallagher was a "very pleasant man" and "very serious".

A host of other famed names have said "I Do" at the legendary Las Vegas chapel, including Harry James and Betty Grable married there in 1943. Other celebrities exchanging vows at the church including Betty Grable, Zsa Zsa Gabor, David Cassidy and Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford. Gallagher and Mathews divorced in 2001.

Judy Garland and Mickey Deans, Chelsea Register Office, March 1969

In March 1969 Judy Garland married her fifth husband, Mickey Deans, a 34-year-old gay musician and night-club promoter. The brief ceremony took place at Chelsea Register Office on the Kings Road, with a reception at plush London institution Quaglino’s just below Piccadilly. Fifty guests were in attendance, including American actor Johnnie Ray (pictured above left), who was best man. However many more people were invited but did not turn up, including Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli who is said to have told her mother she couldn't make it but promised to come "to the next one".

There were glasses of champagne and a three-tier cake, as Garland proclaimed; "This is it. For the first time in my life, I am really happy. Finally, I am loved." Tragically, Garland died of an accidental overdose three months later at the age of 47.

Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault, Venice, April 2009

In true celebrity style, Salma Hayek and her French magnate partner François-Henri Pinault enjoyed two weddings. The first was a private civil ceremony in Paris on Valentine's Day 2009, with just a few family members in attendance. The second took place à la George Clooney, with a lavish celebration in Venice. As with George and Amal, A-List stars descended on the Italian canal city for an extravagant two-day fiesta. Guests including Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz and Anna Wintour attended a masquerade-style rehearsal dinner at the 17th century Punta Della Dogana and a ceremony at the 18th century La Fenice opera house.

The bride, accompanied by her 19-month-old daughter Valentina as flower girl, looked ravishing in a Balenciaga wedding gown by Nicholas Ghesquiere and a bouquet of orchids sprinkled with cystals. The party headed to the historic white marble building Palazzo Grassi for the reception, which saw Salma, Woody Harrelson and Charlize join Bono on stage to sing Stand By Me.

Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl, Bedford New York, June 2014

Reality TV star Olivia Palermo channeled a low-key vibe for her wedding to her boyfriend of six years, Johannes Huebl, in June this year. The pair exchanged vows in a park in the leafy town of Bedford in New York state, surrounded by ivy and blossoming flowers, and with just a few family members and close friends in attendance. The bride chose a simple cream cashmere sweater with scattered ostrich feathers and chic white shorts with a full tulle skirt overlay, all custom-made in a stylish and unique three-piece by Carolina Herrera.

She finished the look with a pair of deep blue Manolo Blahniks. The groom wore a bespoke tailored white Marc Anthony Hamburg suit with a Marc Anthony Hamburg piquet shirt, a navy Charvet tie and navy Etro pocket square. "We really wanted to keep this beautiful day very private and special to us and enjoyed the whole day with our family and two friends," the happy couple said.

Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman, LA's Hotel Bel-Air, May 2004

Director Len Wiseman and Underworld star Kate Beckinsale got hitched in an evening ceremony at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens served as the opening music and Beckinsale, then aged 30, walked down the aisle in a white strapless Vera Wang gown and diamond tiara. Her four bridesmaids wore pale pink Vera Wang dresses and Beckinsale's daughter Lily Sheen was flower girl. In a touching moment, Wiseman presented the infant with a tiny ring of her own, so that she felt included in the proceedings.

Guests enjoyed a champagne reception next to the hotel's swan-filled pond before moving to the ballroom, which was decorated with table centrepieces of white roses, hydrangeas and tulips. The newlyweds performed their first dance to Coldplay’s The Scientist after the party dug into a lavish meal of mushroom ravioli, grilled beef and truffle potatoes followed by a chocolate fondue fountain. "I was reminded of Kate's movie Serendipity," wedding planner Mindy Weiss told People. "They are meant to be with each other."



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