HOLLYWOOD idol George Clooney married human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in a lavish star-studded reception in Venice yesterday.
A host of celebrities and the world’s media flocked to the Italian city to witness Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor tie the knot with his bride on Saturday.
Clooney, 53, and Alamuddin, 36, looked happy and impeccably glamorous as they were carried around the city in a motorboat appropriately named “Amore” over the weekend.
The couple were spotted
relaxing with friends, seemingly unbothered by a flotilla of photographers hovering in boats offshore yesterday.
Hotel staff at the five-star Cipriani hotel formed a protective barrier blocking the view of Clooney and his guests from about a dozen boats of photographers, but then Clooney
apparently waved them away.
The actor, maintaining his ever-cool demeanour, even interacted briefly with the paparazzi.
After someone yelled “Is this really happening, George?” the actor feigned looking at a watch on his bare wrist and yelled back: “Yeah, right now.”
Actors Matt Damon and
Ellen Barkin, model Cindy Crawford, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and others also descended on the city, cruising the canals on speedboats that took them from one luxury
hotel to another.
Other stars who arrived last night included Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock and singer Bono.
Their wedding last night, at the seven-star Aman Canal Grande Hotel, where Alamuddin stayed the night before, was the symbolic ceremony; the civil ceremony is expected to take place tomorrow at the 16th-century Palazzo Cavalli adjoining the Ca’ Farsetti, the Venice town hall where civil weddings routinely take place.
The exact details of the nuptials were kept firmly under wraps, but a notice from the city authorities said that because of Clooney’s marriage the city hall area will be closed tomorrow from 12pm to 2pm.
A number of the town’s
narrow pedestrian streets are also to be closed off for two hours on the day.
It has been reported in the Italian media that the former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, a film buff and friend of Clooney, will officiate.
“Considering that the location of the ceremony is likely to become a target for people attracted by the celebrity status of the event, high numbers could be a problem for traffic and pose a threat to those
people’s safety,” the local government said.
Clooney revealed earlier this month at a celebrity charity event in Tuscany, Italy, that he and Alamuddin would be tying the knot in Venice.
Upon receiving a humanitarian award at the black-tie gala, Clooney said during his acceptance speech: “I met my lovely bride-to-be here in Italy, whom I will be marrying in a couple of weeks in Venice, of all places.”
The wedding of Clooney
and Lebanese-born Alamuddin comes hot on the heels of
the long-awaited marriage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie last month. The Hollywood power couple went for a
low-key ceremony at their
estate in France, in which each of their six children had a part to play.
Clooney and Alamuddin have been largely protective of their relationship since their engagement in the spring.
When a Daily Mail report falsely claimed that Clooney and his future mother-in-law Baria were at odds, Clooney
attacked the publication in a first-person piece in newspaper USA Today, and then
refused to accept the Mail’s subsequent apology.
Kentucky-born Clooney, a two-time Oscar winner who originally shot to stardom in the television series ER, had famously vowed never to remarry after his 1993 divorce from actress Talia Balsam.
Such was his aversion to
tying the knot again that he is reported to have made a $100,000 bet with Michelle Pfeiffer that he would stay
Alamuddin, who had no previous connection to Hollywood, has represented former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko at the European Court of Human Rights, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in extradition proceedings.