Kim and Kanye leave their residence in Paris on May 23 ahead of their wedding. They lunched at a French chateau owned by Valentino, kicking off a marathon celebration expected to culminate in the "wedding of the year". -AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard
Kim and Kanye's Florence wedding has all the pomp and pageantry of a TV show special, but a technicality could mean that the episode might not count as a legal marriage ceremony.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West celebrated their wedding on Saturday in a 16th-century castle overlooking the historic city of Florence. City authorities confirmed the event, overseen by a Protestant pastor, took place in the Forte di Belvedere, set on a hill overlooking the city which the couple hired for the night for €300,000 (RM1.3mil).
But few other details leaked out ahead of the lavish festivities. A private security firm kept curious fans, paparazzi and TV cameras from getting too close to the site, a Renaissance stronghold with high sloping walls that have been boosted by specially erected privacy screens. As the castle isn't normally authorised to hold weddings, however, it's unclear whether the event counts as a legal marriage ceremony.
Kanye, 36, proposed to 33-year-old Kim in an empty baseball stadium with a specially hired orchestra, the event shown during an episode of the TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians. The couple, known as “Kimye”, is believed to have celebrated their nuptials accompanied by their daughter North and around 200 family and friends.
The guest list has been kept a tight secret but according to celebrity magazines, rumoured attendances included Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, Will Smith and Justin Bieber. Power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce, however, were not expected to show.
Following a pre-wedding party and a visit to the historic Chateau de Versailles outside Paris on Friday, most guests arrived by private plane in Florence’s main airport and will leave on Sunday morning. They are putting up in two of the city’s most luxurious hotels, where a team of around 10 of Kanye's assistants have been overseeing preparations for the past week.
According to the local newspaper La Nazione , suppliers were threatened with a US$5 million (RM16mil) penalty if they revealed details of the event and guests were asked to hand in their mobile phones to stop anyone taking selfies or other pictures.
Most Florence residents appeared to take the preparations in stride, but groups of fans did wait outside the luxury hotels and the party site, hoping for a glimpse of the celebrity couple and their guests. “I’ve come here to see Kim Kardashian, I’ve been following her since 2008 and I like her a lot,” said desperate fan Lora Marotta. “I’m obsessed so I’ve come here to see her and will not leave until I’ve seen her.”
The guests were escorted by city police to the event where they dined on catering provided by Galateo, one of Florence’s most famous caterers. Vanessa Beecroft, an Italian-born artist and friend of Kanye, whose performance art pieces regularly feature groups of nude female models, also set up a show within the fort and promised to leave one of her works to the city of Florence.
How much the final bill will come to is a closely guarded secret, but if past celebrity practice is any guide, the couple may be able to defray some of the expense by showing the wedding on TV or selling exclusive photo rights. Meanwhile, residents in the San Nicola area of Florence had received letters warning them that the music would be booming out until midnight. - Reuters