Socialite Says "I Do" to Over-the Top Wedding

By Claudine Zap


Move aside, Kate Middleton. Eat your heart out, Kim Kardashian. British socialite Petra Ecclestone has you both beat when it comes to over-the-top weddings. The Formula One heiress reportedly dropped an estimated $5 million to $7 million on her big day to wed businessman James Stunt in a three-day extravaganza in Rome.

Buzz on the Web was certainly big: Lookups on the extravagant bride increased 389% in just one day.

Still, the blonde heiress seems to be aware that she is blessed with good fortune, as it were. She told ABC, "I'm not spoiled, I'm privileged, and I think there's a huge difference in that."

The 22-year-old certainly knows how to live the good life: She is the daughter of billionaire Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone, who's thought to be footing the bill, and former Armani model Slavica Radic. The celebutante is also a fashion designer who, according to People, will release her line of Starks handbags in the fall.

The daughter of privilege had quite an expense list for her nuptials: The celebration took place at a 15th-century castle, Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes tied the knot back in 2006 -- and which reportedly cost $500,000 to rent.

The bride left her hotel for the ceremony in a Rolls-Royce Phantom, then switched cars to join her father in his vintage white Rolls-Royce for her entrance. Guests were greeted by an 18-piece string section from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and treated to a 40-minute concert -- at a cost of more than $160,000.

The model and designer wore a $130,000 custom Vera Wang gown, complete with diamond tiara and earrings. Andrea Bocelli serenaded the couple after the two exchanged vows.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed entertainment by the Black Eyed Peas and family friend Eric Clapton, and were served $6,500-a-bottle wine. Fireworks and an acrobatics display capped the evening. At a dinner the night before the wedding, guests feasted on caviar and Cristal and enjoyed a performance by Alicia Keys.

The guest list included princesses Beatrice and Eugenie; their mother, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; and Paris and Nicky Hilton.

The couple's spending didn't stop at the wedding: The pair will move into Aaron and Candy Spelling's $85 million manse (purchased with cash), the largest residence in Los Angeles, natch.

So what do you buy the couple who clearly have everything? Luckily, they thought of that, too: Guests were asked to give to charity in lieu of gifts.