George Clooney wedding: Film star charms the lucky few in Venice in marriage to Amal Alamuddin

Actor is joined by A-listers including Bono, Anna Wintour, Matt Damon and Robert DeNiro as he bids farewell to bachelorhood

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The Independent Online

George Clooney worked his magic on much – but not all — of Venice this weekend, charming waiters, exiting fans and annoying the odd gondolier as he and his A-list crowd swanned around the lagoon city liked they owned it in the breathless build up to the show business wedding of the year.

Just before 7pm local time crowds along both banks of the Grand Canal screamed in approval as il divo arrived at his star-packed wedding dinner amidst a flotilla of water taxis, police launches and boats laden with paparazzi, as a drone buzzed overhead. Celebrity friends including Bono, Anna Wintour and Cindy Crawford were seen arriving at the seven-star Aman hotel minutes earlier. Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were among the other stars, who are thought to have slipped into the palazzo from water taxis to celebrate the two-time Oscar winner’s marriage tonight to Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin.


For the celebrity nuptials of the year, London-based Ms Alamuddin, 36, is said to have ordered a host of decorative upgrades to the already opulent venue in which some rooms cost £3,200 a night, and guests are treated to Tiepolo ceiling frescos.

To keep out the uninvited, 400 security staff were on hand. Hotel staff not directly involved in the party were kept away from the celebrations and asked to give up their mobile phones, according to Il Gazzettino newspaper; The presence of American Vogue’s Anna Wintour, provided a clue as to which publication had bought up the exclusive picture rights.

The bride Amal Alamuddin (AFP)

Some of Clooney’s fans were feeling a bit left out, though. Sisters Sabina and Sigrid Franceskin, 38 and 45, who have travelled from the Austrian mountain town of Ramsau Dachstein to see the actor said they were disappointed that he had not organised an event to salute the public. “We really wanted to see him and the bride. It seems like he’s hiding,” said Sabina. “So why have such a big wedding in Venice?”

A look at the Aman Canal Grande Hotel in Venice

By mid-afternoon their chances of spotting il divo from their quayside vantage spot as he entered the Aman Hotel later that evening for the main wedding reception, seemed slimmer as workmen constructed a brown canvas walkway to hide the celebrities from the prying eyes of ordinary people. VIPs will step of their water taxis straight into the makeshift tunnel and head directly into the 16th Century palazzo.

Nanni Tamborino, a 50 year-old office worker from the nearby city of Padova, has also travelled up to Venice to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood wedding of the year. “I’ve come all this way and everything seems to be closed off. If Clooney wants to have a big glamorous wedding in this beautiful city, he should let us see what’s happening,” he said.

Matt Damon was among the stars invited to the three-day celebration (AFP)

Some of the city’s gondoliers weren’t happy either. Two, who didn’t wish to be named complained about the “wave” of VIPs coursing down the Grand Canale preventing them from going about their business. “There was incredible chaos,” one said. “And even worse were all the journalists on his tail.”

But all in all, Mr Clooney can claim to have charmed Venice on his umpteenth visit here. Staff at the pricey city eatery Da Ivo sang the star’s praises to The Independent, after he enjoyed a stag night dinner there on Friday.

The cook, Luciano Gambardella, said it was “always a pleasure” to see Clooney come in –- even if he arrived this time armed with two bottles of his own brand Casamigos tequila, which the seven polished off, before starting on a magnum of Sassicaia, the famed Tuscan red wine.


“He’s a wonderful person,” said Mr Gambardella. “And the thing that moved me the most was how he made a point of going up to every single person working in the restaurant to embrace them and thank them after the meal, including all the people in the kitchen.”

Clooney and the his six chums, including his best man Rande Gerber, the husband of Cindy Crawford, chowed down on pasta with truffle, fried pumpkin flowers with crab, prawns with figs. The mix of tequila and Supertuscan, had no deleterious effects on the stag nighters behaviour, and a couple of diners who had been arguing until the arrival of Clooney left, starstruck with smiles on their faces, said Mr Gambardella.

And to top it all, the weather this weekend in Venice has been glorious — and Mr Clooney and Alamuddin aren’t the only ones enjoying it.  “As I’d come all this way,” said Mr Tamborino, at least I was able to make the most of it by having the last dip of the year at the Lido.”

With the pair now married it was speculated tonight that Clooney and his bride would register their marriage with Venice City Hall on Monday.