Silicon Valley has its first Hollywood wedding.
Sean Parker, the founder of Napster and former president of Facebook, is reportedly planning to spend up to $10m (£6.6m) on his 1 June nuptials.
The 34-year-old tech mogul and his fiancée, singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas, have not only booked the exclusive Ventana Inn at Big Sur on the California coast, they have also hired a landscaping company to deck out the forested grounds around the resort with fake ruins, waterfalls, bridges, ponds and even a gated cottage.
Parker founded the controversial file-sharing service Napster with Shawn Fanning in 1999, and later became the first president of Facebook. Now a backer for the music-streaming service Spotify, he was portrayed by Justin Timberlake in the Oscar-winning 2010 movie, The Social Network. He has been engaged to Lenas since February 2011; the couple have a two-month-old daughter, Winter Victoria.
In March, they sent out save-the-date cards in the style of a medieval scroll.
“As you might imagine, this will not be a run-of-the-mill wedding,” the accompanying email suggested. According to TMZ.com, guests will arrive at the ceremony through a $600,000 (£390,000) gate, surrounded by a whopping $1m’s-worth of flowers and plants. Later in the evening, they will dance on a dance-floor costing $350,000. The bill for the backdrop alone is some $8.6m.
Meanwhile, Parker’s guests will each be personally dressed in custom-built outfits by the Oscar-winning costume designer of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. In a recent Facebook post, Parker denied rumours that the wedding had a Game of Thrones-style medieval theme.
“The wardrobe designs are essentially modern,” he explained. “This is NOT a theme wedding and there will be nothing ‘medieval’ about it... Ngila Dickson created a series of outfits that are based on modern suits and dresses with some elements of Victorian flair... they are not at all ‘medieval.’”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg opted for something a little more low-key when he married his long-term girlfriend Priscilla Chan in May 2012. The couple were wed at a simple ceremony in the garden of their home in Palo Alto, near San Francisco. The 100 guests ate food prepared by local restaurants.
Parker, by contrast, is famed for throwing raucous parties at his home in New York, known as “The Bacchus House”. He recently admitted to the New York Post that he had earned a reputation as a party animal, thanks in part to Timberlake’s performance in The Social Network. “There’s a certain pressure to live up to that reputation that’s been created by the film,” he said. “Even if I set out to throw a really small party… people assume it’s going to be a wild, crazy thing.”
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